The Taipei 101 (aka Taipei World Financial Center) is the tallest building in Taiwan, standing at a height of 509 meters. It was the highest building in the world from 2004 to 2010, and is now the 10th highest building in the world as of 2019. It stands as an icon and symbol of Taiwan's economic prosperity, and may be the most recognizable building in Taiwan. It also features an observatory on the 89th floor with some of the best views of Taipei.
Taipei 101 Q + A:
What is the Taipei 101?
It was the highest building in the world from 2004-2010, with 101 floors above ground (hence the name 101) and 5 floors below ground. It was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners, and also had the fastest elevator in the world until 2016. It is an icon of Taiwanâs technological advancement.
How was Taipei 101 built?
The Taipei 101 was built in a period of 5 years from 1999-2004. The Taipei 101 is reinforced by concrete piles driven 80 meters below the ground and 30 meters into bedrock. In addition, it made of high strength reinforced steel and flexible materials. It was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners, and also had the fastest elevator in the world until 2016.
How much did the Taipei 101 cost?
NT$ 58 billion (US$1.934 billion)
How is Taipei 101 earthquake proof? How does the Taipei 101 withstand earthquakes?
The Taipei 101 is reinforced by concrete piles driven 80 meters below the ground and 30 meters into bedrock. In addition, it is made of high strength reinforced steel and flexible materials.
How does the Taipei 101 damper work?
The damper works by offsetting strong wind gusts, absorbing the forces and turning them into kinetic energy, moving the damper.
How much does the Taipei 101 sway?
The most that the Taipei 101 damper has ever swayed was during Typhoon Soudelor, swaying 100 centimeters (39 in). See below for a video!
The Taipei 101 Observatory is open every day from 9 AM to 10 PM.
When to go:
In my opinion the best time to go is on a sunny morning just after it has rained so that there is no haze in the air.
88, 89, and 91, observatory floors: 600 NT (20 USD) per person.
101st floor observation deck (in addition to 88, 89, and 91 floors): 3000 NT (100 USD) per person
Discount tickets can be found online.
How to get there:
Take the MRT red line to the Taipei 101/World Trade Center station. See below for a map:
I have been to the top of the Taipei 101 only once. Why? Because there are lots of other things to see and do in Taipei, that and it's a steep 600 NT per person to get to the top. But if you come to Taipei only once, going to the 101 as part of the trip is definitely a good idea.
Around the 101 are usually tons of people (most of them tourists), taking photos with the "LOVE" statue or with the 101 in the background.
Also there are tons of activists trying to educate tourists of Mainland China of how bad communism is and how much the communist government has been hiding from its own people.
Below the 101 is a huge mall and food court, with Dingtaifung (one of Taiwan's most famous authentic dumpling chains) and a 100 other restaurants, so you will be sure to find some delicious food there.
Huge lines of people coming in and out of Dingtaifung.
The ceiling inside the outlet mall in the Taipei 101. In the upper floors of the 101 Basement you can find tons of outlets. They are not really my thing, but every major international brand has an outlet in the 101. If you are a tourist you can probably get a tax refund on what you buy.
Getting to the observatory elevator is not straightforward; you have to walk past every brand name for leather bags and perfume ever invented.
Once you get to the observatory elevator, you can buy tickets, even though they are sold cheaper if you buy them online. The ticket price has gone from 500 NT to 600 NT in the past two years.
Once at the top of the observatory, you can see amazing views of Taipei if the weather is nice. To the north you can see Yangmingshan and the Keelung River, as well as the orange roofed Sun-Yat Sen memorial and the rest of the Taipei skyline.
To the east you can see Xinyi and Nangang and the mountains of New Taipei.
To the South you Can see Wenshan District and central New Taipei.
At night you will be able to see amazing lit up city-scapes.
Another major sight in Taipei is the damper, which is a marvel of engineering that protects the 101 against Typhoons and earthquakes. The damper works by offsetting strong wind gusts, absorbing the forces and turning them into kinetic energy, moving the damper.
The most that the Taipei 101 damper has ever swayed was during Typhoon Soudelor, swaying 100 centimetres (39 in), see above for the video!
101st Floor Observatory Deck
Starting in 2019, you can now go to the 101st floor to view the surrounding area for 3000 NT (100 USD) per person. This is an outdoor platform previously not open to the public. It involves being roped up so that you do not fall off.
Once you have seen everything, its time to go back down the elevator and past the red coral shops and all the other fancy outlets.
Highest Starbucks (and 7-11) in the World
You can also have coffee at what is possibly the highest Startbucks in the world on the 35th floor. Due to demand, you need to book far in advance in order to have a drink there.
Also, don't forget to see the fountain display outside that plays every day after 12:00, every 2 hours, ten minutes at a time (12:00, 2:00, 4:00, etc.). On the weekend, there is a light display as well at 6 PM and 8 PM.
You may be asking, did you actually go to the top? Yes, but I didn't take any pictures. That's a surprise for you to discover.
âThe best time to go is on a sunny day right after it has rained so there is no haze.
You will also notice that the 101 has many Chinese elements. It is meant to resemble a stalk of bamboo, and it has a Chinese coin (circle with a square in it) on four sides, meaning good luck and prosperity. The building is also made to conform to the rules of Fengshui.
'The Taipei 101 is old; it's already 15 at the time this blog is written. Right next to it is the brand new Nanshan Plaza, which also has food courts and outlets, and is the new happening place for teenagers and businessmen who want the latest and greatest office space.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more of our blogs about Taipei coming soon.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.