When is the last time you looked around your city and attempted to do something different?
This weekend, I joined the thousands of families on summer holiday in Shanghai and visited the touristy attractions. At least it is a fresh perspective of what others find amazing and what we take for granted.
I reside in the Puxi area of Shanghai, I challenged myself to a weekend in Pudong (similar to the New Jersey of Shanghai) and experience the landmark sites of modern Shanghai.
The first super skyscraper built in China was the Jin Mao Tower (currently ranked #15 tallest building in the world) completed in 1999 with the tallest Observation Deck on the 88th floor. Inside the Jin Mao tower is the Grand Hyatt Shanghai, opened in 2000 which has one of the worlds highest atrium standing at 146 meters tall. In 2002, adding to the two highlights of Pudong is the Shanghai Aquarium, which has a 155 meter long underwater tunnel.
The morning started with the aquarium tour. For CNY160 you can have a one way access through three underwater tunnels and see different species of fish. Without a doubt, the biggest attraction was the shark.
The afternoon was spent on the 88th floor observation deck at Jin Mao with full views of Shanghai city. Albeit the tacky interior set up, the view is breathtaking and spectacular. Also, there is an multi-media display that showcases the different tallest buildings of the world in comparison to Jin Mao Tower.
After a full morning of walking around, an iced coffee is well deserved. I made my way to Grand Hyatt Shanghai’s 56th floor (the bottom of the hole). It’s hard to know the restaurant name from the observation deck but, if you show this picture to any staff, they will point you to the 56th floor, Patio Lounge.
Being a tourist for the day taught me a lot about Shanghai. In a few short hours, I mingled with more out-of-towners than at an airport. Everyone transformed into a kid looking at something different and unexpected. At the aquarium, kids were joyful and busy exploring different aquatic species. The sounds of joy coming from these out-of-towner kids are more innocent than their Shanghainese counterparts.
But one thing is for certain. I get to return home to all my comfort zones.