I, on the other hand, love collecting tickets and souvenirs from my travels. Thanks to my best friend T who gave me a pretty travel journal, I enjoy filling each page with photos and tickets taken from our trips. I also love my name thus my growing collection of keychains, stickers, magnets with my name on it. Call me vain but I love keeping my items personalized.
It all began during our honeymoon trip to Kuala Lumpur where we came face to face with the 5th tallest tower in the world : the Petronas Twin Towers. For one whole day, we stared and took lots of photos showcasing the beauty of this twin towers of steel. Really, we were there before lunch, went around the mall adjacent to it and was back outside again before sunset. We love the lush garden that surrounds it and watching the locals jog around somehow gives you that sense of relaxation in contrast to the busy scene outside.
After this visit, we agreed to work extra hard and save up even more to be able to visit at least the top 10 tallest towers in the world.
In Taipei, we made sure to visit the Taipei 101 -- the 2nd tallest building in the world!
Just like the Petronas Twin Towers, they have built a mall at the base of the building.It's a pretty high end mall housing a number of luxury brands and cafes.
We went up to the 5th level of the mall to enter the Taipei 101 Observatory. Here, you have to buy a ticket (NT 400) to go up to the 89th floor for the Indoor Observatory.
From the moment you buy your ticket, your Taipei 101 experience begins. You have to ride their high-speed elevator which can take you from the 5th level up to the 89th floor in 37 seconds! Yup! That fast! I enjoyed the short but amazing ride as the lights were automatically dimmed and it gives you an impression that you're going up in space.
Once reaching the 89th floor, look for the counter giving out Multimedia Guide. It looks like a very old analog phone with number buttons. All you have to do is to search for the area labeled 1 and you take a peek out of the window and listen closely to the narration. The guide will explain what you can see from the window and will share some history about certain structures and tourist spots too. From one of those window, we actually saw the Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall!
After going through all the windows, the guide will lead you to the room where you'll see the big damper. This is the main reason why Taipei 101 is said to be a very sturdy structure given that Taiwan is heavily visited by typhoons and earthquakes.
It was a very education visit and I'm glad we took the time out to go up to the Observatory. The rate may be a bit steep but for first time visitors, I assure you it is worth it.
On special dates, they open the Outdoor Observatory on the 91st floor. I can just imagine the amazing view that you'll be able to see from there!
Mission accomplished for us! We were able to visit two out of ten of the tallest buildings in the world! 8 more to go! :) Wish us luck!
*photos taken using a Canon S95
Taipei 101 is located at No. 7, Hsin Yi Road, Section 5, Taipei 110.
How to get there: Take the MRT to the City Hall station. Taipei 101 is a good 10-15 minutes walk from the station's exit.