Tripping the Light Cheesetastic

Lonely Planet’s website lists it as the 4th worst “thing to do” in Shanghai (just ahead of a restaurant that apparently forgets to bring your meals). It is derided by locals and visitors alike.  It has come to symbolise the worst of Chinese “creativity” and “innovation”.  But I reckon it’s OK!  Yeah, I am sure you are all surprised to hear that….

The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is a 500 metre long tunnel below the Huangpu River, linking the two halves of the city. It is in fact the only way for people to get between Puxi and Pudong without the aid of a motor car or Metro carriage.  There are two bridges further south of the city, but pedestrians are banned from one and are required to buy a ticket to cross the other (via its structural arch, like BridgeClimb in Sydney).  The Tunnel links the Bund with the Pearl Tower … approximately at least.

When Mao Xiao was visiting, she was keen to experience the Tunnel, so we planned an evening (dinner near the Bund and cocktails in the Jin Mao Tower) around using this handy form of transport.  And it was an experience like no other.

The journey is made in little capsules that trundle along a fixed rail at a steady pace, but not so steady angle.  The show begins as soon as the capsule doors glide closed, with an intense strobing of lights that I am sure is aimed at filtering out anyone prone to seizures or second thoughts.

And then onward, through 7 minutes of flashing light effects and projected images, accompanied by kooky music and voice-overs, announcing random ideas – “meteor shower!” “lava flow!” – in soothing tones.

The overall effect is simultaneously amusing and disorienting, finished in very little time, yet somehow tedious.  Totally cheesy, but not quite cheesy enough.

In some ways, I feel bad revealing what it is like, because the best part of the experience for us was not knowing what to expect (and kinda having low expectations…)   Luckily we didn’t buy return tickets.   But then, after a few cocktails (or something a little stronger), the ride might be a whole lot better.


6 Responses to Tripping the Light Cheesetastic

  1. Angela says:

    Looks pretty cool to me.

  2. Danielle says:

    the photos of the light cheesetastic are great!!!

    • Hmmm … I better admit that I didn’t take them all myself. With the shaking of the capsule and the crayzyness of the lights, most of my photos were crap. But, I chose them all by myself from the internet! 🙂

  3. bitbot says:

    Recalls the Gen Wilder Willy Wonka movie

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