A Travellerspoint blog

Hua Hin Part 2

Hua Hin is a well known beach retreat resort town south of Bangkok, which is also being the home to the Klai Kangwon Summer Palace which is the residence of the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the reigning King of Kingdom of Thailand. Other than being the most important residence to the Thai King, Hua Hin is very well known for its distinctive railways station which still maintained its traditional old wooden building structure with the iconic red and yellow colour paint that covered the train station entire blocks. I have shared this in my previous blog on Hua Hin and for this time, I would like to focus on some other interesting sights that Hua Hin has to offer. Over the years, Hua Hin has gained increasing attention from travellers to Thailand who sought a close getaways from the busy and hectic Bangkok city. Bangkok residents just like the tourists also seek to get some quiet retreat from the city that never sleeps to have some relaxation during the holiday season or just a short weekend vacation. Hua Hin was the answer for some of these alternative holiday seekers be it local or foreigners. So much developments have been taken place in this resort town as the surging holidaymakers flocked into Hua Hin mainly with the developments of interesting water parks that suits the family group of vacations. Hua Hin is doing very well in creating a decent family holiday destination, so much so that this is one of the most sought after vacation spot by those who really wanted a genuine relaxing family, independent or couple holiday.

Other than the beach and water parks, Hua Hin being a royal town has its other palace which the city can be proud of, known as the Maruekhathaiyawan Palace built during the reign of King Rama VI or King Vajiravudh period. As Hua Hin is a royal town of the King Bhumibol or King Rama IX, a visit to Hua Hin would not be complete without a tour to Maruekhathaiyawan Palace. The palace building is extraordinary which is not built in the form of the majestic building that stands on the land but it was being constructed as a long stretch of building structure above ground (similar to long house structure) which have multiple pillars to support the several main halls, offices, rooms and bathrooms on the entire palace structures. Each of these functions of main buildings which developed or designed in cluster form were being connected through the walkways which is of the same level as the cluster of the rooms of each main building. Just as each main buildings, the walkways were supported with the multiple pillars. There was a large open garden fronting the whole palace structure and a long walkways that leads to the Hua Hin beach area. Lush trees were also covering the surrounding of the palace boundary. The Maruekhataiyawan Palace were built by wood planks and the management of the palace limits the number of persons who can access to the palace building at any one time due to safety reasons. At time of visit, it was undergoing some renovations to improve the structure of the palace.

THE MARUEKHATHAIYAWAN PALACE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

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Rajabhakti Park is the latest attractions in Hua Hin. This is a massive open space park featuring monument structures of 7 of the past rulers of Siam (ancient name of Thailand) which main objective was to pay tributes to these kings for their contributions in ruling Thailand and shaping the country into what it is today in this modern era period. The Kings' monuments constructed at the Rajabhakti Park are King Ramkhamhaeng, King Naresuan, King Narai, King Taksin, King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn. The park was impressive with the decoration of the past Great Thai Kings and most visitors seen gathering for small group photos, selfie or simply admiring the bronze statues of the Kings.

THE STATUES OF 7 OF THE GREAT KINGS OF THAILAND @ RAJABHAKTI PARK

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King Ramkhamhaeng

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King Naresuan

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King Narai

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King Taksin

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King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke

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King Mongkut

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King Chulalongkorn

Another attractions that Hua Hin offers visitors yet another spectacular sights is the Wat Huay Mongkol. This temple brought visitors to view the gigantic Luang Phu Thuad's struture as well as to offer prayers to the sacred Thai monk, Luang Phu Thuad. The late Luang Phu Thuad was one of the most sacred monk known in Thailand because he was said to possessed certain magical power which include turning salty water from the sea into fresh drinking water. The Luang Phu Thuad massive structure were placed on the higher level with a staircase leading to the base of the structure. In the front of the structure is where visitors could perform prayers. On the ground of the Luang Phu Thuad's structure were 2 elephant structures with the sculpture of Luang Phu Thuad riding on each of the elephant structure. Visitors could be seen offering prayers at these elephant structures by going around them. Another structures seen at Wat Huay Mongkol was the King Taksin sculptures with the symbolic ancient Thai King riding on a horse. On the front of the King Taksin monument, it was being surrounded by the cocks sculptures which come in various sizes. These cock sculptures were being placed around King Taksin structure because he was said to love cock fighting competitions during his life.

