Posts Tagged With: Republic of China

Taipei unplugged: highlights of my stay in the Taiwanese capital

small Taiwan mapMy introduction to Taipei in late May to early June of 2016 was memorable in part because I sang in a karaoke taxi in that city — thereby making Taiwan the 41st country on my World Karaoke Tour. But I wasn’t only there to sing. A city of some 2.7 million inhabitants — the capital and largest city of the island nation of Taiwan — beckoned me to explore it!

My sojourn in Taipei came in the midst of a vacation during which I checked off two bucket list items (the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Army in the Chinese city of Xi’an), and which culminated in my tour of North Korea, a country rarely visited by Westerners. It would have been easy for Taipei to be overshadowed by such high-profile destinations. Nevertheless, Taipei left just as much of an impression on me as any of my other stops in East Asia this past spring. Moreover, as you’ll see, my visit to Taipei lasted slightly longer than planned, although the circumstances that extended my time on Taiwanese soil weren’t necessarily a positive highlight. 🙂

Taipei 101: a skyscraper like no other

As an architecture geek who’s enamoured of supertall skyscrapers (“supertall” being a classification that applies to edifices at least 300 metres, or 984 feet, in height), one attraction that I particularly looked forward to checking out while in town was the Taipei 101 building. Indeed, I even chose a hotel across the street from it. Taipei 101 didn’t let me down.

Getting to know the building

Opened to the public on the last day of 2004, Taipei 101 stands 1,474 feet tall at its roof, and 1,671 feet tall at the tip of its spire. From the time of its completion until 2009, it was the tallest building in the world; that title was wrested from it by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which I’ll be seeing in person in early 2017. 🙂 As for Taipei 101, its distinctive profile has been likened to a series of Chinese food takeaway boxes, piled one on top of another; it’s also evocative of multiple levels of that most traditional of Asian architectural genres, the pagoda. Further contributing to its unique appearance is its green hue. Incidentally, its name derives rather prosaically from the fact that it rises 101 floors above ground. (It also has five subterranean levels, which house a parking garage.)

My very first first daytime activity after arriving in Taipei was an ascension to Taipei 101’s observatories. It boasts indoor observation decks on the 88th and 89th floors, and an outdoor observation platform on the 91st floor. That outdoor observatory encircles the building at an altitude of 1,285 feet — the second-highest alfresco viewing platform of any skyscraper in the world. Continue reading

Categories: Asia, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

H-Bomb on TV overseas

The World Karaoke Tour is premised on me bringing my karaoke performances to the world in person. But lately I’ve gained exposure in some farwaway lands without having to leave the United States.


As you may know, back in January I was interviewed by a Taiwanese television station, TVBS, while riding (and singing) in the karaoke cab in northern Virginia (And if you didn’t know about this, well, shame on you for not keeping up with my blog). 🙂 It seems that the news story for which I was interviewed was televised at some point. Here you can find a written story that the station’s website posted about the karaoke cab, which apparently accompanied the broadcast of the story. You may not get very far in that article if you don’t read Mandarin Chinese; but on the left is a screen shot from the article, in which you can see me singing in the karaoke taxi. I don’t know what the text in the article says about me, but I assume it’s something good. 🙂 Anyway, I’m still following up to try to obtain a video of the televised news story.

UPDATE (July 13, 2012): I spoke today with the Washington bureau chief of TVBS. She advised that it’s not possible for me to obtain a copy of the video. She did not provide an explanation (she also said that the video is not viewable online). Oh well, I tried . . .

The Philippines

The karaoke cabbie, Joel Laguidao, hails from the Philippines — no surprise, as karaoke is huge in that archipelagic nation. Recently, a Filipino news program interviewed Mr. Laguidao. Here’s a segment that includes that interview. From 1:17 to 1:28, you can see stock footage of a familiar person singing in the back seat of that taxi. 🙂

You may feel like you’ve seen that stock footage somewhere before; if so, that’s because it came from my first appearance in Mr. Laguidao’s karaoke cab, back in November 2011.

The Philippines and Taiwan are both on my radar screen as future checkpoints on the World Karaoke Tour; and when I get to those places, my reputation will have preceded me!

Categories: Asia, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: