A Travellerspoint blog

Taiwan

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)

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)

Taipei Zoo and Maekong Gondola

A panda, a gorilla, a gondola, and a mountain.

overcast 92 °F

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Dan, Julia, and I visited the Taipei Zoo to see their panda and to take the gondola up to Maekong for the views. We wandered around in the heat and humidity checking out the animals first. They were surprisingly active for how hot it was.
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The gorilla was just as interested in the tourists as they were in him. The panda ate and ate and ate. The gibbons jumped back and forth from tree to tree. It was a pleasant morning and the zoos outside enclosures looked pretty comfortable for the animals.

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After we wandered around the zoo for a couple of hours we made our way to the Maekong Gondola. Maekong is a huge mountain freckled with tea plantations. The gondola is a fast and easy way to travel up and over a couple of smaller mountains. The other option for travelling to the top of the mountain is a one lane twisty road. The gondola had sweeping views of a huge part of Taipei and we could very clearly see the top of Taipei 101. It looked like rain, so we headed back down the mountain. We made it to the first of four stations and we had to disembark because of the impending rain. The operators made it as pleasant as they could by providing chairs and bottled water. We were offered refunds and bus tickets. The bus took about a half an hour to reach us and the ride down the twisty mountain road was another half an hour. I guess we didn’t bypass that twisty road after all!

Posted by SusanConradWang 00:44 Archived in Taiwan Tagged panda maekong Comments (0)

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