Jun 13, 2012

The Empire State Building of Taiwan: Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is unmistakenly Taiwan, and how can a typical tourist like me miss the chance to visit what was once the highest tower in Asia (correct me if I'm wrong)? Since higher towers are erected in other parts of Asia, Taipei 101 no longer hold the title but it still remains the highest tower in the country. You can almost see the tower from every part of the city.

The access to the tower is located at Level 5 of the shopping mall, just like the one we have in KLCC. The mall is so generic with familiar high end boutiques - Louis Vuitton, Gucci, there's also Zara... All too familiar to me. There's nothing worth mentioning about, except they have the fastest elevator. It shoots up to 88th floor in less than a minute.

It is obligatory to visit the tower, but at the same time I feel that it is the most boring tourist attraction. You pay exorbitant amount of money for the tickets in exchange of bird's eye view. You decide if that's worth it or not.

At the observatory, I noticed that one side of the tower is congested with modern buildings, while the other side remains green and untouched. It reflects the two sides of Taiwan's identity - modern and advanced yet rich in nature. 

Since we were there at about 6pm, we thought we just stay until the sun set. It is a very beautiful scenery up there.

If you take the stairs to the 87th floor, you will find the biggest tower damper in the world....

The damper serves as tower stabilizer in case of strong winds. I never even notice that every high rise tower has a damper! 

I made a mistake by not checking the tourist info board. There's an extra outdoor observatory at 89th floor. It is accessible via staircase. Apparently it is a huge balcony on the tower for tourist to feel the strong wind outside. I bet the sunset view outside is much more breath taking. 

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