Going to Taipei 101 (台北101) was decided on Day 2 after having seen the weather forecast that it was cloudy that day and that the rest of our days in Taipei would be rainy. There was no point in being atop of Taipei on a rainy day when visibility wouldn't be clear, right?
~*Breakfast Next Door*~
We continued to utilize our breakfast coupons that day. As usual, these bread weren't filling. They simply prevented us from being too hungry while waiting out the rain.
~*Along the Way*~
A blood donation van? What an interesting concept!
To the Metro we went coz we wouldn't want to do a walking trail again.
~*At Taipei 101*~
When we emerged from the underground station, this massive glass building greeted us. So that's how Taipei 101 looked like when standing at the foot of it.
There was practically no queue to the Observatory at all which surprised us as we often hear and read about how long the queue would be.
While in the queue, we saw this on the screen and took a shot since we would not be buying those ridiculously-priced photo holder souvenir.
The lift to the Taipei 101 observatory tower holds a Guinness World record of being the fastest ascending elevator speed: designed to be 1 010 meters per minute or 16.83 m/s or 55.22 ft/s or 60.6 kilometres per hour or 37.7 mph.
If all these units of conversion doesn't help in understanding how fast that is, how about a mere 40 seconds to get from ground level to the 89th-floor observation deck? (Damn... I take a lot more than that to get to my office level on the 18th floor.)
I found this video on YouTube. Experience how being in the world's fastest lift feels like in this video!
The lift boy spoke fluently in Mandarin, Japanese and English as he gave an introduction of the lift. We were impressed by his fluency. As the lift got higher, constellations illuminated the dark ceiling. What a pretty sight! As we walked out of the lift door, the lift boy bade us goodbye in Japanese. (We are not Japanese x1)
Taipei 101 Damper Baby welcomed us to the Indoor Observatory deck on the 89th floor. The staff who helped us take this photo is so pretty. Why do so many Taiwanese ladies look like celebrities? Aside: She spoke to us in Japanese even though we first spoke to her in Mandarin. (We are not Japanese x2)
Walking to the glass panels with 360-degree views, we decided that we were in dire need of an audio guide. The kindly old "uncle" who was helping tourists with audio guides saw like we really needed one and spoke to us in Japanese. He also handed us Japanese audio guides to which we told him in Mandarin that we needed the English ones. For a split second, he gathered his thoughts before apologizing and handing out the English ones to us. (We are not Japanese x3) That was three times within a span of 10 minutes that people assumed we were Japanese. And I thought this only happens in western countries where the Caucasians couldn't tell East Asians apart. We are proud to be SINGAPOREANS.
Trying to act cool with the audio guide by pretending I was living in the 80s and owned a handphone. Anyone remembers those colossal handphones from the 80s?
When I was looking at the whole of Taipei city from atop the observatory, I felt that going to Taipei 101 is probably the most practical first stop of anyone's first visit to Taipei. From the viewing lounge, you could see almost all of Taipei as you stroll around the glass panels with 360-degree view and get a sense for where everything is in the city.
The viewing lounge itself is like a mini museum depicting facts and history of Taipei, as well as of the construction of Taipei 101.
There are big touch screens facing the north, south, east and west that have time lapses of the view outside with floating buttons of all major points of interest.
Together with the touch screen guide and audio guide, the view from the observatory is excellent for developing a mental map of the whole of Taipei city.
I hate it when I take pictures of things I found significant at the time of snapping, went home, and forgot why I took those pictures. I've got so many other pictures that even after researching on Google Maps, I still can't tell which landmarks I was capturing in those photos. I remember the audio guide pointing out the significance of the 2 to 3 arch bridges you see in the far distance of this photo. It was so difficult to Google the name of these bridges but I reckon they are the Rainbow Bridge, Maishuaiyi Bridge and Maishuaier Bridge. I know that one of these bridges is really beautiful by night illuminated with neon rainbow lights.
The many mountains in Taipei fringed the city of which Yangmingshan would be one of our stops.
The most prominent sights are the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館) and the Taipei Arena (臺北小巨蛋) which is still undergoing construction.
The Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall would be our next stop after Taipei 101.
Looking to the right and further down are the Discovery Center of Taipei in Taipei CIty Hall and the Taipei World Trade Centre Exhibition Hall 3.
