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Arrival in Shanghai

Shanghai, China

Woke up the next day, the sea was calm, and it was though the gut-wrenching hell from the day before had not existed.

We ate breakfast and arrived in Shanghai at just about 12:00 even though we had thought arrival was at about 2:00pm. When we arrived, we spent an hour sitting around waiting to get off the vessel, listening to a group of extremely noisy Chinese kids chanting something that Adam assumed was “Let us off the damn boat!”. I thought it was just making noise for the sake of it. Either way we got off with no Chinese money.

It's an international entry point, right? Surely there is somewhere to change money... right? WRONG! Just as Osaka had been it was an abandoned warehouse, a scene from “28 Weeks Later” no-one there except a few officials. So we came up with our ingenious plan. Adam had a printout that would get a taxi to take us to the hotel we were going to pick up tickets from that night as we were leaving for Beijing the same evening. The Hotel was a no-go, so we had to use a bank.

We first decide to go and have a look at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, but going up the elevator cost $20. $20! In China! I can buy a house for that much! I can buy 50 cans of beer in the convenience store... There is no way I am going to pay that much to go up a tower that looks like a cock. Look over our shoulders and see two buildings far bigger. The first and biggest was the one I had come to see.

The Shanghai World Financial Center is an engineering masterpiece. It is the world's 3rd tallest building including unfinished buildings. The scheduled opening date was originally in April, or so I thought. It turned out that the opening day was August 30th. 6 days later than the day we arrived there, even though I had read about 3 different and earlier opening dates... Very disappointing.

Next door, though, I saw an absolutely monstrous building. It's the Jin Mao Tower. It is an 88 storey gem completed in 1998 with a magic observatory that cost half as much as the Pearl building, but was heaps higher! Win! We got a magic view of Shanghai, the skyline, and the soon-to-be-completed SWFC.

After looking at the view for a while we headed back to the hotel to meet the guy with the tickets. We sat there with a guy sat behind Adam, and we thought I hope that's not the guy. After 30 minutes wait, it turns out it was. We grabbed our tickets and jumped on the train. I met a nice Chinese guy, we ate prison food. We slept. We got to Beijing.

permalink written by  Big_T on August 24, 2008 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: Big_T's Travel Blog
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