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Taipei

  • Taiwan
  • Taipei
  • 104.9 km²
  • New Taiwan dollar
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • 2.705 million (2016)
  • Always enjoyed my stay with Hilton Hotel and Resorts, top class room service and rooms have great outside views and luxury assessories. Thanks for great experience.

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    Jessica Brown
  • Always enjoyed my stay with Hilton Hotel and Resorts, top class room service and rooms have great outside views and luxury assessories. Thanks for great experience.

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    Lisa Kimberly
  • Always enjoyed my stay with Hilton Hotel and Resorts, top class room service and rooms have great outside views and luxury assessories. Thanks for great experience.

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    Simon

General Information About Taipei

Location

Taipei is a city found in Taipei, Taiwan. It is located 25.05 latitude and 121.53 longitude and it is situated at elevation 10 meters above sea level. Taipei has a population of 7,871,900 making it the biggest city in Taipei. It operates on the CDT time zone.

Climate

Taipei has a semi-tropical climate characterized by hot and humid weather. The most comfortable season to visit is the fall, when the rainfall is at its lowest and the temperatures average a pleasant mid 20°C. February to April are particularly damp with little sunlight, while the summers can be very hot, but often punctuated by heavy thunder showers. Taipei is prone to typhoons from May to October, though the highest concentrations are in August and September. Winters can be quite chilly, with temperatures occasionally falling below 10°C at night, though snowfall has never been known to occur.

Historical Journey

In many ways this 300-year-old city is like a living museum. The Taoist temples buzz with the prayers of the hopeful; the wooden boards of Japanese-era mansions creak under the feet of visitors; and the pilfered treasures in the National Palace Museum date back 5000 years. Merchant villas to military barracks have been restored, reworked and now live again as a museum or a shopfront. From the heirlooms of a tea merchant to the memories of a cemetery for the victims of the White Terror, Taipei is a city that takes great pride in celebrating its history – the triumphant and the tragic.

The Weird and Wonderful

Taipei's oddness is one of its charms. It may be inspired by the kawaii (cutesy) culture of Japan, but there's a lot of home-grown humour in there too. In the puppet museum you will find a strip-tease marionette oozing knock-kneed naughtiness; the idea of chocolate sauce on a steak is accepted; themed restaurants transport you to a world where you eat hotpot from a toilet bowl or in a hospital ward for dinner; and one of the top souvenir items of the city is a larger-than-life cock-shaped pineapple sponge cake.

Having Fun with Food

Dining out is so popular that many studio apartments in Taipei don't have kitchens: eating is cheap, casual and tasty. Indeed going out to eat is the best way to understand the Taiwanese. Whether you're getting your fingers greasy sampling snacks at one of the night markets or sharing Chinese dishes at a Taiwanese rèchǎo (stir-fried) joint, the defining characteristic is the element of fun. Yes, that is an invitation to try stinky tofu. While you're at it, you might as well have some Taiwan Beer too!

People First Taipei

With its lanes of blackened walk-ups and countless shopfronts, the city may look like it was thrown together in a hurry, but look again. Great care has been taken to make it a truly liveable place for people: public transport grids the city well and is fast and cheap; every few blocks there's a park with a generous supply of benches, shelters and flowers; good (and sometimes great) coffee is everywhere; the MRT has courtesy umbrellas free for rainy days; and a clean and free public toilet is never far away.

