Sunday, July 27, 2014

Taipei 101 (臺北101) - The Bamboo Skyscraper with its Super Adorable Damper Babies

I have a fear for heights but this inconvenience has never stopped me from checking out the observatory located in skyscrapers / towers whenever i have the chance to do so. Look, i am weird in a certain sense and i bloody hell know it. 

Let's now continue with my Taiwan postings that never seem to end and in relation to the opening paragraph, it is appropriate to touch on my journey up Taipei 101 which was the world's tallest building before 2010! 

For tourists on free and easy, please note that tickets can only be purchased on the fifth floor of the shopping mall. Many shops would attract the attention of your female counterpart, so be focused if you have allocated limited time for this attraction. 

The queue to purchase the tickets cleared very fast and i thought it would be in the next couple of minutes that i would reach the top of the skyscraper. 

Wrong! There was still a bloody queue to take the elevator and that was the time killer; we waited for close to twenty five minutes before we were ushered into the lift! 

Dos and Don'ts - what?! No flowers?!?!!? What if i need to propose to my girlfriend on the observation deck!? Okay, maybe that's the reason why the management is disallowing people from bringing in flowers! 

As with many Asian attractions, you would be asked to enter the "green zone" for a picture that cost ridiculously expensive! In Taipei 101, they were generous to screen the photograph on the monitors and that's when cheapos like me started to make full use of our camera's function; the ability to shoot continuously! 

Despite losing the title of the world's tallest building to Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101 still holds the Guinness World Records for the world's fastest passenger lift that travels at 1,010 meters per minute! 

The piped up frustration over the wait before taking the lift dissipated upon takeoff when all lights were switched off; leaving dumb-founded passengers with star constellations on the ceiling to look at.

Individuals with claustrophobia might consider holding their breath and looking at the screen beside the door where there's a timer! Put it this way, it's easier to count down than not knowing when you would reach the top! 

Observation deck on the 89th floor!

As you stepped out of the elevator, you would first be welcomed by the damper baby. Tourists being tourists, this group of Korean students had to take picture after picture, pose after pose! Don't waste your time; there were quite a number of damper babies and you don't have to restrict yourself to just this one. 

Bird's eye views of the surrounding! Honestly, the 89th floor was only about 383.4 meters but for me, it has always been enjoyable to check out the miniature effect brought on by the 'top of the world' standing. 

I am thinking if i should bore you with fanciful information you could have already read about. For example, how the building incorporates Chinese elements. Answer, by the way, is its use of the bamboo as the design, the eight mega columns (eight is an auspicious number for Chinese) and the displays of ancient Chinese coins and ruyi. 

As usual, panels showcasing the top ten skyscrapers in the world. We all know Burj Khalifa in Dubai is now the world's tallest building but it might surprise you that Taipei 101 isn't on the second position!

Retail section where you can go crazy with the vast amount of Taipei 101 memorabilia on sale! Alcohol drinkers / liquor collectors can go for the 33-year sorghum wine housed in a Taipei 101-shaped bottle. 

Darn, i almost forgot this! Free audio tour was available for everyone and you just med to collect the equipment that would help you with relevant information in the clearly marked out sections.

That equipment had the appearance and buttons of the wireless telephone i had back home!

See, Alex would have fooled many with this deep discussion he appeared to be having (likely negotiating for a higher commission for the real estate deals)! 

More pictures! I couldn't quite make out the notable landmarks surrounding Taipei 101.

Except for this compound with the orange-tiled roof; the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall which i couldn't find the time to visit! The Great Kon, noting the lack of time, suggested the bigger Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall instead. 

Another section was an exhibition for the red corals which can be made into precious jewellery. I didn't know that the waters around Taiwan have great abundance of these valuable marine skeletons. 

Remember i mentioned there were quite a number of damper babies? This was one of them! Best thing, no one was taking picture with it!

I personally think it was great marketing strategy to have damper babies as they were far too adorable! Even i was tempted to get a few key chains featuring them! Luckily the miser in me kicked in at the last moment. 

Mother of the damper babies, otherwise known as the REAL wind damper. She was huge at 5.5 meters across and weighed an impressive 660 tonnes! Her objective was clear - the correct the building's movement in events of strong wind. 

On our way to the outdoor observatory on 91st floor! 

Wrong timing as the entire place was shrouded in clouds! Note that this outdoor section is heavily dependent on weather conditions and might be closed in bad weather. In our case, we were not given the option of a 360-degree; only one side was open for visitors.

Damn, i could not even see the tip of Taipei 101.

Climbing down the stairs to 88th floor. Interested in a vertical race? Join the annual Taipei 101 run up race! More information can be found on the weblink here

Another damper baby! There were essentially four damper babies segregated by colours; lucky red, rich gold, cool black and smart silver. Each of them has their own personality and dream! 

Mother damper again.

The floor where we would be taking the elevator back the ground had an almost entire level selling red coral jewellery! For paupers like Alex and me, we were grateful that no one took a second glance of us.  


Drop at Taipei 101 / World Trade Centre Station


Ticket Pricing
Adult - NT$500 
Child - NT$450 


  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    Hi! How much time did you spend at Taipei 101?

    1. Hello! I spent about 2 hours. :)