When the first Europeans that were said to be Portuguese sighted it, the first words they uttered were “iiha Formosa”, which in Portuguese means Beautiful Island. So either the Portuguese get amazed quite easily or the island of Taiwan is really that magnificent, the second argument seems a lot more plausible. It truly is a gorgeous island and is home to the most tech savvy populace of the continent. Taipei, its capital is considered to be the best blend of commerce and beauty and is considered by many as the most livable city of Asia. But the things were not always this bright. Till the 1980’s Taipei was considered as the most crowdie, stinky and polluted city of Asia, as one traveler of that era put it “Taipei was the Ugly Duckling of Asia”.
But the people of Taipei had a few things that were going in their favor, firstly by the 1980’s they had become pretty wealthy by the Asian standards and secondly they had the technology required for developing a dream city. So they developed and developed, and developed a little more and they created one of the most livable cities in at least Asia if not the whole world. If you take a tourist there now who has visited Taipei back in the early 80’s, he will surely be stunned by the change in the look and feel of the place, it took some extensive plastic surgery to attain this beauty thou.
The river flowing in the middle of the city was used to be so fouled that its stink could be felt a mile away, but by applying some strict environmental laws the authorities of the city has made it into one of the cleanest rivers of the world. The city road were used to be flocked by the taxis creating a traffic nightmare, but the light train service has eradicated the problem completely. A lot of the Asian cities can learn from Taipei.
You can find a from most of the major airports of the world; the cheapest option will be to fly with the China Airlines the flag barrier airline of Taiwan. Taipei has also become a city with quite a lot of fun things to do in. To get the best view of the city climb (not literally, they do have elevators) to the top deck of the world’s tallest building the Taipei 101. Built in 2003 the 101 storey high building is the holder of world’s highest building title for the last seven years.
For getting a glimpse of the history of the country, head to the gigantic Chiang Kai Shek Museum built in memory of the late ruler of the country. With its eight museums it will surely provide you with ample opportunities for getting some valuable knowledge about the leader and his country. But if you want to know about the history of the island before it became Taiwan then head to the hundreds of years old National Palace Museum with some fascinating art relics that have miraculously survived for the last few hundred years.
The Taipei Zoo is considered as one of the Asia’s best and with some really exotic animals; it is worth your visit. If you are looking for an excellent shopping experience or you want to know just how trendy Taipei people are then head to Ximending which with its hip malls, open air restaurants and some gorgeous theatre is sure to provide you with an awesome experience.