What is the one thing that most major cities around the world share? Urban parks, memorable landmarks, skyscrapers and unique skylines of their own. While it is not hard to think of a few examples to match with the first few items on that checklist, there seems to be very little discussion about Taipei’s own skyline. A quick search on google will give you the same result: Taipei 101 standing lonelily by itself, while the rest of the buildings seem overpowered by its height. And let’s be honest, after seeing countless pictures of Taipei 101, it does make one wonder if that’s all we have left in this city.
To prove that Taipei is more than just that building with 101 floors, I try to search for a skyline that belongs uniquely to Taipei. Instead of tirelessly roaming around the city to find it, I came across the skyline that I consider to be uniquely “Taipei” during a casual walk on the skybridge in the glamorous Xinyi District one night. While the skyline is not comparable to Taipei 101 in terms of height, it is visually more attractive and impressive than the skyline starring Taipei 101 in my opinion. It is a skyline led by 5 buildings at one end of Songren Road, including the Eslite building, the Citi Bank Building and the new Cathay Holdings building. Since they all situate at the heart of the busy Xinyi district, I name it the “Xinyi Skyline.”
My favorite way to capture the colorful Xinyi Skyline is by photographing it from the skybridge between Taipei 101 and the Vishow Cinema complex. When I have the double yellow line positioned right at the center of my frame, the skyline formed by the 5 buildings will be automatically aligned in a harmonious way. To further decorate the whole scene, I prefer the view at early evening, when all the streetlights are on, and the headlights from cars spread down Songren Road unevenly. The different colors of lights create a mesmerizing scene that can draw me in deeply. In my humble opinion, this view is just as worthy of visiting as the stereotypical skyline you see on Google.
But of course, sense of beauty is a very subjective thing, so what I consider impressive may not have the same effect on you. Regardless of what you think about the Xinyi Skyline, I still encourage you to stop by whenever you are in the area, and maybe you could fall in love with that view too.