The capital of Taiwan, Taipei shares the basin of an ancient lake with New Taipei City. The Tamsui River runs through the cities, which are separate administrative entities.
Just to the north of the Tropic of Cancer, Tapei enjoys hot tropical summers and warm winters.
Taipei is easy to get around, has a computer-savvy population and a unique and interesting culture.
6 million people visit Taipei each year. Many head straight to the city’s landmark skyscraper,Taipei 101, theNational Palace Museum, and the gloriousChiang Kai-shek Memorial Halldowntown.To the southeast, the Maokong tea-growing area is another favorite destination. Learn more about the cultivation of the world’s favorite drink, then jump aboard theMaokong Gondolafor panoramic views over Taipei.
The gondola stops at the hugeTaipei Zoo, which featured in the Oscar-winning movie The Life of Pi in 2012. Signs tell you which real-life animals starred in this animated 3D spectacle and you can come eye-to-eye with the Formosan black bear.
Visit theShilin Night Marketto hear the vendors shout out their specialties in Mandarin and order delicious Chinese food such as roast duck or noodle soup.Of course, a temple tour should be on your itinerary too. Admire the buddhist dragon sculptures inLongshan Templeand see how the sober interior of theConfucius Templeembraces the philosophy of being content with little.
Taipei hosts many festivals and in the 5th lunar month, around the time of the dragon boat festival, you can photograph traditional races.
The dolphin-shaped island of Taiwan in the North Pacific Ocean is just a short flight away from Hong Kong. From Taipei, it is easy to take a plane to anywhere on the island.