Sunday, June 22, 2014

Taipei 101: [no longer] the world's tallest building


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.



From the top of the tower, you can observe Taipei two ways: from the safety of inside the building or from the outdoor observatory deck. If you go outside, you will be treated to howling wind and amazing [albeit hazy] 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:





Travel Info:
  • 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




14 comments

  1. Looks really cool! I've heard great things about Taipei, would love to visit.

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    1. Taipei is a great city to visit and Taiwan in general is a nice introduction to Asia!

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  2. Yikes, that does look HIGH! What a rush! Bet that elevator feels like a carnival ride?

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    1. It certainly does! It goes completely dark and has odd music and lights on the ceiling so it even looks like a ride.

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  3. That looks cool. I've never been in such a high building. Too bad the views are so hazy... Is that just Taipei in general, or just happened to be on that particular day?

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    1. That's just Taiwan on a hot day. The humidity and (honestly not that bad) air pollution restrict visibility.

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  4. I can feel my stomach drop just reading about that elevator! The views were definitely worth the wait.

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  5. Jacqueline, We were lucky to have gone up Taipei 101 when it was still the tallest building. Boy, did we get that right. I love the elevator, but really my favorite thing was the food court in the basement, I'm not going to lie!

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    1. Hahaha! I haven't hit up the food court. Maybe I will have to go back.

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  6. What spectacular views!!! You can see everything from up there!

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    1. Yup. I can only imagine the view on a clear day with low humidity + air pollution.

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  7. The view down makes all of Taipei look like lego bricks ready to be built up or knocked down. Totally worth it to get that view :)

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