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Taipei 101 officially opened

The Taipei 101

Taipei 101 officially opened on December 31, 2004. The tower is a multiuse building. It houses offices, stores, shops, and restaurants. Most of the building’s floors-nine through eightyfour-are offices rented by various companies. About ten thousand workers occupy the building every workday. But the tower is also a big draw to visitors and tourists. Sixty-three elevators serve the tower’s human traffic. Two elevators take visitors from the fifth floor to the observation decks on the eighty-ninth and ninety-first floors. These are the fastest elevators in the world, traveling at 3,314 feet (1,010 m) per minute. The ride lasts only thirty-seven seconds. The ninety-first floor observatory is outdoors. Visitors can see the city, nearby mountains, the Keelung River, and the South China Sea. They also have an up-close view of the towers 60-foot (18 m) spire. The eighty-ninth floor observatory is indoors. On this floor, audio guides in eight languages and high-powered binoculars add to the view. This floor also has gift shops and special mailboxes where tourists can send greetings from the sky. On the eighty-eighth floor, visitors can walk all the way around the TMD.

Fireworks in 2008 at Taipei 101

But not all the tower’s attractions are at the top. Six floors at the bottom of Taipei 101 are occupied by the 101 Mall. This shopping mall has more than 160 stores and twelve restaurants. The stores range from shops you might see in any U.S. mall to some of the world’s most expensive clothing and jewelry boutiques. The mall is very popular with young Taipei residents as well as with tourists. In 2008 Burj Dubai tower in the UAE passed Taipei 101 in height. But that same year, Taipei 101 was named by Newsweek magazine as one the New Seven Wonders of the World. The tower remains the pride of Taiwan and an architectural and engineering marvel.

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