New arrivals will be able to immerse themselves in the enormous city of Taipei through its museums and architecture, while its entertainment options rival other major Asian centres such as Hong Kong or Tokyo.
Between the night markets, ancient temples and skyscrapers, expats will easily find much to see and do in Taipei.
Popular attractions in Taipei
Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest building until 2009. Although it has been superseded, it remains the grandiose centre of Taipei’s financial district. Resembling a pagoda, the skyscraper towers above the city skyline at 671 feet (509m) and is the city’s chief landmark attraction. Visitors can take a trip up in its super-fast elevators and enjoy astounding views from the observation deck. The many shops and restaurants in Taipei 101 make it a weekend destination for locals and expats alike.
Taipei has kept its ancient traditions alive as it thrusts towards the future. One of the city’s most famous temples is Lungshan, dedicated to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. Built in 1738 to serve as a place of worship for Chinese settlers, its various incarnations have survived earthquakes, fires and American bombs. The architecture is a fine example of traditional temple styling.
National Palace Museum
As an antidote to the modernity that often overwhelms new arrivals, expats should visit this museum for its vast collection of ancient artefacts and artwork. The National Palace Museum displays the bulk of what was relocated to Taiwan from the Forbidden City in Beijing with Chiang Kei Shek’s move to Taipei. Famous exhibits include the Jade Cabbage and a celebrated example of the Qingming Scroll.
Shilin Night Market
As Taipei's biggest and most exciting night market, the Shilin Night Market is a must-see. More than a shopping destination, it is a cultural experience that reveals much of the city’s character. Thousands of stalls and stores sell an immense range of food and goods, and there is much fun to be had playing carnival-style games amidst the passing crowds.
Unique local and international species are housed in the Taipei Zoo. The animals are kept in their zones which mimic their natural habitats, such as the Asian Tropical Rainforest section, desert area and even African savannah. In total, the zoo covers 165 hectares, including an extensive indoor area, and is consistently rated for its humane practices and advanced scientific practices.