Taipei Travel Guide

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Taipei Travel Guide

Taipei Local History

Taiwan was originally used as a base of operations for Chinese and Japanese pirates. In 1886 it became a separate province of the Chinese mainland with a temporary capital at Taipei, which in 1894 was declared the legal capital. China ceded Taiwan to Japan following the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The Japanese introduced electricity throughout the island which at the time was rare even in China itself.

Of particular interest is the accidental bombing of the Lung-Shan Temple during World War II, which melted the iron railings surrounding the large wooden statue of Kuan Yin. Yet, except for a bit of ash and debris, the statue endured the flames. After World War II, a nationalist government was established with the country's first fully democratic elections being held in 1992 following almost 40 years of martial law.

Taipei Attractions

Taipei Shopping

Every Asian country has a wide selection of indigenous arts and crafts, traditional and modern products. Although it seems that Taiwan has more to offer than most of its neighbors. From elegant calligraphy, antique wood-carving and jade sculptures to fine gold jewelry and marble products.

Special mention must be made as out of all traditional Chinese crafts, porcelain products are probably the most sought after. In suburban Peitou, stands the China Ceramics Factory. Here visitors can watch as a piece of porcelain goes through the various stages of production and after the tour can purchase finished products from a collection in the show room.

Taipei Activities

Those of you traveling with children should plan a trip to the Municipal Zoological Garden at 66 Chung-Shan North Road. The zoo was built by the Japanese in 1914 on an archeological site and holds many interesting creatures, including a few indigenous to the island itself.

Taipei Restaurants and Bars

Taipei Restaurants

Celestial Kitchen One Nanking West Road. Appealing to Western palates due to its heartier and more filling Northern school style of Chinese cooking, is highly recommended. Try the Peking duck and Shredded Lamb Sauteed in Scallions.

Lucky Star 160 Chung Hsiao East Road, Section 4. The Lucky star offers excellent Szechuan cuisine which in Taipei is the most popular and prevalent style of Chinese cooking. Try the 'Grandma's' Bean Curd and Chicken 'Kung-Pao'.

Flour Meal of Tainan 31 Hwa His Street. This small oddly named restaurant is located in the bizarre, and not to be missed, 'Snake Alley'. It's the best spot to sample Taiwan's delicious local cuisine, fresh shellfish or whole fish. Try the Deep-Fried Shrimp Rolls and Grilled Teriyaki Eel.

Taipei children's activities

Those of you traveling with children should plan a trip to the Municipal Zoological Garden at 66 Chung-Shan North Road. The zoo was built by the Japanese in 1914 on an archeological site and holds many interesting creatures, including a few indigenous to the island itself.

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