Archive for public

Where are the world’s 10 highest public observation decks?

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by vincentloy

Have you been to an observation deck located very high above the ground that will enable you to observe amazing panoramic view of the surrounding area? An observation deck is defined as an elevated sightseeing platform usually situated upon a tall architectural structure such as a skyscraper or observation tower. Observation decks are sometimes enclosed from weather, as many skyscraper decks are, and usually include telescopes for viewing distant features. Some higher observation decks also existed on mountain peaks or cliffs, but these are not included in the list below which only mentions the current world’s ten highest public observation decks located on man-made structures.

  1. Outdoor Observation Deck at 148th floor (555 metres above ground), Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Additional note: Burj Khalifa is also the current tallest man-made structure in the world.

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2. Outdoor Observation Deck (488 metres above ground), Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China. Additional note: Cool ‘bubble trains’!

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3. Indoor Observatory at 100th floor (474 metres above ground), Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China. Additional note: The reflections are spectacular already when you are not even looking out for the view yet.

4. Observation Deck (451.2 metres above ground), Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo, Japan.

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5. Observation Deck (446.7 metres above ground), CN Tower, Toronto, Canada.

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6. Indoor Observatory at 103rd floor (412.7 metres above ground), Willis Tower, Chicago, United States of America. Additional note: Floating glass boxes…cool!

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7. Indoor Observatory at 100th floor (393 metres above ground), International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, China.

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8. Outdoor Observatory at 91st floor (391.6 metres above ground), Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan.

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9. Observatory at 102nd floor (386.6 metres above ground), One World Trade Center, New York City, United States of America.

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10. Observatory at 86th floor of Tower 2 (370 metres above ground), Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Additional note: Can view close-up of its twin.

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Would love to visit all of them. Out of the 10 above, I have only visited the 8th one, the Taipei 101 Observatory when I was on a family vacation to Taiwan back in 2008. It was then still the world’s highest outdoor observatory in the world. Everything on the ground like cars appear as tiny as insects when viewed from the observatory floors of the building which was that time also the tallest building in the world. I still remember it was a rainy day and so the sights were not clear and we were surrounded by heavy mist at that height.

I do love to visit observation decks as those places allow me to enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding city/town from a great height. We seldom get to see aerial view (we are not birds!), and so I do cherish every experience I had when visiting observation decks across the world. I have visited Eiffel Tower’s one too but it was another unlucky experience as it was also a rainy day and the view was not good. Hey…there is one in the top 10 list above which is so near to me and yet I have not visited before, the observatory in Petronas Twin Towers. Well, I’m a local and so there isn’t much surprise that we will not visit our own attractions. But if opportunity comes, I will try to visit it in near future too, just to get another good look of the city’s skyline from different perspective.

Our nearby KL Tower’s observatory at a height of 276 metres above ground is placed 20th in this particular ranking too. Not bad. And in my next year’s trip to Australia, I would visit another observatory, the Skydeck 88 in Eureka Tower (88th floor, 285 metres above ground) at Melbourne. It is ranked 17th highest while the Eiffel Tower’s one I mentioned earlier ranked at 19th with height of 276.1 metres above ground level.

Observation decks are certainly excellent places to visit unless you are afraid of height!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

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Expo Milano 2015: Other interesting structures in the Expo.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2015 by vincentloy


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Well, that’s the site plan of the currently on-going World Expo at Milan titled Expo Milano 2015. After showing off many beautiful national pavilions in my previous blog post, it’s now time for the other interesting structures available in the expo to be highlighted here. No more words…just enjoy the pictures!

Open Air Theatre (where the opening of the expo took place few days ago)

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Vanke Pavilion

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Tree of Life at Lake Arena

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The Main Street 

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Plaza with Pavilion Zero at the background

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Vatican Pavilion

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I have heard that there are people protesting in objection of the expo as they see it not giving any real benefits to the locals and will only profit the organizations that took part in the event. Actually, I’m also actually in doubt of the effectiveness of this expo on conveying message to the world about our current food system, the theme of the exhibition. People will just visit the expo, see the exhibits, and then forget about it once they leave the place. That’s typical. But I still see expo as a great opportunity to see nice architecture like I mentioned earlier in my previous blog post.

