A stroll around in the densely packed streets and experience the Eastern mysticism, side by side with pulsating business is an experience in itself. Otherwise, the city offers most of an exciting contrast between urban and rural areas. Would you like to go on a city trip to Taipei, then you have come to the right place.
Taipei with its convenient transportation network and numerous tourist attractions is the ideal place to conduct business as well as to relax and unwind afterwards. Aside from visiting the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, attending shows at the National Concert Hall and National Theatre and going around the busy commercial areas and historical sites within the city, the surrounding suburbs also offer many sites worth seeing.
Taipei is Taiwan’s largest city as well as its economic, political, and cultural center. It is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with a lively and diversified face, filled with exuberance. Its buildings provide much of the diversity, and visitors who are fond of historic sites and old streets will not want to miss the work of traditional master builders evident on Dihua Street in the Dadaocheng area or the Longshan Temple in the Wanhus district, as well as other places. The internationally renowned National Palace Museum has an inexhaustible collection of precious historical Chinese arts and artifacts that no visitor can afford to miss;Taipei is also home to many other fine museums, including the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, National Museum of History, and Postal Museum. On the city’s outskirts, the Yangmingshan National Park has unique volcanic terrain, a rich variety of forest vegetation, and an extensive network of hiking trails, making it a popular destination for visitors from the Taipei area and elsewhere. Yangmingshan is one of the places in the Taipei area where you can indulge yourself in a hot mineral bath; for the pleasure of relieving the exhaustion of a day’s travels, you can also go to the hot springs of Beitou or Wulai. Taipei also has the largest zoo in Taiwan, where you can see the rare Formosan black bear, cuddly koalas, and stately king penguins. The city’s comprehensive rapid transit system takes you quickly to the zoo or just about anyplace you might want to go in the metropolitan area.
The Taipei 101 skyscraper was completed in 2004 and remained the world’s highest building, at a height of 508 metres, until it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. It offers visitors magnificent views over Taipei and the surrounding area.
Shopping in Taipei
Taipei is excellent for shopping and offers visitors a broad range of exciting stores, outlets and tasty food markets. Night markets are very popular and the largest centre, and possibly the most popular, is the sprawling Shilin Night Market near Jiantan Station, which offers a vast range of shops and food outlets and is open daily from 5pm to midnight.
Other popular night markets include the Raohe Street Market, by the Song Shan MRT metro station, which has excellent eateries and a great variety of interesting shops and outlets. The Keelung Night Market is another tantalizing market located near the Keelung MRT station.
Being so close to the National Taiwan University, the Gonguan Street Market is popular amongst students and this is reflected in the reasonable prices. It’s known for its variety of exotic food and for its clothing, sports goods and book stores. You can also catch a movie at the cinema.
Huaxi Street Night Market is also known as “Snake Alley” because of its snake “delicacies”, but it also touts a variety of seafood as well as local and traditional cuisines. Opening hours are from 4pm to midnight.
Jade Market, at the southern end of Zhongxiao East Road, is worth a look with possibly the largest market for jade, semi-precious stones and jewellery in Asia.
The Chinese Handicraft Mart is a large emporium selling a massive range of over 40,000 items of furniture, jewellery and gifts and is close to Taipei Main Railway Station.
There are many other good shopping opportunities in Taipei, such as Zhongshan North Road, the Taipei 101 Shopping Mall and Bellavita in the Xinyi district, that offer quality, brand name goods. Stop by Nanjing West Road for the Shinkong Mitsukoshi department stores and Chengdu Road in the Ximending Wanwua District for The Red House, which has a cinema and many craft outlets.