Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan

The Taipei 101 is actually the Taipei Financial Center in the capital of Taiwan and, with a gigantic height of 509 metres, by far the tallest building in the country. The observation deck on the 89th floor offers an unforgettable view over Taiwan's sea of houses.

Taipei 101 is actually the Taipei Financial Center in the capital of Taiwan and, with a gigantic height of 509 metres, by far the tallest building in the country. It towers over the sea of houses in Taipei by about twice as much and is a spectacular sight. Until the beginning of 2007, it was the tallest building in the world, but then Taipei 101 had to cede this title to the still unfinished Burj Kalifah in Dubai.


Taipei 101 is called the highest skyscraper in Taiwan because of its 101 floors. In addition, there are 5 underground floors. Taipei 101 boasts the second highest accessible floor, which was ceremonially opened on 1 May 2003. With a height of 438m, it surpasses the Willis Tower in Chicago.

500m high Feng Shui Bamboo

Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan at night - © ryan_rop / Fotolia
© ryan_rop / Fotolia

The striking shape of Taipei 101 was not a whim of the architect Chang Yong Lee, but serves the stability of the skyscraper. Taipei lies in the earthquake zone between the Eurasian and Philippine continental plates and has to reckon with up to 4 typhoons a year. To defy the forces of nature, the architecture of Taipei 101 was modelled on the extremely flexible bamboo cane. The eight areas originate from the Chinese harmony doctrine Feng Shui and stand for wealth; likewise, the oversized gold coins embedded in the façade are supposed to protect against bad business.

To cope with the turbulence of the enormous height, there is also a gold-plated steel sphere measuring over 5 m in diameter on the 88th-92nd floor of Taipei 101. Weighing 660 tonnes, it swings against the wind and is intended to compensate for the building's vibrations. A construction of this size that is unique in the world. Two further vibration absorbers weighing 4.5 tonnes are located in the antenna construction. In this way, the force of the winds that the steel structure has to contend with at a height of 500 metres can be roughly halved. The 380 steel pillars anchoring Taipei 101 to the ground are driven 80 metres into the ground.

The official opening of Taipei 101 took place on New Year's Eve 2004, the construction costs amounted to 1.6 billion euros. The magnificent skyscraper is primarily used as an office building. Well-known companies, such as Google, McKinsey or L'Oreal, have rented space in this luxurious location. Telecommunications facilities can be found on the top floors from 92 to 100.

Taipei 101 Shopping Temple

Information on places of interest for your holiday in Taiwan with travel tips, pictures, travel guides, climate, weather and entry regulations - © ChenPG / Fotolia
© ChenPG / Fotolia

On the lowest floor is the largest shopping centre in Taiwan. The fastest lifts in the world take you up to the 89th floor at a speed of around 60km/h. Here is the inner observation deck, from which you can enjoy an unforgettable view over the sea of houses in Taipei and the green mountain landscape beyond. Further viewing opportunities are located outside on the 91st floor and can only be accessed when there is no wind, which is rather rare.

The 101st floor is closed to visitors. The journey back down takes us at 36km/h. The ceiling of the lift is transformed into a starry firmament and there is a subtle smell of incense...