Taipei 101 is a skyscraper in the Xinyi district of Taipai – it was the world’s tallest building from 2004 until this year (it was, of course, inevitable that something taller would be built).
Our daughter asked if the Taiwan employees had to sing when they were tipped, but since we didn’t buy any ice cream at 10:00 am, nor did we tip, we don’t know.
On the 5th floor you can buy (fairly expensive) tickets for the observatory level on the 89th floor. You take an extremely high speed elevator (85 floors in 33 seconds) up; during the ride the elevator dims and star patterns are shown, and the elevator operator recites statistics in Mandarin and Japanese.
On the 89th floor you get a complimentary audio guide in the language of your choice, and you wander around and see Taipei and the surrounding mountains from all angles:
There are several amusing touches:
Able-bodied visitors can then go out to the 91st floor outdoor observatory via stairs; a security guard took us via elevator. The railings were too high for me to see anything outside, but here are the top 10 floors of the building:
Engineering buffs can go back inside to the 88th floor and see the tuned mass damper, a 660 metric ton pendulum that offsets the building’s movement due to wind (note to self: learn how to photograph things through glass):
The engineer husband was disappointed at the lack of technical detail provided, but there was actually lots of information about the construction of the building and its technical infrastructure.