WAT HUAY MONGKOL

The statues of Luang Phu Thuad

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The elephant structure at Wat Huay Mongkol

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King Taksin monument and the cock sculptures

Khao Takiab is now gaining strength in being a popular beach spot in Hua Hin. This stretch of Hua Hin beach has a very wide beach area which offer beach goers the best spot for sunbathing, beach sports or simply just for leisure activities such as horse riding and picnics. There was a temple located on the edge of Khao Takiab. The main temple buildling of Wat Khao Takiab (Khao Takiab Temple) was located on the peak of Khao Takiab Hill. From Khao Takiab beach, a large Golden Buddha could be seen on the base of Khao Takiab temple. It can be quite a challenge to get to the peak of Wat Khao Takiab as there were a strenuous level of staircase that leads to Wat Khao Takiab. However, the effort will definitely be rewarding with the stunning and marvellous bird eye view of Khao Takiab beach, which reminds me of Gold Coast in Australia with some blocks of high rise buildings on the backdrop of the beach. Midway to the peak of Wat Khao Takiab, there was a small pathways that leads to a small cave which has a Golden Buddha sculpture placed inside it. Khao Takiab also offers the best spot for fresh seafood choices with range of such establishments available. Seafood lovers could choose varieties of fresh seafood from these seafood restaurants, have them grilled and packed for take-away or simply for dining-in.

KHAO TAKIAB BEACH
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Horse riding at Khao Takiab beach

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Entrance to Wat Khao Takiab

THE STUNNING VIEW OF KHAO TAKIAB BEACH FROM WAT KHAO TAKIAB
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The Golden Buddha statue at Wat Khao Takiab

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The staircase leading to Wat Khao Takiab

THE SMALL CAVE WITH THE BUDDHA STATUE MIDWAY TO THE MAIN WAT KHAO TAKIAB
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SEAFOOD AT KHAO TAKIAB BEACH
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Cicada Market offers alternative to the regular Hua Hin night market . Cicada Market opens only from Friday to Sunday and the theme for this weekend night market focus on promoting creativity of Thai people in design, arts and other extraordinary skills. Items available at Cicada market such as souvenirs, garments, toys, footwear, daily essential items and accessories, consumer goods and entertainment mainly derived from the art and design creativity theme. There were also food kiosks section for the market goers with variety choices of food available. Entertainment activities at Cicada Market include band performance, dancing and display of arty skills.

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ITEMS AVAILABLE AT CICADA MARKET

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Performance at Cicada Market

Posted by kidd27 12:11 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Mimosa: The City of Colours (Love)

