Everything has both a good and a bad side to it. For example, the pollution in Shanghai is above ideal, and this can mean grey skies during the day, a sore throat at night, and lung cancer in the long run. On the flip side, the particles in the air make the sunrises and sunsets particularly beautiful. While the pros and cons of pollution don’t really throw the debate in favor of more toxic pollution, the bizarrely beautiful sunsets are well worth mentioning. To maximize your enjoyment of them, here is a short list of the top five places to view a Shanghai sunset.
1.) Jinmao Tower. From the Sky Lounge on the 88th floor, you can get a panoramic view of Puxi. Incidentally, the best views from atop this skyscraper are to the West, making the sunset from on high an especially pleasing one. The orange and pink clouds capture and hold the sun’s fading light, and even reflect it wonderfully off the Huangpu River below. You’ll get reflections on the Puxi buildings as well as a wide range of where the sun rests even beyond the city’s core to the north and south. It is really a not-to-be-missed experience, and did I mention that happy hour at the Sky Lounge coincides with sunset? Perfect!
2.) The Bund. For the opposite view as that from Jinmao Tower, head to the Puxi side of the Bund. I know you are thinking to yourself, “but, the Bund is looking out towards the East and the sun sets in the West.” You are quite right, and quite intelligent. Nevertheless, the light reflects off the buildings to the East of the Bund and makes it look like an Alice-in-Wonderland world of shifting shapes. The light reflecting off the World Financial Trade Center skyscraper is especially unique and worth a look.
3.) Nanpu Bridge. Few views in Shanghai can make an entire group of people go silent in appreciation. No trip to Shanghai is really complete unless you’ve taken a cab ride across the Nanpu Bridge. It isn’t a long trip, but the entire length of the bridge offers a view of Puxi and Pudong that is literally unparalleled. At sunset, you’ll see reflections off the buildings and the water, as well as a startlingly awe-inspiring view through the bridge’s support beams, which is post-card beautiful.
4.) Century Park. This park offers something unique among Shanghai’s various parks—a view of nature surrounded by structure. You can walk among the willows or around the lake while admiring the sky scrapers all around you. The park is well lit and safe (and a short walk to the subway). The sunset will reflect off the lake and buildings, and offer you the perfect chance to snap a few shots of Shanghai’s financial hub.
5.) Hangzhou. This beautiful nearby city is the perfect venue for sunset watching, and the pollution is even a bit less down there! Head directly to West Lake around sunset time and make sure you have a beautiful pagoda or willow tree hanging out over the water to the West. The sunset will surprise you with its vibrancy as it shatters light through the trees making this a supremely romantic and beautiful place to watch the sun’s last rays.