Some of you might heard the legend of the secret entrance into the Taipei 101. The story seems almost unbelievable, it goes like this:
You shall have 101 office building upon you and mall on your right. You shall walk through thy doors and continue to 35F. There shall be plenty of coffee, water and pastry. And you will know the name of the place is Starbucks. And it will be good (and free).
Well since I am in Taipei and I don’t really have much to do, I assumed I might as well investigate. There is obviously the official way on top of the Taipei 101, but the cost is quite high – 500 NTD (about 18 cans of Taiwan beer). But there is, indeed, a better way. There is a starbucks on 35th floor. It is not 89th floor where the observatory is, but it is still pretty high. And it is for free (almost).
So how do you get there? Until recently, there was a way how to get there, described here or here. You would just go to the one of the visitor machines on the bottom floor and get special card to get you to the 35F. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work anymore. This secret was probably not so secret anymore, and starbucks had to do something about it. But don’t worry, there is still a way how to get there. You will just need a phone, patience and horse tranquilizer to knock out the building security … I am of course joking. Any kind of chloroform will do.
You need to follow these simple steps:
- Make a reservation on number 81010701. If you don’t have Taiwanese number, you call it with the taiwan international calling code +88681010701. The reservation has to be made one day in advance. The starbucks guys speaks quite a good English so don’t worry.
- Get to the entrance to the Taipei office building. That means go to the base of the tower not to the mall building which is enclosing it like an ugly parasite.
- There should be employee standing in the typical green apron close to the gates.
- The employee will take you to the 35th floor. Enjoy the view!
There is a little catch to it, the Starbucks will require you to buy one drink and one piece of pastry on the entrance. But the price can go as little as 120 NT (about 5 cans of Taiwan beer), so still a bargain.