Shanghai is the most populated city of the most populated country in the world, so basically, it means that in some way it represents humanity of our times. It has it all: rich history, modern skyscrapers, gorgeous ancient and new temples, fantastic food experiences… It’s too much to squeeze into one blog so I’m starting my story about Shanghai, China, with its most present-day page: Pudong.
To celebrate the Lunar New Year of Tiger in 2021 I’ve decided to look back on my trip to China right before the pandemic outbreak. Don’t forget to check my previous articles about the Forbidden city, the heart of Imperial Beijing, Chengdu and the Panda Reserve, Chinese Venice near Shanghai, the Great Wall, and the Lunar New Year celebrations in London and New York City.
If you think about modern Shanghai, you think about Pudong, that’s clear. It’s the part of the city that lies on the East bank of the Huangpu River and faces the historical centre called Puxi. It’s the incarnation of the present-day architectural advances because it’s all very new: it was decided to turn this area into the financial district only in the mid-80s and the works were set up only in the 1990s. Now, once a rice field, it has one of the most impressive skylines of the modern megapolices.
You can get there by car using the Yan’an East Road Tunnel, by ferry crossing the river or by the tube.
The most impressive part of Pudong is probably Lujiazui, the financial district which amazed even a very well travelled person who has already been to NYC, London, Dubai and Hong Kong with the number of skyscrapers gathered together. Let’s see the most impressive of them.
Jinmao Tower and the Grand Hyatt Shanghai
The Jinmao Tower, or Golden Prosperity Building, is a 420.5-meter-tall beauty which is one of the tallest buildings in Pudong completed in 1999. It has 88 floors – magic of numbers is very important in China, and 8 is considered a lucky number. The overall layered design is meant to coordinate with traditional Chinese architectural elements.
We were lucky to explore it from the inside as well when visiting the Grand Hyatt Shanghai, one of the tallest hotels in the world. It is famous for its giant spiral atrium and impressive view over the Bund.
Oriental Pearl Tower
Oriental Pearl Tower is a true gem (sorry for the pun) of the Shanghai skyline opened in 1994: once you see it, you’ll never forget it: it has two giant beads on a string 470 metre high in total! As it’s a functioning TV tower, it has an antenna on the top. And it looks absolutely spectacular by night!
You can also visit observational desks located on different floors there too!
Shanghai World Financial Centre
Another record breaking architectural landmark is the 494 metre high Shanghai World Financial Centre. It opened in 2008 and of course has an observational desk called the City Walk as well. Initially it was planned to make its top to have a circular hole for both the technical and symbolic reasons. However, it was noted that in that case it would resemble the Japanese flag so the trapezoidal aperture has been chosen instead. N/o surprises that now Shanghai World Financial Centre is known as a Bottle Opener!
Shanghai Tower joined the above-mentioned beauties on the Shanghai skyline in 2015 and it’s the tallest of them all. With the height of 632 metres it occupies the third place of the tallest buildings of the world with Burj Khalifa being of course the first! Do you like its spiral design?
You can also learn about the stages of how the skyline of Shanghai has changed over the years there and enjoy the views from the desktop!
Shanghai IFC mall
Shanghai IFC, or International Finance Centre mall, is another notable landmark of Lujiazui. It’s a giant shopping mall that includes many international high end luxury shops such as Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and restaurants. The same building spreading into two towers also includes a hotel and offices.
Hyatt on the Bund Shanghai
If you ask me about the views over the Pudong skyline, the Bund is definitely one of the obvious options. The view over the river is nice, especially by night, and every building is clearly visible. Nevertheless, if you’d like to elevate your experience (literally!), head to the Hyatt on the Bund. It has an astonishing bar on its top with the best views!
Pudong is a home to a few museums (for instance, Shanghai Development Exhibition Hall and Shanghai Art Centre), Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Disneyland Shanghai, Central Green Space and Lujiazui Circular Pedestrian Bridge to walk along and a couple of other big shopping malls. So if you’re planning to spend a day in Pudong, it’s the right choice as there are too many things to do!
Hope you enjoyed my blog,