Oriental Pearl TV Tower Tours – Shanghai, China
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
About this place
After two years of life as an expat, I finally succumbed to the delights of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. I gaze upon the tower everyday from my office which is located on the Bund, but I wasn’t sure I would ever go in. I guess I figured it was a little too sad to finally visit the tower after spending so much time in Shanghai already, something like being the oldest kid at summer camp. However, one day I simply put my reservations aside and purchased my ticket to view Shanghai from the heavens.
The tower is the 3rd tallest in the world, and as my guide proudly told me, the biggest in Asia. I purchased the most expensive ticket for 100RMB, which gave me access to all floors including the Space Module at an astounding 350 meters above the ground.
At the entrance both visitors and their bags must pass through a metal detector. Once through security visitors are ushered through the tower with military precision by beautiful uniformed Chinese women. These guides provide information in both Mandarin and English.
The first stop is the sightseeing floor at 263 meters. Shanghai, so big and sprawling, is often difficult to piece together and trying to work out relative location is wholly impossible. Still, from this viewpoint the mega-city is both amazing and beautiful. Cries of “I can see my hotel!” from foreign tourists echo throughout the floor
The next stop is the space module. I paid the extra 30 RMB to go to this level and in all honesty, it just wasn’t worth it. The module is about as space age as my grandmothers chintz, and its two floors are decorated to look like a Park Avenue apartment. It even has marble staircases!
From the space module visitors can either head back down to the middle deck or down to the sightseeing floor at 90 meters. This floor was my favorite as it gave me the opportunity to view the scenery, get a bit of wind in my hair and offer respite from constant Beijing Opera offerings. Listening to Shanghai is entertainment in itself.
Lastly, the tower is home to truly amazing Shanghai History Museum. Using model displays, TVs, and sound, the museum winds you effortlessly through Chinese history, including honest accounts of the turbulent times surrounding the opium trade and foreign invasions.
The Tower offers boat rides at 50 RMB (70RMB VIP), but I do not recommend the ride. I actually tried to take the boat cruise, but the boat’s dock is not located next to the tower. The only counsel the ticket office could offer was, “Walk straight ahead!” Fearing I would end up in Beijing, I decided against the ride, but to each their own.
I left the tower with the obligatory T-shirt, key ring, and fridge magnet feeling thoroughly satisfied. This is a must for any traveler to Shanghai and is well worth the entrance fee.
Take metro line 2 to lujiazui. The tower is open until 9pm.
Take Metro Line 2 to Lujiazui(陆家嘴) Stop.
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