Okay…I think that’s enough for the expo stuff in my blog here at this moment.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

The 911 Memorial Museum, New York opens to the public with escalating controversy as expected.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by vincentloy

The 911 Memorial Museum is a museum built to honour and remember the victims and survivors of the 911 terror attacks on United States back in September 11, 2001. It is located next to the former site of the World Trade Center twin towers which had both collapsed from the tragedy. The former ‘Ground Zero’ is now turned into a huge plaza with two massive sunken pools that marks the base of the collapsed towers respectively. Each of the poetically reflecting pools is surrounded with stone engraved with names of the deceased victims from the tragedy.

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Yesterday, the memorial museum finally opened its door to the public and it has since provoked a range of reactions. For years, there have been tensions over how any memorial at this site would look and operate. Visiting the museum will be surely providing an emotional experience. The displays includes artifacts, large and small, from firetrucks to personal objects of people who worked in the two towers. The museum’s artifacts range from the monumental, like two of the huge fork-shaped columns from the World Trade Center’s facade, to the intimate: a wedding ring, a victim’s voice mail message. The exhibits tell the stories of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 2001 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as well as of survivors and first responders.

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Museum Director Alice Greenwald said the museum is “about understanding our shared humanity,” while former mayor Michael Bloomberg called it a reminder “that freedom is not free.” But the road to this museum’s opening has been fraught with controversy. One of the harsh critiques is that some people are considering the museum as a tourist spot that earns money off (or indirectly) from those who perished in 911 attacks. That sounds immoral. There are also roughly 8000 unidentified human remains kept in the museum, and that made people thinking that they are paying money to visit a cemetery! That’s a bit true too.

People also criticized heavily on some of the items sold in the gift shop of the museum that are hurting some people’s feelings particularly from the families of the perished victims from the tragedy. Well, I think that the museum’s operators or the authority should realize where they are standing and should be sensitive to all these issues before opening its door to the public. ‘Respect’ should be in their mind. In my personal opinion, it is still fine to have a museum to honour or to remember that fateful day, but people’s feeling should be taken care of in such situation. Nevertheless, the museum do receives some positive feedbacks too. Its controversy is expected, but this is what made the tour of the museum more interesting, isn’t it?

If I am given the chance to visit New York City, I would certainly take some time to drop by at this museum too. I’m worried my eyes would be filled with tears by looking at the emotionally-induced exhibits displayed. Even when I’m not a US citizen and that the tragedy was back many years ago (13 years to be exact), I still felt sad for the 911 tragedy.

Images and information sources:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/reactions-911-museum-and-memorial-opening-180951513/?no-ist

http://globalnews.ca/news/1341315/photos-inside-the-911-memorial-museum-in-new-york/

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/19/us/9-11-memorial-museum-gift-shop/

http://www.cntraveller.in/news/911-memorial-museum-opens-new-york-today

http://www.911memorial.org/museum (official website of the museum)

 

Happy 49th Malaysia Day!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2012 by vincentloy

Happy Malaysia Day to my beloved country! And yes, since this public holiday falls on Sunday this year, then tomorrow (Monday) would be a holiday for replacement! Cool! One of the reasons I like to be in Malaysia is for its various public holidays. In olden days, Malaysia Day which falls on 16th September isn’t seen as an important day and there is no public holiday for this occasion, not until in recent years when Malaysia Day started to be emphasized for its importance in the history of the nation. And hence from then, the day is made as public holiday every year onwards.

Of course what matters to me and others is the holiday. I believe most Malaysians agree to that as well. And that gives us three days of continuous break this year, due to arriving weekend yesterday. What would you do on this much-longer weekend? Have fun and enjoy the weekend and the holiday! Malaysia Day also marked the end of Patriotic Month beginning mid 0f August till mid of September every year.

How is Malaysia Day different from National Day celebrated back in 31st August earlier? Let’s trace back a bit of history of Malaysia. 31st August is the Independence Day anniversary of Peninsular Malaysia (formerly Malaya). On 31st August 1957, Malaya is officially a free nation after gaining independence from British. Few year later, Malaya’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman suggested and proposed for a combination of the already-independent Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore to form an emerging country and that is successfully being realized by 16th September 1963. That is where Malaysia Day came from. Singapore and Brunei dropped out from the combination due to several conflicts few years later and that left Malaysia to consist of only Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak (East Malaysia) up till now.