Guess what is circled in here? Clue: We visited this place the day before.
Zoomed in: It's the whole Liberty Square (自由廣場) area. The orange roof of the National Theater and National Concert Hall are prominent enough for us to catch only with the help of the touch screen guide and zooming the lens to the max.
Panels depicting tall buildings around the world. Ignore bored-looking tourists.
You could mail a postcard here.
Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010, when the Burj Khalifa in Dubai overtook it. However, the skyscraper remains a symbol of technology innovation designed to withstand natural disasters like typhoons and earthquakes. This gigantic gold-coloured damper is responsible for keeping the building stable through typhoons and earthquakes.
I don't know how the Damper Baby stems from the Damper and only after reading up did I know that the damper has become such a tourist attraction, that the city has given it a mascot, the Damper Baby. It even has its own damper website which is really cute.
Only the hub can do something so dumb with the Taipei 101 Damper Baby mascot. 101, 101, 101.
We proceeded from the 89th floor to to the Outdoor Observatory Deck on the 91st floor which is only opened on some occasions, weather permitting.
Then what's on the 90th floor? It's probably not accessible by us.
Here's what I got from Wikipedia:
|101st floor||Summit 101 (Private VIP Club)|
|92nd – 100th floor||Communication Floors|
|91st floor||Outdoor Observatory Deck|
|88th – 89th floor||Indoor Observatory Deck|
|85th – 86th floor||Observatory Restaurant|
|59th – 84th floor||High Zone Office Floor|
|59th – 60th floor||Sky lobbies Floors|
|35th – 58th floor||Mid Zone Office Floor|
|36th floor||Taipei 101 Conference Center|
|35th – 36th floor||Sky lobbies Floors|
|35th floor||Amenities Floor|
|9th – 34th floor||Low Zone Office Center|
|B1st – 5th floor||Taipei 101 Mall|
|B5th - B2nd floor||Parking Levels|
It was so cold on the outdoor deck! Fortunately we had our jackets with us.
Mirror wefie. Hubz said he should copy the way I stand.
We sought refuge from the cold by watching a film on the construction of Taipei 101. Did you know that Taipei 101 is The World’s Tallest Green Building? TAIPEI 101 successfully attain the LEED-EBOM Platinum level certification, making it the world’s tallest Green Building in the world. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most internationally recognized Green Building rating system. I'm always impressed when huge organizations do their part to be eco-friendly. Know more about their green program in this Taipei 101 Green On interactive website.
There were exquisite exhibits on display and on sale.
While we needn't queue to get up to the observatory, we had to queue to get down! Crowd aside, I took this photo with the sole purpose of trying to snap a front view of a pretty East Asian girl to no avail. The girl sporting short golden hair looked just like a life-sized doll! Huge peepers with fan-like lashes, chiselled pixie face, smooth and slightly tanned skin. The kind of pretty I like!
I wonder if the Taipei City Hall is like our Singapore City Hall.
Taipei 101 had been enriching. Our next stop was to have "dunch", "linner" ... whatever... late lunch/ early dinner. Where else better to have mala hotpot (麻辣火鍋) than Taipei? 醉麻辣 was recommended by my friend and that place so happened to be along the area of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. More on our meal in the next post. So anyway this picture shows a curious-looking stream. We couldn't decide what is was and why it was there.
The memorial hall contains displays of Sun Yat Sen's life and the revolution he led, and is also a multi-purpose social, educational and cultural center for the public. Taiwan's highest movie award ceremony, the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards, is held annually in the Memorial Hall Auditorium.
The park surrounding the hall is named Zhongshan Park, as the Chinese name for Dr Sun Yat Sen is Sun Zhongshan (孫中山). It is a popular area for families to hang out as their kids could roam freely.
There was a charity bazaar that day. If I'm reading the words correctly, it is an awareness event for autism.
We did not visit the memorial hall and simply strolled through the park as all we wanted to do was to eat. I was attracted to the beautiful flowers though and could not help snapping this.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of Day 2 with our food adventures for the night. Yummy yummy. I'm hungry just thinking about it. I've replied to all your comments so do check back on the posts. In the meantime, please keep the love notes coming in!