The Oriental Pearl Tower
东方明珠塔
158 Yincheng Rd (N), Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, Pudong 200120 ChinaPrint this page   •   Share this page

Looking more like something out of "Blade Runner" than "The Good Earth" the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai is one of the world's great towers. At first glance it appears to be molded in the most modern of styles. But a more careful study reveals that it, like most modern Asian architecture, still adheres to traditional norms. The spheres hang in the sky like perfect pearls, reflecting in the Huangpu River they seem perfectly at home amid the lush greenery surrounding. In fact, the tower is the host of eleven spheres, or pearls, that appear to be dropping from the sky onto a jade plate; two very traditional, very Chinese, precious elements. From a more practical standpoint, the tower serves as a radiating point for a number of television and radio stations in Shanghai, beaming signals over a 44-mile radius. It has a high-speed double-decker elevator plus two standard elevators that whisk up to 50 people at a time to the various restaurants, discos, conference rooms, and other attractions in the skyscraper. The tower is such an important landmark and a fascination to tourists that its 1,148-foot high observation deck was opened to the public seven months before the building was completed. In fact, an entire subculture of Pearl Tower enthusiasts has been born. The hoopla surrounding the building is known as the "Pearl Phenomena." Its central support structure is similar to the Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas, USA -- three columns nine meters in diameter. Supplementing these at the base are three more braces, each seven meters in diameter, plunged into the ground.

Quick Facts
  • Construction start: 1991
  • Construction finish: 1995
  • Designed by: Jia Huan Cheng
  • Type: Tower
  • Maximum Height: 1,535 feet / 468 meters
Your Thoughts

There are seven comments.

  Amazing view all around esp. at sunset. Even better than the CN tower in Toronto (my home town). Had fun studying Shanghai and some peculiar traffic movements below. Next time I'll take the time to dine up there. Sparkling jewel in a beautiful City.

JJ - Sunday, January 20th, 2013 @ 7:40am  

  Definitely worth a visit, amazing!

Tin Sun - Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 @ 4:42am  

  Definately worth the time it is specatacular to see at night and the view is mind blowing. Apparently from that point you are able to see the whole of Shanghai. Definately a must go area !!!!!

Bobby Jone - Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007 @ 5:19am  

  As unique as the structure is, I thought it was overrated. I visited at night. Perhaps if I had visited during the day, I would have seen more of the cityscape. I would note that the price of admission is higher than all current travel books say--as is the admission to Jin Mao Tower.

tw - Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 @ 9:01am  

  highly recommeded for 1st time visitor to china.

budi - Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 @ 2:48am  

  I went there this summer. the structure is indeed amazing, but I thought the elevator system could be imporved

Jenny Glaceau - Saturday, December 17th, 2005 @ 6:55pm