Taiwan is an island nation of about 36,000 square kilometers located off the coast of southeastern China, southwest of Okinawa and north of the Philippines. The island is governed by the Republic of China (Zhōnghuá Mínguó) or ROC. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, the nation is home to more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests. In addition to the island of Taiwan, the Republic of China also governs the Pescadores (Penghu), Quemoy (Kinmen/Jinmen), and Matsu.
Taipei is the capital of Republic of China. It is the seat of the government as well as it is the largest city of Taiwan. It is located in the northern part of the island in a basin between the Yangming Mountains and the Central Mountains.
Taiwan is not usually high on the list of destinations for Western tourists. Perhaps this is because the island's international reputation has been shaped more by its IT prowess and longstanding political disputes with mainland China than its culture or tourism, and so many assume that there is very little, if anything, of interest for the casual visitor. However, despite this general perception, Taiwan actually boasts some very impressive scenic sites, and Taipei is a vibrant center of culture and entertainment. The island is also a center of Chinese pop culture with a huge and vibrant entertainment industry. Taiwanese cuisine is also highly regarded among other Asians.
Taipei is a very progressive city. There are many skyscrapercity around the city. The city is very urbanized with so many establishments around and up to date technology gadgets in the market. The city has an efficient Mass Rapid Transit system or MRT and bus services with signs and announcements also written in English to make it accessible for non-Chinese speaking visitors. Taxi is also common for transportation. Taiwanese are just like Chinese people. But its quite hard to interact with because of the language barrier and most of them are not fluent in speaking in English. But just like other Asians, they are friendly and warm.
Other attractions around Taipei are...
Taipei 101 - Officially known as the Taipei International Financial Center, this 101-floor, 508-meter high skyscraper is located in the Xinyi District of Taipei. It is the tallest completed building in the world. The tower is rich in symbolism. It was designed to resemble bamboo rising from the earth, a plant recognized in Asian cultures for its fast growth and flexibility, both of which are ideal characteristics for a financial building. The building is also divided into eight distinct sections, with eight being a number associated with prosperity in Chinese culture. The internal architecture of Taipei 101 is similarly awe-inspiring. Pay attention to ornate details on the structural beams, columns, and other elements. Taipei 101 is perhaps most notable for its feats of engineering. It has been the world's tallest building since 2004, as determined by three of the four standards designated by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. It also boasts the world's fastest elevators, which will zip visitors up to the 89th-floor observation deck in a mere 37 seconds (cost: NT$400 for adults, NT$370 for kids under 12). It's worth taking a ride up, as the views are stunning. The best time to visit would be in the late afternoon when you spend a couple of hours and see both day and night views of Taipei. For an additional NT$100, you can also go up to the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor. Don't forget to look toward the middle of the building, where you'll see one of the massive gold dampers that keep the building steady. Attached to the tower is a large, up-scale mall. While the stores are unremarkable in that they offer the same brand-names as stores in other major cities around the world, the open and spacious design of the structure itself definitely makes it worth a visit.
|Day and night drama of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.|
For more information about Taiwan visit Wikitravel: Taiwan and Wikitravel: Taipei.