No, you didn’t just accidentally enroll in an intro course about Taiwan. Taipei 101 is the currently the world’s 2nd tallest building (at 1,670.6 ft), and also contains world’s 2nd fastest elevator.
As you ride it, the lights dim, and a small star themed light show begins on the ceiling. My ears popped several times as we flew up floor after floor.
It was a great day to view the city, the winter rain had cleared for the day, and so it was finally time to glimpse my new neighborhood from above.
After viewing it from the inside, I was lucky to find that the outside deck was open as well. The view wasn’t as good, as there were bars and other things in the way, so if you're a fairly short person you might have some difficulties, but it was sunny and warm as I tried to peer out over the city.
As you make your way back down, you take the stairs to the 88th floor, where the buildings massive wind damper is located. This helps balance the building during earthquakes, typhoons, and all the other problems having a tall building in Taiwan might present. The damper also lends some inspiration to the building mascot they have for Taipei 101 called "Damper baby", he’s a red man, with a head shaped like the wind damper, and he flies around on posters all over the building. If you want a glimpse of him, check out this postcard I sent my friend Sean.
As you head back down the elevator, you are treated to a similar light show on the ceiling, before your adventure is over and you are back into the world. If you're in the mood for some shopping the mall around Taipei 101 is nice and features a lot of designer brands, but I prefer to get my snack on in the food court located in the basement.