On Cloud 9 in Shanghai…

We’ve made it to Shanghai! The train journey from Dengfeng took 7 hours and was fairly uneventful and very boring. Definitely prefer those overnight trains!

We arrived at People’s Square Metro Station in downtown Shanghai after 11pm and were pretty much ready for our beds. We checked into our hostel which luckily is only around 3 minutes walk from the underground and went to the restaurant next door to get some dinner. It’s a Hong Kong style restaurant but we couldn’t be bothered to look around for a ‘Shanghai’ restaurant at that time so just went in there. We were very glad that we did as the food was delicious – braised pork and lovely fluffy rice. Had to pay a bit of a premium for it however but we had already reserved ourselves to the fact that we’d probably spend a fortune in Shanghai so didn’t really mind.

The next morning we got up bright and early (ish), had breakfast and took a wander down to the Bund – Shanghai’s famous waterfront where you can go and gaup at the awesome skyline that this part of the city is so well known for. On the Bund itself there is a big line of really beautiful, colonial style buildings – most of them now banks or restaurants – and on the other side are a cluster of jaw dropping skyscrapers. The most notable buildings are the Oriental Pearl Tower, Jin Mao Tower and the World Financial Centre (also known as the ‘bottle opener’ tower due to its unique shape).

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We tried to take as many photos as we could and vowed to come back and do the same after the sun went down so we could see them all lit up!

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Once we had wandered around the Bund promenade we took the metro from East Nanjing Street to the other side of the river where the big buildings all stand. This area is the Pudong area of Shanghai and is a big financial hub. HSBC have their two buildings there and most of the big global banks have at least one sky scraper. We took some more photos of the two biggest towers up close – craning our necks back to try and fit them all in!

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Whilst we were over there we checked out all of the prices for the tower’s entrance / observatory fees. We definitely wanted to go up the tallest ones for a birds eye view of the riverside. Jin Mao tower costs 88 Yuan to go up to the 88th floor – this tower is home to the Grand Hyatt hotel as well as the tallest bar in the world, Cloud 9. The WFC (bottle opener) costs 150 Yuan to go up to the 100th floor and the Pearl Tower about the same. We decided that we would HAVE to sample the tallest bar in the world in Jin Mao and that we would also go up the WFC as you can get higher than the Pearl Tower.

After we’d priced everything up we walked back to the hostel to catch up on the blog and emails etc as well as have dinner. Dinner ended up being another pot of noodles since the ‘restaurant’ in the hostel was absolutely dire. First they got our order wrong and gave Richard fish instead of pork – which he promptly spat out as he HATES fish. Then the ‘chicken’ they apparently gave me was literally just bits of chicken bone and they had thrown a load of potatoes on the plate to cover it up! Needless to say we got our money back! Food places in China have a habit of asking for the money up front, before you even get your food or drink, so we were worried that they’d just keep our cash, but after a few raised voices and perseverence we suceeded!

We went back over to Pudong at around half 9 and were held up for a bit at a cash machine after Richard forgot his pin four times! So when we got to Jin Mao tower, the observatory had already closed! (It closes at 10). But luckily for us we only wanted to go to Cloud 9 bar and we were told that we could just go up through the Hyatt – so we didn’t have to pay the 88 Yuan after all!

The Hyatt lobby was awesome – it’s on the 57th floor and the view just from there was spectacular. We even got to look down on the site of the upcoming Shanghai Tower, which is currently being built.

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Whilst we were there we used their internet, which cost 40 Yuan for 15 minutes – that work out at 16 Pounds an hour!! Next it was time for us to visit Cloud 9 – we were shown to the elevator and stepped into the coolest funkiest bar we had EVER been in! The view, of course, was spectacular, we could see across the Bund, right down the river to the Nanpu Bridge and the Pearl Tower, along with a host of other spectacular buildings. We couldn’t take very good photos however due to the reflections in the shiny Cloud 9 windows, but we tried our best!

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After looking at the menu we opted to buy a bottle of red wine as we have really missed enjoying a really decent drink. It cost 490 Yuan (about 50 quid) and was the most we’d ever spent on one bottle of wine in our life but less than the most pricy bottle on the menu! There was a minimum order of 120 Yuan and a 15% service charge at Cloud 9 so the potential to spend a fortune here is huge!

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We spent a good few hours there just chatting, listening to the music and looking out of the windows and soon got peckish so asked for the menu again to check out their ‘snacks’. The first thing that jumped out to us was the Iberico Ham & Croquets, so we ordered one of those – again, wasn’t cheap but was well worth it! Didn’t take long for us to finish off but we resisted the urge to buy some more as we were very conscious of not blowing our budget completely!

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Sitting up in Cloud 9 has to be one of the best experiences of our trip so far – not just the China part, but since we left London! It was really great to feel a little less like a ‘traveller’ too and we had a taste of Western life again. We would definitely recommend a visit to Jin Mao Tower, the Hyatt staff are so friendly and it’s not very often you have the chance to say that you have enjoyed a drink in the tallest bar on the planet!!


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1 Comment

  1. September 13, 06:35 #1 Uncle John

    Still looking good. Fav story was the one with the Kung Fu monk, sounds like an experience never to forget. Martin is in Vegas having been to Tulsa with Angie and Grand Canyon. He has 4 days in Vegas and then on to San diego, Laguna Beach and LA.

    Look forward to your next story.