Monday, December 23, 2013

Taipei 101

Part of my bucket list aside from traveling the world is to visit as many towers or skylines I can from all over the world. There are more than 10 iconic towers all over the world and I am proud to say I have visited 2 already--Namsan Tower in Korea and this... TAIPEI 101.

Taipei 101 was the tallest building from year 2004 to 2010. Now it is the second tallest building in the world next to Dubai's Burj Kahlifa. The tower's design and architecture is a standing monument to feng shui and modern design and it was designed to symbolize prosperity and good fortune for Taiwan. The stalk of bamboo reaching into the sky to connect heaven and earth is the most obvious symbolism you can identify from afar. 

The tower was made because Taiwan is regularly subjected to powerful typhoons and earthquakes. They say that the tower can withstand winds up to 134 mph and the strongest earthquakes on modern record. Thanks to the steel pendulum suspended at the core of the building between the 92nd and 87th floors named, Baby Dumper. He's an anti-sway system who already surpassed Taiwan's 6.8 magnitude earthquake last 2002.

Ok enough with my geeky tendencies. Going to Taipei 101 is very very easy. Here's how:

How to get there? 
Ride the MRT and exit at Taipei City Hall Station Exit 3. Walk straight then right towards the Taipei 101 tower. Of course you will not get lost going there because you can see the tower miles away haha! The walk is about 10 minutes long. Not bad since Taipei has cold fresh air especially during their winter season like November to January. 
When you get to the destination, you will see the mall entrance. This is also the entrance going to the observatory. The observatory is open starting 10:00 am while the mall will only open by 11:00 am. It's nice to go around the mall too after your observatory sightseeing and then eat the famous Din Tai Fung. Surely, a lot of tourists will go there but never leave the area without trying their Xiao Long Bao. 
Go up the elevator and head to the observatory ticket area. Ticket for adults is NT 500 or around Php 750. For children and students cost is NT 450 or Php 675. "Fast Pass" is the "express ticket" for those who do not want to wait in line.  
 We visited Taipei 101 in during the weekday and look! So many tourists at 10 am in the morning!
 We get to try the World's fastest passenger elevator in the world! It's really cool! From ground level up to the 89th floor, it will only take you few seconds to get up and your ears will pop many times because of the pressure.
When you reach the 89th floor, Baby Dumper will welcome you. He's such a sweetheart and very brave too because Baby Dumper is the protector of the Taipei 101 against destructive earthquakes! You'll learn more about  the tower soon as you get there. Sure Google knows everything once you type Taipei 101 facts but to see is to believe! It's really jaw dropping and one of mankind's greatest engineering achievement.
No doubt that tourists never fail to visit the majestic Taipei 101. Look at the tour group! So many and not to mention very diverse :) 

There are FREE tour guide phones to help you understand the history and facts of the tower. It comes in different languages and it is very user friendly. All you need to do is to dial the number of the "spot" you're at and then just listen. 
 Spectacular bird's eye view of Taipei City
You can also write your wishes on these wooden sheets and hang them on the tree or write a love letter and mail it to your special someone. Taipei 101 is a romantic and cheesy place for lovers since the height of the tower is like a visual cue for couples to profess their love for each other like "you and me against the world" haha. 
 Selfie with Baby Dumper ;)
See the effect of Taipei 101? Cheezzzzzy!!! and I believe it will be more cheesier if you go there at night. The tower's lights are turned on and sometimes there are fireworks on top of it too. 
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