Pudong & SWFC, Shanghai

Foggy views from Shanghai's tallest (but not for long) skyscraper, the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC)
From left to right: SWFC, Jin Mao tower, Shanghai tower (in construction)

As I explained in a previous post, Pudong (浦东Pǔdōng) is the new area of Shanghai, just across the river from the Bund. An area that just flourished 20 years ago, it is now filled with skyscrapers, financial activities, shopping centers and luxury hotels.
Shanghai's tallest buildings are here, like the Oriental Pearl tower (东方明珠塔 Dōngfāng Míngzhūtǎ), 47 floors, 470 meters - including the 118-meters antenna - the tv tower and observatory, with its characteristic shape, it's actually one of Pudong's oldest buildings, dating from 1994.

 Until 2007, the Jin Mao tower (金茂大厦 Jīn​mào​ Dà​shà) was Shanghai's tallest building with 88 floors and 421 meters. The Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel with its amazing atrium is inside. The tower's shape reminds of a tiered pagoda.

Then on 2008, the Shanghai World Financial Center opened, with 492 meters and 101 floors, called also the "bottle opener" due to its shape with the opening at the top (which was originally designed as a circular opening, but changed because it reminded of the Japanese flag...). It is the second tallest buiding in the world at the time of writing (Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest) and it has the world's tallest observatory deck at 474 meters over ground level.
This will change in the coming months - probably by 2015-, when the Shanghai Tower willl finally be completed. It will have 121 floors and 632 meters and will then become the second tallest building in the world - it will also host a Four Seasons hotel.
Shanghai Tower's final construction phase
 Since the Shanghai Tower is not open yet, we had to "settle" for the SWFC and its breathtaking observatory deck. Since I'm no fan of heights and glass floors I thought it would be a bit frightening but it was actually not - perhaps due to the fog/pollution I couldn't notice how high up we were :)
We were there on a mild sunny weekday morning and there was no queue to buy the tickets - it is actually a bit expensive at 180 RMB for the access to all three observatory decks in the building (at floors 94, 97 and 100) - they had a special offer in the period we were there so for 200 RMB per person we got to have a cocktail at the 94th floor bar after our visit.
After you buy your ticket you pass a dark room where you can see a cool model of Shanghai all lightened up, then a video and up you go on the fast elevator.

The Observatory in the 100th floor is obviously the nicest, with views from both sides of the building and glass floor. Ufortunately, due to the fog/pollution, the views were not very clear but still we could see that we were high up - especially when looking down at the spires of the Jin Mao and Oriental Pearl towers.

Looking down at the Jin Mao

Looking down at the Oriental Pearl tower
streets of Pudong
Anonymous (but colorful) cocktails at the 94th floor bar.
Most elegant photo in the blog - bathrooms in the 94th floor
escalators between decks
SWFC - Shanghai World Financial Center - 上海环球金融中心
Admission Fee: 180 RMB (for all 3 observatory decks); 120 RMB (just 94th floor)
Admisson Hours: 8.00 - 22.00 (open until 23.00)
Address: No.100, Century Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Address in Chinese: 上海市浦东新区世纪大道100号(入口在东泰路靠近花园石桥路)

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