 

(Image above explains the history of formation of Malaysia in brief. Image is from official Facebook page of Malaysians & Friends support KL 2024 Olympic host city candidacy)

So, after a quick calculation, this year’s 16th September marked 49th anniversary of the symbolic Malaysia Day! Malaya had been 55 years old, but in fact, Malaysia is only 49 years old. Malaysia would be celebrating the half-a-century (50th) Malaysia Day next year. It also happens that there are quite a lot of advertisements produced highlighting this Malaysia Day, giving much more further emphasis to this day in recent years. What’s next? Countdown and fireworks maybe, or another official celebration to this day not long after Merdeka (Independence) celebration in near future? Anyway, Happy Malaysia Day to all Malaysians once again! May the country stay away from bad and corrupted government, keeps developing and rise to the occasion to reach developed status by 2020 as stated in Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020).

 

(Image above is from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kp-UO0G7-dw/TnHtGpXDhOI/AAAAAAAAE3I/yhRLsxPfMPM/s1600/selamat%2Bhari%2Bmalaysia.jpg)

The first in Asia, Legoland Malaysia opens today…

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2012 by vincentloy

Malaysia first international theme park, Legoland Malaysia finally opens its door to the public today in mid of September. It is the fifth Legoland in the world. Merlin Entertainment, the company behind this chain of theme parks would opens up few more Legoland theme parks in Asia (at Dubai, Japan and South Korea) with Legoland Malaysia to be the first. Legoland Malaysia is located at Nusajaya, Johor under Iskandar Development Region, a multi-billion project proposed many years ago to boost huge-scale development over the region, taking its advantage of being near to Singapore. The parks’ rides are targeted to families with younger children (11 and below) and are all Lego themed; many are made to appear as if they are built out of Lego bricks. The water park and the hotel for Legoland Malaysia are still under construction and would be open somewhere in 2013 or 2014.

(Image above showing the map of the theme park obtained from Legoland Malaysia official website; http://www.legoland.com.my)

Few weeks ago, some have had the privilege to enter the newly-built theme park for a sneak preview over the attractions available in the 510 000 metre square area. I have had also viewed some images taken featuring rides, shops and lego-built miniatures of famous landmarks around the world and I’m quite impressed. Of course, I have no interest over the rides because they are not the extreme ones, and are only targeted for small kids. My attention is towards the many miniature models of famous structures around the world like Taj Mahal, Forbidden City, Angkor Wat, and etc built out of lego-bricks which are really wonderful and appealing. The builders had also paid careful attention to details so that those models would look as cool and as realistic even if viewed closer. I find also that there is a section showing miniatures of Singapore’s famous landmarks too, which are generally built to cater for nearby Singapore tourists.

(Image above showing the crowd waiting near Legoland Malaysia’s main entrance to open. This image is from Legoland Malaysia official Facebook page)

Of course, the unique addition to this Legoland Malaysia would be a complex of models featuring iconic cityscape of Kuala Lumpur (and also Johor) and that miniatures of Petronas Twin Tower and KL Tower are no doubt present. Typical KL old streets having courtyard houses lining the roads are also featured in that complex of lego-built models. Good. Ahh…I have seen most of that in pictures without even having to get there to see it, but I believe it would be much interesting to be there myself to see all that. However, the price seems to be quite expensive. If I am to choose, I still prefer to pick Universal Studio Theme Park in Singapore, rather than this Legoland Malaysia.

Not to say that I’m not supporting Malaysia’s theme parks but Universal Studios is much more suitable and appealing with not-to-be-missed excitement from the thrilling rides and attractions it offers. Anyway, it’s still good to have international theme park over here in Malaysia, not only for Malaysians’ families entertainment but also to boost the country’s tourism and image by inviting more foreign visitors. Hmm..it’s time to plan for another international theme park in Malaysia, and it would be good if it’s to be located at the capital itself, Kuala Lumpur or at its surrounding vicinity in Selangor state. Six Flags? Disneyland? That would be cool… You can check out Legoland Malaysia’s official website to check out more and find out whether you are interested to go or not.

No! Don’t vandalise the street art!

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by vincentloy

Most Malaysians would know what I’m writing about just by looking at the title. It’s such a hit now in Malaysia. Even this morning’s issue raised by Malaysia’s No.1 Chinese radio station, MY FM is regarding this particular vandalism to the lovely street art in Georgetown, Penang. And this issue had also been highlighted on front cover of various Chinese newspapers recently.

