Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ximending & Taipei 101

day 7 : 19th Dec 2012

Today is Nov 9th 2013! OMG it's almost a year and I am still not finished with my Taiwan blog. Time flies and so busy with work. So what brought me here to reignite my writing spirit? Well, I am sick :( Had to stay home and when I am alone, quiet and at peace, that's when I like to write. 

Rewind back to Dec 2012... we started our day at the upbeat Taiwan shopping district - XiMenDing

Stepping out of the Ximen Station we were greeted by the noise, traffic and people hustling with shopping bags. Large billboards plastered buildings at every corner. A lady screamed. I turned around and saw a lady wearing high boots sat on the floor. Her face cringed with pain as her hand held onto one of her feet. She must have fell from the station steps and twisted her feet. Dang! It must be crazy painful. Within a minute, medical officers appeared. Wow, did this happen often in Ximending or Taiwan's medics are really efficient. Applause!

Trying to hide from the chilly wind, we stumbled into a square that stood this red building called The Red House Theatre. Built in 1908 during the Japanese ruling, this theatre still stood firmly in the midst of XiMending's ever changing facade. Occassionally, it holds performances.

Love the pretty tea gift set at the top right corner. 

There was a cafe inside and I saw a stairs leading upstairs. We crept upstairs to find an old school theatre. It's vacant and filled with neatly lined up wooden chairs and tables. The dim lightings creates shadows of sorts. Kind of cool and eerie at the same time. 

Before the darkness envelopes us, out we went back into the lights of Ximending street shops. You can walk all the way down this street or turn right to another street or left or backwards...the shops flanking the streets are endless in every direction. Don't just judge by the shop's outlook at ground level, most of them have multiple storeys and are also dug deep for more underground shopping!

Before I even start, I am already dizzy & exhausted. LOL!

This UNIQLO shop looks big from the outside. That's until we found out that it consists of 6 storeys of shopping experience; above ground level and in the underground.

KFC meal (say what?)

Next, we headed to Taipei 101. Taking Ximen train to Taipei City Hall to board our bus to Taipei 101.

Unlike the bustling Ximending's colorful and disoriented charm, the area heading to Taipei 101 exudes a modern and classy atmosphere.

We hopped off the bus and was greeted by a giant Christmas tree. So cold!

Can't take my eyes off the tree, I asked Hobs & Chew. Where's the 101 tower? They gave me a strange look with fingers pointing up. OMG! I was standing just beneath this freaking giant!

Checkout Taipei 101 mall! Words can't describe the breathtaking view of this shopping haven. The structures and the creative presentation of high end shops. This is what I call the WOW moment! 

Before the shops lured me over, I got pulled to where we were here for. Focus QQ, Focus!

Taipei 101 surpassed the Petronas Twin Towers rank of the tallest building in the world. Dang, maybe it's the super long antenna...

101 Engineer: Make antenna just a few more feet longer and Boom! Tallest building in the world! 

But seriously, I am proud of Petronas Twin Towers as it held the world's tallest building for 10 years!
6 years later...

Burj engineer: Almost tallest. Almost. Add few more storeys
Burj constructor: 10 more storeys enough?
Burj engineer: Nonono
Burj constructor: 20 more storeys enough? 
Burj engineer: Nonono
Burj constructor: 30?! It'll swing boss. Sandstorm somore...
Burj engineer: Nonono
Burj constructor: (sweat) OK, final 50 storeys more and bonus I give you 10 more storeys.. no more
Burj engineer: Hmm...
Burj constructor: (sweat)
Burj engineer: Hmm... (place a call)
Burj constructor: (sweat)
Burj engineer: (Hang up call). OK deal! Burj Khalifa 160 storeys tall! 
Burj constructor: (fainted)
Burj engineer: Someone wake him up. Give him some asafoetida
Burj constructor: (woke up) Who farted?
Burj engineer: I was not finished. 160 storeys and make the antenna 10 times longer than 101! Muahahahaha!

We paid and waited for our number to be called just to wait in line with a long queue of visitors. The typical picture moment with the 101 background. Look Ma, I am flying in front of the 101 tower. We took the high speed elevator. Also famed for world's fastest elevator ascending at 55.22 ft/s. An intergalactic music (supposed to calm us) accompanied us to the top at a mind blowing speed. In 45 seconds, we reached the 88th floor.


The cute Damper baby mascot. But don't judge the damper baby's cute expressions. It's the thing that stabilizes 101 tower from strong winds and earthquakes. The other day, I was amazed to see one of the video posted up about the damper in action. There was an earth quake nearby and the damper actually moves around to stabilize the tower. 

It even has it's biodata. How cute.

Taipei's nigh view. Love the lights but it's harder to see the view at night. Thankfully we have the (night) audio tour guides to explain the various spots we saw. 

It was raining pretty heavily while we were up there. To our dismay, the outside observation deck was closed until the weather improves. Noo.....So we waited and waited and tried to plead to the guard but he insisted that the weather has not improved and thus, we are not allowed to go outside. Bummer :(

Disappointed, we finally descended to check out the mall and feast our eyes with the wonders of window shopping. All sadness disappeared in an instance.

A nerd was seen walking back and forth this piece trying to catch the 3D effects of the picture. Guess who's the nerd?

After wondering around shops that we don't even know how to pronounce their name, I came across this cute Bao...Then I remembered, we haven't had our dinner. 

We headed to the lower ground floor to find some grubs...

Even the food court were beautifully decorated

Then I found my poison. Back then, Chatime is very famous back home. Before I depart to Taiwan, I pledged to find Chatime in Taiwan where it originates. Here it is. It's a dollar cheaper and tasted so much better in Taiwan. Not sure if it's because I was on vacation that everything tasted better? Hehe...

Apart from Chatime, there are so many other bubble tea shops in Taiwan. Countless and they all tasted as good or maybe better. Chatime is just one of the many and is often drowned by its many competitors.

We shopped till the last minute. It's funny shopping here thinking about all the Jason friends I have. They must be pleased.

Outside again waiting for our bus ride to the train station. It's drizzling and cold. Looking around 101, there are so many outdoor shops around. Time, please stop moving so fast...

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