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Monday, September 6, 2010

Jin Mao Tower

While my friend Juliana was in town, we went up to the observation deck on the 88th floor of the Jin Mao Tower (金茂大厦 jin1 mao4 da4 sha4), the second tallest building in Shanghai (the first tallest stands right next to it), & the fourth tallest building in the world.

The tower is designed to look like a Chinese-style pagoda, & it's construction is based heavily on the number 8, which is a prosperous number in Chinese culture. In keeping with the theme, the ticket to the observation deck costs 88 RMB (about US $13).

When I saw the interlacing structure of the outside of the building, I thought it would be a great structure for that crazy building climber to climb. It turns out he already had that idea, climbing the tower in 2007. He not only climbed up the outside of the building, but he also climbed back down, finishing in 90 minutes. He was promptly arrested by Chinese police officers when he got back to earth.
From the basement of the building, the elevator shot us up to the 88th floor in a mere 45 seconds - our ears popped as we reached the top. Wee!

It was a hazy day in Shanghai, so we couldn't see the outreaches of the city, but Juliana said that she could still feel the vastness of it. I guess Shanghai is still impressive even if you can't really see it.
The observation deck also offers a plummeting view inside the Shanghai Grand Hyatt hotel, which occupies the 53rd to the 87th floor of Jin Mao Tower. At 115 meters (about 377 feet), this is one of the tallest atriums in the world. Looking down was a bit scary as I felt a wave of vertigo.
There was supposed to be a post office on the observation level, but we only found some postal vending machines that were out of order. Too bad. It would have been interesting to send a postcard from the highest post office in the world.

I've been told that the restaurant on the 86th floor is a nice treat & doesn't cost the 88 RMB entrance fee - though I'm sure you'll spend more than that to eat at this fancy schmancy place. Perhaps I'll take my parents there for a drink & to enjoy the view when they come to Shanghai for a visit at the end of September.

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