So you have made it to mainland China. The smog in the air, the exciting sounds of millions of people sharing one city. The smell of Shanghai’s famous Dim Sum. The average adventurer is content to wander the streets following their eyes and nose wherever it may lead….but you’re no average adventurer.
Your heart beats to another drum…you live in the clouds….dreaming to be suspended in the worlds fifth tallest TV tower with nothing between you and falling 1,535 feet to the ground below, but a thick piece of glass.
That’s right, your heading to visit, scale, and conqueror Shanghai’s one and only Oriental Pearl TV Tower of Terror. Ok…the Tower of Terror part was a little creative freedom, doesn’t mean it’s not accurate though.
Built in 1994, Shanghai’s Pearl TV Tower is one experience not for those with a fear of heights. The tower’s main attraction is the glass floored observation deck at 850 feet in the air. It is currently, the 5th tallest tower in the world.
Now…one would think finding your way to the giant tower in the sky would be a breeze…some of you that are more directionally aware would be right, however for the rest of us making your way from downtown Shanghai across Huangpu River can be prove quite the navigational challenge.
Which leads me to Tip #1
1. Use the Bund Scenic River Tunnel
Now there are other more cost effective ways to cross the Huangpu, but for time and efficiency sake you can’t go wrong with the Bund Tunnel. It won’t necessarily WOW you in terms of “Scenic”, but the visuals are neat and it is a little more fun than your traditional Chinese subway. Plus their is the added bonus that it happens to be one of the few signs in English that I was able to find……directionally challenged remember.
This may not seem like such a big deal…..that is until you find yourself staring at signs like the ones below…..try finding your way around town with the helps of those babies and get back to me….
Alright so you have made it to the Bund tunnel entrance. Now you will need to purchase tickets. You can buy the round trip ticket for 60 yuan round trip or 50 yuan if you don’t want to head back the same way. Spend the extra 10 yuan…. you will be glad you did.
Once down the escalator you will board the small little four to six person pod and should be on your way. The tunnel will have various light effects and changing scenery, but essentially you should see this….or your on the wrong train. That’s a problem cause I am not aware of another train.
*Disclaimer: I apologize for the photo quality your about to experience…I was underground in a glass pod…not an excuse…but an excuse
Once you come out of the tunnel you should be on the other side of the Huangpu River and within walking distance of the Oriental Pearl TV tower.
BONUS: You will also pass by this little dandy place. Looks like the perfect spot to terrify yourself, enjoy a romantic get away, or I don’t know disappear and never return. I don’t mean to judge. I am sure it’s lovely, as far as under the sea submarine adventures go. Unfortunately, there was a huge line and what not so I couldn’t go, but I tool a picture of it for you. Enjoy. Your Welcome.
Exit. Head left. Aim for the giant tower in the sky. That’s about as technical as you can get. You literally can’t miss it. If you can well then….
2. Buy the B or C Tickets
I made this mistake and so I am helping you avoid it. There are two stops on your way towards sky high terror. Level 1 stop where you can terrify yourself and take some awesome selfies on the observation deck featuring a glass floor. Then there is Level 2. This is known as the Space Capsule because your essentially in space at this height. Ok, not really, but it is at the maximum height you can personally travel in the tower. I purchased this ticket. In my opinion it is not worth the extra 60 to 90 yuan that you pay to see the views.
The views from Level 1 are just as good, with the added bonus of the terrifying floor. If you want to experience the tippy top of the tower then by all means splurge on the A ticket, but if your trying to balance a budget and looking for areas to save this is an easy one.
Here is the view from the observation deck facing the Bund…..
And here is the view from the top of the Space Capsule for an extra 60 to 90 Yuan or 8 to 12 dollars American.
Now there is an astronaut photo shoot opportunity in the space capsule……if you want it…. no judgement.
By the way meet Mari….the girlfriend….
3. Walk Out on the Glass
Now you have traveled all the way to China. You have gone all the way to the tower. You have gone all the way to the observation deck. Put your big kid pants on and walk out there. It will sound simple….it may even look simple right now….but when you get to the top and look out on that floor…..you will think Ummmm NO thanks….
That’s your moment. Conqueror your fear. Take that milestone…..and get some awesome pictures to prove it and show off on Facebook how brave you are and all that jazz.
Now how do you know when you have found it? Well when you hear all the commotion and screams your close. When you see this your there……
I know what you’re thinking….that’s some clean glass….like seriously what kinda windex do they use? Wait….who the heaven’s to Betsy cleans that….. or maybe you’re just thinking that’s a long ways down. You’re right it is, but one more time DO IT!
Few disclosures: The Tower sways. There is wind in the observation deck. The pictures are amazing! People will be freaking out, jumping, screaming, clinging to the rail. You might discover you hate heights.
BUT most importantly the following photo is a requirement…a right of passage if you will… and a moment of instant regret for me personally.
If staring death in the face isn’t your idea of a good time…or maybe you just don’t want to post a photo of your backside for the world to see….#noshame, then there are plenty of people up top to assist you with take photos.
ProTip: There is a professional camera company at the top. They will have a lot of creative photo poses and have professional gear. They will take one photo for you with your phone, but first will use their camera. You can purchase their picture if you would like otherwise have someone take your photo like this….
No matter what you choose to do or not do the glass observation deck at Oriental Pearl Tower is one of the most unique and thrilling experiences I had traveling through China. It will certainly put a smile on your face.
4. Explore the Shopping under the Tower.
Directly, below the tower and in the surrounding areas are some neat little shops and restaurants. Take an hour or so to wander the area and take it all in. There is one shop you can’t miss……
THE DISNEY STORE!!
Now besides my love for all things Disney. This is actually a pretty cool store to visit. It is mainland China’s only Disney store. There are some shops and merchandise at the new Shanghai Disney, however when it comes to the actual Disney Store the one and only for mainland China lays at the feet of the tower. In fact……if you look closely from the observation deck of the tower…you may just find a little Disney magic…how’s that for a hidden Mickey.
Well now you’re officially ready to conqueror the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. I hope these tips help make your trip as memorable as mine was! As always subscribe to my blog, follow me on social media, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have or comment below.
Here is a little helpful information when planning your trip!
*Side note of importance…..use the restroom before taking the elevator to the top…you will thank me for that tip….trust me
Tower Hours: 08:00 – 21:30 daily
Address: No.1 Century Blvd, Pudong Park (across from the Huangpu River from the Bund)
Ticket Prices: 220 yuan for A-ticket
160 yuan for B-ticket
130 yuan for C-ticket
Well there ya have it folks! Traveling through Asia? Then don’t miss my travel guide for Bangkok’s top attractions right here!
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