The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss
Taipei 101 is currently the tallest building in the world with 101 above-ground stories. (But be sure to say "I saw it when," as it will only carry this distinction until the completion of the Burj Dubai in 2008.) It was built to withstand earthquakes above a seven on the Richter scale and is considered by many to be the world's most technologically advanced skyscraper. Make sure you visit the world's highest outdoor observatory, which you can access by taking one of two elevators that will get you from the main floor to the 89th floor in under 39 seconds.
Other Fun Things to Do
- The Hsingtien Temple in downtown Taipei is filling with people seeking the advice of fortune-tellers on subjects ranging from marriage to business. "Fortune Teller Street" near LongShan Temple also quite popular for locals as well as tourists.
- Taiwan is widely known for its wedding photography, spring-like climate and beautiful natural backdrops. This is why more and more couples are including photo sessions during romantic getaways to Taiwan.
- Din Tai Feng has built its name on its steamed dumplings, made with paper-thin wrappers and carefully selected ingredients for consistently delicious results complemented by excellent service.
- For the tired and weary traveler, nothing beats a soothing foot massage. There is no better place to find one than in Taiwan, where foot treatments are a national pastime. A mecca for Chinese medicine, Taipei is home to fantastic holistic treatments, particularly the foot massage.
- Based on the metaphorical principle of Yin-Yang and extension-contraction, together with the silk-reeling force of spiral and circular movements". Tai Chi Chuan has developed its unique training guidelines and effects and become worldwide renowned.
- Every day in the early morning at almost all the major parks in Taipei, you can view the local people practicing Tai Chi Chuan. You are always welcome to join them.
Where better to experience Chinese food than in the capital of the Republic of China? Since Taiwan is surrounded by the ocean, seafood is central to the Taiwanese diet. Oyster, smoked squid and stir-fried crabs abound. Fruits are prominent in Taiwanese desserts, such as the famous mango shaved ice. The Chinese tea houses on the surrounding mountains offer a nice change of pace, offering a wide range of locally grown teas and breathtaking views of Taipei below.
Shopping for Bargains
The cash-only night markets offer clothing, gifts, souvenirs and a wide selection of handicrafts at great prices. But if you're looking for electronic gadgets, computers and software, the place to visit is the Kuanghua Market.
Taiwan's unit of currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT$), which has five denominations in paper money (NT$2000, NT$1000, NT$500, NT$200 and NT$100) and five denominations in coins (NT$50, NT$20, NT$10, NT$5 and NT$1). The official English word for the currency is dollar; in Mandarin it's known as yuan. Subdivisions of a yuan are rarely used, since almost all products on the consumer market are sold at whole units of yuan.
Weather in Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan
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