Taipei City Profile
Taipei is the largest financial, cultural, and political center in Taiwan. Most Westerners choose to live in this city.
Although it's not very beautiful, it is the quintessence of Taiwan. Taipei is very expensive, so plan to find work as soon as you can. A small tourism office is located in the train station, but for comprehensive assistance, the main office is near the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial at 280 Chunghsiao E Road, Section 4.
Taipei is located on the north tip of Taiwan, about 15 miles from the port city of Keelung.
Summers are hot and humid with heavy precipitation. Winter is cool, and heavy cloud cover and drizzle are not unusual.
International and domestic air travel into and out of Taipei are very convenient, although buses and trains, which leave from Taipei for all major destinations, are more economical options for getting around the island.
Taipei's city bus service is a relatively efficient system: fares increase with the distance traveled, but rides within the city center generally cost about NT$14 (US$.51) on air-conditioned buses.
Taipei is the major rail hub for all of Taiwan. There are three train terminals in Taipei, but the Taipei Railway Station handles the majority of departures and arrivals.
Taipei is the only Taiwanese city developing a subway system at the present time. The Metropolitan Rapid Transit or MRT has been plagued with cost overruns and delays in opening. At press time, the MRT had not opened and is not expected to do so anytime soon.
Places of Interest
There is much to see and do in Taipei that is representative of the old and new Taiwan. The National Place Museum, considered to be among the world's finest museums, contains an outstanding collection of Chinese artifacts. The Martyr's Shrine, Lungshan Temple, and the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial and Cultural Center should not be missed.
If you are in the mood for dancing, visit Spin, which is one of the most popular dance places for ex-pats. You're also likely to find ex-pats at Taiwan Normal University (the Mandarin Training Center), the American Cultural Center, The American Club, An ho Street, and Shuang Cheng Street. If you are in search of English books and magazines, try the Chin Shan Book and Stationery Company.