After resting for a bit in our hotel room, we decided to check out one of Taipei’s most famous landmarks, Taipei 101. We headed down to the MRT (subway) station and figured out which way to go to get there. It was my first time in many years to ride a subway. It takes a little getting used to, when the train accelerates that fast, but there are plenty of hand holds. So once we arrived, and exited the subway station, like many of our other trips to different attractions, we weren’t 100% sure which way to go to get there. But like all our other trips, we made it work. This one was easy, it is very hard to miss Taipei 101. The building is ginormous.
We headed inside the mall next to Taipei 101 and were immediately greeted by a Hennessy counter, where they were serving free cocktails. This was already our kind of place! We took a short survey, and were handed a Hennessy cocktail of our choice. It’s a little unbelievable to be standing just inside the entrance of a shopping mall, sipping on an adult beverage. No one checks IDs either. We haven’t been carded one time since arriving here.
So after warming up with a little Henn, we headed deeper into the shopping mall. We had already made up our minds though, we were going to the top of the building. We weren’t actually sure what all that involved, but we figured it out as we went along. There are signs pointing towards “Taipei 101 Observation Deck.” We made our way that way, and soon we found a long line of people waiting to do the same thing.
This was actually the most expensive thing we did while we were in Taipei $500 NTD per person ($15 USD). But we had to see what all the fuss was about. We actually saw the most foreign people around here, go figure. But there were many Taiwanese people as well. It seems that everyone loves the view! So after waiting in line to purchase our ticket (around 15-20 minutes), we got a time to come back and get in line again. So we looked around the mall while we waited. Then we went back and got in line. After another 30 minutes or so, we were close. The elevators were in sight! When it was finally our turn, they stuffed as many of us as they could into the elevator, like a can of sardines.
We went from the 1st floor to the 89th floor in less than 1 minute. Our ears popped a few times, but our trip on the worlds fastest elevator was pretty cool. When we disembarked, the wait and the money all seemed worth it. The view was spectacular! The sun had already set, but the city was lit up and beautiful with all of its lights shining. We weren’t sure how it would work once we got up to the top, whether they rush you through so they can get more people up or not. But it wasn’t like that. You can take as long as you want, there are no more lines or waiting. You just stroll around the full 360 degrees of the whole viewing area, and take in the sights. We braved the cold and wind and went up the 2 flights of stairs to the 91st floor, where there is an outdoor viewing area. We didn’t stay long, but it was nice to get to view the city not through a pane of glass. Then we made our way into where the damper is being held. We didn’t have any idea what a damper was, so it was neat to get to learn about it. It is a piece of technology brought over from Japan, and it helps in the event of earthquakes. It is a giant sphere suspended by cables at the top of the building, and it helps to absorb the vibrations. At least, that’s the way I understood it. Evidently this is the only one that they allow the public to view. There are a few other very tall buildings with these inside, but you aren’t allowed to see them.
On your way back to the elevators, you pass through a beautiful jewelry store. Crazy expensive pieces, but nice to look at! All in all, we enjoyed our trip to Taipei 101, and we would pay the money again to go back to the top! Maybe next time in the afternoon so we can view the sunset!