Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and is located in the north of the country between the Central Mountains and the Yangming Mountains. Taipei may not be as popular a destination as other capital cities in the region, but it is still a vibrant and charming city with surprises around many corners.
THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN TAIPEI
- Taipei offers a huge number of museums throughout the city and many in wonderful historic buildings. The National Palace Museum houses one of the world’s best collections of Chinese antiquities including interesting artefacts such as the pork belly jade and the jade cabbage. The National Taiwan Museum is in a wonderful Baroque and Renaissance building in ‘Peace Park’ and was Taiwan’s first museum opened in 1899. The Beitou Hot Spring Museum built in 1913 was the largest in East Asia at the time. Built during the Japanese occupation, it has been lovingly restored and its 12 rooms depict the story of the mystery of Beitou.
- There are also a huge number of great temples to visit in Taipei. Longshan Temple is dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist representation of compassion. It is a beautiful traditional temple that attracts many interesting people including blind masseurs offering their skills and fortune tellers. Baoan Temple is a Taoist temple that dates back to 1805 and contains paintings and sculptures that are considered to be amongst the best in Taiwan. Just next door lies Confucius Temple built in 1879 to serve as the largest educational centre in northern Taiwan.
- The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is the most famous symbol of both Taipei and the republic of China and one of the most visited attractions. It is a lovely place to visit and houses a bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek continually watched over by two guards, his memorial museum and fantastic gardens.
EATING OUT & NIGHTLIFE IN TAIPEI
You won’t be short of choice looking for somewhere to eat in Taipei, what with the city having one of the highest concentrations of restaurants in the world. With this comes a great selection too including many popular tasty Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean dishes. The city is alive all day and night with many bars and cafes from which to relax or party and also Tea Houses serving Taiwan’s speciality tea High Mountain Oolong.
GETTING AROUND IN TAIPEI
Taipei is a huge and modern city with clean and efficient public transport systems. These include the Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system which is driverless system that includes ‘safe zones’ on platforms for women and children travelling at night with good surveillance and also an efficient bus service which goes to many of the main attractions in Taipei.
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