To conclude with this blog, i wan't to speak about a mystery around the tallest building in Tawain the 101 tower.
When it comes to talking about tall buildings, for me a perfectly natural question is an enquiry as to what sits at the top of said tallest buildings
Taipei 101 is arguably Taiwan’s most well-known global tourist marker and definitely ranks up there in terms of tourist visits island-wide.
Yet whilst much is known about the buildings layout and it’s office space between the ground floor shopping mall and outdoor observation deck on the 91st floor – virtually nothing is known about what sits above the observation deck.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
The 101st floor is home to a private VIP club named Summit 101, according to the observatory brochure. No information about this club has ever been made public.
The 101st floor is also divided into three levels: 101F (lower), 101MF (mezzanine) and 101RF (roof). It is not known what is actually on these levels, or whether the VIP club actually exists, except that 101RF provides access to the 60-metre tall spire, which has 24 levels (numbered R1 through R24) that can only be accessed via ladder.
The 92nd through 100th floors are officially designated as communication floors, although it’s unknown if there are any radio or TV stations currently broadcasting from the top of Taipei 101.
The 91st floor observatory is the highest floor that is open to the public , but unlike the leased/private floors from 7~90F, there is no sign of even a visible access point to the topmost floors on Level 91.
The top 10 floors have never been mentioned anywhere outside of the observatory brochure.
Here’s a Taipei 101 map sourced from Flickr member SkylineGTR that clearly shows the hidden elevator exists to access the above floors:
The explanation that floors 92-100 are ‘communication floors’ I guess are acceptable, but what’s with no information about who is up there broadcasting or in what capacity??
This from a country whose media love to expose any scandal they can find, no matter how trivial, by barging into people’s private lives armed with a dozen news cameras…
But getting back to 101… as far as I can tell the only recorded existence of this place comes from a fireworks engineer who was part of the team that put on the 2011 NYE Taipei 101 fireworks.
A taiwainese bloger, writes
Later on in the day I finally got an excuse to head up to the top of the building, Floor 101RF – even higher than the observation deck the general public has access to.
The only place you can view that is higher is the top of the spire, but at this point the height difference isn’t so much greater that the view could be considered any better IMO, so I was content with just getting up to 101.
An other one asked,
Just curious…what are floors 92-101R actually used for? When I first visited the observatory in 2005, the brochure said that there was a private VIP club named “Summit 101″ on the top floor.
The 2010 brochure removed any mention of this private club, and floors 92-101 have become “communication floors.” Are there really radio/TV stations broadcasting from up there?
What became of the VIP club?
And the previous bloger replied,
Well I can confirm the club is still there, I had some VIPs ride up in the elevator with me as I was traveling towards the top on New Years Eve.
When the doors opened I could see a club room. I’m sure there are broadcasting equipment in the higher floors, that makes sense.
Unfortunately I never had time to really explore much so that’s really all I know
And that , apart from a brochure no longer in print (which I was not able to track down a photo of), is the only recorded evidence to date that Summit 101 club even exists.
But, last week, i saw Rebar Housing real estate agents (English) mention this on their website:
outside the 101 building designed for VIP meeting room rental.
They don’t mention who you rent this ‘meeting room’ from though (the building’s owners?).
Apart from the bloger limited experience above, there appears to be no written information about the Summit 101 club in English anywhere.
Seriously, every year thousands of people must visit Taipei 101 and each new years eve nearly a million people in person (and who knows how many more else on TV) flock to Taipei’s Xinyi District to stare directly at the top of Taipei 101… yet nobody knows what’s up there or has thought to ask?
How do you keep a secret club secret when it’s situated at the top of the tallest building, which is in the capital city of one of the world’s most densely populated countries for nearly a decade?!
Come on guys, somebody has to know just what is up there!
But finally, the mystery of what is up on Taipei 101’s 101st floor has been solved. Whether or not it’s called Summit 101 or not I don’t know, but the building’s management have decided to open up the 101st floor (which indeed is a club) to shoppers who spend $30,000+ USD in a day at the 101 mall.
In the past the space was used to entertain visiting Presidents and “important foreign visitors” to Taiwan.
Firstable, if you wan't to know the geopolitics of a country, let me introduce you to Taiwain with the geography, demography and the history of this beautiful country.
Distance from the Chinese mainland, 150 km.
The tropic of cancer runs through Taiwan, with subtropical climate in the North and tropical climate in the South. 60% of the area is covered by the Central Mountain Range (highest peak is Yushan 3.997 m). Only scarce mineral resources.
Population of about 23 million (7 million in Taipei city), more than 70% originate from Fujian (simply "Taiwanese"). 10% originate from Guangdong (South of China ). 2% aborigines. 15% mainland refugees and their offspring.
Originally inhabited by aboriginal people of Malay-Polynesian descent, Taiwan has been under the control of numerous different nations over the years
Let me explain you the history of Taiwain with the 4 major dates of is history.
