Monday, 29 July 2013

Canton Tower

To break up the theme park itinerary a little bit our organisers had organised a night at the Canton Tower, which is the tallest tower in China and was the tallest tower in the world once. It's now the fourth tallest tower.

Here's the tower as seen from the hotel window. Well it would have been visible had a storm not come in. It literally disappeared from view in the time it took me to go to the other end of the bedroom to pick up the camera to take the photo.

Here it is a little later as the storm burnt off. This time taken from the hotel restaurant. 

and here we are at the approach to the Tower. Inspiration from the design of the tower supposedly came from dry spaghetti being twisted. 

We were met by our tower guides at the foot of the tower, and talked through what we would be up for (pun intended). In summary it would consist of:
Travelling up to a closed viewing gallery.
Travelling up to an even higher but completely open viewing gallery.
Travelling up to an even higher again and open viewing gallery.
A ride on the shot tower (yep they have a ride up there)
A ride on the drop tower (I mean 2 rides up there)
A ride on the big wheel (Make the 3 rides up there)
The spider walk AKA a 30+ storey ascent up the inside of the tower (errr, wut???)

Initial viewing gallery offered an amazing view of the city and down to the city below. For comparison this tower is twice as high as the Eiffel tower and about 50% bigger than the Stratosphere.

On the closed floor there's a glass box extending out of one side of the tower in which you can pose. I think we annoyed official camera man by insisting on using our own.

An indication of how high up we were, but there was room to go even higher.

Here we are on the lower of the open floors. Jeff requires a little Dutch courage to cope with the height.

The pods are the big wheel, which doesn't stand vertical but lies at a near-horizontal angle around the perimeter of the tower top. They looked really cool but moved pretty slowly and like the London Eye once you're in there you're trapped until it completes. As the temperature was beginning to drop as it got dark I chose not to ride them but enjoyed the view outside the pod instead.

One of those 3D floor drawing things. A shame that none of the locals understood the perspective and were taking the photo from the wrong side.

The top platform was much smaller but helped get us that little bit closer to Heaven and as the sun started to go down the lights in the city began to come on giving us a completely different view of the city.

The two tower rides were surprisingly tame despite their height. The first second stand-up one did the same tipping forward as Apocalypse at Drayton.

The tower starts its light show as it gets darker.

Having completed everything at the top, and on a literal high we then made our way back down several floors to begin the ascent up the spider walk. Here I am at the bottom and we're going to be walking that spiral stair case up 1,000 steps.

Some of the walkway is on glass floors so that you can look down, or up, at your pleasure.

So the walk was supposed to take us an hour and it was quite gruelling, and not to everyones tastes. Of the 60 or so in the group I think about 25 started the climb and around 20 completing it.

The group gather at the top having completed the climb in a little over 30 minutes, half the expected time, which we were quite chuffed at doing. Yes, we were shattered and pouring with even more sweat than we had been all trip, but the sense of achievement made that all worthwhile.

Getting back down to ground floor proved to be quite tricky due to the lifts being very busy. To help get us down quicker they opened up the service elevator for us, which is why this lift has so many floor buttons.

A view of the tower light show from the ground. This was a great evening and for those visiting Guangzhou then this has to be a must-do, as long as you're ok with the height.

Another shot of the tower the next morning with a slightly better sky.

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