Taipei City Guide
by William Leung.
Over the past years, Taipei has evolved into a vibrant city attracting artists, designers and foodies. It's rich in culture and creativity - the perfect city break from Hong Kong. There are many direct flight options from Hong Kong, and it only takes less than two hours!
Top Sights to Visit in Taipei
A trip to Taipei is incomplete without a visit to the Taipei 101. Proceed to the 101 Observatory which stands 508m high, and has been classified the world's highest building in 2004 until the opening of Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Ever since its opening, Taipei 101 has been the country's landmark and the brightest addition to Taipei nights. Seven colours of the rainbow were chosen to light up the building with each colour representing a night of the week.
Another key landmark of Taipei is the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, which was constructed a few years after the death of the country's revered leader, Chiang Kai Shek. The memorial hall is a reminder of the man and a validation of his leadership. Near the memorial hall is the Presidential Palace, the official seat of the government.
A visit to the National Palace Museum is a must as it's considered to be the finest museum of Chinese art in the world. The collection of the museum encompasses 650,000 ojects that span the breadth of Chinese history from the Neolithic through the Qing Dynasty.
Taipei Hotel Recommendation
There are plenty quality hotels to choose from in Taipei. One of my favorites is Eslite Hotel, managed by the Eslite Corporation - well known for their bookstore chain. The company has expanded its business to focus on leisure lifestyle opening wineries and cafes all over the city.
The newly opened hotel is located in the heart of the city but hidden away amongst the lush greenery of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. Contemporary artworks by local artists are showcased in the property. Every corner has its own unique style. The rooms are tastefully decorated with earth tone carpets and walls. A balcony is available in most rooms, and you can see pretty much all the landmarks including Taipei 101 tower from your own room!
Eslite gives emphasis on books and reading. Hence, they have an array of reading materials in various languages available for hotel guests to read for free. There's also complimentary tea and coffee provided, so it's the perfect place for a quiet morning or evening.
Where to eat in Taipei
The city is known to be a Hong Konger's favourite for food. Check out Shilin Night Market and Raohe Street Night Market, both famous for street food and treats. I really liked In-Between restaurant at Eslite Hotel. It's a steakhouse, and don't forget to ask for a good seat for a panoramic view of the city. For buffet, check out Silk Road Feast at the Westin Hotel.