1624 – The Dutch, observing no signs of Chinese imperial rule, gain control of Taiwan and establish a colony with some settlements and forts. With the Dutch come Chinese laborers who eventually settle and marry aboriginal wives.
1662 – Cheng Cheng-Kung from the Ming Dynasty in Taiwain, better known as Koxinga, ousts the Dutch out of Taiwan and vows to reinstate the Ming Dynasty in Mainland China. The ensuing period, is one of a corrupt Chinese government and of rebellions, leading to the phrase “Every three years an uprising, every five years a rebellion”
Koxinga, Emperor (Dynasty Ming, Taiwain)
1895 – China cedes Taiwan to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki following the Sino-Japanese War. The Taiwanese initially oppose Japanese rule and declare themselves an independent republic; however, the Japanese military easily puts down the rebellion. Japanese rule is harsh, but not corrupt. Treating Taiwan almost like a province, Japan builds a strong educational system that teaches all Taiwanese students the Japanese language, while also improving infrastructure, trains, roads, and industry.
N.B: That explain why taiwainese people are so respectful,polite and rigorous. It's also the safest country in the world.
Treaty of Shimonoseki
1945 – After being defeated during World War Two, Japan leave the control of Taiwan. China places Taiwan temporarily under the control of Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist party. When the Communists take control of mainland China, the Nationalists flee to Taiwan and the “temporary” control becomes permanent.
TAIWAIN GEOPOLITICS TODAY
Official designation: "Republic of China", capital: Taipei, official language: Mandarin Chinese, currency: "New Taiwan Dollar" (NT$).
President: CHEN Shuibian Prime Minister: YÜ Shyi-kun.
Ruling party: DPP ("Democratic Progressive Party": "Minzhu Jinbu Dang")
Main opposition party: Kuomintang (KMT, ie "National People's Party")
After these many influences suffered in recent years. Taiwain has a very complex geopolitical situation.
Firstable, relationships with China are terrible. Taiwain wants his independnace while China believes that this island belongs to them. Moreover, the ideologies of the two countries are very different. Even if since few years, China and Taiwan's relationship has improved greatly.
Also there is an other major geopilitic problem on these island; Taiwan and the UN. Taiwain is not recognize as a "country" for the United Nation. Let me tell you why;
From the 1960s onward, nations friendly to the PRC (China), especially those with communist influences, started to lobby for the PRC to occupy the China seat the UN, as part of the One-China policy, which states that countries seeking diplomatic relations with the PRC must break official relations with the ROC and vice versa. In other words, there can only be one legitimate China.
For much of that decade, the United States was able to assemble the majority votes to block resolutions intended to expel the ROC. However, as more and more newly-independent developing nations began to join the UN, the Western dominance of the General Assembly gradually weakened. On October 25, 1971, the resolution passed and the ROC was forced to abdicate its seat to the PRC. By November 23, 1971, the ROC as a political name had lost all representation in the United Nations.
Taipei is the brand new Host of the 2017 Summer Universiade !
Held every two years, the Universiade, or World University Games, is organized for university athletes by the Lausanne-based International University Sports Federation. It's kind of the Olympic Games but only for students.
The 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei will include 14 compulsory sports — athletics, swimming, diving, water polo, artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, fencing, tennis, volleyball, basketball, football, judo, table tennis and taekwondo.
Taiwain is a huge sporting nation, they really love it ! It's a part of their culture, you can find basketball or baseball court everywhere in taipei. For example, i have more than 6 basketball courts open 24/7 near my appartment. Everyone is playing, night and day. Kind of the same sports spirits of the USA. That's why they're really happy about this event. I also think that this events is great for Taiwan because it can put the light on this beautiful country which is not sufficiently recognized in the world on a political, diplomatic , and tourism point of view.
But it has triggered controversy.
The Taipei city government is recruiting 30,000 volunteers to serve at the 2017 Summer Universiade in the city. The sporting event will need the support of many volunteers because it is likely to draw 10,000 athletes from different countries, many of whom may not speak English. The volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Some people are very septic about this huge recruiting who look kind of impossible for them. They do not really trust in the capacity of organization of their country.
Also, the taiwanese government had to pay couple billions of dollars in different infrastructures planned for set this events. In particular a huge stadium in Taipei called the Taipei Dome. Taiwanese citizen are upset whith those kind of spendings.
Some of them thinks that Taiwan will not be good enough or prepared enough to welcome this kind of event. And they fear about that because they don't wan't people to have a bad or worst reputation about Taiwan because of this. Like Brasil with the world cup... And of course this events cost a lot for the taiwanese citizen.
To conclude, holding the Universiade is a major step in Taiwan's participation in the global community, and can form part of the country's soft power diplomatic strategy for example. However The Universiade cost a lot for the taiwanese citizens and they really expect a positive return on all the points seen.
