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Travel Period: Now – September 2, 2018
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Taiwan’s capital city is home to some of the country’s most impressive cultural treasures, both modern and historical. Chief among them is the National Palace Museum, which houses the most extraordinary collection of Chinese art anywhere in the world. Ranging from ancient bronzes to Ming vases, the museum’s holding of nearly 700,000 artifacts, transported to Taiwan in 1949 during China’s civil war by the fleeing Guomindang, is so vast that only a small selection can ever fit on display at any one time. Current exhibitions include terracotta sculptures from the Qin Culture and an unparalleled display of Tibetan Buddhist art.
Another highlight is the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Commemorating the former president of the Republic of China, the hall features an exhibit of his cars as well as a mock-up of his former office, and a ceremonial guard change takes place on the hour. Outside, palatial buildings flank a large square in the style of Beijing’s Forbidden City.
To experience the pulse of the city as well as its world-class foodie culture, head to the Shilin night market, Taiwan’s largest.
Taipei offers a plethora of fantastic day trips. A must-visit is Maokong to the south, best reached by a scenic cable car that runs from the Taipei Zoo metro station. Known for its magnificent views of Taipei, Maokong is particularly enchanting at night. Visit one of its teahouses, positioned strategically to face the verdant Zhinan River valley.
For a day of relaxation, head north to Beitou. In the 1800s, a Japanese businessman opened a spa here, and the industry has flourished ever since. You don’t have to be a resident at one of Beitou’s hotels to take a dip in their hot spring baths. Nearby, the green sulfur waters of the Beitou Thermal Valley, while too hot for bathing, offer beautiful views.
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/10-must-see-places-taiwan-180959207/#5wPkwk70hXeZcbHV.99
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