China 2011: Day 2 Night
After a snack (can't really call it lunch) we decided to go do the tour of Tapei 101 ourselves. It's supposed to be the second tallest building in the world.
Let me just state for the record here that the main metro station in Taipei is a pain and a half to navigate. It's not only the hub junction of all three metro lines, but it also connects to the Taipei train station, and overlaps with both a major bus stop and an underground market covering several city blocks sprawling both east-west and north-south. Not only that, the areas are apparently discontiguous, and require going up and down into other sections (such as the market) to get to another part of somewhere else (like another metro line). And the maps in the place are useless for anything but giving you a rough direction of where to face.
Anyway, we made it to the 101 building. Bought tickets to go up to the observatory deck (floor 88), and were told the line was 45 mins. Shyeah... So we headed down to get dinner first. There I came across an interesting store that was selling pizza in a cone. Basically, they make pizza crust into the shape of the usual ice-cream waffle cone shape. Then they stuff in the toppings (cheese, tomato sauce, the pizza toppings of your choice. Then bake and serve. It was cute, and I think it also results in more toppings than crust compared to normal style pizza. Given how stingy most pizza places in the US are about toppings, I doubt the same thing will ever come overseas. Especially not at their low low price (NT$90 = ~$3 in case you wondered).
After eating, we went up to the observation deck and took pictures. The buildings in Taiwan might not have been as eyecatching from the street as buildings in Shanghai. But from a bird's eye view, it was apparent that they've got some very interesting architecture pieces too. We also stayed up for sunset, so that we could get some shots of the nightlight. I'm not sure how that'll come out, since digital camera...or at least my digital camera/technique isn't that great on LED lights at night.
On the way down, we passed by an exhibit on coral and jade carvings (modern works of art). They've got some really pretty stuff and I ended up taking probably as many photos if not more as of the observatory.
Then, after anothe struggle to navigate our way back to the hotel, we're finally done with Taipei. Tomorrow we start heading south.
(BTW, I just realized that it's not just the ceilings everywhere that's made for Chinese-sized (height) people. The bathrooms are biased too. The tub here just about fits someone of my size. Which means those six-foot-something foreigners are not only going to be walking through a lot of areas bent over, but they'll probably be unable to cram themselves in for a normal bath. Thank goodness for showers, eh? :P)