The Oriental Pearl Tower is undoubtedly Shanghai’s most iconic landmark. Completed in 1994, it was also one of the first structures to be built on the Pudong side of Shanghai (ie- all the famous skyline images you see).
It has a love/hate relationship with most Shanghainese, and I certainly don’t know why exactly that certain color was picked, but at night it is spectacular. At 468m tall, it is currently the 5th largest tower in the world, with which you get some insane views of Lujiazui (downtown Pudong) and across the river of the Bund and the Puxi side of Shanghai…
I can’t recommend visiting the Pearl Tower enough, if for one simple reason: the view straight down through the glass floors at almost 300m up!
There is also an unusual exhibition located on the ground floor, as seen in the last few images… make sure to look through them all, there are some real gems in there!
Easily one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen…
Kota Kinabalu part II, a day of lounging ended with one of the most dramatic setting suns ever… you can see in the photos how the sky changed colors, it was quite spectacular to say the very least.
What made the experience all the more surreal was that this boardwalk was closed off (just to the right of the above image), secured from public view and guarded by the United States Navy. We were talking to one of the guards, a older gentleman telling us of his previous tours, who then warned us for the possibility of a not-so-quiet night ahead, as it was the first off-duty time for over 4000 Navy military personnel from an American aircraft-carrier docked just off the coast. Wonderful.
In the last two images you can see the restaurant/market I mentioned in my previous post (yes, we ate there again). After shooting and dinner, we went to a bar for a drink… and I felt like I was at some sort of strange frat-party with an South East Asian twist… the Navy kids had swarmed the small downtown area and were yelling, screaming and drinking (then puking) everywhere in sight. It really made me not miss living in the US. Shame that people behave that way, especially when you are a guest in a predominantly Muslim country!
I ordered a bucket of beer and watched the mayhem from a bar balcony, while my girl ordered a margarita (but they had ran out of tequila), then ordered a mojito (but they ran out of rum), so she got a vodka pineapple. Luckily the obnoxious Cinderella’s had to be back aboard their “carrier” before midnight, letting the town of Kota Kinabalu lull back into tranquility (albeit with the stench of alcohol and vomit still lingering a bit).
The next morning it was off to country number 30something for me, bye bye Kota Kinabalu. hello Brunei Darussalam!
These were taken some months ago in the maze of streets around my office building (mainly around Qinglian Street). It marks the outer edge of “Old Shanghai” where there are intense amounts of construction going on (certainly nothing special in Shanghai). I noticed the prospect of a good sky comin’ on, so I grabbed my camera/tripod and headed out to capture these (quite a shame that Shanghai doesn’t usually have these vespertine colors that I am drawn to).
Well. My third Chinese New Year, and they sure as hell don’t get any quieter!
These images were taken over a 3 day period (Chinese New Year is a week long).
You can see that fireworks are sold on the street, and even off the back of tricycles, as well as a kid lighting some (light provided by a lit cigarette given by a building guard), you’ll also notice how although the streets are a battlefield, traffic doesn’t seem to mind one bit… cars, scooters, bikes all travel straight through the mayhem. In the last several you’ll see a group of men who literally lit up the sky (and left some debris in the process), in some of those images you’ll notice why fireworks can be a dangerous thing in a city as populated as Shanghai. Best to keep your windows closed and ear plugs in! I can NOT stress how loud all these situations I put myself into were…… enjoy.
And here are some videos taken throughout the scenes shown above… video #2 is another example of why Chinese-made fireworks are slightly dangerous, as sometimes the rocket doesn’t get quite much height (but makes for some stunning photography!).
If you still can’t get enough, check out my previous posts from the past CNY’s:
In my twenty-something years, I’ve hit up twenty-something different countries, and without a doubt Shanghai is the night city of night cities [so far]. I don’t mean that in the sense of things being open (NYC gets that one, minus that stupid curfew), or in regards to nightlife (although no complaints here!), but that the lights are blindly turned on and are in essence: blinding, and furthermore, the crowds disappear (which is a huge plus!).
Let me put it this way: Shanghai by day = *meh*. Shanghai by night: *BLAHM*!
This set of images is from 3 seperate shoots, the first 3 images are around my office building at the end of Huai Hai Road East. The following 3 images are of my quick trip to Pudong to pick up a package sent from the homefront (thanks Mom, there is nothing in the world like Belgian D&L mayonnaise!), while the final 6 were actually taken right after the previous post, at Peoples Square.
Compare image #2 above with the one below… same location 6 months earlier:
And from 4 months earlier [see my full post on the graffiti wall]:
Xintiandi (新天地; xīn tiān dì), or XTD as I call it, is an area of restored shikumen, traditional stone houses and alleyways. It is the hot-spot in Shanghai, mostly aimed at tourists, with restaurants, bars, cafes, a shopping mall, and even a jazz club. I had previously blogged about an area called Tianzifang, similar to XTD only not as touristy [yet]… the locals still live there washing their dishes in the alleys surrounded by small artsy boutiques and quiet restaurants. Whereas XTD feels fake and incredibly pretentious, and if you happen to walk into one of the restaurants or cafes in XTD and see your bill, you’ll completely forget you’re in China.
XTD holds a personal record with my Most Expensive Beer Ever, from the Paulaner Bräuhaus… a whopping 138RMB (US$ 20.29) for a 1L mug of micro brew. There is also a Starbucks (obviously), and a steakhouse which serves a 500RMB (US$ 73) porterhouse, which might not seem like all that much, but if you know anything about Shanghai, you’ll know of the various Brazilian BBQ spots that serve all-you-can-eat steaks for 20% of the price.
But then again, who cares when the company is paying.
I also stumbled upon a park located just east of Xintiandi, called Taipingqiao.
And once again I must apologize for my slow posting… seems the Great Firewall of China struck again, taking out the proxy I was using before to access this blog. Now I am forced to use an alternative, UltraSurf, which is available for free here.