21
11/2016

4 Asian Buildings on the Global Bucket List

patronas

The Petronas Towers, Malaysia
A Symbol of the Future

In the 1990’s, Malaysia roared as one for the loudest of the Asian tiger economies. To reflect this, the Petronas Towers were built in downtown Kuala Lumpur – 88-storey twins that towered over the capital’s skyline. Although an economic downturn soon impacted its allure and occupancy, these former tallest buildings in the world remain an incredible sight to behold. With their metallic shells and dramatic spires, the towers seem futuristic and otherworldly. No matter what angle you view them from within the city, it feels like you’ve just stepped into a scene from Blade Runner.

tajmahal

The Taj Mahal, India
A Symbol of Love

Completed in 1653, there is no greater architectural rose than the Taj Mahal. The beloved favourite wife of a Mughal emperor died at childbirth, and such was his grief that he commissioned 20,000 craftsmen to construct this timeless mausoleum, a feat accomplished in 22 years. My fellow travellers in India were debating whether a visit to the country would be complete without seeing it, so I decided to visit Agra on my last day and see for myself. The 18-hour odyssey it took me to get there and back, battling rip-offs and crowds, was intense, but the beauty of seeing the Taj glow in the sunset was unforgettable. In the end, the heartache and the beauty of my visit came to symbolize my month in India, and the Taj Mahal itself.

taipei101

Taipei 101, Taiwan
A Symbol of Power

Only 23 countries recognize the Republic of China, also known as Taiwan, as an independent country. Taipei 101, with its 101 floors, stands proudly as a symbol of the “other China”, with a booming economy and steadfast democracy. Inspired by the flexibility of bamboo, the building sits in the skyline like a large tack in a corkboard. It is covered in symbols, from massive coins on the exterior for good fortune, to stylized dragon gargoyles for protection. Taipei 101 also has the world’s fastest elevators (60km an hour, you reach the 85th-floor observation deck in just 37 seconds), and four massive damper balls to stabilize the building from strong winds and earthquakes.

burj

The Burj El Arab, Dubai
A Symbol of Wealth

Much has been written about the explosion of Dubai as a boomtown, and without doubt its symbol is the Burj El Arab. Billed as “the world’s only 7-star hotel”, it’s actually a five star hotel that was conceptualized to become a showpiece for the Emirate, much as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris or the Statue of Liberty to New York. Towering on reclaimed land, it is the world’s tallest hotel, and incredibly expensive too – rooms can set you back up to $10,000 a night. The Burj El Arab is also an engineering marvel, although with the construction boom in Dubai, one wonders if it will hold its mystique for much longer. Another Burj, still under construction in Dubai, is already the world’s new tallest building.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*