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TAIPEI | Taiwan is possibly one of the most welcoming cities in the world. People are warm, extremely helpful and kind. Food is amazing! And the scenery is captivating. Taipei is a big metropolis, but it has kept a way of life of its own, making visitors easily feel very comfortable when exploring the capital. Taipei is a walkable city, so be ready to explore on foot. That’s the very best way to get lost in it’s charming alleyways, where most of the magic of Taipei’s daily live happens.
Xiang ShanLet’s start by discovering Taipei from above. Elephant Mountain (XiangShan) offers beautiful views of the city, just a few stops away from the financial center. The climb uphill is the most pleasant, surrounded by tropical flora. There are several areas where you can break away from the main road to enjoy the views of the city. If you feel up to, you can always climb higher up, to the top, like most of the locals do. Some of them told us they like to do the hike almost everyday.
Taipei 101 and aroundTaipei is a city of contrasts, where nature, tall buildings, majestic avenues and the most charming alleyways coexist. The city’s most stunning bamboo shaped building is Taipei 101, by architect C.Y. Lee. Once the world’s tallest building, until Dubai’s Burj Khalifa stole its place. It can be both admired during the day and at night, when the dark covers the greenish glass panels; and the lighting allows you to admire it’s beautiful shape and lines. Sun Yat-sen, in tribute to the founding father of the Republic of China. Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and aroundControversial as it is, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall remains a sight to visit for its size and opulence.
XimendingXimending is a complete different story. It’s a commercial district very popular among the youth. It’s very quiet during the day, and it becomes very busy by night. Ximending’s main attraction is the night market. There you can find literally everything. Starting with street food, tropical fruits and lots of different types of products: from clothing to accessories, electronics, umbrellas… There are lots of shops from international brands, restaurants, and of course Karaoke bars.
TemplesIf you are willing to take a little walk. From Ximending head for Longshan temple. It make take you a bit longer than half an hour to get there, as you venture into one of the oldest parts of the city. Further away, in Datong district there are the Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Baoan Temple –you’ll need to take the subway to get there- . They are located right across the street from each other.
Zhongshan DistrictZhongshan district has two very different faces. The main streets are surrounded by large hotels, restaurants and nice boutiques. But if you head to the hidden alleys you’ll find a different type of life. Specially on the lanes stretching from Zhongshan North Road Section 2 and Chifeng street. In addition to the Japanese restaurants that are typical from the area; small coffee shops and boutiques are mushrooming bringing a new vibe to the area.
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