Tourist Attractions in Taipei

By Kevin Leland

For: Local Storm Media, Inc.

Owner: Michael Ber

Taipei, is the most densely populated area of Taiwan a.k.a., The Republic of China, and is the center of the entire island’s government and commerce. Nestled in the Yangming Mountains and the Central Mountains, in the Northern part of this semi-tropical island  that is shaped like an Oak leaf, and is found south of Asia’s mainland. It is not a major tourist destination, however, strolling the streets of a city like Taipei, any time of night, and experiencing the utter feeling of  “being safe” — will make you wonder why more travelers, always graciously weclomed by these famously hospitable people, are not flocking to it’s shores…Maybe you can keep this city your own little secret, and everyone else won’t know what they’re missing!

Taipei City East and West

Downtown Taipei has a very interesting cultural divide, that {runs up and down|goes north to south|runs along a longitudinal line} differentiating East from West Taipei. The two sides of this city show a traveler both sides of the character of Taipei, namely, old and new. East Taipei is much like the world’s {ritzy|high-end} cities, like Hong Kong and New York. {On this side of the dividing line|Here} a traveler will find stylish boutiques and malls where shoppers can find plenty of world-class bling, and enjoy a meal in one of the city’s fanciest restaurants. The East side of Taipei shows off the peoples willingness to expand on a strong cultural base, growing and evolving into an amazingly modern international city. The West side, is the last {holdout|stronghold} of traditional Taipei {life|culture}. Narrow streets wind through this half of the city, lined with vendors selling everything from produce to Chinese medicine.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101, a nickname given to this building, with 101 floors, has a real name: Taipei International Financial Center (臺北國際金融大樓) This building, from it’s construction in 2004, until 2010, was the tallest skyscraper in the world. It was architecturally designed to symbolize the strength of bamboo shooting up from the ground, reaching toward the sun. The interior design of this building in breath taking, the beams are ornate, and you will gaze at walls and floors in amazement. The 1,625 foot building (508 meters) is easily found in the Xinyi District of Taipei. It is now the second tallest building in the world with the second fastest elevator, which will quickly whip you up to the fourth floor where you can visit Page One Bookstore, {where you will find|which has one of} the largest selections of English books any where in the city, or all of Taiwan. Riding the elevator to the top of the building will treat you to spectacular birds-eye views of Taipei.

Page One Bookstore

This is one of many stores you will find in Taipei 101, a great place to go, not only to take in this {magnificent|striking} building, but to enjoy shopping in one of the best,  “vertical” shopping centers in the world. Page one Bookstore has a huge section of their store dedicated to English speakers. This bookstore chain was founded in Singapore by Mark Tan and his brother in 1983, starting out as a rickety old bookstore, focused on English titles. Since then, Page One Bookstores have created an amazing brand, and has become a world-wide success story. Stores can also be found in Hong Kong, China and Thailand, and are spreading fast. These store decorate with artworks from all over Asia, and lucky for their patrons, these works are also available for purchase.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國父紀念館)

You could take in a public concert, or see a book collection, a.k.a., library, containing 1.4 million books, with 400 seats where you can sit and read them…all? That’s over 2000 tons of reading material! This beautifully designed building, was {built|constructed} {to honer|in the memory of} Dr. Sun Yat-sen. This man {is heralded as|was} the founding father of the Taiwan.  The construction of this majestic Memorial {started|begancommenced} in 1965 {to coinside with|in conjunction with} the 100th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s {birthday|birth}. It {opened its doors to the public|was opened} {on|in} May 16, 1972, with the {breathtaking|splendid|awe-inspiring} architecture and {peaceful|tranquil} landscape covering an {expanse|area} of {about|some} 115,500 sq. meters. The park is {called|named} Zhongshan Park and it makes up the front yard of the Hall. The interior {displays|exhibits} a bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, that is about two stories tall. The statue is {guarded|watched over} all day long by nearly statuesque military men, part of the countries honor guard. There is an incredibly long hallway, that connects the main hall to four different exhibition buildings, where one can find modern artworks as well as items signifying Taiwanese history. Lectures about culture and art are held on a weekly basis in the hall’s auditorium. You won’t find as many tourists here as in the more modern, and even bigger  Chiang Kai-shek Memorial.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

This Memorial to one of 20th Century China’s political and military leaders, is situated in the center of the Taipei Metropolis. The property is majestically placed on two hundred and fifty thousand square meters of rolling hills. This particular attraction drums up a lot of interest with International vacationers. Just outside of the entrance associated with Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hallway, you can find giant columns, displaying a mark that represents “justice and righteousness.”  The fine Asian architecture of the particular buildings that make up the entire Memorial Hall’s sprawling majesty, was greatly influenced by Tiantan from Beijing. The four exterior walls of the structure are clad in white marble, similar to pyramids inside Egypt. The roofing is adorned along with deep-blue glass meant for expressing the brilliant bright blue of the sky above, and reflecting the azure hues of  Taipei’s plentiful and vibrant sunshine. To contribute a little more magnificence, you’ll find a  garden swirling with bright red-colored flowers. In general, these three colors have associated with them, the blue, red and white displayed on the Nation’s flag. These colors proudly represent Taiwan’s deep admiration for the virtues of brotherhood, equal rights, and freedom.

