If you think about Taipei one of the first things that come to your mind is that one high building defining the skyline of the city. (At least for me it is💁🏼♀️) You know which one I mean: Taipei 101. Imagine you didn’t think about it, then here I am to change these thoughts! I visited the tower last week so sit back and relax because I will tell you something more about this beauty!
First of all: what’s in a name? In Taiwan, they are pretty good at imagining names for places and buildings. Sometimes you do need some imagination to see it, but here it is quite easy!
Taipei: the tower was built in Taipei
101: the tower has 101 floors (which equals 508 meters!)
Told you, it is easy! 💁🏼♀️
The construction started in 1999 and on new years eve 2014 there was an official opening event with an amazing fireworks show! That last one became a tradition because every year they welcome the new year with fireworks shot from the 101. As we will be here to celebrate the new year, I have to admit that I am looking forward to it! 🎇🎆
On top of the 101 visitors have access to two observatory decks which offer a beautiful view over the city. I thought the view would be quite good because the weather was very good that day. Unfortunately, there was a lot of smog so at some places, there was not that much to see. The outdoor deck was also closed in three out of four directions because there was a lót of wind.
Here are some pictures (with a lot of smog) in order from north to east, south, and west.
The beauty of this tower can also be found in the engineering work. Taiwan is located on two tectonic plates so an earthquake is never too far away. Plus: typhoons. They carry a lot of rain but also a lot of wind and that is something dangerous for these high buildings.
To minimize these risks they built an enormous damper from floors 87 to 92. This is a sphere made out of steel which weighs around 660 tonnes and has a diameter from 5,5 meters. In case of an earthquake, the damper moves in the opposite direction of the building to take over its energy.
In August 2015, the sphere moved about 100 cm thanks to typhoon Souledor. I can not imagine, but it must have been crazy!
The Taiwanese love symbolism so you can find a lot of these elements in the Taipei 101. Most of them have to do with numbers from the Chinese culture.
101 floors: 100 equals perfection. By building 101 floors, they go one step beyond.
4 is bad luck: as some of us believe 13 is a number for bad luck, they have the same in the Chinese culture. Here they rather skip number 4 because its pronunciation sounds very much like ‘the death’. Floor 44 doesn’t exist in the Taipei 101, instead, they built floor 42, 42A, 43 and 45.
8 is a lucky number: the building has been designed out of 8 modules which consist each of 8 floors. The shape of these modules looks like padogas, which come from the Chinese culture.
Some fun facts about the Taipei 101:
On the 101st floor, there is a secret VIP-club. The idea is a bit the same as the 103rd floor of the Empire State Building where celebrities meet in an exclusive, secret little club. Online I found that in Taipei not only celebrities are allowed to have fun in this club, but normal people like us can get access too. The only thing you have to do is spend like 1 million NTD (+- 30.000 euros) in the shopping mall of the Taipei 101. You see, it is a piece of cake for normal people like us 🤦🏼♀️
Speaking of secrets, something I only discovered after I visited the 101. There should be a hidden Starbucks on the 35th floor. To go to the observation decks you have to pay 600 NTD which is almost 17 euros. In the Starbucks, you have to spend at least 200 NTD for a coffee with a view. You are allowed to stay a maximum of 90 minutes and the window seats are in high demand!
Until 2007 the Taipei 101 was the highest building in the world.
Don’t you know which day it is? Just search for the Taipei 101 and check its color. (Really, from almost anywhere in the city, you can see the top of the building) Every night the top lights up in another color of the rainbow! On Monday you will see a red color, Tuesday is orange and Wednesday is a yellow day. Thursday is a day for green and on Friday you will see some blue in the sky. Saturday is a violet day and on Sunday the top is purple. 🌈
Last but not least: once the Taipei 101 had the fastest elevators in the world. Now the Shanghai Tower in China wins this price, but believe me, it is still fast in Taipei. You reach the 89th floor in only 37 seconds which means the elevator goes up on a speed of 60,6 km/h. Luckily they included some pressure controlling technology to prevent your ears from popping. Oh, what I forgot to mention: in total there should be 61 elevators in the building. Impossible for us to find them all, but it is a fun fact to know!
Do you already feel like visiting this landmark? 😃