semi-overcast 34 °C

Mimosa as searched over Google on what it means interpreted it as another name for silk tree or an Australian acacia tree with fernlike leaves and yellow flowers used by florists. What about the Mimosa in Pattaya city, Chon Buri province in Thailand? Is it really a city within a city that is designated for those in search of love or would it be a city that was filled with a community that is ever loving with each other between families, relatives and friends? Mimosa: The City of Love is yet another few exclusive tourists establishment set up by the owner who themed this unique attractions in Pattaya with artistic and creative design and architectures of buildings to create an European feel to the whole atmosphere within the establishments. How this would have been associated with love? Well, from what I could observed, it probably came from the idea that couples tying the knots and would want to have a pre-wedding memorial photography (popular among the Asians), could indeed come over to Mimosa for such photography sessions due to the colourful, traditional European style buildings and interesting surroundings and nice landscapes which would fit in well for those in search of perfection and creativity. Apart from the fancy traditional old European buildings which operate as retail shops dealing in souvenirs, consumer items, restaurants, cafes, bistros, gift items and etc, Mimosa was also a place where visitors are being entertained with the ladyboy show popular and specifically and distinctive to Pattaya with its infamous Alcazar and Tiffany show featuring the grand, fanciful and colourful ladyboy dance show and performance. The idea of such show which involved transvestite (ladyboy is a term used to define transgender in Thailand) was noble because it actually being created by the owner of these show and performance business to help the transgender in Thailand to earn a living in a good way instead of the wrong directions, which at the end of the day may caused further setback to the life of these transgenders. These ladyboys were so beautiful and pretty with perfect skin textures which can be very fair and smooth and they look exactly like a real women if not for their voices which would eventually expose their true identity. These ladyboy cabaret shows feature mainly a key lead singer singing hit songs of the heydays flanked by "her" dancers or a key dancer flanked by other side dancers or some short singing by a leading character accompanied by "her" funny acts creating laughter from the crowds. The ladyboy show at Mimosa, Pattaya was simple yet elegant with the nicely decorated stage. One that really caught the audience attention was the woman's face covered with mask that was so outstanding and bizarre. It was a very humble cabaret show outlet and though can never be compared to those at Alcazar and Tiffany in size and level of decorations, has nevertheless be created a decent and interesting entertainment show as good as that of the other 2 grander shows. The one very funny performance which audience get to experience on the day when I visited was a ladyboy who came out with her super belly to create a pregnant woman character who did a talk singing (sprechgesang). As "she" play out her singing, she walked to one of the crowd calling out "papa" multiple times, hugged him and kissing him causing much laughter to the crowd. The "belly" eventually burst as it was actually a balloon stuffed between "her" stomach and the dress worn. There were also instances where the lead singer at the end of "her" performance would say "thank you" to the crowd on purpose to expose "her" real identity much to the laughter from the crowd. At the end of the show, the audience could have photography sessions with these ladyboys if they wish to. Overall, it was quite an entertaining show and a good experience for those who seek for some kind of distinguished activity while on holiday in Pattaya. Another activity that one can indulge in apart from admiring the beautiful architectures and nice landscapes and cabaret show entertainment at Mimosa was the art room where there were several great drawings depicting characters such as Albert Einstein, Bruce Lee, Elvis Presley where visitors can snap photos to reflect that one being seen as involved in acts together with each of the characters ie fighting with Bruce Lee or swinging on the swing while Elvis playing the guitar. You can also get into ice skating action complete with a made-up snow filled mountain with you pretend to be holding the ski pole or pretend to be somewhere at historical city of Ayutthaya, Thailand snapping photographs with the amazing chedi and gigantic Buddha sculptures and the surrounding landscapes or even pretend to sit next to a Harley Davidson bike. Mimosa: The City of Love is located at South Pattaya away from the hustle and bustle of the busy and hectic Pattaya commercial and tourist centre. This is the place to find some peace and little entertainment far from the notorious Pattaya tourist paradise at north and centre of the city,

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A decorative structures of a European man and woman @ Mimosa, Pattaya

THE EUROPEAN STYLE ARCHITECTURES AND DESIGN BUILDINGS AND ITS SURROUNDING LANDSCAPES @ MIMOSA, PATTAYA
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THE LADYBOY CABARET SHOW @ MIMOSA WITH EACH OF THE PERFORMERS CAPTIVATING THE ATTENTION FROM THE FLOORS AND THE OUTSTANDING STAGE DECORATION
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THE ART ROOM @ MIMOSA WHERE VISITORS COULD PRETEND TO BE LIVE AT THE SCENES SUCH AS THIS ONE WHERE YOU COULD SNAP PHOTOS AS IF YOU WERE AT HISTORICAL CITY OF AYUTTHAYA PROVINCE, THAILAND
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THE AWESOME STRUCTURES @ MIMOSA, PATTAYA & ITS MARVELLOUS SURROUNDING LANDSCAPES
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Posted by kidd27 21:10 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Taipei City Adventure

Taipei Botanical Garden & National Museum of History

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Strolling along the Taipei Botanical Garden on the early morning was so refreshing because this garden was filled not only with tall trees but also has such a diverse ecological system where you can find ponds, aquatic plants, flowers, bamboo garden and other interesting nature wonders all came together in this unique garden. The most convenient way to get here would be through the Taipei Metro getting down at the Xiaonanmen station. Taipei Botanical Garden was created during the Japanese colonisation period in Taiwan was first being a nursery known as Taipei Nursery and later being enlarged and renamed as Taipei Botanical Garden and was the first botanical garden in Taiwan. Taipei Botanical Garden was formerly a site an ancient city in which main activities during the historic era centred around here. Apart from the natural plants and ponds that were unique to Taipei Botanical Garden, another major attraction at this garden was the Bu-Cheng-Shih-Sz Museum. This museum was formerly a provincial administration hall when Taiwan was under the rule of China during Qing Dynasty, where Taiwan was a former province of China. Other than functioning as a provincial administration centre, it also served as guest house to government officials during their visit to Taiwan.

