This is the view from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, or 东方明珠塔. It is 468m high and was the tallest structure in China until 2007, when it was beaten by the Shanghai World Financial Center. You could say it was beaten by one of its own.
The queue was long and somewhat frustrating. It costs RMB180 ($36) to get to the very top (RMB108 for senior citizens) and the very top is a tiny lift that can take 10 people at a time. So be prepared to queue and queue during busy periods.
But once you get up there, the view is pretty awesome. You can see the Bund and all the tall buildings in Shanghai. On a clear day (which is rare in Shanghai), you probably see beyond the city.
At the lower observation deck, the floor is made of glass and this is where we had the most fun. If you have a fear of heights, the view from here can turn your legs into jelly.
I missed the Bund the last time I was in Shanghai (I know, how could I, right?). So this time, I made it a point to get there. By night, the Bund is really beautiful.
An old traffic cop at this junction in front of The Swatch Art Peace Hotel took a liking to me and spent fifteen minutes telling me stories about the street of buildings. Like how the British owner of The Fairmont Peace Hotel (left one, below) went to court to prevent the Bank of China building (right one, below) from being built taller than the Peace Hotel and won.
So the Chinese stuck a taller flag pole on their building. I am not sure if the stories the uncle told me were true but it was fun to listen to anyway.
This is the skyline of Shanghai from the Bund. Neat eh?
Yuyuan Garden (豫园) was less interesting and not really worth the entrance fee.
I did like the surrounding areas though. Like the small parks where old folks hung out and danced or had tea.
Also in the area is The City God Temple or Chenghuang Miao (上海城隍庙), one of the most significant Taoist temples in Shanghai. It was built during early 1400s, during the Ming Dynasty.
You'd think by now we'd tire of temple hopping but we were keen to visit The Jade Buddha Temple (玉佛禅寺).
Mom and I eavesdropped on a particularly good Hong Kong tour guide who explained things very clearly and wittily, and we learned quite a lot from listening to him.