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Trendy and multicultural, Taipei is a city unlike any other in Asia. Founded more than 300 years ago, Taipei draws together influences from China, Japan and the Western world and is home to ornate temples, peaceful parks, plenty of great shopping opportunities and so much more.
Taipei’s food culture is very social, with most locals eating out a lot of the time. Whether they are sharing a pot of fine tea at the Water Moon Tea House or seeking out a bite to eat at the Tonghua Night Market, Taipei’s residents make the most of their world-class food options. One of the world’s most densely populated cities, Taipei is also home to more than its fair share of high end malls, markets and department stores and offers plenty of shopping opportunities.
If shopping’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other great ways to spend time in the city. Take a break from the Taipei’s busy streets with a visit to one of the city’s ornate temples, such as the 16th century Lungshan Temple of Manka, or brush up on local history at the National Palace Museum. Home to one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese artefacts, the museum’s collection dates back as far as 8,000 years. There are also lots of beautiful parks scattered across the city perfect for people watching or a break from sightseeing. Be sure to add a trip to Taipei 101, once the world’s largest building, into your itinerary to soak up fantastic panoramic views of the city and its surrounds.
Taipei’s city centre is small so it is relatively easy to get around on foot, however, keep in mind that smaller streets and alleyways have virtually non-existent sidewalks. Cars and scooters will not pay much attention to pedestrians, so proceed with caution. The same is true with bikes. Cycling is a great way to get around Taipei, but if you are not familiar with city riding it may be better to avoid using a bike in the city. Public transport is another good option for getting around the city. Taipei’s MRT system is reliable and efficient with trains serving 102 stations and leaving roughly every 3 to 8 minutes.
Taipei sits in Taiwan’s subtropical zone, resulting in fluctuations in the average temperature. The weather tends to stay between warm and mild and extremely hot and humid. It rains a lot in Taipei and typhoons sweep through the city between the months of July and August. The best time to visit Taipei is in the drier autumn months of October and November when there is less rainfall and the temperatures average a warm 21 degrees.
Taipei Taoyuan International Airport
Located around 50 kilometres west of Taipei, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport is the main airport serving Taiwan. The airport is the biggest and busiest in the country. Flights travel to Taipei Taoyuan International Airport from a number of destinations, including Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Toronto and New York. There are direct flights available from Australia, with flights leaving from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.