We recently had a visitor from the US and we wanted to show him around a little. Taiwan is an interesting place so we took him to a number of “must sees.” There was a trip to Hu Tou Shan (Tiger Head Mountain) above Taoyuan City. We took him to Ying Ge’s famous Ceramics Old Street and of course the most popular tourist destination in all of Taiwan, the Taipei 101.
I wasn’t sure that I could easily find the 101, but then again, it towers over the city so, really, it would be hard not to find. In fact I drove to it quickly and easily. Exit, Freeway 1 East at Jian Guo N. Road, turn right and drive to Xin Yi Road and turn left, this route will take you directly to the 101 and all it’s glory.
The 101 is the second tallest building in the world. It was the tallest building in the world until the completion of the Dubai Towers, but as they like to say at the 101, it is now the tallest "inhabited’ building in the world.
The 101 is designed to resemble the Chinese pagoda type of architecture. It stands at 508 meters (1,667 feet) tall. There is an indoor observation deck located on the 89th floor and an outdoor observation deck on the 91st floor. Two express elevators carry passengers to the observation floor at 1010 meters/minute (55 feet/second). In order to stabilize the structure an 800 metric ton steel sphere is mounted at the 88th floor. The sphere acts as a counterweight and uses a dampening system to mitigate the building sway.
The tower is home to Taiwan Corporate Headquarters of many international companies and also houses a very high-end mall with many beautiful (and expensive) stores and restaurants. If you are an expat living in Taiwan and want to see other foreigners, this is the place.