Taipei is Taiwan's largest city
as well as its economic, political, and cultural center. It is a
modern cosmopolitan metropolis with a lively and diversified face,
filled with exuberance. Its buildings provide much of the diversity,
and visitors who are fond of historic sites and old streets will
not want to miss the work of traditional master builders evident
on Dihua Street in the Dadaocheng
area or the Longshan Temple in the Wanhus district, as well
as other places. The internationally renowned National Palace Museum
has an inexhaustible collection of precious historical Chinese arts
and artifacts that no visitor can afford to miss; Taipei is also
home to many other fine museums, including the Taipei
Fine Arts Museum, National Museum of History, and Postal Museum.
On the city's outskirts, the Yangmingshan National Park has unique
volcanic terrain, a rich variety of forest vegetation, and an extensive
network of hiking trails, making it a popular destination for visitors
from the Taipei area and elsewhere. Yangmingshan
is one of the places in the Taipei area where you can indulge yourself
in a hot mineral bath; for the pleasure of relieving the exhaustion
of a day's travels, you can also go to the hot springs of Beitou
or Wulai. Taipei also has the largest zoo in Taiwan, where you can
see the rare Formosan black bear, cuddly koalas, and stately king
penguins. The city's comprehensive rapid transit system takes you
quickly to the zoo or just about anyplace you might want to go in
the metropolitan area.
Places of Attraction
Yangmingshan National Park
Yang Ming Park is located in the north of Beitou. Yang
Ming Shan was called Tsaoshan (Grass Mountain) during Japanese
occupation of Taiwan, because it was covered with grass and seldom
visited. Yang Ming Park a perfect summer resort. Total area of
the park is 125 hectares, designed in traditional Chinese style.
The natural beauty of the part has won it the reputation as urban
forest and the Taipei garden.
The park is characterized by a large clock made of flowers with
a diameter of 22 feet. Water runs around the flower clock and
music is played every hour. The clock is the characteristic of
Yang Ming Park. Opposite the clock is a statute of late president
Chiang Kai Shek; on both sides of the statue are the cypresses
planted by president Chiang himself. The Hsin Hai Kuang Fu Lo
was completed in 1971, right in the center of the park. In addition,
there is a statue of Wang Yang Ming, the famous Chinese scholar
in the 17th century.
About a 15-minute walk from Guandu MRT Station is the Guandu Temple.
The temple, first built in 1661, is dedicated to Matzu, goddess
of the sea. Beside the temple is a kind of Buddhist chapel dedicated
to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Guanyin of Thousand Arms and Eyes.
Outside the temple there are numerous stalls selling products such
as spirit money used in religious observances, as well as snack
foods and souvenirs.
Guandu temple is filled with exquisitely carved dragon pillars,
stone lions, and wall sculptures. Even the door gods are in the
form of relief carvings, in contrast to the usual paintings. The
rafters and beams are also beautifully carved and painted. On the
main altar sits an image of Matzu, the benign expression on her
face in sharp contrast to the fierce visages of the guardians who
flank her, Eyes that See a Thousand Miles and Ears that Hear on
To the right of the temple is an 80 meter Buddha cave, at the entrance
of which is a symbolic mortar that is supposedly able to suppress
all evil. The sides of the cave are lined by 28 devas, and at the
rear is a thousand armed, thousand-eyed Guanyin, or goddess of Mercy.
To the rear of Guanyin is the cave's exit-and a fine river view.
Taipei has many more attractions. Local Travel Agents carry out
Bus Tours to cater the influx of tourists.
Source: Taiwan Tourism Official Website