Shanghai, China: The City with the Most Futuristic Skyline

Shanghai, China has the most surrealistic skyline of any city globally.  Internally I applauded the architects for such a visionary approach, having transported me metaphysically to some foreign planet.  The cityscape is so picturesque at night it’s been featured in several film series such as James Bond and Mission Impossible.  

Among the myriad of majestic skyscrapers towering along the skyline, there are 2 that stand out most: The Oriental Pearl and the Shanghai Tower.  The Oriental Pearl is the most futuristic with it’s neon lights and 3 spheres suspended high above the city.  It looks like something you’d find on mars.  Not to be outdone the Shanghai Tower is currently the tallest building in the China and the second tallest in the world.  It’s unique 90 twist helps it rank as the tallest building in the world to have this degree of spin. Both the Pearl and Tower offer incredible views of this stunning city.

View of the Skyline in Shanghai, China
View of the Skyline in Shanghai, China

Be prepared for the crowds on the Shanghai river walkway called the Bund.  Exiting our hotel in the evening we were overwhelmed by the number of people walking for an evening stroll. Back in Boston you’d only see colossal crowds during events like the 4th of July or after a Red Sox baseball game.  We asked at our hotel if a sporting event was getting out – there were that many people.  No, we were told – it’s like this every night.

Our first time traversing the city we opted for a cab.  After having traveled in places with crazy traffic like Vietnam and Bali we thought we were prepared for the experience.  Ah, no again we were mistaken.  No one obeys any traffic laws.  Bikes, taxis and motos go anywhere they want whenever they want.  I gripped the door handles with pale knuckles as my body tensed and shifted with every turn of the wheel.  It was if a crazy man was driving.  Perhaps I am not very far off with that assessment.

Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China
Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, China

The trip from our hotel to the Shanghai Tower was so stressful we instead opted to take the metro on the return trip back.  The only problem with that was the mass of people at least 30 deep crowded around the turn style trying to get in.  Well we assumed it was the turn style, but we could not quite see it as the crowd was that big.  Feeling my blood pressure starting to rise I opted to risk it again in a taxi.

Safely back in our hotel we went to the rooftop bar and enjoyed drinks while watching the sparkling neon lights of the amazing cityscape.  It’s almost as if the designers went to Mars to get their ideas.  How can you get tired of a view like this?

I look forward to returning to Shanghai to see what’s changed.  I’m sure some new skyscraper will be taller and more avant garde, looking to inspire and transport the populace to some foreign land.

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee
Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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