You only need to take a short stroll around Shanghai’s new Pudong area to realize that the rest of the world doesn’t stand much of a chance in terms of how fast things are happening over there. In just a few years, Shanghai’s built this area from nothingness to a lively vibrant commercial area hosting some of the world’s tallest, most expensive and increasingly influential buildings.
Granted, there’s a cost, but the results are clear and quite impressive. Crossing over from the Bund area through the odd Bund Tourist Tunnel to the new Pudong area in order to go up one of the tall buildings for a view of polluted Shanghai, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed. The area itself, especially during the night, was quite a sight to behold.
Wikipedia helps makes this a bit more impressive:
Pudong (simplified Chinese: 浦东; traditional Chinese: 浦東; pinyin: Pǔdōng), officially known as Pudong New Area (浦东新区/浦東新區; pinyin: Pǔdōng Xīn Qū), is a district of Shanghai, China that enjoys sub-provincial administrative status. It is named "Pudong" because of its location on the east side of the Huangpu river, on the opposite of Puxi, the west side. After its merger with Nanhui District (now defunct) in May 2009, the Pudong New Area comprises the majority of land in eastern Shanghai.
Since the beginning of its development in 1990 when plans were first announced, Pudong has become a New Open Economic Development Zone, and has emerged as China’s financial and commercial hub. Pudong is home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and a skyline that includes the symbolic Oriental Pearl Tower, the Jin Mao Building, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the under-construction Shanghai Tower, reflective of Shanghai and China’s rapid economic development
In terms of things to do in the area, there are a few things. Wikitravel suggests (edited, attractions I visited and recommend are in bold):
- Oriental Pearl TV Tower (东方明珠塔; Dōngfāng Míngzhū Tǎ), Century Ave. Built in 1994, it is the 3rd tallest tower in the world. […] Shanghai History Museum offers a glimpse into the past of the city. ¥85-150.
- Shanghai Municipal Museum, (Underneath Pearl Tower). The museum recreates interiors of houses and shops from the farming era up to the swinging 1930s, has many miniatures of Shanghai’s most impressive (colonial) buildings, and also displays vintage cars, old advertisements, and so on. […] ¥35.
- Jinmao Tower (金茂大厦; Jīnmào Dàshà), Century Ave. China’s third tallest skyscraper […] ¥50, ¥25 student.
- Shanghai Ocean Aquarium (上海海洋水族馆网站-首页), 1388 Lujiazui Ring Rd (Metro Line 2 Lujiazui Stn, exit 1, walk towards Pearl TV Tower and look right), . 9AM-6PM (9PM in summer). This is an entertaining and up to standards exhibition over two floors, including a system of glass tunnels that lets you get up close and personal with sharks. ¥120.
- Century Park, (Metro Line 2 Century Park Stn). Shanghai’s biggest park. ¥10.
- Shanghai Science and Technology Museum (上海科技馆), (Metro Line 2 Science and Tech Museum Stn). Focuses on Western Science. Entertaining and educational for children.
- Shanghai World Financial Centre Tower (SWFC), 100 Century Ave (next to Jinmao Tower). Opened in 2008 and is Shanghai’s tallest building. An alternative to the 100F observation deck is to go to one of the hotel bars or restaurants on or near 98F. ¥150.
Taking a stroll and going up one of those skyscrapers is a definite must, if you’re visiting Shanghai. Behold the power of China’s financial reforms!