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On Top of the World: Shanghai

You join me, 100 floors up in air and standing at a grand total of 474 metres off the ground. The Shanghai World Financial Center is a skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox it features an observation deck which looks out over the entire landscape of Shanghai city. Opened to the public in 2008, the Shanghai world financial centre is the 8th tallest building in the world and the 4th highest in main land China.

The view from the top is spectacular. Surveying the entire city from this impressive building you can get a sense of the sheer scale of Shanghai. The lift that delivers you to the observation deck takes less than 90 seconds to ascend the buildings vast height. The deck was packed with people waiting for sundown, just to see the lights of the city flicker in to life one by one and night time to descend on the city.

The next place for me to visit was Char Bar and grill located on the 30th floor of the Hotel Indigo. This restaurant offered a surprising but refreshing slice of western food and culture in what for me had been a trip obviously full of Chinese flavours and atmosphere. Serving award winning Blackmore’s Wagu beef and prime quality beef steaks are their speciality but there is also a large quantity of seafood on the menu.

I have to admit the steak is one of the best I’ve ever had in my life but it is easy to forget you are in China at this point such is the western presentation of the restaurant. There is a warm feel about the place with an impressive interior of exposed ceilings; dark woods and soft light give the restaurant a really relaxed environment compared to the hustle and bustle of the city below.

Unquestionably Char has one of the best views in the city. The bar has an outdoor terrace which overlooks a large section of the river and city skyline. Enjoying a beer with this stunning backdrop was a highlight of the trip for me. Although serving a large range of cocktails I found a simple beer goes down considerably well, when you look out over the balcony wall to the impressive city lights.

As the sun went down and the lights came on I could only think how lucky I was to have the opportunity to be flown half way round the world to take photos and be witnessing this view. Just incredible.


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