Christmas Eve in Shanghai
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
70Trip End Jul 31, 2011
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After breakfast we slowly made our way over to People's Square which was located 5 minutes away by walking
Lunch consisted of a set menu from Barbarossa. We also had some drinks included with the meal. I had selected the Passionate Mojito which contained cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and the usual concoction of what makes a mojito. The drink was ridiculous good and well worth the 65 kuai I paid for it. We also entertained ourselves with my little green ring light from Dee's party back in November. We began to play with it by writing our names and photographing the light trail in the dark environment. Dee, Stacey and Liz were the most successful in writing their names backwards for the camera. I was only able to capture Dee's name but the rest were quite legible.
After lunch, we headed down into the subway station of People's Square and made our journey eastward towards the newly developed business district of Pudong. A long time ago, my childhood friend told me Shanghai was a city that had two sections
We emerged from Luijiazui station and was immediately surrounded by modern skyscrapers from all angles. In front of us was the concrete mess that is the Pearl Oriental Tower. The tower was suppose to resemble two twin dragons playing with two large balls, but it just seemed like a very phallic representation of a man's privates. Next most prominent feature of Pudong was the Jin Mao tower. This gray colored building was the centerpiece of Shanghai, resembling an ancient Chinese pagoda with its many angles and sharp points. It was also built to house and 88th floor observatory for an admission price of 88 kuai, sounds very lucky! Given our timing, we can now go and visit the even taller Shanghai World Financial Center which contained 3 observation decks.
We quickly got lost in the action in our attempts to purchase tickets to up the tower, and we ended up at a Watson's convenience store and downed a couple of drinks before heading up. After struggling to find the actual entrance to the observatory we ended up asking one of the attendants to direct us in the proper direction. We went to the lower levels of the building until we reached a rather empty room where you can purchase tickets to go up the tower
We received a small key chain as a gift from the SWFC before entering the elevator that would take us up beyond 425 meters. We rode the elevator until the 95th floor and walked down a flight of stairs to reach the first observation deck. At this point, we were already taller than the Jin Mao Tower and had a nice clear view of Shanghai. The weather had cooperated in the morning and allowed us to peer into the vast distance of the city of Shanghai. Forrest even made the comment that we could see the Pacific Ocean. He suggested we actually go visit the coastline but given the huge scale of the city,it was highly improbable that we would have a chance to visit the Pacific Ocean. Nevertheless, we witnessed it with our own eyes from the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center. Included on the 94th floor was a small bar and a gift shop which sold expensive glass and crystal models of the tower itself. Forrest, Liz and Stacey had only purchased tickets to the 94th floor so Jeff and I pressed forward so we could visit the 97th floor and the 100th floor
Jeff and I rode an empty escalator up the 97th floor, which was a bit of a downer. The angular design of the building did not allow us to peer over the edge. Instead we were presented with a the window cleaner device. The level did not have much value other than hosting a display for a photo contest with the tower. We went onto the 100th floor via a slow elevator, it seemed to take forever as the final 3 flights required more effort to make its way up. Once we reached the top, we encountered a large crowd of people on the sky bridge. Designed in a way so one may stand on a glass window while looking down, the glass floor only displayed the top of the 97th floor so it wasn't as exciting as the CN Tower elevator ride in Toronto. However, being on the 100th floor provided us the best view of the city of Shanghai. The observatory was also the highest of its kind of the world, even surpassing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Once we had our fill of being higher than most people in the world, we headed back down to the bar on the 94th floor for a couple of drinks. We hung around on the 94th floor bar until most of the city lights had switched on. We left the tower right before the Jin Mao Tower had turned on, but observed the tower fully illuminated from the ground level. We met up with Dee who was patiently waiting for us at the ice cream parlor near the entrance and we headed towards our dinner location
We once again attempted to location the Xiao Nan Guo restaurant on Nanjing Xilu and resulted in calling the restaurant to confirm their location. They stated it was near the Shanghai television station building which was conveniently labeled on my going on 5 year old Shanghai map. We emerged from the People's Square subway station and trekked in a hurried pace towards the restaurant. They confirmed their location being near the Shanghai television station, but once we got there it was deja vu all other again as we were unable to locate the restaurant. Luckily we spotted the Chinese characters of Xiao Nan Guo on a off street near the television station. We were received by the hostess of the restaurant and made it about 20 minutes later than our scheduled reservation. Nevertheless, they shuttled us into a private dining room and we were treated a well deserved Christmas Eve dinner. Liz took charge of ordering certain dishes that were local to the Shanghainese while Stacey ordered white wine and red wine to accompany the meals.
After stuffing our bellies full with the delicious Shanghainese cuisine we hurried on over to the Bund where we had planned to ride the river boat cruise along the Huangpu River. We took two separate cabs to the Bund, with my cab ending up near Mao's statue on the northern end and with Liz's cab closer to the cruise boat ticket purchase location
Once the cruise trip was over we decided to hit up the French Concession district and find a bar or a club. We split off into two cabs again and met up near the Changshu subway station. After walking in the wrong direction for part of the way, we asked some locals where we could find some nightlife. They pointed us into the right direction and after purchasing a bottle of pass around beer we headed towards Hengshang Lu