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Shanghai World Financial Centre (Shanghai, China)

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Address: 100 Century Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai, China

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      19.10.2012 16:16
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      China's tallest building

      As you leave Pudong International Airport in Shanghai you are suddenly confronted with a skyline full of high rise buildings; some are colossal and intricate in design, others are just very, very tall. Most people who watch Bond movies and martial arts films will have probably come across this skyline many times on TV or at the cinema without taking any steps into the city itself. I cannot describe the excitement I felt when I first set eyes on the Pudong New Area which covers the eastern bank of the Huangpu River and is one and a half times larger than downtown Shanghai.

      The building that dominates this Shanghai skyline is the Shanghai World Financial Centre. The reason it stands out is because it looks like a giant sized steel bottle opener. I had read in other guide books that this building was China's tallest building and the third tallest building in the world. Knowing that the building stands at 492 metres and was completed in 2008 I was intrigued to find out more so I asked my host who lives and works in Shanghai. My friend and colleague told me that the Japanese built this huge building next to a very ornate building, the Jinmao tower that resembles a pagoda. Citizens of Shanghai were not very happy when this event took place, they do not like the building as they believe it is an omen of bad luck. On the other hand they adore the Jinmao Tower as they believe this building has always brought the city good luck and fortune.

      Westerners think that the building looks like a bottle opener but the people of Shanghai say that it is shaped like a Japanese knife and they feel that it is piercing the Shanghai earth and may do it harm. Luckily, nothing has happened to Shanghai in several years so let's hope this is just a bit of Chinese superstition.

      I find the building fascinating to look at because of its dominance but it isn't the most attractive skyscraper in Shanghai. The design of the building didn't win the highest building award but I do believe it has the highest observation deck in the world. There are three decks altogether on top of the building (sky walks). The top deck stands at 474 metres and is on the 100th floor; from here you might think you are on your way to heavenly skies and get a super view of the city from east to west, not a 360 degree view which is a shame. It would be nice to see the whole sweep of the city. The observation deck is hexagonal in shape and is very modern and bright. The floor is partially glass which I find very freaky. Actually, glass floors scare the hell out of me and I can't look through them as I always feel sick. Apart from the east and west views of the city you do get to look down on to the magnificent Jinmao Tower and its cascading curves which is a big bonus. The other two decks are on the 94th and 97th floor.

      If you have a head for heights then by all means take a trip to the top of Shanghai's World Financial Centre. I don't think you will be disappointed. There is an admission fee for all three decks starting at 100 CNY for the 94th floor, 110 CNY for the 97th floor and 150 CNY for the top deck. There are discounts for people under the age of 18 and even further discounts for children who measure from 0.8 to 1.4 metres.

      Today's currency rate (19 October) 1 PLN = 0.198042 GBP 1 GBP = 5.04945 PLN

      The Observation deck is open from 8am until 11pm (last entry is at 10pm)

      The Metro stop to get off at is Lujiazui Road.

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