Taiwan: Observing the City in Taipei 101

Travel Period : 30th Oct – 6th Nov 2012

{ Previous Post:  Taiwan: Taipei Pingxi Line Tour #4 – Pingxi }

Day 5 Evening Itinerary :

  • Taipei Ruifang TRA station –>>
  • Taipei 101
How We Got There :
Took train all the way back from Pingxi line to Ruifang Station // Took a cab to Taipei 101 (臺北101)

Taipei 101 Building

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Took from the taxi while waiting at a junction

Our taxi ride from Ruifang Station took us about 30 minutes and from afar, we could already see the tall Taipei 101 building standing out from Taipei city. We were told to start taking photos of it while on our way because we wouldn’t be able to fit the entire building into a photograph when we reached there; that would be how tall Taipei 101 is. ^^|

Upon entering Taipei 101, our first objective was to find a place for dinner, since we were already getting hungry after a long day at Pingxi Line. Our initial plan was to dine at ‘Ding Tai Fung’, a very popular chinese restaurant chain in Singapore. However, there was a huge crowd waiting with queue numbers so we decided not to wait.

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We then took the lift up to one of the high floors where the restaurants were. However, none of them suited our tastes so we went down to the basement in search of other eateries instead.

In the end, we decided to have our meal in the food court, where one of the reserved section for steamboat caught our attention. It was an eatery serving Japanese steamboat and we were glad to have chosen that place as we had a nice time eating there. (check out the ‘food post‘)

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We ate quite slowly after the tiring day so after dinner, time was running late and although we would like to check out the shops, we decided to find out more about the observatory on the 89th floor first. We had not thought of going up to the observatory prior to our trip but since we were already there at Taipei 101, we were thinking if it would be a waste if we were to miss this opportunity.

About Taipei 101, although it is a building with 101 floors, the indoor observatory is on the 89th floor. There’s one outdoor one on the 91st floor but it is opened only at certain times. It is the tallest building in Taiwan and the second tallest building (from ground to pinnacle) in the world after the building in Dubai.

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Arriving at the ticket counters, we promptly bought the tickets and joined in the queue towards the lift. According to the signboards, backpacks were not allowed at the observatory but when I checked with the staff, they were alright with our backpack. Probably our family of three didn’t look suspicious nor much of a threat. ^^|

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The queue was short, since it was already near closing time. Before we got to the lift, there was a cameraman standing by to help take a photo of us. They would photoshop it with the Taipei 101 background and we could view them before we were to leave the observatory later on, before deciding if we wanted to buy one for memento. (We did buy one later)

We were ushered into the elevator, with a staff explaining how fast this elevator would go and how little time it would take to reach the top. True enough, with a screen showing the current position of our lift, it took merely 45 seconds for us to reach the 89th floor! Except for slight blockage of the ears, which we need to swallow our saliva to equalize the pressure, it was quite enjoyable with dim lighting and soothing music.

As the door opened, the iconic Taipei 101 mascot was in front of us, with the breathtaking night view of Taipei city unveiling behind it. We had been to observatories in other countries before Dar was born, so it wasn’t such a new experience to us. It was his debut however, though he seemed to be more interested in moving around the place and checking out the various exhibits.

There was a Taiwan Dollars design exhibit in a part of the place and other artistic/cultural exhibits around so visitors could also learn a little of Taiwanese culture or history.

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Cat: We kept looking at the different parts of the observatory which is a huge place and even bought an ice-cream (not cheap but delicious!) to eat while resting on the benches provided. It was a nice place to relax, looking at the city below us. The thought of checking out the shopping areas of Taipei 101 was thrown away as we were too tired after the whole day of train travel.

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Soon, an announcement was made, informing the visitors that the observatory was closing. We didn’t really mind since we had already taken a good look of the night views and had photos taken. I remembered reading about the steel pendulum on the 88th floor and had hoped to take a look at it before we leave the building. As we reached the elevator, I asked the staff if we could still drop by to check it out.

He agreed, and led us into the elevator to another floor. When the door opened however, we saw a big group of visitors queueing outside just to get into the elevator to return to the ground!  There was an exhibit there on gemstones too. Seeing that, we changed our mind as we wouldn’t want to take such a long queue after our sightseeing. We thus informed the staff that we would like to return back to the 5th floor instead.

Upon reaching, most of the shops were already closed for the day. We were also dead tired after a long day, so we flagged a cab and returned to our hotel for a good night’s rest.

{ Next Post : [Food] Taipei Shifen / Taipei 101 }

  1. Linda May 30, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Cat & Vin, I love your matching shoes!

    1. Cat May 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      ha. woud you believe it wasn’t intentional? He got it long ago, ‘Nike’ Brand. Then I wanted to get one for Dar and me in ‘New Balance’ for our Taiwan Trip. This turned out to be the one I liked with a pink bottom. Dar has the blue bottom kids’ version which was a great help. It’s VERY Comfortable and really helped us to trek for a long time without tired legs.

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