Oriental Pearls

Today was possibly my most exciting day in China so far.  This morning I met up with RH, a good friend I hadn’t seen for ten years.  LM and his friend ZXJ joined us and we went to the Oriental Pearl Tower (东方明珠塔 ).  None of them remembered going into the tower before (LM’s parents told him they had taken him there as a baby).

We went into all three “pearls”.  It was an exhilarating experience, I don’t think I can describe it.  A definite “must-do” if you ever come to Shanghai.  It’s not the highest tower in Shanghai anymore – the nearby Shanghai Tower is the tallest in China, and the third tallest in the world, which we didn’t have time to go up in the end.  Even so the views across Shanghai were spectacular, and made me begin to fall in love with this city.

In one of the “pearls” there is an incredible display of what someone thinks Shanghai might look like in the future.

And in the base of the tower, there is a museum showing some of the history of Shanghai.

My recommendations for when you go:  Go as early as possible to avoid the worst of the queue at the first elevator ride up the tower.  Allow all morning and most of the afternoon to see everything.   Take a picnic with you (there was a place in the museum where it looked like it might be possible to sit and eat) or find out about having lunch in the revolving restaurant (sadly we somehow missed that bit).

We had to rush through the museum a bit and leave a little earlier than we otherwise would have because we were hungry and couldn’t wait any longer before the evening meal.  After having some rather tasty fried buns (which I’m told contained pork, and tasted a bit like sausages) we cycled to the ferry port and took the ferry to the other side of the river.

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