January 29, 2008

The Great Shanghai Night Light

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After a relaxing two-hour flight from Beijing to Pudong International, we made our way to the heart of Central Shanghai. Although our expectations certainly ran high now that we had entered a cosmopolitan metropolis, nothing could prepare us for the glitz and glam of the Shanghai night skyline — which, we concluded, made Times Square look like a haphazardly decorated Christmas tree.
[img_assist|nid=26976|title=Bright lights, big city|desc=Photo: Matt Hintsa|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]The skyscrapers in Pudong, Shanghai’s Central Business District, were unlike any structures we had seen in the U.S. Lights flickered up and down 80+ story buildings, changing color from florescent red to neon yellow to deep blue. Those high-rises that didn’t light up like holiday decorations were illuminated by massive advertisements for foreign-made cars.
Along the Bund, the western side of the Huangpu River facing Pudong, cargo ships equipped with massive screens flashed digital French ads. On the Pudong side of the river, the eleven spheres of the Oriental Pearl — one of the largest TV towers in the world — dominated the cityscape along the Hunagpu River. Word to the wise, however: if you plan on visiting The Bund for a nighttime photo session during the week, be prepared for a sudden electricity shut down at 11 p.m.