Did you know the Taiping building has a bell tower on the top of it? It does! It's got this little shrine-looking thing with a giant bell in it. That's just one of Shanghai's many secrets you're likely to uncover as you pound your eighth GnT in two hours, perched on top of the world.
The reason we're up there when it's bright enough to see is that Cloud 9's Beat The Clock Happy Hour starts at 5pm. From 5-5.30pm, glasses of wine, beer and single measures of spirits (with a mixer) are 20rmb. From 5.30-7pm, it's 30rmb. From 7-8pm, it's 40rmb. Considering a glass of beer normally goes for 65rmb, the typical hotel 15% surcharge doesn't even rankle that much. There's also a half-dozen oysters for 100rmb, or free-flow champagne for 298rmb per person.
Getting up there is kind of a chore. Coming from Puxi, take the metro to Lujiazui and use the skybridge directly from the mall to get to Jinmao Tower. Circle around to the right until you see the elevators up to the Grand Hyatt lobby. An ear-popping ascent later, go right around the building (stopping to admire the Taiping bell) until you reach the second bay of elevators. These take you to the 84th floor. Get out, follow the big pink sign that reads "Cloud 9," which leads you to the final short elevator ride.
As befits a sky bar that takes three lifts to reach, Cloud 9 looks like a Bond villain's penthouse. All dark colors and niches holding illuminated art pieces, exposed superstructure reminding you that you're standing very near the top of a steel and concrete monument to man's hubris/penile fixation. Sitting in a chair and looking up at the arching chrome pillars leaning towards the windows, I felt like the whole building was tilting.
Might've just been the fifth whiskey soda.
Shanghai really is a tremendous city when viewed from this high up. Stretching to the horizon and lost in the smog is the accumulated garbage heap of over 150 years of the most dynamic upheaval a city can endure. Commerce, revolution, music, love, war. And when it all falls down, we build it right back up again! But this time, bigger! Better!
Look! Look at what we can do! Look at how fucking beautiful we are! You think the men who built all this had it easy? Hard men! Doing hard shit! And that gives me a hard-on!
The happy hour? Yes. I'm going to say it's the highest value for money happy hour in the city. Because it's on the 87th floor.
Want more happy hour deals? See our full listings here.
The Beat The Clock happy hour runs Monday to Friday from 5-8pm. It's on until August.