Shanghai, skyscraper city



All my friends who lived or still live in Shanghai highly recommended we skip going up the Oriental Pearl Tower. Too touristy – they knew we’d hate it. Add to that the river cruise, unless you enjoy crowds. So we skipped both and instead we went up a few skyscrapers in Pudong and had drinks at hotel bars.


That’s Pudong on the other side of the river across from the Bund. Development only started in Pudong in 1995. Before that, everything was pretty much in the Shanghai (Bund) side. This is me in our hotel room at the Waldorf, which was as much about the river view as it was about the luxurious service. Being a lover of architecture, I had to see these landmark buildings.


Our first stop was Flair, suggested by Lylah who’s been living in Shanghai for over a decade. Flair is the rooftop bar of the Ritz Carlton.


Click “More…” to see more skyscraper stories.



Loved the interior.


It reminded me of a cozy ski lodge.


I loved it here even though we got the table at the far end.


The window felt a little small. But not too small for a mood shot.


The Bund looked tiny from up here. Our hotel is the second Bund building after that street on the left.


Turns out that Flair was about their outoor deck. Unbelievable view.


Seriously impressed and amazed. But it was too cold to have drinks on this deck. I can only imagine how incredible this is in the summer.


It was magical.


We then decided to move to another building. I had Hyatt on my mind, recommended by both Lylah and the Dinglasan couple, my friends who used to live and work in Shanghai. But somehow I got my lists confused. I was determined to go to the Hyatt to have a drink and see the “view”. I didn’t realize there were two Hyatts – one in Shanghai and the other one in Pudong. The one that had a great view was called the Vue Bar at Hyatt on the Bund. The one we ended up in was called Cloud 9 at the Grand Hyatt at Jin Mao, Pudong. Confused? Doesn’t matter. The Jin Mao Tower was pretty spectacular.


This is the Jin Mao Tower, a very important landmark in Shanghai. When it was built in 1998 it was the tallest building in China. I find this building really elegant with all it’s lines. The exterior curtain wall is made of glass, stainless steel, aluminium, and granite. (Gosh, this photo kicks ass! Thank you Olympus PEN EP3)


But by 2007, it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center right beside it – the one with the blue lines.


And soon this Shanghai Tower will be the tallest structure in all of China, with 128 storeys. I can’t wait to see this skyscraper. While the other two buildings played with its sharp linearity, this one will have twists and curves.


This is Cloud 9 at the Jin Mao Tower Hyatt. It felt very “Gotham City


I liked that Cloud 9 had so many corners it allowed you a glimpse at the exterior of the building. Seeing the aluminum pipes up close and this high was a thrill. But on the other hand, it also obstructed much of the view. This was the part I realized we were in wrong bar and wrong building.


But it wasn’t a let down. It was just different. So we ordered our mojitos…


… and had our only taste of lumpia in Shanghai.




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