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.