Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shanghai surprise

When we arrived at our hotel in Shanghai, we were, well ... a little surprised.

Our hotel in Beijing was very nice and in an amazing location.

This one was nice, but out of the way and surrounded by what is considered slums by Western standards. Like, I am talking derelict buildings, poverty, you know, what you visualize when you think of slums. Ok, maybe not TOTAL slums, but definitely slum-ish.

We are troopers though and started out tour of this city of 20 million! Can you imagine, 20 million other people to deal with?

Before we got to Shanghai, Jarod had described it as 'the last line of defense against alien invasion' - and he was right. I hate it when that happens.

The buildings here are straight out of the future. They are big, imposing and a little audacious. I am convinced the city planners just old a bunch of architecture students carte blanche.

Some of the buildings worked for me (Shanghai World Financial Centre) and others didn't (Oriental Pearl TV Tower). I don't know, I think new buildings are neat, they do things with architecture now that would be unimaginable, but the old stuff impresses me a lot more. Does that make sense?

Anyways, we checked out the Bund, and searched (and I mean searched) for a ferry to take us across the river. We had some guy wanting to charge us $15 each, but just said "You have to follow me" - um, no thanks.

Finally, we found the $1 ferry, and crossed the river to the Pudong, walked around for a bit and went for expensive drinks on the 87th floor of the Jin Mao Tower.

The view was sick - hello, 87th floor! - I think Steve squealed when we got up there. Getting up there was interesting in itself, the Hyatt only starts on the 54th floor and looking down is enough to cause some serious vertigo.

After the $20 drinks and the overpriced appetizers, it was off to bed. We aren't young anymore.

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