Taipei is the capital city of the Republic of China also known as Taiwan. It is within the Central Mountains and between the northern parts of the island. It has a total population of about 2.6 million and it spans the fourth largest governmental area of Taiwan, after Kaohsiung, Taichung and New Taipei. As the biggest Taipei urban area, it comprises the main Taipei City along with the surrounding Keeling and represents the major metropolitan group with almost 7 million people. Taipei stands as the island’s center for cultural, financial and governmental activities.
In 1884, Qing dynasty’s ruler Liu Ming chuan, thought to shift the state capital to Taipei. Soon with the construction of the administration office and the arrival of civil servants, Taipei’s days as a dull market town were over. When Taiwan gained provincial status in 1885, Taipei became the provincial capital. Since Taipei is in the north of Taiwan (the area adjoining with Japan), the town continued to succeed until 1895 when Taiwan was given to Japan. Through the Japanese phase of majestic rule, some well-known buildings were built. National Taiwan University and the Presidential Palace are among the legendary buildings of the place. However, the architect planning of the city came under the attack of the KMT government that came from the mainland of China in 1945.
Taipei has a semi-tropical atmosphere, which is sticky and warm. The calmest time to come here is the fall season when the temperature highs are normally around 20°C and after the rainy season is almost finished. The summer season can be extremely warm and months from February to April are specifically humid with little sunshine. From the months of May to October, Taipei is likely to face typhoons, the highest attentiveness being in the months of August and September. Months of winters can be moderately cold, with temperature often dropping below 10°C at night; however, snowfall is not a known phenomenon here.
The intercontinental airport of Taipei is the Taiwan Tao Yuan International Airport. It got a new name in September of 2006 although the previous title Chiang Kai Shek International Airport (often known as CKS), is still in use. There are several airlines to Tao Yuan International Airport; the best one being Air Asia (the low-cost flight). The airport is around 30 km from the city and there are expressway buses for the route. These buses conveniently pick up and drop off travellers at their destinations including the most luxurious hotels. Moreover, it also stops at the Main Stations of Taipei together with the Song Shan Airport (the local airport), which is in the central city of Taipei. There are ample transportation services available between the airport to close by areas of the city and Taichung in central Taiwan. Travellers to other destination need to alter transportation in Taipei.
Mainly, there are four transportation choices available in the airport: high-speed rail, bus, taxi and predetermined sedan. An MRT line is still on construction and it will not be complete until June of 2013. All forms of transportation options are available to the following popular destinations:
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is the representation of Taipei as well as of Republic of China. It is at this place that the flag hoists every morning. In addition, there is a big courtyard facing the monument, which works as a place for both a stage to raise a voice to criticise the government as well as nationwide celebrations and events. The monument consists of a Chiang Kai-shek’s bronze statue, guarded by two stable honour security guards, changed every hour in a ceremony of rifle twirl.
The Sun Yat-sen monument Hall was built in the memory of the founding father of the Republic of Chin, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The structure of the memorial starts in 1965 in concurrence with the Sun Yat-sen’s 100th birth anniversary.
The National Palace Museum features the world’s finest collection of Chinese chronological artifacts and antiquities. This museum is in Shilin. The adjacent MRT station is in Shilin, with numerous buses from Shilin coming for the National Palace Museum.