There’s one Taipei abounding with aliment vendors, who corrupt bottomward dishes on attenuated streets lined with celebrated buildings. There’s addition Taipei that’s aflame with shiny, record-setting skyscrapers, able with some of the world’s fastest elevators. It’s this bond of old and new that best captures activity in the basic burghal of the subtropical island of Taiwan. Before you visit, book abroad these 25 facts about Taipei:
1. While mining sulfur in the summer of 1697, Qing absolutism official Yu Yonghe declared the addled marsh that is now Taipei as a basin basin which formed because of earthquakes. He additionally accounted it “inaccessible and unvisited.”
2. Now, aural Taipei’s 105 aboveboard miles, there are 9555 neighborhoods, 456 villages, 1,043,797 households and 2,702,809 association [PDF].
3. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan accept backward in Taipei’s Grand Hotel, a 14-floor Chinese-style alcazar nestled in Yuanshan (Round Mountain). The 500-room battleground was accustomed in 1952 and ranked one of the world’s top 10 hotels by Fortune in 1967. The architectonics is busy with added than 200,000 dragons, including a century-old brownish one argent in 24-karat gold. And beneath the hotel? Two abstruse tunnels accounted to accept led to the Presidential Appointment and the Shilin Official Residence—one that’s 220 anxiety and addition that’s 279 anxiety long.
4. Lunar New Year (this year on February 8) is the better anniversary for the Taiwanese. The abode to boutique for all your anniversary needs? Dihua Street Section 1 in the Dadaocheng breadth a the Tamsui River. The celebrated district, which dates aback to the Qing period, is lined with acceptable shops affairs alleviative herbs, teas and broad fabric.
5. Aback it opened in 2004, the 1667-foot-tall Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest building. Although Dubai’s Burj Khalifa blanket the appellation in 2009, the 101-floor anatomy (which has an added bristles floors underground) now has a altered affirmation to fame, acknowledgment to Accepted Mechanics: “World’s Toughest Building.” A 730-ton damper helps abiding the Xinyi Road tower, which sits 660 anxiety from a accountability band on an island generally hit by typhoons. Contained central the massive structure: a 828,000-square-foot mall, including a 1200-seat aliment cloister and three-star Michelin restaurant. To arena in 2016, a 238-second, $1.51 actor fireworks display, advised by French pyrotechnic aggregation Groupe F, launched from the skyscraper.
6. Taipei’s bike allotment program, Youbike, which began in 2008, now has 200 stations with 6538 bikes and 55.8 actor rentals aback the program’s launch. The best part? The amount for a 30-minute rental is a bald 15 cents.
7. Unique architectonics peppers the Taipei skyline—including two new barrio appointed to accessible this year. Currently on the border is the Taipei Performing Arts Centre in Shilin, which appearance a ample orb protruding from an otherwise-minimalist framework. Advised by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA, it will abode a 1500-seat “grand” theater, an 800-seat “multiform playhouse,” and addition 800-seat “proscenium playhouse.”
The added anatomy is the Tao Zhu Yin Yuan Tower, additionally accepted as Agora Gardens, conceived by archibiotect Vincent Callebaut. The residential belfry in Xinyin twists 90 degrees in a bifold braid anatomy to board its eco-friendly vertical acreage design.
8. Aloof this month, Taipei-born Tsai Ing-Wen made history aback she was adopted the aboriginal changeable President of Taiwan. The 59-year-old Cornell University and London School of Economics alum will become the best able woman in the Chinese-speaking apple aback she takes appointment May 20.
9. Of the 1,769,428 motor cartage registered in Taipei, 970,865 of them are motorcycles [PDF]. Locals alarm the sea of cartage activity bottomward a admission a “motorcycle waterfall.”
10. Aliment is such an basic allotment of Taiwanese ability that locals generally accost anniversary added by asking, “Have you eaten yet?” And boilerplate is that foodie allure added arresting than in Taipei’s night markets. The best acclaimed is the Shilin Night Market, with added than 500 aliment and vendors, breadth the aggressive scents of craven cutlets, ability omelets, pan-fried buns and corrupt tofu cull visitors in every direction.
11. Addition assurance of Taipei’s aliment obsession? The two best acclaimed pieces of the 696,373 altar at the National Alcazar Museum are meat and cabbage. The 7.4-inch alpine Jadeite Cabbage has two insects on its leaves, emblematic fertility, while the 2.2-inch Meat-Shaped Stone, fabricated of jasper, is a replica of broiled pork.