The taiwainese culture and way of life is way different than ours. Let me show you some socials rituals in taiwan who are really interesting.
From a global point of view, the taiwanese life is quite different. They seem very relax and take their time to do their things. It's not a stressful city at all. They go to work from 9am to 5pm, and then they go eating (outside) very early (6-7pm) and go to sleep at 10pm.
THE BIGGEST EVENTS IN TAIWAN
Let's talk about the 2 most famous events in Taiwan.
The first one the Chinese new year eve. More a popular event than a religious event, everybody celebrate the chinese new year in Taiwan. It's based on the chinese lunar calendar and every year is assimilate to an animal, this year is the goat.
In a first place, i was thinking that the Chinese new year was a huge party with dragon, people in the street and a lot of fireworks. But when i arrived in Taipei it was the chinese new year and the city seems to be a ghost city... And for good reason, because taiwanese people celebrate the Chinese new year eve with their family member, with a big diner (kind of our christmas). They are all dressed in red and meet all their entourage during the week to celebrate. You can ear firecrackers during this events everywhere in the city, they doing this to chase a brutal beast legend called Nian who (refer to the legend) attack people during the Chinese new year.
The second one is the national day, called the double tenth day.
Every 10th of October, the Taiwanese government and the taiwanese citizen celebrate the birth of taiwan and commemorate the 1911 Wuchang uprising. They celebrate this with a huge military parade in Taipei. And then the taiwanese president make a speech in front of the military troops.
RELIGION IN TAIWAIN
Now let's talk about religion, Taiwan is a real religious melting pot. There's some Christian, Buddhist, Tacist,Taoist, and many more.
There's no big religious events in Taiwan because of this huge diversity. However, you can find a lot of beautiful temple all around the country. They are made in order to pray and also make some religious sacrifices by given some fruits. The biggest temple of the city are impressive because it's really crowded all the time. Prayers sing together and left some offerings to their different gods and also burning some stick enscens for them. Sometimes you can see taiwanese doing the same thing in front of of their shop in the street with a little religious hostel.
Longshan temple, Taipei. With prayers, and fruit presents on the left side .
Taiwanese people are very superstitious. They do a lot of little rituals to ward off the "evil spirits" that they deeply believe in.
For example, the number 4 here is considerate like a unlucky number. This may seem trivial, but in Taipei this superstition is taken very seriously. There's no number in the elevator or if there is one, nobody want's to live at this floor. They give the 4th floor appartments to foreigners ( we live on the 4th floor...) Also, when a person die in an apartment, the price is divided per 2. Because taiwanese think that the dead person spirits is still wander in the flat. And most of the time the apartment is never rented again.
Finally i wan't to speak about a really funny social ritual in the taiwainese business tradition. It's the karaoke, here it's called KTV.
KTV's are mostly based on huge buildings in Taipei. It's like booking a room in a hotel. You go arrived at the front desk ask for a KTV room, you can order drink, food and of course, sing on different songs.
In the taiwanese business culture. After signing a very important contract with your clients, you bring them tho KTV to celebrate this. It's very funny because when i arrived in a KTV in a first place i see a lot of adults with suit who look very serious it was kind of surprising. I think it's a very good idea to doing this thing for business, because you create a very good atmosphere with you're clients, it brings strong relationship that can be very useful for future businesses with them.
Partyworld KTV building, Taipei
I can't have a taiwanese blog without speaking about the 7-eleven stores.
7-11 is an international chain of convenience stores that operates primarily as an franchise. It was founded in 1927, by John Jefferson Green in Dallas,Texas. He began with a litle convenient store, selling eggs, milk and bread. Now 7-11 got franchise all over the world with 53000 locations, it employed more than 45000 people, and worth approximately 85 billion dollars.
Taiwan has the world's fith-largest number of 7 eleven convenience stores after Japan, United States, Thailand and South Korea. Since the first stored opened in 1979, 5500 new 7-11 stores opened in Taiwan.
Actually in Taiwan, the 7-11 are always opened, 24/7. An it's impressive to see how many there are. In some area you can find 7-11 like every 30 meters ! There are like a second house. Indeed in every 7-11 you will find; an ATM, coffee shop, some food, a printer, dining tables, microwave and all the little convenience you can find in a french grocery.
You can find everything you wan't at anytime you wan't in those stores. And i think there is so much 7-11 in Taiwan because of the taiwanese appartement which are really small, and not well furnished as a classic french one. In Taipei for exemple, every citizen "live in the street" they just go home to sleep. All the rest of the time they are outside. I've never speak to a taiwanese who told me that he cook at home. The consideration of their home is way different than ours, not as strong as the french people.
And that's why taiwanese people really need that kind of store to do all the things that they can't do at home. And actually, it make the 7-11 stores a really helpful and lively place.
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