Just like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Taipei 101 has become a landmark in Taipei. It is a must-see for both tourists and locals. Tourists may be attracted by the modern architecture itself, while the locals can't help seeing it everwhere they go.
A tower, according to Roland Barthes, is always a dream and function, an expression of an ideal and also an instrument of a convenience (6). The duality of the tower finds its origin in the Babel myth. Babel is a tool for humans to communicate with God; meanwhile, it symbolizes a dream to compete with God. Hiding behind the visiting of a tower is exactly Hubris!
The panoramic vision of a tower is appealing in that we get the temporary control of space and time. For example, when we perceive Taipei from Taipei 101, our mind tries to decipher the mutation of the landscape nearby. We seek spontaneously certain familiar locations from our knowledge. In other words, the astonishment of space plunges us into the depth of time. And we all fall into a state of anamnesis. The current identity is dropped in the panoramic vision. We are merged into history while we are trying to recognize known sites. And a feeling of sublime rises with the inspection of history. Ah, this is civilization we witness; how great mankind are!
Barthes, Roland. The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies. Trans. Richard Howard. Berkeley: U of Calif. P, 1997.