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The city of Taipei is a modern metropolis on the northern tip of Taiwan. As the capital city, Taipei is a cultural and economic hub. With years of interesting and contested history, this island city has so much to offer.
From the finest in shopping and design, to traditional markets and ancient museums, Taipei is the heart of Taiwan and a must-see for travelers of all ages.
Residents of Taipei enjoy high quality of life in a city that is growing more globally connected each year. As one of the world's leading cities in producing and researching electronics, Taipei is a city made on modern wealth. Many industry leaders in the tech world are based in Taipei and have given rise to its industrial prowess in the field of technology development.
Until the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Taipei boasted the world's tallest building from 2004 to 2010. The building known as Taipei 101 is currently ranked the world's 5th tallest building and is the tallest in Taiwan overall. At 1,667 feet (508 meters), Taipei 101 dominates the city skyline. It features a unique design modeled after both bamboo and traditional pagoda styles.
Taipei has a humid, subtropical climate. The summers can be hot and humid and are often impacted by typhoons. The best times to visit are in the spring and fall. From March to May, visitors can expect mild, sunshiny weather and a city in full bloom. The many gardens of Taipei make spring an ideal time to visit. In September through November, the weather is cooler and less humid.
Transportation once you land in Taipei is no problem. With a 10 line MRT subway, a high-speed train line to cities on the western coast and the Taoyuan International Airport being only 20 kilometers from central Taipei, it is easy to get around. If you're flying from the US or Europe, flights to Taiwan are easy to come by and are often direct. From 1949 to 2008, travel directly between Taiwan and mainland China was not allowed. Nowadays, there are daily flights from major Chinese cities to Taipei available for anyone wanting to visit.
The Taipei bike share program has grown ever since its introduction in the early 2000s. Within Taipei's 105 square miles, locals and tourists enjoy biking on historic paths and friendly streets. The system is eco-friendly and will only cost you a few cents an hour. The program is known as Youbike and there are over 200 stations around the city to pick up and drop off your bike.
Street food is becoming more in vogue in North America and Europe with food trucks and pop-ups becoming the highlights of local food scenes. In Taipei, the authentic side to street food can be found around every corner. The most popular night market for street food is the Shilin Market in north Taipei. This busy culinary area offers hundred of food stalls at cheap prices that cater to the large crowds that flock to it each evening. Try out the classic Stinky Tofu or other Taiwanese dishes from local vendors while soaking up the street food market atmosphere.
The city offers free public access WiFi to everyone living and visiting there. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and you are ready to go. This is a life saver if you want to avoid buying a local phone or SIM card to help keep you connected. The WiFi system is in place all around the city with 1,000s of locations serving as WiFi hotspots.
For United States citizens, there is no visa requirement to visit Taiwan in general. While you'll need a visa if you plan to go on to the mainland, Taipei only requires a valid passport for the length of your stay. Visitors can stay within Taiwan for a full 90 days before moving on. This allows plenty of time for exploring Taipei and seeing the other sights Taiwan has to offer.
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