A handy little guide to five of the most frequented cities on the world's largest - and most populated - continent. It contains all the info you need to have the most successful trip ever to any (and all) of these cities: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul.

 


  • Image about Hong Kong
Taipei at a Glance
Millions of years ago, what is now the city of Taipei was a mountain basin filled with water. Today, it's Taiwan's top city, its center of politics, commerce, and culture.


By Jill Becker


National Palace Museum
You'd need a full day or more to explore every nook and cranny of this massive repository; it contains one of the world's largest collections of Chinese art and artifacts.

Yangmingshan National Park
This geological treasure features everything from fumaroles and grassy fields to placid lakes and bubbling hot springs.

Maokong Tea Gardens
These gardens, which scale the mountainside just outside Taipei, are home to teahouses. Stop in for a kettle of tieguanying, a greenish black oolong tasting of rich caramel, or for a pot of one of the many other varieties.

Martyrs' Shrine
If you like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, you'll love the rifle-juggling soldiers at this Ming-style memorial dedicated to Taiwan's fallen heroes.

Taipei 101
Notable for having topped Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers, thus becoming the world's tallest building, this 101-story skyscraper is equally famous for its fabulous shopping.

Shilin Official Residence
The rambling gardens at the estate of former president Chiang Kai-shek opened to the public a few years back and have been a favorite local retreat ever since.

Taiwan Storyland
This re-created circa-1965 Taiwanese town includes a police station, a bar, a bookstore, and even a puppet theater.

Raohe Street Night Market
There are numerous night markets in Taipei, but this was the very first. It's open late and is an ideal spot for finding last-minute gifts or savory snacks like tofu pudding and oyster noodles.

Ping Hsi Branch Railway Line
Hop aboard this train and get out of the city for a bit. You'll see the craggy countryside and old, forgotten coal-mining camps. Disembark near Shi Fen to peruse a pair of eye-popping waterfalls.

Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Once a public hot spring, this historic site now chronicles, in part, the rare radioactive Beitou mine rock.

Go Figure
Some believe that Taipei 101 may actually be causing small earthquakes. On an entirely different note, the building's elevators reach speeds of 37.5 miles per hour, making them some of the world's fastest.
The city is one of the planet's most densely populated areas.
It's estimated that 90 percent of Taipei has access to the city's public wireless Internet service.
Taipei has more than 45 sister cities, perhaps more than any other city in the world.