Growing up in Ireland, you don’t learn much if anything about Asia. I think the first I heard of Taiwan and its capital, Taipei, was a documentary on the Discovery Channel about Taipei 101. At the time it must have been the world’s tallest building – I was only a kid.
It stuck in my mind for some reason. Dublin doesn’t have any skyscrapers. I’m serious, the tallest building is 15 stories and it was only completed in 2010. Probably long after that documentary, considering that Taipei 101 opened in 2004. Anyway, you can imagine after my years of fascination that it was quite a surreal experience to finally stand in front of what is now the 8th tallest building in the world.
I was told that you could see the Taipei 101 building from anywhere in the city, and it’s true to some extent – we could see it from our hotel room despite being nearly an hour’s walk away. However, you can’t see it from the ground in most places as other (albeit significantly shorter) buildings block your view. We hadn’t checked into our hotel when we went for the long walk to the financial district where Taipei 101 is located.