Let's be frank here, the sole appeal of Taipei 101 is that it's literally the only really, really tall building in Taipei [and Taiwan too]. It sticks out like a sore thumb and when I was still getting to know the layout of the city, I would emerge from the underground metro and instantly look up and around to orient myself in relation to the towering skyscraper.
That said, Taipei 101 does have some boasting power. It was the world's tallest building for, like, a year. Now, it must be content to be the world's second tallest building. Sadly, projects in China and the Middle East will quickly demote the tower's tallness status even more.
Going to the top of Taipei 101 is actually a pretty cool experience.
Usually I am not into touristy things like this but I have to admit, the one time I waited around in line to go all the way up to the top, I found it a worthwhile experience for two reasons.
First, you get to ride the world's fastest elevator.
It only takes 40 seconds to go from the bottom to the 89th floor!
Second, you get these stunning city views.
It was incredible for me to finally understand the topography of Taiwan a little more. Taipei is literally wedged in between rolling, gentle mountains. The city sprawls every which way and is frequently interrupted by green, tree covered mounds of earth.
Rivers snakes through the city and from the 90th floor, everything looks like game pieces.
Even from the 89th floor and inside, the views are pretty spectacular:
- Hop off the MRT at the Taipei City Hall stop
- Tickets cost 400 NT, which is $13 USD
- Observation decks are on the 89th-91st floors
- Fair warning: the lines are long