Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shanghai Trip Day 15 - Oriental Pearl Tower

The blog couldn't have started without this pic. This is Oriental Pearl Tower, the world's third highest tower in the world. It is nothing more than a TV tower but it's sheer architecture is what attracts tourists towards it and makes it the hallmark of modern Shanghai and modern China.

I had started the day late and after having read few more poems and clicked the famous towers as they looked from my balcony (once again), i decided to move out.
The view from the balcony was clearer today and that meant that it was a nice sunny day and it shouldn't rain. So that meant, it is a good day for sightseeing. I decided to get out by around 3 so that i can see the towers in both sunlight and night. I had overestimated the sunny day, though.

The moment I came out of my apartment started to walk towards the metro station, I could sense that I was not appropriately dressed for the occasion. Cold strong winds were blowing and I had mistaken it with the sunlight. I felt like getting frozen or blown away but didn't want to walk back. Put the hood of my sweatshirt on my bald head and moved on. The journey in the metro was peaceful, though I was amazed that even on a Sunday, so many people were running up and down the city. The crowd be an issue for people who are not used to it. But then, I had been trained enough by DTC buses and the Mumbai local trains. So it was a cakewalk for me.

Reached Lujiazui at around 3:45 (the metro was fast, it was the walk that took time) and voila...this was really huge.... the tall, very tall oriental pearl tower on one side and the pair of Jin Mao tower and the Global Financial Center (also called the bottle opener, because of the shape) on the other side made me feel so tiny. Couldn't helo clicking a few.
It was pretty interesting to find the statues of tourists looking at the towers in awe. I smiled..
As I moved in and found out that the entry ticket to the OPT was in the range of 80-150 rmb, i had second thoughts of whether I should spend so much money on something like this. But then a few statements falshed through my mind - "hey you are in shanghai..did you see the OP tower??" "you must see the entire shanghai from the top bubble of the tower..it is magnificient"..."the trip to shanghai is not complete without visiting the OPT"...Ok FINE !!!To pay a pilgrimage to my shanghai trip, I decided to put in 150 rmb so that i go upto the highest bubble.

Just when I entered, I was made to realize that I had chosen the worst time of the week to come here. An evening and moreso, a Sunday evening. The entire shanghai (or may be the entire china) seemed to have taken the tickets and i became a part of a never ending queue. Kept clicking to avoid boredom and finally after a wait of 30 minutes, was taken to the highets bubble at a height of 350 meters.
this clip said ot all. I was there. Right where the arrow is pointing and i could see the entire shanghai (or so I imagined),. Nevertheless, I was thrilled and it was more like a childish thrill than a geeky one. Spent some 10 minutes clicking shanghai from top. Hunagpu river looked soothing..
I kept taking random pics here and there and was most interested in taking a close look at the 'bottle opener'. The towers of Jin Mao and the Financial Center looked awesome and huge.
I saw people at the highest possible place in that tower, checking out the view like me.I was happy for having ticket off one more place on my Shanghai Trip dairy.But the happiness was short lived. I kept coming down to the lower bubbles and after seeing shanghai from 263 meters and then from 90 meters, I was kinda bored. This was more a place for families with small kids who would jump in joy. And the gaming zones at the 90th floor proved my hypothesis right.

I had thought of checking out the other two towers too, but realized that the experience won't be any different. Came out of the tower and took a stroll along the river and clicked a few.
the top of the Jin Mao tower that looks like a pagoda and is lit differently from the rest of the tower so you feel that a pagoda is hanging in the sky....
and the view of the Bund on the other side of the river.
Was feeling severly cold by now and decided to rush back home. Dumped the idea of seeing the Bund from close and going to the Yu garden. The Bund, anyways was quite similar to the Marine Drive of mumbai and I wanted to avoid crowd.

While coming back, I realized how tired i was. Had maggie and off to bed.

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