When Tanya and Jay last visited Shanghai, in 2001, the only building of any size on the east side of the Huangpu River was the Pearl Tower. Ten years before that, the eastside Pudho area was mostly rice paddies and fields. What an incredible difference from that last visit. What has also increased dramatically, unfortunately, is the level of air pollution in China’s second most populated city. We took the 40-second high-speed elevator ride to the top of the 88-story Jin Mao building to get an overview of the city. Impressive, but not what you’d call picture perfect.
The air got a little better as the day wore on, but even though Shanghai is primarily a business and banking center, it is the unfortunate recipient of the industrial output from southern China’s manufacturing centers. Jay and Tanya strolled along the Bund, the riverside walkway and boulevard skirting the west side of the river and home to the 19th century colonial-style buildings Shanghai is famous for.
On our walk back we spotted the Russian consulate. Jay calls it Trump Tower East and is sure there will be a welcome bed for our leader should he visit Shanghai.
Shanghai at night is truly spectacular and is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color as dinner boats share the Huangpu with the ever-present ships and barges of commerce plying its waters.