Facts about Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai

The Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is a broadcasting & sightseeing tower in Shanghai, the tower stands right by the bank of Huangpu River on the side of Lujiazui.

The tower has been the landmark and icon of Shanghai since its completion in 1994. Below are some facts about this tower.

1. Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower stands at 468 meters, it's the 3rd tallest structure in Shanghai as of 2017, and before 2008 it had been holding the title of the tallest structure in Shanghai for 16 years. Recent years it still attracts more tourists than other 3 tall structures near it even 2 of them have surpassed it in height. The tower is classified as a 5A scenic area by the National Tourism Administration of China while other 3 tall structures are classified as 4A.

2. Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is largely comprised of sphere structures, the roofs of two largest spheres are respectively at the heights of 300 meters and 120 meters, the upper sphere is 45 meters in diameter and the lower one is slightly larger at 50 meters in diameter. And there's a much smaller sphere which known as space capsule at 350m, it's only 14m in diameter. There are also 5 small spheres between the two large spheres and surrounded by 3 large columns that connect the two spheres.

Apart from these, each of 3 supportive columns under the lower large sphere also has a small sphere.

These spheres resemble a series of pearls of different sizes, this distinctive design reminded the chief of the jury board of a Tang Dynasty poem, in which there's a sentence translated as "big and small pearls falling on a jade plate", it was very likely that this promoted them to chose this design.

3. Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower is not just purely a broadcasting tower, it has a variety of functions other than broadcasting, one is observation or sightseeing, the tower has multiple floors being used as observation decks, the details of observation decks will be introduced below. For the floors inside the sphere are round shape, the upper main sphere features a revolving restaurant, it takes one and a half hour to rotate once at a height of 267m. The lower large sphere features many entertainment facilities such as game consoles and a small roller coaster. 5 small spheres between two largest spheres are being used for a hotel, named Space Hotel, each sphere contains 4 rooms. A museum of the history of Shanghai can be found at the base the tower. Other facilities include the small shopping area, a theater.

4. Oriental Pearl Tower has 4 floors being used for observation decks, which offers 360 degree views of Shanghai.

Puxi District of Shanghai seen from the observation deck on Oriental Pearl Tower
Puxi District of Shanghai seen from the observation deck on Oriental Pearl Tower

The main observation deck is known as Sightseeing Floor, it occupies two floors inside the upper large sphere at 263 meters and 259 meters, there's a transparent glass floor on the edge of the deck at 259 meters, visitors can stand on it and look down at the street blow the feet, just like floating in the air.

The highest observation deck is at 351 meters, it's called Space Capsule or Space Module, it requires the visitors to pay an additional fee to access.

If you want to visit the observation decks on Oriental Pearl Tower, you can book the admission ticket at here, you can also buy ticket on site, but as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Shanghai, the queue can be very long, and sometimes the tickets will be sold out, so it's recommended to book the ticket online in advance.

The Space Capsule and higher large sphere of Oriental Pearl Tower
The Space Capsule and higher large sphere of Oriental Pearl Tower

And the lower large sphere contains another observation deck called the Space City at 90 meters.

Here's more details of the observation deck of Oriental Pearl Tower.

5. The tower weighs 120,000 tons, approximately equals to 80,000 cars. The tower has 7 elevators, the elevators travel 7m per second, it's considered very fast for a tower built in 1990s, in comparison, even the elevators in World's Tallest Building Burj Khalifa travels 10m per second.

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