The Shard, the Eiffel Tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Empire State Building… Across the world there are tall towers which offer tourists panoramic views of cities, and Taipei is no exception. Taipei 101 is 509 metres tall and – in case it wasn’t obvious – 101 floors high. It’s the pride and joy of Taiwanese all over the island, yet every time I look at it I can’t help but think of my friend at home who made an off-hand comment saying, “it looks like a load of Chinese take-away boxes stacked on top of each other.” I’d have never thought it myself, but I can see what he means.
I don’t mean to have a negative view on the tall towers of the world, but I’m really not all that fascinated by them. The fee to get to the top is usually extortionate, I dislike queueing, I get a little bit of altitude sickness and I’m only interested in cityscapes from an enclosed viewpoint for a short time. However, with my mum visiting me in Taiwan, I knew that Taipei 101 had to be done. Why? Because the first thing she’ll be asked when she gets home from Taiwan is: did you go to the top of Taipei 101?
And the answer is yes, yes she did.
Cost: NT$500 for an adult ticket.
Queue Time: Only 15 minutes when we went on a Saturday morning, although I’m sure a lot more by the afternoon.
The View: Pretty awesome, of course. Definitely not as good as Elephant Mountain or Maokong Gondola where you can walk around in the fresh air.
How to get there?
Take the MRT to Taipei City Hall, which is the closest MRT stop. Once you exit you’ll be able to see it because it’s massive. When you get inside, you need to head to the fourth floor, past all of the designer shops, where you can buy a ticket and take the lift up.