Photos by MJ Klein (many of them are geotagged)
Hui-chen and I took Phoenix in tow with us to the new Global Mall and what we have come to call, “the big ball.” This big ball, made in Taiwan, is a round display that was all the rage way back when it went on display in Shanghai where it caused quite a stir. No one had seen anything like it. Now, years later, this round display is in a purpose-built building that is part of the Global Mall complex.
We began our visit with lunch on the second-floor food court. Phoenix loves the camera and I couldn’t resist snapping some photos of her being cute.
Phoenix being cute again, outside of a toy store.
The Global Mall is one of the most interesting, if not strangest malls I’ve ever visited. There are odd spaces that have become stores, and it somehow all makes sense. But there are hardly any customers, since it is so new.
This part of the mall is a 2-floor structure.
Over where the ball display is, there are 4+ floors, and you have to walk on a 2nd floor connecting bridge to get to that side. It takes some figuring out!
There are some cute things that Phoenix enjoyed playing with, while we waited for the show to begin. You have to buy tickets to see the ball display and there is a definite show plan (read on).
While we waited, we walked around and looked at some stuff Phoenix likes,
for one thing, little ducks!
This is the start of the show. For some reason, the designers want to give you the feeling of being in space. So, visitors are supposed to step on these pads and look at themselves in the corresponding monitor across from them. The monitor adds a space suit to the display, so it (supposedly) looks like you’re wearing a space suit. With each one of us carrying 2 bags, neither Hui-chen or I felt like doing this. So we just walked past the pads and into the next room.
More blue lights and LEDs.
There was a (Chinese language only) presentation of what we were about to do. There was a graphic of the ball display (shown above) and a walkway where we would be going in a few minutes. I found the access panel on the wall very distracting, and wished they had a regular screen instead of just showing this on the wall. Anyway, shortly thereafter a graphic came on and said that photography was not permitted inside the display. I wanted to make sure that I got the right message, so I asked the woman who was heading the tour, and she said “no photography.”
I took this photo inside the ball display, even though she told me I couldn’t. I was so ticked off because as you can see, a woman video recorded the entire presentation on her Samsung Galaxy Note, and the tour guide didn’t say a single word to her – but she told me I couldn’t take photos! The presentation was an animated short film that began in space and then went down to Taiwan, and featured many famous and beautiful places and animals in Taiwan. Being on that bridge in the middle of the ball with moving pictures all around can be a bit unnerving, but it was pretty cool and that made the $NT200 admission price worth it, to me.
After the film we went down a floor and walked over a bridge to where the ball display is located.
This is what it looks like directly underneath the ball display. As you can see, the density of the LEDs varies over the surface of the display (something I never realized when looking at it from across the street).
The tour guide asked us to step up to this little terminal and “pick one” but it took me a few seconds to realize what was going on. Above you can see the English menu. Suddenly it dawned on me that these are wishes.
I declined to participate since I do not believe in luck or wishes. But I did photograph what happens when you do pick one. You see a graphic of a sky lantern taking off (in the low-resolution bottom of the sphere).
Then the lantern makes it’s way up the display….
Finally reaching the higher-density areas.
I noticed a band of lower density higher up the sphere. But when you look at the display, it doesn’t seem any different from top to bottom.
Outside the glass was a shallow pool of water.
Now this side seems uniform.
One last look and it’s time to leave.
Walking back through, they’ve kept up the space theme. I never did get the connection though (shrug).
We decided to walk around to the back where there is a little park, so Phoenix could run around for awhile.
This is what the ball display looks like from the outside. It is very impressive. You can see the glass-enclosed bridge we walked across to get inside of it.
Phoenix had fun running around in the park area.
I want to point out something, in our last photo. When you drive to the Global Mall and park in the parking lot, the entrance doors are not visible! You have to make your way through this little maze of containers! It’s certainly not clear where to go when you first arrive, and this threw us off a bit on our first visit. So now you know….
The ball display is very impressive (if you like technical stuff) and it was worth the admission price to see it up close.