Monday, June 17, 2013

Taiwan: Day 8

Dear beloved readers, we have come to Day 8 of my trip in Taiwan.
Today I will be bringing you to somewhere more urban since we have been touring the outskirts like countrymen for so long. Now, we visit the heart of Taipei.

It was 8:30am in the morning when we head out to hunt for breakfast. Unlike Hong Kong or even back in Malaysia where you can find coffee shops, dim sum and hawker stalls everywhere, it was so hard to find a place for breakfast. All shops were closed and we walked more than 5 streets to reach to this one.



I was learning how to buy on my own but did not know what to eat. Anyway, the buns did not taste good.

We were on our way to the nearest MRT station at Ximending when we came across this building. Everybody took pictures of this so I was curious. This is the Red House Theater, a red-brick octagonal structure built by a Japanese architect. Highlight of this building is the size of each facade is eight meters. It was Taiwan's first public market and the most well preserved class III historical site.

We arrived at Longshan Temple, the first stop of the day. Two stops west of Taipei Main Station on the Blue Line is the Longshan Temple MRT. Come out of exit 1 and take a right. You will go through a block of fortune tellers and then you will see the temple ahead on the right and the market across the street to the left.

Notice this temple has many entrances.

You will see this man-made waterfall on your right.

You will see a golden dragon pond on your left.

The inner part of the temple. A lot of people were praying so it was smoky.

A picture before we left.

Our 2nd destination was Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. To get there, take MRT and make a stop at MRT to CKS Memorial Hall Station. After you exit, you will see this building across the road. Very easy to spot.


Design and architecture of the structures in this plot were made by fine craftsmanship.

 Hugging the fat pillar.

Nice wall and roof design.

Excellent place for photography.

The grand arch.

This is the main hall which is famous for the bronze CKS statue and changing of guards however it was under renovation so the guards were shaking their balls at home. If you plan to visit, changing of guards are hourly from 10 am to 4 pm.

The flowers are very lovely here. They spend so much for plant maintenance.

I shall call this photo of the day because I love the feel and colour.


So we hop on MRT again and made our 3rd stop at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall station. You need to walk a bit for only 2 minutes then you will reach this place. Spot me in the pink beret.


I'm not sure whether we can enter inside or not. Maybe its just for special events.

My great great grandfather...kidding! No offense but this is just a typical tourist pose you will see all the time.

We found a large plain area overlooking Taipei 101in front of Sun Yat Sen hall. The sky was blue and clear too. Lucky or what?
We took dozens of picture and who could leave out a jump shot?

We arrived at Wu Fen Pu, a wholesale retail area. To get here, hop on your nearest MRT to Taipei Main Station which takes 9 minutes. Then hop on to an interchange which makes a stop at Songshan Station which is just one stop away from Taipei Main Station. We walked along the streets after exit from the station and asked some locals who in turn told us we are already in Wu Fen Pu.

I love this part, there's so many shops around here making you shop till you drop. Everything was so cheap.

We just walked into a random fusion restaurant and hubby ordered risotto for lunch.

My ramen cum spaghetti came next and boy the portion was enormous! I have forgotten how much our whole meal costs but it should be affordable as hubby did not complain.

After shopping, we rested under a tree and watched the old folks doing taichi. I bought only a dress and dozens of accessories because their clothes were seasonal. It's approaching winter so all the apparels were thick and wooly.

From Songshan station, we took the MRT again on the blue line and made a stop at Taipei City Hall station. I guess we walked up the wrong exit which lead us to this part of building called Discovery Center of Taipei. It was hilarious walking past people's office.

So this is the name of the building.

When we finally got out of the building from the other end we were so happy to see this.

 Sunset with Taipei 101. Yeah its only like 5pm.

Similar with Petronas Twin Towers, there's a mall at its base and there were only expensive premium brands inside.

Taipei 101 was formerly known as Taipei World Financial Center. It is located in Xinyi district and was officially the world's tallest skyscraper until Burj Khalifa took over the title. It has 101 stories and its height reaches 1667ft from ground to the spire. Tickets priced at NT450 per person.

Yay! We got our tickets! Now waiting for our number. We observed that 500 numbers are being displayed per batch. That much visitors!

While waiting, we walked around the corridor and saw these coral displays.

A white coral display. My dad who was an active diver said this was nothing compared to those coral reefs he has seen. He had dived The Great Barrier, Maldives, Koh Phi Phi, Sipadan, Bohol, Cebu and many others.

As you line up to take the elevator, your pictures will be taken at a pitstop and you can spot your photos displaying on the LCD. You can purchase them on the spot but I forgot how much.

Going up! The elevator was really fast, like the fastest in the world!

We reached the 89th floor, the indoor observation deck. You can loan this multilingual info device which explains about Taipei 101 from the counter. We thought it was some sort of walkie talkie where you can communicate with your group members.

Night view of the city. Spot the rose. If you have time, do walk around the garden below during daylight and you will find some interesting arts. Spot the rose.
We walked up the stairs to an outdoor observatory deck on the 91st floor. The wind was hell strong! The sound made by the wind through the steel panels were creepy too.

This is how the top of Taipei 101 looks like.

We walked down to the 88th floor and walked through this interesting tunnel. The animation seems to come alive as you walked by especially the one with railroad on the floor.

I love Taiwan!
The giant damper behind us is designed to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremor. This tuned mass damper weighs 660 tonnes at a cost of NT$132 million (US$4 million). Suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor, the pendulum sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong winds. It is the largest damper sphere in the world consisting 41 circular steel plates. Two additional tuned mass dampers, each weighing 6 tonnes are installed at the tip of the spire.


More corals on display.
This section is nice.

Came across this creepy. They looked like vampires in Cantonese movies.

Wine bottles in the form of the tower.

Hello Kitty merchandise on display!
You can buy snacks and drinks from nearby stall and enjoy here. They provide free WiFi too.

I was lazing on this couch while uploading freshly taken photos on Facebook.
Look up the elevator when you go up or down as you can see interesting light motion on the ceiling.

Very high ceiling of the mall as we came down from the escalator.
Our large Taiwanese dessert with taro balls similar to ice kacang. For main course, we had minced pork ramen with steamed vege and herbal soup.

The food court looked so posh!

There were many premium outlets here.

It was a cold windy night as we headed back to our minsu. Goodnight! We will go on an ecological and heritage journey tomorrow.

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