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Newer Page 803 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Taiwan Taipei Taipei 101 View Dumplings

30 March 2011

Taipei 101

Today is both an introduction to Taipei, and a visit to Taipei 101, so my title is damn clever.

First impressions of Taipei are great, and during the day they only got better.
The subway system is great, but best of all google maps has failed me. Theres a new line that has opened 100 metres from my hotel, rather than 2 kilometres away.
Luckily the hotel put a card on my bed explaining this, or else I would have never known. This is very convenient.

Right outside my hotel, a busy street market was happening at 8am. I got to see everything thats inside a pig. Im pretty sure everything that fell out the guts of the pig will be eaten!

I got off the subway at a random station and started walking, impressed with how clean the streets were. I stopped and enjoyed a coffee, western style (because I am addicted I think).
I spotted the massive Taipei 101 on the horizon, its easy to spot as there are no other large skyscrapers at all, so I walked towards it.
Eventually I got there, did the tourist thing, it was about $10, well worth the price.

The foodcourt under the building is the best I have ever been into, the presentation of everything was superb, I didnt see much in the way of offal, sinew, bones etc. like you see in Hong Kong, it all seemed delicious to my adventurous by Western standards but conservative by Hong Kong standards tastes.

I also had a Taiwan pearl milk tea, perhaps the reason I am here, didnt really consider coming here until I developed a taste for the drink.

Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Would you have dumplings with XO chilli sauce for breakfast? Of course you would! When I arrived the hotel told me breakfast was included and gave me

Would you have dumplings with XO chilli sauce for breakfast? Of course you would!
When I arrived the hotel told me breakfast was included and gave me the voucher thing. When I went to leave this morning the desk staff waved me over to the breakfast and seemed very concerned I was trying to leave without it, so I relented.

I had the rather interesting combo of orange juice, terrible machine coffee, great scrambled eggs on toast, average dumplings with XO sauce and strawberry jam on toast.
Somewhat strangely, the breakfast tables were fitted out with imacs and printers, they also had every western and chinese magazine available to read.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Heres the market in the side street by my hotel. It doesnt do it justice, down each side of this picture theres laneways under plastic sheeting. Its s

Heres the market in the side street by my hotel. It doesnt do it justice, down each side of this picture theres laneways under plastic sheeting. Its so low though that I cant stand up properly!
Amusingly, everytime a car comes down this street, a man walks in front and behind blowing a whistle with a flag.
I noted later in the day that the whistle men are everywhere, every single driveway has one.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - The sheer number of scooters is unbelievable. Footpaths are just endless scooter parking lots. About every third shopfront is a scooter repair station

The sheer number of scooters is unbelievable. Footpaths are just endless scooter parking lots. About every third shopfront is a scooter repair station, this is very efficient, I watched them change a tyre in about 30 seconds, the girl rode straight into the shop up the footpath with her flat tyre onto a stand thing.
It seems every scooter is a yamaha, so parts wouldnt be a problem.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Here I am inside the subway tunnel of the new line. It seems to have no customers besides me. Id like to thank the government of Taiwan for building a

Here I am inside the subway tunnel of the new line. It seems to have no customers besides me. Id like to thank the government of Taiwan for building a new train line to my hotel in my honor that opened a week ago just in time for my arrival.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - This is looking up a main street from a pedestrian flyover. Its pretty bright and colorful, must look good at night. I intend to find out.

This is looking up a main street from a pedestrian flyover. Its pretty bright and colorful, must look good at night. I intend to find out.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - And theres the most famous landmark by far, all 101 storeys.

And theres the most famous landmark by far, all 101 storeys.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Yep, you will get bored of building photos, but thats bad luck for you really because I like them.

Yep, you will get bored of building photos, but thats bad luck for you really because I like them.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Inside the shopping mall at the base of the building theres some impressive steelwork holding everything up. Photos dont convey the true scale of it.

Inside the shopping mall at the base of the building theres some impressive steelwork holding everything up. Photos dont convey the true scale of it.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - The lift to the 91st floor takes under a minute, they put on a show inside the lift with star lights and music etc. Theres also a great graphic of how

The lift to the 91st floor takes under a minute, they put on a show inside the lift with star lights and music etc. Theres also a great graphic of how fast you are going up and whats going on with the counterweights etc.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Until fairly recently, Tapei 101 was the tallest building in the world, but look how much it got eclipsed by those crazy dudes in Dubai!

Until fairly recently, Tapei 101 was the tallest building in the world, but look how much it got eclipsed by those crazy dudes in Dubai!


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - The view is great, you can see the domestic airport here, its a shame the international airport isnt there as its right in the city. I guess they cant

The view is great, you can see the domestic airport here, its a shame the international airport isnt there as its right in the city. I guess they cant handle wide bodied jets, I didnt see anything bigger than a 737 parked there.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Surprisingly, the building is close to the edge of the city, the whole area around it is being developed into a more modern centre. Lots of cranes and

Surprisingly, the building is close to the edge of the city, the whole area around it is being developed into a more modern centre. Lots of cranes and glass buildings etc. I predict they did this here because its relatively geologically stable.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - This giant ball is suspended in the top of the building to counter balance the swaying due to strong winds and earthquake. I didnt see it move whilst

This giant ball is suspended in the top of the building to counter balance the swaying due to strong winds and earthquake. I didnt see it move whilst I was watching, thankfully. Theres a graphic explaining how other large buildings put swimming pools high up to do effectively the same thing.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - OK, this is the last photo of the view.

OK, this is the last photo of the view.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - They have a kind of museum showing coral jewellery to walk through before you can go back down, I thought it was a museum but then it turns into a gif

They have a kind of museum showing coral jewellery to walk through before you can go back down, I thought it was a museum but then it turns into a gift shop.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Heres the lunch I had in the fantastic food court, Shanhai soup filled dumplings, and a delicious beef wrap (I cant remember the name, the Taiwan food

Heres the lunch I had in the fantastic food court, Shanhai soup filled dumplings, and a delicious beef wrap (I cant remember the name, the Taiwan food websites rave about them). The beef wrap was indeed fantastic, the bread is sort of sweet, and sort of crunchy, and the beef was delicious and tender. I want another one now.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Unless I go back at night (which I might), this will be the last photo of the damn buidling you are all sick of.

Unless I go back at night (which I might), this will be the last photo of the damn buidling you are all sick of.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - Taipei has implemented the free bike hire thing that Paris invented. The machines to rent them are the same. I wonder if the same French company is ma

Taipei has implemented the free bike hire thing that Paris invented. The machines to rent them are the same. I wonder if the same French company is marketing this to world governments. First they establish the EU to take over Europe, now they are taking over the world with bicycles.


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - This is the inside of one of the more modern looking stations. They have the track guard things. I dont know why London and Sydney dont have these, it

This is the inside of one of the more modern looking stations. They have the track guard things. I dont know why London and Sydney dont have these, it basically makes it impossible for people to commit suicide on the tracks (which happens every week in London, and a few times a year in Sydney!).


Taiwan-Taipei-Taipei 101-View-Dumplings - And heres the inside of a train, very neat and clean. Its the middle of the day so not a lot of people on it, they come every couple of minutes, no ne

And heres the inside of a train, very neat and clean. Its the middle of the day so not a lot of people on it, they come every couple of minutes, no need to ever plan to go somewhere, there is no timetable.


NewerPage 803 of 968OlderFull Trip Report