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Tower's top deck reopens, price goes up
By Hu Min

THE "space capsule" on the highest deck of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower reopened yesterday, but it stirred up some skepticism from visitors as a result of an increase in the admission ticket.

It now costs 220 yuan (US$35.48) to tour three observatory decks, a 40-yuan increase from 180 yuan before the renovation.

"The ticket price is too expensive," said visitor Xiao Yong from Anhui Province, who looked at the view outside in disappointment because poor air quality hurt visibility. Xiao and his wife had no idea about the reopening of the capsule and they anticipated that the ticket would be within 200 yuan.

"We saw some new high-tech attractions, but we just want to enjoy a panoramic view of the city at the tower's highest deck," he said.

Shanghainese Li Hui said it had been 10 years since she visited the tower, and the price was some 100 yuan at that time.

"An increase of 40 yuan is too big, that may scare me away," Liu said.

The tower, one of the city's iconic scenic spots in the Pudong New Area's Lujiazui financial hub, remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, also one of the most expensive.

When it offered a half-price discount in May and September for two observatory decks that normally cost 150 yuan, long queues formed outside.

The deck, at 339 meters, offered mainly a great view in the past. It was shut last November for updating, which cost 20 million yuan.

The changes incorporate high-tech elements around the theme of outer space. Visitors can touch the sky with their fingers at the "star wall" screen, find their own constellation and type in wishes for the future.

They can see the life of astronauts with digital technologies and dance Gangnam style, following an extraterrestrial in front of a large screen.

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