No visit to Taipei is complete without taking a closer look at Taipei’s iconic building. The Taipei 101 building is 509 meters high, and on its completion in 2004 was the highest building in the world for a period of over six years. When we from Mono’tel visited we were certainly impressed by the scale of the structure, and especially the design, which is made to look like the indigenous bamboo. The coolest part about Taipei 101 is not the outside however, in our opinion the most impressive component is the mass dampener which sits inside the tower. This mechanism, which is essentially a gigantic pendulum ball, is a method for stabilizing the structure of the tower during typhoons and earthquakes. It weighs around 728 tonnes and is 18 feet in diameter and is located between the 87th and 92nd floor.
Travelling to the top of the tower to the observatory will give you an incredible view of Taipei, and you will get a chance to see the inner workings of 101 for yourself. The ticket price is currently 600 NTD with concessions available. If you aren’t interested in forking out for the ticket price, simply walking around and marveling at this amazing structure from one of the many parks situated around is a great experience in itself. We found some beautiful locations just to sit and admire the building and the structures around which are designed according to feng shui philosophy to compliment the building. There is also a mall filled with designer shops and a few great eateries, which were surprisingly good value. Alongside the mall is a small art gallery with some examples of Taiwanese and foreign art, which is well worth a look. If you are interested in the fast paced environment of the stock exchange you can also catch a glimpse of this on the 1st floor of the building.
To get to Taipei 101 from Mono’tel, take the Xinyi-Tamsui line (red line) from Jianti station, just two minutes walk away from Mono’tel, towards Xiangshan. Taipei 101 is the stop before Xiangshan and costs 35 NTD for a ticket.