Friday, October 12, 2007

Playing Tourist in Taipei, Part 4 (Taipei 101)

One of the highlights of Floyd's and my vacation in Taipei was our visit to Taipei 101, the tallest building in the world (at the time).

This impressive structure, whose shape is meant to be reminiscent of a stalk of bamboo, towers over everything around it.

It's lit up beautifully at night, with a different color scheme depending on what day of the week you see it, and often features glowing decorations for holidays or special occasions.

To get to the top, we rode the world's fastest elevator (certified by the Guinness Book of World Records).  It travels at over 60 kilometers per hour, but moves so smoothly that you barely feel the motion.

This is the giant internal "damper" that keeps the building steady during earthquakes and typhoons.  Only in Taiwan would they turn such a thing into a cartoon character!

Below: a view of Taipei from the windows at (almost) the top.  Notice how tiny even the other skyscrapers appear in comparison!

This is what it looked like staring straight down the stairwell from the top.  Needless to say, we didn't take the stairs!

We decided to pay the extra fee to go a couple floors higher to the outdoor observatory.  There were some nice views, but it was cold and incredibly windy, as you can see from my poor hair!

Looking up to the very top from the outdoor observatory after dark.  The highest few floors are closed to the public.

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