Shanghai World Financial Center

The Shanghai World Financial Center is the 3rd tallest building in the world with 101 floors and a towering height of 492 m. It took 10 years for this building to be completed and it was in August of 2008 when it first opened.

Despite being the 3rd tallest building, it can boast of its observation deck which is the highest in the world. Located at the 100th floor is an indoor public observation deck which is 474 meters above the ground. One can opt to climb only up to the 94th floor (100 rmb), 97th floor (110 rmb) or to access both and the 100th floor (150 rmb). The walkways of the 100th floor have areas made out of glass which definitely reminds a person about how high he/she really is. Unfortunately the observatory is a bit cramped (partly because of all the people) in comparison to other observation decks I’ve been to.

Elevator to the 100th floor

View from the 100th floor

Let me share with you my experience at the SWFC. My husband and I decided to go one afternoon since it was the only time we had left. Once we entered the building we were asked to go down to basement level 1 to get our tickets. The line wasn’t that bad but after getting our tickets we had to fall in line all over again to ride the elevators. We figured that it wouldn’t take that long so we didn’t have to worry (when we went up Taipei 101, we only had to wait a couple of minutes despite the number of people since the elevators were really really fast). When it was our batch’s turn to go in, to our surprise it still wasn’t time to ride the elevators. We went in one room to watch a brief presentation about the Financial Center. After the show, we had to fall in line again just to get into the elevator. We finally rode the elevator to hundreds of meters up and got off somewhere and had to ride an escalator up to the 97th floor. The 97th floor had beautiful views but yes, once again we had to wait for the elevator to the 100th floor. This one moved a tad slower this time. So we just stood behind all those people and we couldn’t be happier when it was our turn. While killing time we saw notes/details about the observatory. As I mentioned earlier the floors had areas made of glass. I don’t remember the exact weight per person but per glass square, even if 3 really big people jumped on that single square it wouldn’t break. I though to myself ‘you’re seriously appealing to people to test that theory aren’t you?’. And true enough, as soon as we got to the top I saw one kid (one huge kid that was taller and bigger than me) jumping up and down with all his might on one little square.  It was a pretty scary sight since there were a couple of more kids doing the same thing. Anyway, the views were breathtaking and did I mention we were really high up? Again, 472 meters above the ground with dozens (and I mean DOZENS) of people in that space. After trying to take pictures and having our picture taken (yes I am always one of those touristy people who would buy expensive pictures at these places but if and only if they have a real background or if they look real), we finally decided we had enough nausea for the day and took our place behind a sea of people for the elevator to the 94th floor. This part wasn’t pleasant at all since some Chinese tourists were rude and wanted to get to the front right away.  At the 94th floor at least there were chairs, a souvenir shop and a coffee shop. We stayed there for a while before deciding to line up for the very last time to go down.

Glass panels