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!
HAPPY 12/12/12 !!!
The name of this recently opened park now eludes me (and my googling has turned up nothing)… either way, it is located on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River, opposite the old World Expo site.
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).
I feel that my photography captures the intense colors at play during the night… but to get an idea of the movement of the lighting, check out this video…
So I finally got my first taste of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, which opened back on May 1, and runs until the end of October. Took a weekday night ticket, in the rain, and there were still massive crowds (June 24th: 447,100 visitors)… I can only imagine what it’s like on a sunny weekend.
“Better City, Better Life” is the motto, and the site itself is MASSIVE (interactive map). This first trip was only through [part of] Zone C which houses most of the European Pavilions as well as Canada, US, and Africa. And to say the Expo has transformed Shanghai city life is quite the understatement:
- 41 billion US dollars were spent on preparations (more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics);
- 18,000 families & 270 factories were relocated;
- 190+ nations and 50+ world organizations taking part (largest ever);
- Expo site covers 5.28 km², also the largest in Expo history (which equals about 987 football fields including endzones);
- 10,000+ new Shanghai taxis;
- 6 new metro lines;
- 1.7 million volunteers were trained specifically for Expo help;
- 70-100 million visitors are expected to pass through the gates;
- metal detectors (nuisance!) in every subway station throughout Shanghai;
The image above (UK Pavilion) is just a taste of the CRAZYNESS that is to come, I took 397 images and am still working through them, so check back soon as I will be updating them below!
Well, the 2010 Shanghai World Expo opened last Saturday May 1st… 6 months of crazyness now commences. Our first taste of “Better City Better Life“ occured immediately after, when our local government gave everyone in Shanghai an extra 2 days of holiday (+1 day for Labor Day). I took the opportunity to hit up the Yu Yuan Garden shopping area.
It was a zoo.
Yu Yuan Gardens (Fuyou & Lishu Road) is a tourist hot spot for buying (and haggling) for handicrafts… everything from traditional calligraphy brushes and chopsticks to ”new jade” (fake) bracelets and statues. I also happened upon a “2 Kuai Shop”, which is like the 99Cent stores I am familiar with in New York City, only difference is that 2RMB is equivalent to about $0.30!
Definitely worth a visit, just keep an eye on your valuables (tourist hot spot = pickpocket hot spot), and prepare to bargain hard. There is a Line 10 metro stop close by (“Yuyuan Garden“), but at the time of this writing this line is still in test phase, which means it only runs in the mornings, so keep your eyes peeled, or just walk from Line 8 Dashijie station.
I managed to hook up a sweet fake Zippo with classic Mao propoganda art on it (+ fluid & case) for 9.9RMB. Also don’t forget to stop by the infamous dumpling spot, but be prepared to wait in line.
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]:
March 2010… after over a 1 year of being closed, Shanghai’s most famous landmark reopened to the public; so is the tale of The Bund.
While “The Bund” usually refers to the buildings located along Zhongshan Road (and facing Pudong), my photography on the other hand, does not.
The Bund is an amazing strip of structures from the [earlier] glory days when Shanghai was a huge financial and shipping hub (sound familiar!?!). Consisting of a custom house, trading houses, and banks, which subsequently moved elsewhere after the Communist victory during the Chinese Civil War in the 1950′s. The original institutions however, were given the opportunity during the 1980-90′s (with the thawing of the governments’ economic policy) to have the orignal buildings returned to their orignal uses. It is truly an amazing strip of architecture, ranging from Gothic and Baroque, to Neo-Classical and Art Deco.
My walk originated from People’s Square through the hair-care area of Shanghai (every shop sells everything related to hair salons, from scissors to those rotating lights), along the Bund, and back down Suzhou Creek.
Also note, the two cars pictures are the BMW M3, and the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupé. The Phantom is availible in 44,000 colors, which begs the question: is the owner color blind? It costs about US$400,000, which is doubled in China due to the 100% luxury tax… ooh yeah, believe it.
Which also reminds me… I’ve heard rumours there’s a Veyron floating around Shanghai.