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Monday, December 3, 2012

Taipei 101 @ Taiwan

Formally known as the Taipei World Financial Center, the iconic Taipei 101 (台北101) is officially the tallest and largest green building in the world as of July 2011. It comprises of 101 stories and 5 floors underground, with 6 stories dedicated to shopping. The 509m building features a 660 metric-ton damper which reduces up to 40% of swaying movement and is built to withstand strong winds and earthquake tremors.

There are other awe-inspiring details, yet some might find it a boredom to look through, but if you're interested to visit their main site or search it in Wikipedia.

For tourists, it is none other than the paranomic 360-degrees scenery that fascinates us the most. It features an indoor observatory(89th floor) and an outdoor one(91st floor) as well, which offers unparaleled views of Taipei district in both day and night.

Directions to Taipei 101

1. From Taipei City Hall Station Exit 2, take a free shuttle bus to Taipei 101. Bus frequencies vary from 15 to 30 minutes. Either way, hail a cab to Taipei 101, it should not cost more than NT$80.

2. From Taipei City Hall Station Exit 2, walk south approximately 15 minutes towards Shifu Road or Songzhi Road.

Interesting fact: 4 in Chinese means "death" and hence an unlucky number. Floor 44 of Taipei 101 has been replaced by Floor 43, with Floor 42A replacing the actual Floor 43.

Besides holding a world record as one of the tallest building, Taipei 101 is also equipped with the fastest elevators built with state-of-art technology, which goes up to the 89th floor in just 37 seconds - that's a whopping vertical speed of 3314 ft per minute!
(from left) World's fastest elevator, one of Taipei 101's damper character
If you're hungry in the middle of sight-seeing, there is a cafe named "Bigtom" located at the indoor observatory. Although slightly more expensive than your usuals, what do you actually expect when you're dining amidst breath-taking sceneries (a.k.a tourist trap)?

Bigtom's Mango Shaved Ice with Ice-cream is on promotion so we decided to try it out. It tasted more like a sorbet than ice cream, but it was generally awesome. The tart (left) was a little over-floury, however the hot and fragrant mushroom fillings was nice to have during winter.

On the way out, you will pass by a exhibition of impressive figurines carved out of the prized red corals, and if you're interested to bring some back home, there are several gift shops that specializes in red coral (as well as other gemstones) as well.

Just look at those impressive, fine details - the time, the effort, the patience and determination used to finish each and every single piece of master-piece.