Taipei Journals

Taipei - the center of Taiwan

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A July 1991 trip to Taipei by Quan

Quote: Well, of course that depends on whether you like cities--even then, Taipei's architecture is just ugly. But the Taiwanese are friendly, and Taipei has interesting sights. If cities are not your thing, spend a couple of days then get out to the countryside.

Taipei - the center of Taiwan

Overview

Quote:
The museums, the parks, the temples, and especially the night markets.

Quick Tips:

When in Asia, bargain, bargain, bargain at most places, unless the industry is regulated like taxis with meters in Taipei.

Best Way To Get Around:

Take public transportation or walk to get acquainted with the city. If you are feeling adventurous, drive (see entry below).

Yangming Park

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Attraction | "Yangmingshang Park"

Quote:
Yangmingshan park is one of the most picturesque places within the Taipei city limits. The park is especially beautiful in spring, when its renowned cherry trees yield enormous cherry blossoms. The park is on a mountain slope, and is the location of choice of wealthy Chinese and westerners. The park itself has many trails that offer escape from Taipei's chaos (I guess a charm of Taipei is definitely its ability to offer many such oases). Beware that sometimes the park does get invaded by people seeking the same thing you are, so do try to avoid it on Sundays. But maybe people watching is what you are after, in that case, a slice of life is there for you to see. You can go to Yangmishan to j...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2000

Yangming Park
1-20 Chu Tzu Hu Road
Taipei, Taiwan 112
+886 (0)2 2861 5404

National Palace Museum

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Attraction | "National Palace Museum - the pride of Taiwan"

Quote:
Taipei's National Palace Museum ranks up there among the top world class museums. It holds the world's largest collection of Chinese artifacts, around 700,000 in all, although at any given time, only a fraction of these is on display. The exhibits include priceless documents and books, priceless prehistoric artifacts, as well as treasures in bronze, porcelain, lacquerware, gold, previous jewels, and the most treasured stone of all China, jade. According to my friend, who is a Taiwanese native, only 60,000 pieces are in display in any given year, and that requires a complete rotation every three months. Which means that it takes almost 12 years for the entire collection to be displayed. In addition...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2000

National Palace Museum
221 Chih-shan Rd. Sec 2
Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Night Markets/Snake Alley

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Attraction | "Colorful nightmarkets"

Quote:
The markets in Taipei, especially the night markets, are a real treat. No trip to Taipei can be complete without visiting these colorful markets. They are most lively during the weekends, and they are great places to eat, drink, shop, and people watch. The markets have everything--you can sample basic street foods, which in many instances, are the highlights of visiting a strange city, and if you are lucky, the food is so much better than what they can offer in highly priced Taiwanese restaurants. That's something to be careful about--a typical Taiwanese restaurant can set you back substantially, as they tend to offer exotic seafood priced by the Chinese but can be fairly strange, and inexplacably...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2000

Taipei Night Markets/Snake Alley

Taipei, Taiwan

Pishan Temple

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Attraction | "Shaolin in Taiwan - anyone?"

Quote:
Temples are a must-see wherever you go in Asia, be they Buddhist, Hindi, or Muslim. Depending on what you are searching for, you have to do a bit of research. Some temples are calm and befits the typical Western image of a place fit for meditation. Other temples can be chaotic, as the crowd of worshippers stream in and out, mixed in with the sounds of gongs, the recitation of the Buddhist scriptures, and the sound of wooden sticks knocking against their containers, a popular fortune-telling device. The Pishan (Green Mountain) temple falls into the first category. Perched on a side of the mountain with breathtaking view of Taipei, on a loop road through the mountains, the temple gets fewer t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 30, 2000

Pishan Temple
Green Mountain
Taipei, Taiwan

Driving in Taipei

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Story/Tip

Quote:
I don't know whether to consider myself lucky or unlucky to have driven Taipei's roads. If you don't want to miss the sights and want to avoid unnecessary headaches, then please do take taxis or public transportation or just walk. But if you are into a thrill ride, well, then driving into Taipei does qualify as one such thrill. Basically, there are just no rules when the Taiwanese (I think this applies to most of Asia, but nowhere did I find it so flaunted as in Taipei) get behind the wheels of their cars or motorcycles. Nowhere have I found that demarcation in the road, i.e., lanes, had not meaning at all. On a three lane highway, I have counted as many as five cars lining up the road. On a two-...Read More