Hello Kitty Lounge at TPE Intl Airport
Extract from passenger experience at TPE Intl Airport
Have you ever seen an entire departure gate transformed to a popular children’s brand theme? No? Then you haven’t been to Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport airport - terminal 2.
When you get dropped off from the busy streets of Taipei at Taiwan’s largest, international airport (IATA: TPE) (traditional Chinese: èºç£æ¡ååéæ©å ´; you expect a very crowded scene, but when I was there on a regular Thursday evening, the airport was surprisingly quiet. Who knows, maybe the large check-in hall and the usual Asian way of building airports for the future (read: big) might have deceived my senses as my flight to Hong Kong was full to the last seat.
After the equally quick security check (luckily the stupid liquid restriction hasn’t arrived in Taiwan yet), you end up in an area between two main arms to the right and left containing all the departure gates.
I first walked left to the A & D gates where I discovered an art exhibition of Chinese (errr, probably Taiwanese) hats painted by children from the “Taoyuan County Sinpo Elementary School” followed by a good selection of shops and a rich media & internet access lounge (close to gate D2).
On my way back to the other arm of gates (B/C gates) I stumbled onto an interesting nursery room. It was turned into the Hello Kitty theme. This surely is a nice alternative to the usual dull, grey rooms provided by airports (don’t worry, I’m not going to become a nursery room expert any time soon though…).
The B/C arm overall is nicer than its sister on the other side as it appears to have been renovated. However, it contains a similar selection of shops. Mind you, there is one really big reason to visit this side of the airport: gate C3. Yes, that’s the Hello Kitty gate with an adjacent shop. How cool is that? But the climax was that my flight actually departed from this gate. Fear not, you don’t have to dress up for boarding although the atmosphere does lend itself to silly, childish fun! Travellers seemed delighted, they smiled, laughed and took photos. What else could you want in a usually stressful environment like an airport?
Overall, if you have some time to kill at the Taipei airport terminal 2, here are my favourites:
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