Friday, April 13, 2012

Look! It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's...

A really tall building.

L is for Look! It's Taipei 101!

Taipei 101 is currently the second tallest building in the world. By the year 2015 it will drop down to #8 on the list. See my post here for links to the lists.

The building was designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons which is important in Taiwan. I'm not sure you can tell how massive 101 is from my photos but its visible from all over the city.

And from a mountaintop many miles away. Forgive the blurry, but I'm in a cable car suspended above the earth here trying to take pretty pictures in order to distract me from the fact that I'm in a cable car suspended above the earth. And it was SWAYING! I will definitely have more to say about that another day.

Our 25 story hotel was essentially next door to 101...does that help put it in perspective? Guess how many stories Taipei 101 is? Actually its 101 above ground and five below ground.

Guess how many upscale shops are located inside? I have no idea. In fact I couldn't even begin to venture a guess...if it has a designer's name on it you'll find it here. Obviously Dior is one of them~

I wonder what that sort of advertising costs?

After five very full days in Shanghai we transitioned without a hitch to our second destination~ Taiwan. I think its easy to want to lump all the Asian countries into a single pot but each has its own history, culture, tradition, food and language. I remember when I was a child lots of things came with a 'Made in Taiwan' sticker on them. According to some of the local folks the Japanese influence (their rule ended in 1945) is still evident in the Taiwanese culture. Family is front and center here.

The people we encountered in Taiwan were so very nice. Truly, everywhere we went people went out of their way to be sure we were getting where we needed to be. Teenagers even gave up their seats on the buses and trains without their mamas asking them to do so-quite impressive!

We arrived in Taiwan on a Saturday afternoon and checked into our hotel, The Grand Hyatt Taipei. The scent of lilies positively saturated the lobby in a good way.

As we were checking in a bride sashayed past and that was fun to see. This cool sculpture was in the lobby too. Hubs very helpfully attempts to illustrate its size.

We unpacked and headed over to 101 because you kind of had to....I mean it was right next door and filled with all those lovely shops.

Did I take enough pictures of this building? Did we spend a lot of time that first day with our jaws dropped just staring up at this massive structure? Yes and yes.

We were only in Taipei for about four days but I'm here to tell you a lot can be packed in to four days. I think more than four letter's worth actually so get ready.

I'm kind of all about the hotels so I might as well mention here that I think it's hard to top the JWs but the Hyatt was really lovely too. Plus they had fish and chips on their menu and a delicious Reuben sandwich which did not require the use of chopsticks or contain any bones or require me to slurp. Don't get me wrong-I loved all of that too. I love Asian food but wouldn't normally eat it seventeen days in a row. It was nice to break it up a little. And we still had plenty of noodles and duck and whole fish in Taiwan.

The Hyatt had live music in their restaurant, really good live music, so we had drinks in there most evenings. Really fun! Their iced tea was also fab-they made it with lots of lemon which is how I like mine and then gave you a small pitcher of thinned down honey to add in. Yum!

Of course I took a picture of my iced tea. I pretty much took a picture of everything. The people traveling with us got used to it.



  1. So you're traveling with your "type A" hubs in "Taipei." (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.)

    Riding in a cable car suspended above the earth could possibly make me lose my fortune cookies. But the shopping might compensate !

  2. How fun! I love how the tea looks with the lemon slices. I'm planning on serving sweet tea on Saturday and I might slice my lemons that way as a garnish...or maybe lemonade?! I'm obsessing about your tea. Ha!

  3. I was once in a cable car suspended above the earth and held on for dear life! You took photos! You are very brave.

  4. Wait, what was swaying? The cable car or the 101 building? I don't think I would have gone into either one. LOL Too scared of heights! I'm glad you took so many pictures! I'm enjoying your trip!

  5. That is one crazy big building! I'd love to go to Taipei.

  6. I'm so glad you took lots of pictures because I love looking at them.

  7. Pretty Iced Tea! (I love iced tea!) How did they get the lemons to stay put?

  8. Another great job of describing all that you experienced. The cable car experience sounds chilling but wonderful. What a great way to view the city, even from many miles away. The hotel looks wonderful.

  9. thank you for this!! I loved the pictures and the information too. Love to learn something new everyday.
    and lucky you!!!

  10. Great pictures, you know if you decide you are tired of staying at home, your posts would be great inserts for a portfolio for a travel guide job... just sayin' lol. Love it! Thanks for sharing.
    until next time... nel

  11. oh my gosh I so enjoyed this post, I felt I was right there, thankyou for sharing!

  12. Even the iced tea is beautiful!

  13. I am loving your travels. I am not following everyone's A-Z but since yours is about your recent trip I am enjoying them. That building is obviously tall and it sounds like it might be fun on the inside too. I am right there with you on the Reuben, I love them. Actually I fell in love with Fish & Chips in London last year so I would join you on that one too.