Seeing as it’s Taipei’s only skyscraper, Taipei 101 is pretty much the icon of Taiwan’s capital city. From 2004 until 2009 it was actually the tallest building in the world!
Tapei 101 is shaped like a piece of bamboo (which is an icon of learning and growth) and the tower also resembles a pagoda because of it’s ‘segments’. It has 101 floors and a high-speed lift can take you up 88 floors in 33 seconds! I think it’s the fastest lift in the world (or at least was at some point).
The views from the 360-degrees glass-panned viewing deck stretch on forever and when I went it wasn’t that packed with annoying people either (unlike when I went up the Pearl Tower in Shanghai…). I went up at about 8pm so a little while after sunset, which might be why it wasn’t busy. I sort of regret not going during the day time as well because I would have been able to see out further across the city but I had so much else to see in Taipei and only 6 days there!
I can’t lie, Taipei’s city skyline (if you can call it a skyline) isn’t that spectacular as it’s quite flat/non-distinct but then again, no one has ever said Taipei is renowned for skyline! When someone says ‘city skyline’ I think of Hong Kong (my favourite), Shanghai, New York, Kuala Lumpur etc. But still, it’s cool to be that high up looking down upon the city.
One of the unique things about the Taipei 101 tower is that it has the largest damper in the world inside the top of it which essentially prevents the tower from falling over in an earthquake or typhoon!! That sort of extreme weather is common in Taiwan so a tower this tall needed to be insanely sturdy. The damper itself swings like a pendulum to counteract the movement of an earthquake or strong winds. The tower and it’s materials are also somewhat flexible so the tower can actually bend a little in strong winds to prevent (or at least lessen) structural damage. To date, the furthest the damper has swung is 1 metre (back during an August 2015 typhoon) which is actually a lot!
I didn’t actually know this until I’d left Taiwan but at night, the tower’s lights one of seven colours depending on what day of the week it is! Isn’t that cute? You could tell the day of the week just be looking out your window and up at the tower! In my photo of the tower at the beginning of this post, the lights are red which means it was a Monday 🙂
It might not be that obvious initially but you can go up a couple more floors from the man viewing deck by foot and get to an outside deck. It is covered by metal bars which gives it a ‘prison’ feel but they’re wide enough to pock a camera through. Plus I prefer being outside and hearing noises when I look out over a city 🙂
Overall, although the views from Taipei 101 weren’t as spectacular as other cities, it’s an amazing quirky building and it’s worth visiting just for that! Plus the gift shop does lots of cute novelty Taipei 101 tower-shaped merchandise 😛
What’s your favourite skyline in the world? Let me know in the comments below!