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Taipe 101, Once the Tallest Building in the World

Jan 2017

The building is skinny and tall, rising above 101 floors from the ground with five basement floors below.  It used to be the tallest building in the world until 2009 when a building in Dubai got the distinction.

It also used to have the fastest elevator in the world, now overtaken by an elevator in China.  It is still pretty fast, taking tourists from the fifth floor (where you get the ticket) to the 89th floor and observatory deck in 37 seconds.

The building is only 660 feet away from a major fault line.  As you know, Taipei is an island and islands in Asia are subjected to earthquakes often.  Living with typhoons is also a norm.  To counteract those two major potential hazards, a damper is installed, and suspended, from the 92nd to the 87th floor.

It was overcast when we got to the top floor and so the view of surrounding areas was blurry.

The building itself is very upscale and the shops inside were of the same caliber.  One is almost afraid to get into these shops and browse.  It is as if you knew that the shop clerks would know that you did not belong.  Anyway, I got as close as possible through a picture.

In the same way, the basement food court was large with an almost ending selection of food that it took us a while to make a decision.  We ended up with Indian food.  The naan was especially tasty.  We did pass a Din Tai Fung branch as we were exiting the area.  The restaurant looked huge with what seemed to be hundreds of cooks making the famous xiao long baos behind a glass façade.  It turned out that there was a smaller branch of Din Tai Fung  not that far away from Taipei 101.  In fact, you can see Taipei 101 from outside the restaurant (a very blurry view because of the weather).

After taking pictures from the building, and possibly eating in the food court, there are not too many things  to do.  I would suggest adding  Dr. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall and the Songshan Cultural  & Creative Park in your sightseeing tour.  And if you like dim sum, Din Tai Fung is not far away. Also, on the same side of the street is Sunmerry, a bakery famous for their pineapple cakes.

Nelia Hostetter

Nel Hostetter was born in the Philippines and came to the United States in 1977. She spent over 20 years in the information technology field but left a management job in California in 2006 to go to culinary school in New York city. She owned Sweet Claire Bakery in downtown Bloomington for five years but moved her commercial kitchen to Spencer in 2015. She specializes in international bread and pastries and sells her baked goods at the Farmers’ Market in Bloomington. Nel’s recipes are influenced by her travels to other countries and a childhood filled with memories of food and cooking.

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