The capital of the Republic of China, Taipei—not to be confused with the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing - is Taiwan's most happening city. It is a well developed metropolis and an economic success story.
Taipei is one of the safest Asian capitals for visitors, with little in the way of violent crime and high standards on hotels and hygiene. Transport options in the city and from the airport are excellent, while changing money is a breeze. It is useful to know some basic dos and don'ts, while avoiding the typhoon season is a must.
Known as the ‘Emporium without End', Taipei has endless shopping options and the best of it located right downtown trading quality products at a pretty price. There is also a good amount of shopping to be had in out of the way boutiques.
Taipei has entertainment options in all areas, from a decent nightlife scene to the arts, nature hikes, and spas. The hinterland is rough and exciting and is wholly accessible from town. It is best enjoyed at the nearby Songshan Nature Reserve, with its established hiking trails.
Taipei has a great range of attractions, from astonishingly beautiful old temples to grandiose skyscrapers and safari park-like zoos. In fact, you'd be hard pushed to find anything better in one city in mainland China. Plus everything is kept spotlessly clean and well maintained.
Taipei's density of restaurants is on par with that of Tokyo, meaning they are literally everywhere, in virtually every street and alley citywide. The quality of the food is extremely good, and you'd be hard pressed to find anything comparable in mainland China. Although Chinese is the main fare, Japanese, Thai, European, and American cuisine is also easy to find.
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