Actually, the plan for my last night in Shànghǎi was to have dinner or a drink at the top of the Shànghǎi World Financial Center (short: SWFC) – the second-tallest skyscaper in Shànghǎi with 492m height. I considered the entrance to its observation deck as too high … and you never know about the weather conditions. Therefore, I would just pay for overpriced drinks/food and also the view instead of paying for the sole overpriced view.
Well, my plan changed a bit when I was checking out the Grand Hyatt lobby in the Jin Mao Tower to get a free view over Lujiazui. That lobby is located at the 54th floor and the view is already decent – considering that going to the lobby has no charge.
Since I was already in the neighbourhood, I went into the entrance for the SWFC observation deck to check out the prices. I toyed with the idea of taking an exclusive tour on my last evening. Of course, the staff of the SWFC observation deck was not capable of telling me what is included in the guided tour. Quote: “Exclusive tour? Exclusive tour?”, stern and serious look from the lady behind the service counter. Then she fumbled in a brochure “Here is the exclusive tour! 300 Yuan.” – Yes, I already knew the price, however, the Chinese website about the exclusive tour didn’t help me to find out the content of the program.
Another idea of mine was to go early in the morning for a clear morning view and return in the evening for a night view. But the service staff confirmed my assumption that it would not be possible do that: I could go to the observation deck and stay as long as I wanted. However, I cannot visit the tower in the morning, leave in the meantime, and return to the observation deck for the evening of the same day … *gnargh* business practise in Shànghǎi is fu***ng me again.
Anyway, I asked at the cashier whether the current weather conditions permit a decent overview over Puxi. The answer of the lady behind the cashier counter was: “From the observation deck you will see all over Lujiazui, see Oriental Pearl Tower, see the Bund, see Huangpu River, see …” I felt like talking to a chat software that merely reacts on key words by quoting tidbits from pre-fed knowledge about the matching topic. I shook my head and paid the entrance to the full range of observation decks. Now that I am here in the morning before the tourist crowds roll in, I would make the best of the situation …
After elevator rides to the 94th floor and a few more lifts to the 100th floor observation deck, I found what I expected: thick cloud layers of foggy smog. Puxi and the Bund was recognisable, People’s Park and the skyscrapers around People’s Square, too. But not clear enough for good photo shots. See for yourself:
… and in a short while, the 100th floor observation deck will most likely be topped by an even higher observation deck in the Shànghǎi Tower. This tower, which already appeared in previous posts, is still under construction. Once finished, it will be the highest building in Asia.