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Exit information at Xiaonanmen Taipei Metro Station to get to Taipei Botanical Garden

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The entrance to Taipei Botanical Garden

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The trees lined the walkways of Taipei Botanical Garden

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Taipei Botanical Garden was filled with many plants and trees

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Palm trees seen at this section of Taipei Botanical Garden

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Purpose-built walkway bridge for visitors to stroll within the lush trees at Taipei Botanical Garden

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Fern garden at Taipei Botanical Garden

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The lotus pond at Taipei Botanical Garden

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Visitors to Taipei Botanical Garden could sit and relax while reading books

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Many pathways were filled with trees at Taipei Botanical Garden

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The entrance to Bu-Cheng-Shih-Sz Museum

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The main entrance gate to Bu-Cheng-Shih-Sz Museum

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The main hall of Bu-Cheng-Shih-Sz Museum seen from the main entrance

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The main hall of Bu-Cheng-Shih-Sz Museum

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Flanked by left and right hall

THE INTERIOR OF THE MAIN HALL OF BU-CHENG-SHIH-SZ HALL AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
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THE MAIN BUILDING OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HISTORY WHICH DISPLAY ARTEFACTS AND RELICS FROM CHINA. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE.
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The National Museum of History seen from the Taipei Botanical Garden
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Posted by kidd27 00:32 Archived in Taiwan Comments (0)

Taipei City Adventure

National Palace Museum & Jingmei

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The National Palace Museum in Taipei should not be mistaken as a royal palace building turned into a palace museum for visitors both locals and international tourists admirations and learning experience. This version of palace museum was in fact a museum which displays the artefacts from Beijing under the administration of Kuomintang. As Kuomintang was losing its influence in Beijing, its leader, Chiang Kai Shek was worried that these invaluable artefacts would fall in the hands of the communists rule. To avoid such precious artefacts from being taken away by the communists regime, Chiang Kai Shek who escaped to Taiwan after the defeat of Kuomintang to the communists took together with him these artefacts in which they are now being kept here at the National Palace Museum today as an education centre on Chinese treasures dated during the several dynasties in China . I did not actually entered the exhibition halls to check out those artefacts not that I was not interested with such great items but perhaps I was not a big fan of it either, so I decided to give it a skip. But taking a tour around the museum's sizeable territory can be very interesting by itself. The museum building was being designed and built to match its name "National Palace Museum" where the architecture and layout of the building resembled the royal palace at the Forbidden City in Beijing albeit a smaller version in comparison with the one in China. I enjoy taking a slow tour just to experience such nice buildings in particular those that were rich in history and great stories. Though the National Palace Museum in Taipei was not exactly a palace building that came with it historic values, the fact that it was modelled over the Forbidden City palace was enough to gain my attention to its beautiful architecture. Its not difficult to get to National Palace Museum. First, take the Taipei Metro to Shilin Station. Exit the station at Exit 1 and walk straight until reaching the main road before turning right where there was a bus stop for bus to the museum with bus number 304 or 255.

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The exit information at the Taipei Metro Shilin Station

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Exit 1 at Shilin Station and walk straight before turning right to board a bus to National Palace Museum

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Inside the bus to National Palace Museum from Taipei Metro Shilin Station

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The staircase to the main arch of National Palace Museum

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A directory map of National Palace Museum

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The main arch of the National Palace Museum

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The main exhibition hall of National Palace Museum from afar

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The National Palace Museum was surrounded with lush greeneries with beautiful green hills background

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One of the outdoor decorations at National Palace Museum

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The wide and long walkways leading to the main exhibition hall @ National Palace Museum

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The staircase leading up to the main exhibition hall @ National Palace Museum

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A view from the higher level at the main exhibition hall area @ National Palace Museum

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The administration building and Exhibition Hall 2 @ National Palace Museum

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Another view of the administration building and Exhibition Hall 2 @ National Palace Museum

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A view from the main exhibition hall area @ National Palace Museum

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The main exhibition hall of National Palace Museum

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The concourse at the main exhibition hall area @ National Palace Museum

THE MAIN EXHIBITION HALL BUILDING @ NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
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The lush greeneries surrounding the side walkways @ National Palace Museum

From National Palace Museum, I took a short trip to Jingmei, a small town which was not exactly a tourist spot and accessible by Taipei Metro Jingmei Station. There was nothing much to do here but just a stop for a visit to Jingmei Jiying Temple, a noodle lunch trip, sample Taiwanese pancakes and bubble tea and a stroll along the Jingmei fresh market. Jingmei was located within the Wenshan District, an area which was covered by massive tea plantations.

