Monday, June 23, 2008

Taipei 101

Any visitor to the capital of Taiwan, Taipei, will definitely notice the tallest grand tower of Taipei 101 (台北101). It is a welcome icon placed in every form from tourism brochures to websites and can be noticed nearly from every corner of the city.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei skyline
Taipei's skyline - the Taipei 101 tower clearly stand out

taipei 101 tower, taipei, taiwan
Taipei 101 skyscraper - modern skyscraper between old & new Taipei city

The tower may seem far & small from far, but if compared to its many other buildings or at the Taipei's skyline, it actually stands out - very much out in fact.

And if one goes closer to the tower, then the Taipei 101 building comes in full grandeur.

taipei 101 building, taipei, taiwan

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei skyscraper

The closer one gets, the more grand it seems - that was how I felt. Rather excited to see the world's tallest building right here in Taipei!

Obviously, like the many other tourists to Taiwan, I had to go see this skyscraper of Taipei, and currently the tallest building in the world!

Taipei 101 Mall
Though the Taipei 101 has offices (and yes, you can get a business address here), but as a tourist, I was more interested in the Taipei 101 shopping centre.

Entering the mall, I could feel it to be a very high class mall - there are big labels & brands. Not much to my type, but it was nice to see this modern mall.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 shopping
There are 6 levels of shopping, each level offering different type of shops

A Garden In The Mall
The mall was ok for me, nothing that fantastic, as it felt just like the many other modern malls with big brands (this is just my opinion).

But, what I like most is the 4th level where there is a man-made kind of garden/ canopy and around it is build a few cafes. This was quite unique.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 mall, canopy
The high ceilings & spacious area makes a good place to relax

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 mall, cafe
The cafes just like the many cafes in Taipei are unique and have their own distinct 'character'

The surprise of the shopping centre is that it only opens at 11am - I thought that was a lil late - but apparently is quite normal for shopping malls to open at that time.

Beyond Shopping At Taipei 101
Apart from shopping, there is also the Taipei 101 Observatory, where one can see the whole view of Taipei city. This is located at the 89th floor.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei observatory
The Observatory area - to purchase tickets

However, I did not go up the ride. That was because the night before, we were treated to a meal at the Chinese restaurant located at the 85th level.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 restaurant
The beautiful Taipei 101 Chinese Restaurant

The Chinese restaurant had beautiful interior and we could get a good view of Taipei city.

However, the food was just ok I felt - seriously, and I'm not being fussy - well not for the price at least :) But our friend mentioned that the Western restaurant which was next door, and also at the 85th level was good.

By the way, the tower could be lit up at night & is quite a different view actually.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 night view

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 night view

And apparently, during the festive periods, there are fireworks coming from the tower.

taipei 101, taipei, taiwan, taipei 101 fireworks
Winning photographs of the Taipei 101 fireworks display

Overall, I felt that there could be something more to the Taipei 101 - it somehow lacked a kind of 'punch' to be as grand & majestic like the other tall skyscrapers of the world.

*Taipei 101 is now the tallest finished tower, overtaking the KL Petronas Twin Towers. However, the Burj Dubai is already the tallest already, despite not being completed yet (source).

But, in any case, I'm glad & in a way proud to be able to visit this icon of Taipei & Taiwan. For I guess otherwise, the trip to Taiwan wouldn't be complete! :)

*Talking to some Taiwanese friends, they mentioned that some do not like the architecture of the building which looks like a sword being pierced downwards. If not mistaken, the Taipei 101 building is supposedly to represent bamboos. What do you think?

Coming up next: More things on grand buildings in Taipei.


  1. Hey! Looks like you are on holiday all the time! Some guys have all the luck! LOL!!

    Awesome pictures and narration. Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Wah! Now your blog turn to Travel blog! Nice photos!

  3. I didn't have much time at 101 during my Taipei visit in early May. For me, Taipei 101 is very much similar to KLCC... it's tall and it sell expensive stuff.

    Design wise, I actually like KLCC much better than 101... in fact I always think that KLCC is one of the most beautifully designed (exterior) buildings in the modern world.

  4. OMG!
    You went to Taiwan.. Cool!
    I went to Macau and you went to Taiwan. We can share stories here.. ;)
    Been waiting for your next post..


  5. erm, Taipei 101 is no longer the tallest building in the world. That honor belongs to Dubai now.

  6. happysurfer,

    lol - ya it seems like it heh. but actually, ive been home bounded for like months. anyway, these hols are really fun & glad u enjoy the pics + narration - its a pat on the back! :)

  7. robo

    seems like it heh. traveling gives so much inspiration & it feels so great to share them. maybe ill be a travel blogger lol! :)

  8. yeinjee

    totally agree with you - the shopping was just so-so. i too prefer klcc shopping centre, but i find it a lil 'tired' & messy if you get what i mean.

    design-wise, yes the twin towers really is a class by itself :)

  9. curryegg

    haha, yes we can share stories. lots more on taiwan to come. really enjoyed myself in this chinese island! :)

  10. hafiz

    in this post, i mentioned it still is as the burj dubai is not completed yet - it is the tallest unfinished tower though :)

  11. i would like to visit taipei 101..well, don't know when i'll return to ROC.

  12. Hi QuaChee
    I went to Taipei 3 years ago and at that time, Taipei 101 was relatively new.

    It is a nice building. The tower represents the segmented bamboo plant and there other elements of chinese culture incorporated into the building e.g. chinese coin, etc incorporated into it. I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei which is next door to Taipei 101 and Taipei 101 can be seen from my hotel room window!

    Maybe I am biased but I honestly feel that the Petronas Towers is a much more beautiful and unique building. And you are right, the shops there are not that much different from other shopping malls in Malaysia. Malaysians (and also Singaporeans) esp in the Klang Valley are blessed with beautiful spanking new shopping malls so wherever I travel, I find that our shopping malls (esp 1-Utama, Suria KLCC, Gardens MidValley, MidValley Megamall, etc are actually very much world class in terms of facilities and services - even better than most malls in US, UK, Europe. The only difference would be in the merchandise.

    Your book is coming out soon, eh? Congratulations!


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)