Taiwan D7: Taipei 101 (Again!)
There’s no way we’re leaving Taiwan without visiting Taipei 101!
I’ve been craving to see Taipei 101 from up-and-close, and I don’t think seeing it from 1km away is sufficient to fully appreciate the whole scale and magnitude of the building… it‘s one of the world’s tallest, for Christ’s sake!
It’s almost 9 pm when we returned from Shilin Night Market and we made the crazy decision. We didn’t have the time to visit Taipei 101 during our brief photo-taking session on Day 2, so we’re gonna take our full-on revenge on our last night.
Taipei 101 is goddamn tall…
It’s so goddamn tall I was bending my neck all the way up and still… I couldn’t see the whole of it.
Taipei 101 appropriately hints that it has 101 floors. While it no longer holds the world record for the tallest building, what keeps it impressive is its ability to withstand earthquake and typhoon (which seems to be quite common there, recalling that I was sooo close to encountering one myself during my visit to Taroko Gorge).
Taipei 101 is one of the most stable buildings ever constructed in the history of humanity. FACT.
The secret? Suspended from the 92nd floor to the 82nd floor, the world’s largest damper sphere at the diameter of 5.5 meter with a weight of 660 metric tons keep it stable. 41 layers of 12.5 centimeter thick steel plate are welded together into the sphere. Altogether, this reduces the movement of the tower by up to 40%. That’s some serious architectural achievement, don’t you think?
Now let’s forget the technicalities. We didn’t come here for the ball, we came here for the view. And the view from the observatory deck—located at 89th floor, which we reached in just 13 seconds from the elevator… dang, can this whole technical details stop impressing me already—anyway, the view from the observatory deck certainly didn’t disappoint.
Light pollution has robbed us off the beauty of stars in our night sky. But hey, if we’re not getting our stars back, we might as well change our perspective and look back to the ground from up there.
Quite unlike big cities such as Singapore or Hong Kong, one unique thing about Taipei is that the buildings are usually not well lit-up. Hence all the lights are coming mostly from the street or from those which escape from office windows. So instead of seeing one bright building after another, we get millions of “stars” scattered across the city, which was a very surreal experience.
Taipei 101 is certainly one of the big highlights of our trip—just the perfect way to end our last night in Taiwan.
Which skyscrapers have the best observatory deck? Is Taipei 101 right up there on your list? I’d be happy to hear from you…