Four Asian ob­ser­va­tion decks with views to take your breath away.

When it comes to ad­mir­ing Asia’s cityscapes, few things beat the thrill of ab­sorb­ing it all from a great height. Here are four ob­ser­va­tion decks around the re­gion with some se­ri­ous al­ti­tude.


1 Ge­orge Town WIN­DOW OF THE TOP

Pe­nang’s tallest build­ing, the iconic if in­con­gru­ous KOMTAR tower in cen­tral Ge­orge Town, now soars even higher thanks to the re­cent ad­di­tion of three new floors and a host of at­trac­tions that cap­i­tal­ize on the bird’s-eye views. Start­ing on level 65, Win­dow of the Top fea­tures an ob­ser­va­tion deck with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows that af­ford a 360-de­gree panorama of the city and the Straits of Malacca. An even loftier per­spec­tive awaits on the build­ing’s new rooftop, where a semi-cir­cu­lar glass walk­way dubbed the Rain­bow Sky­walk can­tilevers 249 me­ters above street level. You’ll feel like you’re walk­ing on air.


Mea­sur­ing a whop­ping 632 me­ters from base to tip, the twist­ing be­he­moth known as the Shang­hai Tower is the lat­est in a trio of su­per­tall build­ings to grace the bur­geon­ing district of Pudong. From the base­ment, the world’s fastest el­e­va­tors will whisk you to the 119th-floor ob­ser­va­tory in un­der a minute. While it opened to the pub­lic last July, the project is far from com­plete—plans are afoot to in­stall view­ing ar­eas on floors 125 and 126, which will dou­ble as a per­for­mance venue for au­di­ences of up to 300 peo­ple.


The height of Tokyo Skytree— Ja­pan’s lofti­est land­mark—was de­ter­mined by a nu­mer­i­cal pun (“six-three-four”) on Musashi, the old name of the area around Tokyo. A lit­tle over half­way up, the 350-me­ter-high Tembo Deck of­fers a supreme van­tage point for surveying the end­less ur­ban sprawl that has since en­gulfed old Musashi, with views stretch­ing out to the far side of Tokyo Bay and even snow­capped Mount Fuji. If you’re in­tent on gain­ing more al­ti­tude, buy a ticket to Tembo Gal­le­ria, where a spi­ral­ing in­door ramp cir­cles the tower to a sec­ond plat­form, perched 450 me­ters above a patch­work of tra­di­tional neigh­bor­hoods.

4 Guangzhou 450 LOOK­OUT

Dis­tin­guished by a fluid, dou­ble-ta­pered form, the Can­ton Tower rises across the Pearl River from Guangzhou’s gleam­ing new busi­ness district. For two years it topped the global ros­ter of tow­ers un­til Tokyo Skytree usurped the ti­tle in 2011. Though Dubai and Shang­hai now boast higher ob­ser­va­to­ries, it’s still a record­holder for its hor­i­zon­tal fer­ris wheel, with 16 “bub­ble trams” on an in­clined track around the out­door ter­race 450 Look­out. The ex­pe­ri­ence is best en­joyed af­ter sun­set, when the sky glows dusky or­ange and vi­o­let with lights glim­mer­ing be­low. can­ton­

A Pe­nang panorama from the Rain­bow Sky­walk atop Ge­orge Town's KOM­TAR tower.

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