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Jinmao Tower, Inside and Out

April 14, 2004

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It costs some serious money to go up in the Pearl Tower -- would have been around $40 for us to reach the first bubble, and closer to $200 for all four of us to rise to the top. Luckily, the world's fourth tallest skyscraper, the 421-meter Jinmao tower, is just a few blocks away. (After Taipei's 509-meter Taipei 101; Kuala Lumpur' s 452-meter Petronas Towars; and Chicago's 442-meter Sears Tower. The Empire State Building ranks 8th now, at 381 meters.)

The Jinmao hosts the world's tallest hotel, the Shanghai Grand Hyatt, which begins on the 53rd floor and rises up to 88. An amazing atrium opens from a jazz piano lounge on 56, all the way up to 88 -- looks like a space station inside! For about what it would have cost to reach the lowest bubble on the Pearl Tower, we had a wonderful Italian lunch at Cucina on 56, looking out over the tower, Pudong, the Hwangpo, the Bund, and waaaaay down below us, the Peace Hotel.

The architects designed the floors with a sense of humor: the last urinal in the men's room is positioned right next to a full length window, looking out over Pudong and the site where a Japanese consortium plans to build the world's tallest skyscraper.