China: A Pictorial

The real estate business is obviously very visual, so I figured the best way to blog about the various sights throughout Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau was to show you all.

In Shanghai, we visited the Urban Planning museum, and got to see a scaled model of the entire central area of Shanghai.


The model was intricately detailed (down to the small model cars in the parking lots), and provided our group a great way to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the city.  If you look in the picture above, you’ll notice that some buildings are glowing, mostly along the highways and by the waterfront.  Those glowing buildings are the planned building stock that will be completed by 2020; they aren’t even built yet!  Obviously, it shows how serious China is about maintaining Shanghai as a financial center, as well as providing housing to a growing urban population.

We also visited the tallest building in Shanghai, the Shanghai World Financial Center, or as it’s known, the “Bottle Opener”.  You can see why in the picture below:


This was the view from the observation deck at the Shanghai World Financial Center.  We were 474 meters (1,555 feet) above ground!


Next we visited another tall building, this time in Hong Kong.  This building is called the ICC Tower. This building is 484 meters high (1,588 feet), and provides a great view of the Hong Kong skyline (if it’s not foggy…which unfortunately it was for us on that day, so no great pictures) because its in the Kowloon area of HK, across the river from HK Island.  Below is a picture of the actual building from the Hong Kong Island side:


That fog your seeing was fairly persistent throughout our few days in HK.  It’s actually mostly pollution, which was quite shocking.  Not only did it detract from the beauty of the skyline pictures, but it also served as a constant reminder of how serious the pollution problem in China is.

We also got to see some vacant office space in the ICC Tower during our visit to Morgan Stanley.  It helped to give us a sense of the true layout of the building.


On our day trip to Macau, we were fortunate enough to get a guided tour of the Venetian Hotel & Casino, which includes the largest gambling floor space in the world (55,000 square meters, or almost 600,000 square feet!).  We also got a private tour of one of the ultra-premium suites.  These suites aren’t for purchase, but are generously provided to the highest-spending clientele.  The rooms were massive, and included a private pool and garden, 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, a workout room, a full kitchen, a private massage room, and two haircutting rooms with barber chairs and sinks.  Excessive?  Possibly.  But I know if I were spending hundreds of thousands in one facility I would want my own private haircut as well.


I’m on my way home now unfortunately, but I’ll be sure to leave one final post with a summary of what we learned, what we saw, and what it all means.  Thanks again everyone!

Matt Giammanco ‘13

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