Introducing the city

£1.00 | NT$38.64

GBP | TWD

Gasoline £0.68 | NT$26.09

One-way ticket £0.52 | NT$20.00

Beer £1.26 | NT$48.51

Main Course £2.59 | NT$100.02

About Taipei

Heritage buildings sit by one of the world's tallest landmarks, night markets jostle and national parks flank lush green suburbs: Welcome to the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.

Capital of the contested island nation of Taiwan (is it China or not?), eclectic buzzing Taipei is one of Asia's up-and-coming new kids on the block. Over the years it has been both Japanese and Chinese, creating a unique blend of citywide heritage architecture and a diverse mix of languages and people. Imperial mansions still along religious sites, including serene and colourful Longshan Temple and Hsing Tian Kong. If you're looking for something a bit more dare-devil then take to the skies in the Maokong Cable Car for panoramic city views.

Down wide boulevards, nestled in manicured gardens you'll find the likes of the National Palace Museum and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (time your trip with the guard parade). For a spot of nighttime sophistication head up Taipei 101 observation tower (formerly the tallest in the world) for a cocktail or two and fabulous dusk vistas. Peckish? Try Nanmen Food Market for a delicious bao (pork belly and fried cabbage bun) or spicy noodle soup.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

July for sunshine, hot days and the least amount of rainfall.

Taipei has a subtropical climate with long, humid summers (occasionally with heavy rainfall) while winters are warm, cloudy and wet. The Pacific northwest typhoon can affect the city between October and March. The warmest month is July with an average high temperature of 34 degrees Celsius and the coolest month is January with an average low temperature of 14 -18 degrees Celsius. The wettest month is May.

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Travioor top tips

EASYCARD
STREET FOOD
TAIPEI 101

Insider Info

  • Pick up an EasyCard from a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station which can be used as a contactless card to pay for journeys. It saves you 20 percent and if you catch a bus after your metro journey it offers you a reduced fare.
  • Save your pennies and dine of freshly cooked Taiwanese fare from one of the local food markets - Namen offers some of the most mouth-watering options.
  • If you're planning on visiting the Taipei 101 skyscraper (the one time tallest building in the world) go as early in the morning as possible to avoid the long queues.

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Food and drink

Main Course £2.59 | NT$100.02

3-Course Meal £18.12 | NT$700.16

Cappuccino £1.86 | NT$71.88

Beer £1.26 | NT$48.51

The Scene

Taiwanese cuisine shares similarities with its Asian neighbours but also has several local delicacies that are specific to the island. Lurou fan (braised pork rice) which is usually served with soy sauce and five-spice can be found in nearly every restaurant; gua bao (steamed bun with pork and peanuts) and ba wan (rice dumpling stuffed with pork, vegetables and eggs) are equally popular. You'll also find oysters everywhere - mixed with vermicelli, fried into omelets or stirred into soups. For a true taste of the city, opt to eat at one of the night markets.

Puddings and sweet snacks are also popular including pineapple and winter melon cake, shaved ice served with condensed milk, fruit pieces and syrup plus freshly baked lychee bread. Taipei boasts its fair share of drinking spots from craft beer taverns to high-end cocktail bars - try Digout in the Daan District for a good range of tipples and a lively, young crowd.

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History

Taipei's Story

Historically, the first settlers in the Taipei Basin Region (which includes all of Taiwan Island) were aborigines from the Ketagalan plains who were followed by the Han Chinese in the early 18th century. During this time China's Qing Dynasty were the ruling power and they permitted the Taipei area to be developed which increased prosperity and trade to the region. In 1895 Taiwan (and therefore Taipei) became an colony of Japan as a result of the first Sino-Japanese War; it remained so until 1945 when Japan surrendered it. It was then taken on by the Republic of China (ROC), a political party established on mainland China.

Taiwan's official name therefore is the Republic of China (ROC); however the People's Republic of China (PRC) which was also founded on the mainland (in 1949) refuses to acknowledge it as an individual nation and instead sees it as a province of China - this debate still rages today. Around the world different states recognise ROC and PRC differently - which one is officially 'China' is still uncertain. For ease, the island is often now known simply as Taiwan, signifying it by its geographical rather than political name(s). Taipei remains the diverse capital city and is today a major economic hub within the Chinese speaking world.

Language

NǏ HǍO | Hello
XÌE XÌE | Thank you

Mandarin Chinese

You may hear several languages in Taipei. Many people can speak Taiwanese Hokkien (which is a variety of Chinese), however, its use is restricted to the home, mainly for communication with older relatives. The most widely used language, in schools, public areas, transport hubs, hospitals, etc., is Mandarin Chinese. Remember, it's also a good idea to get locals to write down locations if you're getting a taxi as many drivers don't speak English. Take a look at some simple Mandarin below:

  • How are you?: Nǐ hǎo ma?
  • Goodbye: Zài jiàn
  • Please: Qing

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Need to know

+886 Dialling Code
110 | 119 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • The number for the fire brigade is 199.
  • Most taxi drivers cannot speak English so it's a good idea to have your destination written down in Chinese. 
  • Central Weather Bureau gives detailed forecasts for the region, including typhoon and earthquake information. 
  • Roads can be hair-raising; avoid hiring a car if possible and take care when crossing the road. 

 

Find out about the visa requirements for Taiwan here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN

If you want a spectacular view of the city, climb up verdant Elephant Mountain on the Nangang District Hiking Trail.

2. TAIPEI ZOO

An impressive establishment with happy animals, Taipei Zoo is great for an afternoon wander. Keep an eye out for the koalas and pandas.

3. SKYSCRAPER VIEWS

Climb Taipei 101, home to the world's fastest lift and with wonderful panoramas over the city. Dusk offers the best photo-ops.

4. CULINARY TREATS

Renowned for its abundance of markets, stalls, restaurants and more, Taipei is one of the biggest foodie destinations in Asia - pork and rice are menu staples.

5. BEITOU HOT SPRING

These peaceful hot springs feels miles away from the buzzing city; wander through the Plum Garden before enjoying a soak in the Japanese Onsen style pools.


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