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The earliest symbol of the new China, this hideous gray tower with three tapering levels of pink spheres (meant to resemble pearls) still holds a special place in many a local heart and is still one of the first stops in town for Chinese visitors. Built in 1994 at a height of 468m (1,535 ft.), it is hailed as the tallest TV tower in Asia and the third-tallest in the world. Visit for the stunning panoramas of Shanghai (when the clouds and smog decide to cooperate) and the stellar Shanghai Municipal History Museum located in the basement. Various combination tickets are available for the tower and museum, but for most folks, the observation deck in the middle sphere (263m/863 ft. elevation), reached by high-speed elevators staffed by statistics-reciting attendants, is just the right height to take in Shanghai old and new, east and west. Those partial to vertiginous views can ascend to the "space capsule" in the top sphere (350m/1,148 ft. elevation).