12. Aback association apprehend Beethoven’s “Für Elise” arena in the streets of Taipei, the accomplished adjacency rushes outside … for the debris truck. The “trash doesn’t blow the ground” arrangement requires Taiwanese citizens to bear their debris beeline to the aback of the barter bristles nights a anniversary in government-sanctioned dejected bags. This eliminates the accession of debris in bins that can allure cockroaches and rats. The upside: The time cat-and-mouse curbside generally turns into prime time for adjacency gossip.
13. After Typhoon Souledor hit Taiwan aftermost August, photos of two Taipei mailboxes, which were absolute to a tilt, went viral. By the end of the year, the red and blooming Chunghwa Post boxes on Longjiang Road ranked as Taiwan’s best accepted day-tripper attraction of 2015, according to Yahoo-Kimo.
14. The Taipei busline system, which began operating in 1996, has a circadian boilerplate ridership of about 2 million, as of a December 2015 report. But there’s no abstraction and blame here: Acknowledgment to the “Waiting Line” fatigued on the ground, the locals band up in an alike manner.
15. Oscar champ Ang Lee, who directed 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2008’s Brokeback Mountain and 2012’s The Activity of Pi was built-in in Taipei on October 23, 1954. He gave his home country a shoutout in his 2013 Academy Awards accepting speech.
16. Additionally built-in in Taipei: Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who served beneath President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. She fabricated history as the first Asian-American woman to anytime be appointed to the President’s Cabinet.
17. Bookworms, night owls, and anyone who avalanche in the average of that Venn diagram should accomplish it a point to appointment the 182,986 aboveboard basal Eslite bookstore breadth on Dunhua Road, which has been accessible 24 hours a day aback 1999.
18. The restaurant Din Tai Fung, which specializes in soup dumplings (xiaolongbao) started as a affable oil aggregation founded in Taipei in 1958. Aback profits stalled, the owners started to supplement their assets by affairs the dumplings. Business took off so well, they rebranded in 1972—and anon had locations in Australia, China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States … and a Michelin star.
19. Taipei’s 1972 achievement at baseball’s Little League Apple Series was aloof one of 17 championship titles for Taiwan—setting a almanac for the best wins, advanced of Japan with 10 and the accompaniment of California with seven.
20. The Formosan dejected babbler is the official burghal bird of Taipei, as adopted by the residents. The animal has a cutting articulation and a diffuse dejected and white tail, and tends to abide in forests amid 984 and 3937 anxiety aloft sea level.
21. Taiwanese airline EVA Air’s Hello Kitty planes accomplish 11 flights—including a absolute flight to and from Houston—out of Taipei’s basic all-embracing airport, the Taiwan Taoyuan Airport. Addition two routes run from Taipei’s burghal airport, Songshan, to Tokyo and Shanghai. Amenities include added than 100 Hello Kitty-themed items, including napkins, cups, utensils, toiletries and rice crackers.
22. From December 6, 2013, to May 5, 2015, Taipei’s Maokong Gondola was additionally decked out in Hello Kitty afterwards the admired Sanrio appearance was called as its official mascot. Today, the cuteness is gone, but the 2.5-mile arrangement is still account blockage out. It runs from the Taipei Zoo at the basal up to Taipei’s better tea growing area, Maokong. Thirty-one of its cabins affection cellophane floors, giving cartage a birds’ eye appearance of the activity accident beneath their seats.
23. Taipei’s Beitou commune is accepted for its hot springs, which ample the air with the odor of sulfur. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, Japanese soldiers would bath in the bleared waters, assertive the springs would alleviate what ailed them. The Beitou Accessible Bathhouse was congenital in 1913 and was the better bathhouse in Eastern Asia at the time. It was alone afterwards Apple War II, and angry into the Beitou Hot Springs Museum in 1998.
24. Watch out, Silicon Valley: The cardinal of tech companies in Taipei Neihu Technology Park has developed from 600 in 2001 to added than 3000 today. Added affidavit of Taipei’s abstruse influence? YouTube cofounder Steve Chen and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang were both built-in in the basic city.
25. No charge to anguish about all-embracing adrift accuse in Taipei. The burghal has chargeless accessible admission Wi-Fi (there are added than 100 actor registered accounts). The burghal is in the action of tripling the cardinal of hotspots to 9000.
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