Transportation

Since Taipei launched its first metro system with Muzha Line in March 1996, other lines were completed one after another. The latest line completed, Xiangshan Line runs from Tamsui all the way to Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain), allowing passengers to travel across Taipei shortly. Painted trains are available on popular routes. For example, Xinbeitou station features hot-spring culture painted train to invite passengers embark on an adventurous trip. Taipei Main Station is the largest traffic junction in Taipei City with three railway systems, TRA, HSR and MRT. It also connects to Taipei Bus Terminal, allowing passengers to transit more easily. The architectural style of Taipei Main Station is one-of-a-kind. Since its inauguration in 1989, it has become an indispensable transportation hub. The Taipei YouBike bike-share system was launched in recent years to help ease traffic congestion in the city. As commuters can easily lease and return, the healthy, eco-friendly YouBikes are widely favored and used. Taipei is the largest city and capital of the Republic of China, or what is commonly known as Taiwan. The city is located along the Tamsui River in the Taipei Basin. It is nestled on the northern tip of Taiwan and is home to 6.9 million people. I bet that there are some things you do not know about the city and here are a few interesting facts below:
  • Between 2004-2010, Taipei Tower was considered the tallest building in the world. It is now outranked by the Burj Dubai in Dubai. The total cost of construction was estimated around $1,600,000,000.
  • Only in Taipei can you find a bookstore that runs 24-hours. In particular, the Eslite Bookstore Dunnan has all the books that you can think of and is open to customers 24 hours. In case you want to look up something (that is not on Google) you can find it here.
  • It is advisable to always have an umbrella with you. Taipei is notorious for getting a downpour without a warning. But therein lays one of the greatest Romantic experiences. Imagine walking in the rain with your fiancé? How about stealing a memorable kiss in the rain...just like they do it in the movies?
  • You will find all kind of weird ideas in Taipei. For example; there are several popular eateries that serve ice cream in mini toilet bowls, you are going to get you mug shot and posted on the internet and you will instantly become popular without knowing why...I mean, it is a completely open society.
  • Oh...you should give up on trying figuring out the things that are sold in the markets. Even the locals cannot tell you what 50% of the things they sell are. Just roll with it and you will find that there is adventure in anything that you do in Taipei.

Culture and History Taipei

History of Taiwan

Indigenous tribes have inhabited the region for some 4,000 years, with Chinese settlements springing up in the 16th century. It subsequently attracted European colonists, with the Dutch and Spanish both putting down roots. In 1684, Taiwan was taken over by the deposed Ming Dynasty, before becoming completely controlled by the Qing Dynasty and made a province in its own right. In the 1890s, Chinese defeat in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) brought the first occupation of Chinese territory by the Japanese and Taiwan was ceded to Japan, in perpetuity, in the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Although it was fiercely resented and resisted by the population, Taiwan remained under Japanese rule from 1895 until the end of WWII. The Chinese Civil War (1927-1950), which had already been in progress for some years, came to a head in 1948 as Mao's Communists defeated Chiang Kai-Shek and his nationalist forces. The nationalist leadership, along with thousands of supporters, fled to Taiwan where their political vehicle, the Kuo Min-Tang (KMT) rapidly came to dominate. Having ensured its own survival, the KMT set about developing Taiwan’s economy with spectacular success, helping the small island nation become one of the fast developing 'tiger economies' of the Pacific Rim. Politically, Taiwan relied for a long time upon the support of the USA until the early 1970s, when a rapprochement between Washington and Beijing took place, the USA effectively shifting its allegiance from Taiwan to China. The Chinese still consider Taiwan to be part of their national territory and continue to harbour the long-term objective of reunifying Taiwan with the mainland. International recognition of Taiwan by the United Nations is therefore unacceptable to Beijing, but for all their political disagreements, extensive trade, travel and communications links have built up between Taiwan and China since the early 1970s. Taiwan continues to call itself the Republic of China, a name the People’s Republic of China finds more acceptable than official recognition of an independent Taiwan. Did you know? • Although official People’s Republic of China policy is to reunify China, in recent years it has pursued a form of unification through Deng Xiaoping’s principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. • Taiwan uses two official calendars – the Gregorian and the Minguo, which began in 1911 with the founding of the Republic of China. • Taiwan competes as Chinese Taipei at the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.

Taiwan Culture

Religion in Taiwan

'Folk religion' - a blend of ancient animist beliefs with the traditions of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism - forms the core beliefs of most Taiwanese. Purer forms of Buddhism are also on the rise, along with Christianity. Due to the work of Western missionaries in centuries gone by, many aboriginal Taiwanese are Christians.

Social Conventions in Taiwan

Despite Taiwan's complex ethnic and cultural mix, its way of life is predominantly Chinese, steeped in tradition and marked by superstition. As such, ancient customs and festivals are celebrated with fervor, and traditional holidays are closely observed. Taiwanese people are on the whole extremely friendly, and standards of hospitality are high. Entertainment is more commonly offered in restaurants than in private homes, and visitors are not usually expected to entertain. Handshaking is common, and casual wear is widely acceptable.

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