[Taiwan Insider] Reaching New Heights: A Guide to Taipei 101

Probably the most famous landmark in all of Taiwan, Taipei 101, the former tallest building in the world between 2004 and 2010, stands proudly in Taipei’s Xinyi district. Angela Chang has been president of Taipei 101 since July 2018. The former chief executive director of Tsai Ing-wen’s Thinking Taiwan Foundation, Chang is extremely passionate about the role 101 plays for the city and the nation as a whole. Taiwan Scene sat down with her to get the lowdown on Taiwan’s highest skyscraper, from the must-dos to whether it really does in fact have 101 floors. (Read more: A Perfect Day in Taipei’s Xinyi District)

What kind of role does Taipei 101 play for Taipei city?

“If you’re landing in Taiwan from Songshan Airport at sunset, you’ll see Taipei 101 as the lighthouse of the city when the plane’s taxiing down the runway. We call it ‘the beacon of Taiwan.’ From such a scene you’ll know that Taipei 101 is not just a landmark for people in Taipei and Taiwan. It’s also a spiritual symbol and guide.”

“We feel we are the gateway to Taiwan.”

Taipei 101 − the gateway to Taiwan. (Image source: Huang Yingone)

A Typical Day at Work for the President of Taipei 101

“[I’m] mostly in meetings. I schedule meetings for most of the day, I hardly spend any time at my desk. Meetings can often be boring, but a year into this job I found many, many opportunities to do a lot of different things and make changes. Meetings may sound mundane, but I am able to work with my top management team to drive changes. So, the meetings are not just about talking about routine matters, but how we’re driving changes. That’s exciting for me. The challenging part and gratifying part of this [job] is actually leading this management team and organization and making changes.” (Read also: Taipei 101 to Begin Multi-Nation Tour)

Angela Chang has been president of Taipei 101 since July 2018. (Image source: Taiwan Scene)

What is one thing you’d recommend for visitors to Taipei 101?

“If you go onto the fifth floor, after the ticketing office, you will see a large curved screen showing what you can experience in Taiwan. It could be running a marathon, which is a very popular sport here, cycling, hiking, bird watching, surfing diving; all kinds of activities. It’s not about the tourist spots, Jiufen etc. It’s about what people here can experience and I think that’ very, very important. We also just put together a 20m-wide screen that’s three meters tall and shows the beauty of Taiwan. Again, it’s not about the tourist spots, it’s about the beauty of Taiwan’s many natural spots. We feel we are the gateway to Taiwan. So, for many first-time visitors, if they come here, they can get a good flavor of what they can potentially experience and see in Taiwan.” (Click here to find out what else there is to do at Taipei 101, from food to shopping, to sightseeing to a flight simulator)

The curved screen on the 5th floor of Taipei 101 is showing what you can experience in Taiwan. (Image source: Taiwan Scene)

Does Taipei 101 really have 101 floors?

“Taipei 101 does have 101 floors! You might be wondering why we built 101 floors? Everyone knows 100 is the symbol of a perfect score, but we hope we can do better than full credit. Especially in Taiwan, we hope that Taipei 101 can showcase how high Taiwan can reach and Taiwan’s vision.” (You might also like: Running Up 101: The Ultimate Taipei Experience)

100 is the symbol of a perfect score and Taipei 101 is more than perfect! (Image source: MyTaiwanTour)

Go to the very top

“We launched a product in July [2019] called Skyline 460 – a walk on the clouds. We opened up our rooftop. We want to bring you to the top of the 101st floor and walk on the clouds. So, we’ve opened it up to the public, at a price, so you can go much higher than anywhere in Taiwan and most places in Asia. We welcome people who are daring and are keen to reach the stars. It really is very different from seeing the view from indoors.”

Skyline 460 allows visitors to go to the very top of Taipei 101. (Image source: MyTaiwanTour)

Interested in going to the top of Taipei 101? See the city from new heights with this incredible Skyline 460 experience that also includes dinner at world-famous Din Tai Fung.

Cover photo by Lisanto 李奕

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