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Arriving at Jingmei through Taipei Metro

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Jingmei fresh market

JINGMEI JIYING TEMPLE
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Enjoying Taiwanese pancake in Jingmei

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A bowl of hot noodle in Jingmei for lunch

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The clean and organised Jingmei in Wenshan District

Posted by kidd27 10:28 Archived in Taiwan Comments (0)

Taipei City Adventure

Taipei 101 & Xingtian Temple

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Mentioned 101 and you will never be wrong in associating this to the world's tallest tower until 2004 when it was replaced by Burj Khalifa of Dubai in 2010. As with the other tallest towers in other parts of the world, Taipei 101 is situated within the financial district of Xinyi, in which it also housed the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation. The tower was originally named Taipei World Financial Centre which was then changed to Taipei 101. It has 101 floors above ground and 5 floors below ground. Due to frequent earthquake and typhoons incidents that hit Taipei, the tower was designed to weather such natural disasters. Apart from the Taipei 101 Mall that occupied the Taipei 101, which was also the tower's largest tenant, there were numerous multinational companies that tenanted Taipei 101 including financial institutions, wealth management companies, lifestyle and fashion corporations, corporate advisories and management companies as well as cafes and restaurants. Taipei 101 also claimed the Guinness World Record for its fastest passenger elevator from ground floor to the 89th floor which was where the tower's Indoor Observatory Deck was located. There was also an Outdoor Observatory Deck located two floors above the indoor ones on 91st Floor. The observatory decks allow for a 360 degree views with large glass panels as well as providing hand-held recorded voice tours device complete with microphones. Taipei 101 was designed to withstand the strong typhoon winds and earthquakes with the placement of a 660 -tonne steel pendulum which was round in shape and gold in colour suspended between 92nd and 87th floor. This steel pendulum would offset any movements that caused by strong winds. Taipei 101 was built with 101 floors symbolising the beginning of the new year of January 1st 1-01 and also going beyond 100 percent in tasks to be accomplished.

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Its easy and convenient getting to Taipei 101 with Taipei Metro

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Taipei 101 after exiting Taipei Metro station

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An outdoor decoration near one of the Taipei 101 entrance

TAIPEI 101 MALL
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The ticketing counter to access the observatory deck located on 5th floor of Taipei 101

SOME OF THE INTERESTING WALL DECORATION AT THE TICKETING COUNTER on 5th FLOOR OF TAIPEI 101
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The Taipei 101 observatory deck ticketing counter

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A souvenir shop at Taipei 101 observatory deck ticketing floor

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Souvenirs available at the Taipei 101 ticketing floor

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Visitors queuing up to board the fastest elevator from the ticketing floor to the observatory deck on 89th floor of Taipei 101

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Marketplace, a popular supermarket in Taipei 101

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Spacious and comfortable food court at Taipei 101

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Having lunch at Taipei 101 food court

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Taipei 101 Mall Christmas decorations

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The entrance to Taipei 101 Observatory Deck ticketing floor

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Ticket for entrance to Taipei 101 Observatory Deck @ NTD500

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It took only 37 seconds to reached 89 Floor of Taipei 101

SOME GREAT TAIPEI CITY VIEWS AND INFORMATIONS ON DISPLAY ON 89 FLOOR OF THE OBSERVATORY DECK @ TAIPEI 101
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The steel pendulum which act to stabilised the Taipei 101 tower from strong winds

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Xintian Temple is not just any ordinary temple in Taipei city. There was an underground pedestrian tunnel which was connected to Xingtian Temple and what made this temple distinctive was that the underground walkways was lined with a row of fortune tellers eagerly waiting for customers. The temple was built in honour of Guan Gong, a former army general during AD 162-219 who emphasised loyalty and righteousness during his life. Xingtian Temple of Xingtien Gong was easily accessible with Taipei Metro alighting at the Xingtian Temple Station.

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The entrance to Xingtian Temple

The grand entrance to main hall of Xingtian Temple
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The main hall of Xingtian Temple

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The red doors of the grand entrance to Xingtian Temple

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The praying hall @ Xingtian Temple

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The side halls @ Xingtian Temple

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XINGTIAN TEMPLE GRAND ENTRANCE GATE AT NIGHT

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The underground pedestrian tunnel at Xingtian Temple

SOME OF THE FORTUNE TELLERS AT XINGTIAN TEMPLE
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Queuing up under the rain near Xingtian Temple

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For this Taiwan mochi

Posted by kidd27 19:57 Archived in Taiwan Comments (0)

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