Sunday, January 01, 2012

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New Year 2012 in Taipei: Fireworks, crowds and a festive atmosphere

1/01/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Dear readers and followers of My Kafkaesque life, I wish you a happy new year! I hope you had a great new year's eve celebration. Mine was not bad. My wife and I decided to go near Taipei 101 and see the famous midnight fireworks. This was definitely an unique experience, because as you can imagine, we weren't the only ones with that idea - another 800.000 people thought the same. That's why it was very crowded. But in the end, it was worth the hassle, because the fireworks were the best and biggest I've ever seen in my life. Let me share with you some images from Taipei's East district and my own video from the Taipei 101 fireworks.

My photos (and video) from 31st December 2011 and 1st January 2012, Taipei, Taiwan:

We decided to exit at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall MRT Station Exit 5.

This is Zhongxiao East Road, it was closed for traffic.

The intersection of Zhongxiao East Road and Guangfu South Road.

The guy was holding a sign, that said free 101 hugs.

After a 5 min walk along Guangfu South Road, we reached Sun Yat-sen Memorial hall.

Because the view on Taipei 101 was very good, a lot of people reserved a spot here.

You could see groups of youngsters playing cards, eating and chatting.

This is my attempt to show the view on the crowds and Taipei 101.

We decided to walk further inside and were greeted by more crowds.

This is Songgao road.

Here was also a quite big group of people sitting on the floor and waiting.

The parts, where other buildings blocked the view on Taipei 101 were empty.

The most crowded was Songzhi road, that has the best view on Taipei 101.

We couldn't go too deep here, it was all occupied, so we returned to SYS Memorial hall.

About 15 minutes before midnight, we arrived at the public square in front of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, that was not too crowded. We found a nice spot and waited until midnight. 10 seconds before that I started to make a video. This is the result:

It was amazing to hear how several ten thousand people reacted to some parts of the fireworks with "oooh" and "aah" at the same time. It was like a choir.

Four minutes later it was over. We saw Facebook's Chinese "Like" sign on top of 101.

Around 12.10 a lot of people started to leave, which meant that it was time to go for us, unless we want to be stuck here. We swirled aroud people and took shortcuts, just to reach the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT station as soon as possible.

Once there, it was already uber crowded. We put ourselves in line and waited.

Exit 3 and 5 were letting people inside bit by bit. We had to wait 15 min.

Suddenly the let in a lot of people at once and we were able to get in.

Inside were huge crowds as well. But being on the side, we could pass through faster.

Huge crowds were filling up the small Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station.

Several empty and full trains passed by. We had to wait another 15 mins, maybe more.

All in all, we were home one and a half hours later and we live on the other side of Taipei. My wife said, that it was very well organized this year and everything went very smoothly. That's a big compliment from someone, who used to work for Taipei MRT company in the past. To sum it up: It was a great experience and I'm glad I was part of this event. In the past, I've always watched these fireworks on TV back at home in Europe. Those were the times, when Tapei 101 was still the world's tallest building and I was always wondering, how it must be to see it in real. Those were the times, when I was still young and full of dreams. Now these dreams became real and I'm not as happy as I thought I would be, when I wished they'd come true. Dreams are best, when they remain what they are - dreams.

How was your new year celebration and what do you wish for yourself in 2012?

[My LIFE IN TAIWAN page][My TAIWAN page][All photos and video by MKL, 2012]