A Travellerspoint blog

Taipei 101

The world's second tallest building.

rain 88 °F

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Taipei 101 used to be the tallest building in the world until Dubai built a building that is a little higher. The elevator to the top was a marvel on its own. It went from the 5th floor to the 89th floor observatory in 30 seconds and moved 1010m per minute.

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Display with pictures showing how the damper works.

The first five floors have restaurants that were filled and stores that were empty. Chanel, Hermes, Cartier and Louis Vuitton were just a few of the empty stores. All of the shops were very high end and the sales girls wore the most charming uniforms. They looked almost like flight attendants.
Dan’s sister, dad, Dan, and I paid the $15 to go up to the observation deck to see all of Taipei and to learn about how the building was constructed and all of the awards it has won. The person who designed the experience did a very nice job. We received phone like listening devices and listened to a recording at 15 different stops around the 89th floor. Dan was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed himself. The views were amazing. It was a little unsettling to lean against the window and look straight down.

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The building also has a large damper on display. The damper is what absorbs motion from the wind and from any possible earthquakes. The huge ball cost over 4 million dollars and is what makes the building so stable.

Posted by SusanConradWang 10:08 Archived in Taiwan Tagged taipei_101 Comments (0)

The Night Market

Stinky Tofu has a commanding presence.

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Night markets are big in Asia and they are just what they sound like, a huge market that is only open at night. The street(s) around the market are closed to vehicles and fill with vendors stalls selling food, clothing, Hello Kitty novelties, and every kind of jun…er…treasure you never knew that you needed.

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Haggling is a given. My mother-in-law told me to take whatever they ask and cut the number in half. That is about what you should end up paying. Remember that and bargain accordingly. I found that the trick was to not really set your heart on anything because the next stall might have the exact same thing. If a vendor did not want to sell at the price I wanted, I just walked away. Most of the time, they would call out to me as I left and sell the item at the price I wanted. I perfected the “I don’t really want this anyway look” and it worked almost every time! Although I’m pretty sure the vendors were still making money off of me.
My least favorite part of the Night Market was the stinky tofu. It is the foulest smelling thing I’ve ever smelled in my life. I seriously thought that something died or that a sewer line broke. It has a very offensive, pungent odor and yet people gobble that stuff up! <shudder>

Posted by SusanConradWang 01:12 Comments (0)

Grandma's 90th Birthday

10 Course Chinese Banquet

overcast 92 °F

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The entire reason that we are in Asia for as long as we are is due to the fact that Dan’s grandma turned 90 on June 25. Originally, we were just going to go to Taiwan, but Dan’s sabbatical, my summer vacation, and the stars aligned so that we were able to extend the trip into China and Thailand.

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The party for his grandma was a 10 course Chinese dinner that lasted for over 4 hours and was full of family, friends, and tons of toasts. It was a complete surprise to his grandma and several family members flew in from around the world just for the occasion. We had a great time and it was so nice to see how surprised and happy Dan’s grandma was at the party.
Some of the dishes at the dinner were very traditional dishes. I tried a bite of everything just to see what pork tendon, pig knuckle, and abalone tasted like. (There were other less exciting dishes, too).

Posted by SusanConradWang 00:51 Archived in Taiwan Tagged birthday_party Comments (0)

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