Taipei 101 has clearly become a landmark for Taipei and for the island of Taiwan and rightfully so. The bamboo shaped structure towers over Taipei at 508 meters, has 101 floors, and held the title of tallest building in the world for a brief period of time. The new Xinyi District is dubbed the financial district of Taipei and with a structure like this invading this part of the city’s skyline, it is easy to understand why.
Be sure to take the time to explore and experience everything this structure has to offer, both inside and out! I am sure you will be excited to wander around the building and the area surrounding it and discover it from all aspects!
The Taipei 101 Structure: The view of Taipei 101 throughout the entire Xinyi district is a magnificent sight. If you look at the building close-up, you can admire the architectural details such as the bamboo knots while far away glimpses are sure to leave you in awe. In my opinion, the most spectacular view of Taipei 101 is from the grounds of Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall where old and new, traditional and modern, historical and new-age collide.
Taipei 101 Observatory: The observatory gives you a bird’s eye view of Taipei. Enjoy the view at dusk and you will be treated to a daytime and night time view of the city. Word of advice though, go there on a clear day or it will be basically NT$400 down the drain. I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t be whisked to the top by one of the world’s fastest elevators but it is on my list of things to do. I plan to dine on top and I have one more future plan to get to the top (find out a little later)!!
All you need is ‘LOVE’: The LOVE sign found outside, on the premises of Taipei 101, is a photographer’s delight. Hundreds of pictures are snapped here on a daily basis of couples, tourists, and virtually anyone who passes it for the first time. It has become a hot spot for wedding photography which is maybe why HTC uses it in it’s phone commercial to demonstrate eliminating unwanted people from photos.
Shopping: If you have deep pockets or just want to have a look around, Taipei 101 is a great place to browse or shop ’til you drop. I personally love going to the upper level to see the part of the exterior architecture which is exposed within the building. It’s nice to see the glass, the knots, and the other materials used. Also, during my last visit, I discovered a few 3-D floor art displays within the mall so you can sit on an elephant, stand on a pedestal, sit in a boat and capture the 3-D magic.
Climb Elephant Mountain: If you would like another perspective of Taipei 101 from higher ground, then climb Elephant mountain and if it is on a clear day with good visibility, then just let the other shutter bugs lead the way. It is easily assessable since the beginning of the trail is only located about 15 minutes from the Taipei 101 structure and the climb should only take 15 minutes or a little longer if you take breaks. Unfortunately, the day I climbed it the weather was miserable. It began to rain and visibility was poor so I didn’t get any breathtaking shots. So make sure the view is worth your effort or not it will be just a great exercise session.
Taipei 101 Fireworks: Thousands of spectators descend upon Xinyi District on New Year’s Eve. A free concert is held in front of Taipei City Hall with some of the top Taiwan acts performing. A spectacular fireworks display illuminates Taipei 101 at midnight to welcome the new year. And the best thing is you can escape the crowd by viewing the fireworks from a distance as the display can be viewed from several vantage points around the area.
Taipei 101 Run-Up: Usually held in May or June, this event draws national as well as international attention. While the elite participants compete for cash prizes, most amateurs participate to test their limits, push themselves, and obtain bragging rights. Be sure to look out for the registration time because there are a limited number participants and spots fill up very fast. I have never done it, but like I said before, there is something else I would like to do and this is it!! I would love to skip the elevator and run up to the top!
So take advantage of all Taipei 101 has to offer: hike, run, shop, dine, observe, view, and love! Just do it all!!
Have you ever been to Taipei 101? What are your thoughts? If not, would you like to and what would you like to do there?