Taipei

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Graeme and Cindy were meeting us at the train station today so we had a bit more of a lie in. Met up with them at 10am and headed off to train station to go and see the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101.

We knew we needed to head towards the city hall so got our tickets and boarded the MRT. However it quickly dawned on us that there are two city halls and we were headed to the wrong one! Rather annoying but we decided to see the CKS Memorial Building instead, which we had planned to see anyway.

The memorial building was pretty cool and had a huge bronze statue of the man himself. Sadly we had missed the changing of the guard so we went off to take a look around the museum before grabbing a taxi to 101.

101 is an incredible building. Built in traditional Chinese style it stands apart from any other skyscraper in the world in terms of aesthetics and height. It also towers over every other building in Taipei by a huge margin and is visible from pretty much anywhere in the city.

They obviously know a good marketing ploy when they see one as the first 5 floors of the building are a department store, filled to the brim with all the designer stores you could think of. We managed to make our way to the 5th floor and checked out the Sony store. The HDTV's looked incredible and I definitely want one when the price comes down. Whilst I was standing mesmerized looking at the TV's Dave decided it was the perfect place to check his email on the laptops! Amazingly they were connected to the Internet in the store.

At the 5th floor we got our tickets to the top, or at least as far as you can go which was floor 89. Not only is it the worlds tallest building but it also has the fastest lifts. From the 5th to 89th floor in 30 seconds at 60km/h. It is so fast that the cabins have to be pressurized like an airplane to prevent your ears popping. Pretty cool!


The views from the top were pretty amazing as you could probably guess. You can see planes taking off in the distance and when they come into land they get bloody close to the building which was rather worrying. We paid a few quid extra and went a few floor up to the outside observation deck. Pretty pointless really but very windy. I couldn't believe there were people sitting on cranes outside the building doing some redecorating! Rather them than me!

Graeme had booked dinner at a bloody expensive looking Japanese Teppenyaki place in the 101 building and we made our way back here in the evening. We had arranged to meet up at 6:30 for our 7pm dinner but they didn't arrive until after 7! The dinner was nothing short of superb. We opted for the sirloin steak but received about 5 courses before that, all cooked in front of us on a grill. A couple of American guys on business next to us had the lobster and it looked pretty damn good!

After dinner Dave and Graeme were feeling the effects of last nights ice dessert so we only had a quick drink before heading back to the hostel for some sleep before heading back to Hong Kong tomorrow.
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