Still in Shanghai
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
284Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
After the aquarium we still had an hour to kill before meeting for a drink so started to head there. The thing you have to realise about trying to get anywhere in China is no matter if you can see the building or not, it will still take far longer to get there than you could ever possibly imagine. This was the case with getting to the JinMao building. Even though it was only about half a kilometre away it still took over 45 minutes to actually get there. This is due to the terrible town planning in Shanghai.
The buildings may be built in nice blocks but they are far too big and you can only cross at the ends of the street. If you're in the middle of the street it could take you 5 minutes to walk to the other end and then be told to go to the other end. Any attempts to cross in an undesignated place results in lots of arm waving, whistle blowing and a general telling off in Chinese from the official whose job is to tell you how to cross the road. Even if the signs tell you it is safe to cross you have to keep stopping to avoid being mowed down by the idiot driver running the red lights constantly, normally taxi and bus drivers.
On finally arriving at the JinMao building we knew we had to go to the 87th floor but couldn't figure it out so we took the lift to the 88th, guessing that you could take the lift or stairs down 1 floor. You couldn't so we wasted money visiting the observation deck, although we did go to the top of the 4th tallest building in the world.
Back on the ground we realised that we needed to go into the Grand Hyatt Hotel in order to reach the 87th floor. Quite fancied seeing the inside of a posh hotel anyway and what better one than the highest above ground level? I found it strange that no one there batted an eyelid about 2 scruffy backpackers entering their hotel and made us feel as if we belonged there.
We waited around for a while in the lobby on the 54th floor waiting for them to arrive. The sun was going down at this point and looked pretty spectacular. After they arrived we hung around in the lobby for a while before making our way u to the 87th floor. The price was extortionate and even higher than normal due to national week. 120 yuan + 15% commission minimum for a drink is outrageous and we told them where to go.
Walked along the river for a bit trying to get a boat across but there didn't seem to be any and as it started to rain we ran to the subway. I was being offered umbrellas by everyone but I kept turning them down as they are the most dangerous item ever invented. I saw loads of people with eye patches so far in Asia and can only put it down to umbrella related injuries. After a couple of hours using the net I was knackered and went straight to bed.