Taipei, capital of Taiwan, is a city of
high rise office buildings, modern condominiums, and department
stores. It is also a city of beauty, culture, tradition, and
sophistication. It holds 1,000 years of priceless Chinese
history in its hillside vaults.
The historical treasures of mainland China were transported
piece by piece to caves to preserve them during wartime. 620,000
of these pieces are now exhibited in the National Palace Museum
on a rotating basis, with the others remaining in storage. Most
of the porcelain, jade, lacquer, bronze, and other remarkable
objects were once part of the Chinese imperial collection. The
National Palace Museum is considered one of the worldí»s four
The Lungshan Temple is a center of worship for deities from
several faiths. The front court is devoted to the Buddhist
goddess of mercy, the rear court to the Taoist goddess of the
sea, and niches throughout the temple to many others. Nearby
Hsiyuan Road is filled with stalls selling religious images and
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is an impressive sight. The
gracefully designed building is bordered by extensive gardens,
areas for rest and contemplation, and fish ponds. It is a
gathering place for walks and for kite flying.
The nightlife of Taipei is vibrant and entertaining. Don't miss
the Night Market with its myriad stalls offering everything
imaginable. Fine restaurants, classical music performances,
modern art, traditional Beijing opera, and lively nightclubs all
operate in harmony. As for the cuisine, it is superb. Visitors
can enjoy regional specialties from all parts of China.
Outside the city there are several day trips that are of
interest. Yangmingshan is a mountain range at the north end of
the city, and a great place for hiking and a visit to a hot
springs resort. On the opposite side of town, to the south, is
the Sungshan Nature Reserve. Its mountain hiking trails extend
into lush forest. Thirty minutes outside Taipei is the seaside
resort of Jio Fun. The shore is lined with teahouses, each
offering the worldí»s best view along the coast.
Taiwan's culture is a blend of its distinctive Chinese heritage
and Western influences. Fine arts, folk traditions, and popular
culture embody traditional and modern Asian, and Western motifs.
The beautiful temples are the setting for colorful folk
Taipei is a source of fascination and excitement in every
aspect. A day in Taipei will be treasured forever.
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