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Taipei, Taiwan: Travel Guide

Sightseeing, shopping and food guide to Taipei City.
The capital city of Taipei is situated at the northern tip of the island of Taiwan. Once an 'ugly duckling' filled with awful architecture and congested traffic, it has since evolved to become one of Asia's most attractive and modern cities. Today, Taipei continues to draw throngs of tourists who come to see its famous night markets, trendy shopping districts as well as historical attractions.

Weather/ when to go:

Taipei enjoys a subtropical climate. The summer months can be hot and humid and are generally one of the busiest times of year too. Not a fan of heat or crowds? You may prefer to visit in either autumn or spring, although the latter can be unpredictable. Winter can be wet and sometimes cool, particularly in the north. Watch out for typhoon season from June to October, especially in the east part of Taipei.

Do & see:

Don't miss these things to do and see while you're in Taipei!

Shilin Night Market

Widely considered to be the king of Taipei's night markets, the Shilin Night Market is well known for its amazing mouth-watering snacks. If you're a foodie, this place is not to be missed! But that isn't all that you can expect to find there: The night carnival is also teeming with stalls selling trendy clothing and accessories (shoes, hats, bags, you name it) -- all at very affordable prices.
Address: Shilin


Taipei 101

For views across Taipei and beyond (on a clear day!), take a trip to the observation deck of this tower, which is shaped like a bamboo stalk. It was previously the tallest building in the world but while it no longer has that distinction, it does still have one record to its name -- the fastest elevator in the world! Getting up to the 89th floor observation deck takes less than a minute. Don't be shocked if your ears pop on the way up!
Address: 45 Shifu Rd Xinyi


Yangmingshan National Park

Another must-visit is the Yangminshan National Park. Taipei's biggest national park has a volcanic terrain, with crater lakes and sulfur fumaroles and hot springs. The Peitou Hot Spring Bath is popular with locals and tourist alike. Bathing in the water is said to have therapeutic effects such as treating muscle pains, digestive problems, arteriosclerosis and other ailments.
Address: No.1-20, Zhuzihu Rd, Beitou District


Ximending

Ximending is the trendy shopping and entertainment district of Taipei, chock-full of shops selling the latest fashion catering to the youth crowd. The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei. While you're shopping, don't forget to check out the smaller alleys for some bargain finds. After hours, you might want to hang around to soak in the vibrant nightlife, thanks to several popular nightclubs located here.
Address: Ximending


National Palace Museum

You'll find Chinese art in abundance here. Permanent collections features paintings, calligraphy, rare books, historical documents and antiques.
Address: 221 Zhishan Rd, Shilin District


Discovery Centre of Taipei

The Discovery Centre of Taipei is a good place to learn more about the city and its history. Find out more about Taipei's transition from a gated and walled city back in 1882 to the modern and vibrant location that it is today.
Address: 1 Shifu Rd Xinyi Taipei City Hall


Taipei Story House

Originally an English Tudor-style house, the building now hosts an exhibition of Taipei's cultural history. It is the only building in Taipei to have this heritage. It has been a Heritage Site since 1998 and gave birth to the Taipei Story in 2003.
Address: 181-1 Zhongshan N Rd, sec.3 Zhongshan


2-28 Memorial Museum

This museum is dedicated to the events of 2-28-1947 and is part of the wider 2-28 Peace Park. On this day, soldiers loyal to Chiang Kai-Shek (the then leader of Taipei) opened fire on Taiwanese protestors, who had been demonstrating against police brutality. Tens of thousands were killed. The museum stands on the site where this happened. Inside you'll find images of the incident and personal effects of victims.
Address: 3 Ketagalan Blvd Old Town Centre


Lin Family Mansion and Garden

Many Chinese-style mansions were lost in restoration or through natural decay but this one has been able to survive after being renovated and maintained. Some elements have been restored to replicate their original features.
Address: 9 Ximen St Banqiao City


Taroko Gorge

Known as one of the seven wonders of Asia, this is a must-visit attraction. Highlights include Yanzikhou (Swallow Grotto -- where the gorge walls almost meet), Jiuqudong (Tunnel of Nine Turns -- where the sheer cliffs are just meters apart and arguably the most spectacular part of the gorge) and the Changchun Shrine (the Eternal Spring Shrine, which honors the 226 people who died during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway).

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