This fantastic construction project, has developed into a proud landmrk of Taipei’s citizens, and should not be missed by anyone visiting this wonderful Southern Asian City. One can find culturally enriching, International art exhibits here, and there are also some of the greatest musicians in the world, regularly performing inside the walls of this beautiful building, for an audience from all over the world. Greats, like Yo Yo Ma and The Three Tenors, and other world-renowned playgroups have delighted those seeking the best music on the planet, among some of Earth’s most striking Chinese flower gardens. Tourists and citizens alike, stroll along beside gorgeous blossoms, walking up and down little slopes and over bridges spanning wonderful fish ponds, that make up the elegant landscape. All of Taipei beholds this marvelous and towering structure as not only a fitting memorial to their leader, Chiang Kai-shek, but as a gathering place for the cities community, where they can even enjoy smaller, more local performances by school bands- aspiring to be the world’s next great musical performers.

Xin Beitou Hot Springs

There are hardly any cities on the planet that may boast this kind of natural abundance of top notch, volcanically activated warm water springs, right in thier back yard, as can the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Mountain scenery, fills the view while wafting sulphur vapours arising from the sumtptuous hot water, stimulate all the other senses, while one relaxes and enjoys this natural delight. Due to Taipei’s ever-improving public transportation, running out for a quick soak in perfect 140 F waters while clutching a cold beer -maybe even treating yourself to a massage, could not be any easier. The location of Beitou, supplied naturally through the geothermal energy of neighbouring Yang Ming Shan, a volcano that is still active, and in itself a National Park, makes this the perfect location for a spa-type get-away.

The Beitou spa region is the best spot in all of Northern Taiwan to enjoy the health benefits of a minerally enriched and very healthy whole body steeping. Xin Beitou (or New Peitou), connected by its very own separate line to Taipei’s wonderful Mass Rapid Transit system, is regarded as the most popular, simply because it is the most accessible of various hot spring regions, like  Wu Lai and Jin Shan – which are found outside of Taipei. It’s spas like these that help to keep Japanese tradition alive, despite a decline in popularity of spa-going spurred in the 1970s and ’80s. Today, new resorts are springing up offering spa packages serving tired businessmen, health-conscious families and reticent lovers, alike.

Offering much more over and above the natural wonder of a rich mineral bath, drawn and heated by Mother Nature herself, you can find other self-pampering enjoyments like herbal massages, aromatherapy treatments, saunas, and world-class restaurants. You’ll arrive at Xin Beitou springs after a short (approximately 30 minutes) and scenic bus ride from the main station in Taipei…Oh, and this ride will cost you barely one US Dollar. Taxis, famed in Taipei for their friendliness and honesty, can take you for a cost of about NT$300 one-way. Straight across from this must-see attraction tourists can find  the Hot Spring Museum, a painstakingly restored Japanese colonial-era bathhouse containing whatever you ever, but not necessarily needed to know, of the long history of Beitou’s spas.

Shihlin Night Market

This is one of Taipei’s largest night markets connecting Yang Ming Chi Cheng the Palace Theatre and the city center, by way of  Man Lam Road, Tai Road, Great South Road and other busy passages originating in the downtown area of Taipei. Shihlin market dates back to a time before the Republic of China was yet to established, and was one of the first two markets in existence. This market is famed for a variety of traditional Taiwanese snacks that many tourists are attracted by -like cookies, cake and other Asian baked delights. You will find large stone pots filled with spicy sausages. There are plenty of other inside shops, vending other delicious favorites like oyster omelettes and bubble tea. Come and see why this “food landmark” is known all around Taipei.

Confucius Temple

This Temple, built in honor of China’s greatest wise-man, it is a center of study visited not just by those steeped in the mysteries of Eastern Philosophy, but also by those young students who are hoping to ensure success in their exams. Small plaques (NT$40) are purchased and on them is written the students “wish.” This mystical custom seems to actually work for these kids, but then again, the Taiwanese are known to be hard workers when it comes to developing their education, and they do in fact study hard. The Shidian Ceremony is known worldwide as the ultimate Confucian event. This ceremony is held on the birthday of this great sage -September 28. The neighboring Bao’an Temple, that commemorates Taoist, the god of medicine,is a beautiful specimen of painstakingly preserved Taiwanese temple architecture.

Bao’an Temple

Situated in the Datong District of Taipei, Baoan Temple a.k.a., (The Bao’en Monastery) is the oldest in the city, having been open for over two centuries. Its colourful decor portrays a fusion of traditional culture with Taiwanese sensibilities. The temple is devoted to Paosheng Tati, who is considered to be the God of Medicine. It can be found just a short (about a mile) walk from the Yuanshan MRT Station. This a well-preserved fifteenth century Buddhist monastery complex. You will be amazed at the wonderfully ornate roof statuary. Like most traditional buildings in Asia, this fine Eastern architecture exhibits some common design elements -like thick wooden columns that are installed to be the load-bearing element of the structure while sitting on top of large stone bases, anchoring the building. The walls, floors, and sophisticated bracketed roof structure are then built around these columns.There can be tremendous diversity in the style and look of roof structures throughout Asia, but most follow the basic concept of a tiled sloping roof with upturned flaring corners, as is observed in this doctor-god’s temple, that is beautifully adorned with dragons and other motifs, with a multitude of other far more elaborate designs, with intricate carvings and painted fresco’s by Chinese artists.

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2 responses to “Tourist Attractions in Taipei

  1. You may have {noticed|recognized} the flat spun format included in this article. This is part of the technique used to create quality, bulk content here at Bangari. We use a robot, that helps take content written in this format, originally, to give different versions of the same article, or pieces of the article. This is called “spinning.” This enables a Web content producer to get additional unique versions of the original piece, much like an artist may sell signed prints of her paintings. I hope it was more educational than distracting!

  2. Pingback: Tourist Attractions in Tokyo, Japan | Bangari Content Gallery

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