If you are a loyal reader of my blog, then you would still remember that I had previously written a post regarding public street art and that this interesting stuff isn’t going on over here in Malaysia actively. Finally, there is a hit on public street art in Malaysia, eventhough the one behind it is not a local, but a foreigner who shows keen interest on such art in the heritage city of Georgetown in Penang Island. He is Ernest Zacharevic. From the few masterpieces he produced at Georgetown that I saw from the virally-circulating images of those, I can see that he is such a talented person. His art complements very well to the old/dilapidated-looking wall backdrop, and thus very much engaging. The drawings are pretty simple, but ‘speaks’. Awesome!

(Two images above are from Ernest Zacharevic’s official Facebook page, the person who did all these awesome creative works!)

His arts attracted the public interest, and now the media attention as well. Huh….Some not from the state even went to Georgetown just to see how lovely those street arts he produces. But too bad, some of his creative works had been vandalised! Such a pity. To those who did such nonsense thing, what is your reason for doing that? You are such a dumb, or are you jealous of other’s creativity? You have no right to do such awful deed. People had put their effort on it, and people like it. Then you come to destroy it. Stupid people. Luckily, there are quite a number of people who helped to restore or recover Ernest’s works. Hmm..I really appreciate their help.

Ernest would be back to Georgetown next month. It appears that he likes the city very much, most probably of its rich heritage value and feel. I do like such environment too, away from those towering skyscrapers I always see in KL. Hmm…hope that he would continue to contribute his creativity to Georgetown’s hardscapes. Or to somewhere else, like in KL. KL needs such street art too. It would be very nice to have it here in the capital of Malaysia besides than graffiti which some are really awful! Let’s show our support to street art in whole Malaysia. Ernest Zacharevic started it, it’s time for some locals to contribute too. And no vandalism, please!

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay opened to the public

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2012 by vincentloy

Gardens by the Bay officially opens to the public on Friday, marking the latest milestone of Singapore’s vision in becoming a “City in a Garden”. The Gardens was officially launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday evening, who together with 700 invited guests, enjoyed a special preview tour of Bay South Garden. The Prime Minister called Gardens by the Bay “an icon” of the redeveloped Marina Bay, adding that it is the latest manifestation of Singapore’s Garden City vision.

The first part of the government-funded development that is ready is Bay South Garden, which alone costs $1 billion. Other sections of the park will open in phases. At 54 ha, the highlights of the newly opened Bay South Garden which is located near the Marina Bay Sands include the Supertrees, the Flower Dome and Cloud forest conservatories, the Heritage Gardens and World of Plants; the Dragonfly Lake. Revealing that gardens are one of his favourite places, PM Lee said that Gardens by the Bay is “a place that Singaporeans can be proud of, identify with, and think of when we talk about Singapore”.

PM Lee encouraged all Singaporeans to visit the Gardens, adding that it is the “people’s garden” for everyone – residents or visitors – to enjoy. He said  it is a great place for Singaporeans to relax after work or bring the family there on weekends to enjoy a concert or a meal. Gardens by the Bay is open daily from 5am to 2am. Entry to the park is free, but entry into the cooled conservatories and 128m-long aerial walkway are ticketed. For more information, visit http://www.gardensbythebay.org.sg.

Previously, Singapore has been known worldwide as the City of Garden already. This project further strengthened the country’s image not only as a successful developed nation but also as a country driven towards green and comfortable living environment. This kind of project run by the government might cost a lot, but in the end, it benefits the Singaporeans as they could enjoy the amazing Gardens by the Bay for free, something not everyone from other part of the world could have. Previously, it is seen as a highly visionary project, and now it turns into reality.

The Gardens by the Bay is expecting over 30 000 visitors on its opening day on Friday. The project gains more and more attention globally from the time of its proposal to its construction, and now finally to its completion and opening. This is going to attract a lot of people, targeting also foreigners. It is definitely interesting to have a walk in this Gardens by the Bay, specially planned and designed with unique structures and vast landscaping. It is no ordinary garden. It’s the first-of-its-kind, state-of-the-art futuristic garden of wonder and luxury aims to open the eyes of the world. I’m looking forward to visit, but I will wait till all the other phases open too. I’m definitely going for it on my next visit to Singapore, a lovely country.

Reference: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Relax/Story/A1Story20120628-356047.html

Images from:

http://thegreenmarketing.blogspot.com/2012/01/singapores-supertree.html

http://www.mysinchew.com/node/74924

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_816057.html