Friday, 13 February 2009

Shanghai Noon Becomes Shanghai Nights: Part 4

As the sun fell the rain stopped. Even though it had cleared away much of the smog over the last few days, it was nice to experience Shanghai without my hood up. Tonight it was time to see the city lights.

We headed for the Chinese equivalent of the space needle (only taller), to get a proper look at the city. The sky scrapers in the business district really are enormous and, having never seen a skyscraper in person before I was stunned just how massive the things are. Equally impressive was the amount of Chinese junk sellers that had replica light up models.

At the top of the tower, thanks to all the rain clearing the pollution, you could see for miles and miles. The neon stretched as far as the eye could see and it was a truly breath taking sight. Sadly my camera couldn't cope with the reflection from the security glass. The tower itself had a long shaft inside it which went straight down a bar on one of the floors below.

Having a mild fear of heights I had to force myself to look down it. The fact I was almost lying flat on the floor with both arms held around the safety barrier didn’t help to make me feel any more secure. I got some odd looks.

Leaving the tower we headed for the Bund again. There were still sellers of assorted junk but it was much calmer and clearer at night. For the first time I could see across the river to all the pretty lights on the other side.

For some reason I was persuaded to go on the tourist tunnel which travels under the river. It takes about ten minutes and was one of the most pointless things I have ever done. It’s a tunnel which a cable car travels along with a few flashing lights in the ceiling and some leaves and netting. Make sure to give it a miss if you come to Shanghai.

Night exploration over, it was back to the hotel to await the morning. The next day brought a beautiful sun rise over a clear Shanghai skyline. The buildings shimmered and the whole place looked completely different.

On my last day I had found the city that so many people seem to fall in love with. If I ever find myself there again I really won’t mind. All that was left was to take the super fast Magnev train to the airport.

The journey didn’t take long as it hits 433 Kilometres an hour at top speed. The last piece of excitement was reserved for when a train passed going the other way, also doing 433 Kilometres, which sounded like a tank had hit the window. Nerves recovered it was time to head for the ancient city of Xi’an.

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