Located on the island of Taiwan just off the coast of China, the city of Taipei is an incredibly rich and diverse hub to explore on an Asian cruise vacation. Taiwan was first settled by Chinese Hakka traders in the 17th century before merchants from across Asia and Europe also began colonizing the lands. Today, Taipei is one of the world's most important commercial centers with an enviable economy, a 21st century cityscape and rich cultural traditions.
Here are some of the amazing destinations for you to explore when you visit Taiwan's capital city.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
Located in the heart of Taipei in the world famous Liberty Square, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is one of the city's defining structures. The impressive monument was completed in 1976 and stands in tribute to the late President Chiang Kai-Shek, a beloved national figure in the Republic of China. The memorial hall features a beautiful blue tile roof with a gleaming gold apex and fascinating artifacts pertaining to the former president. Consider signing up for a tour of this fantastic landmark.
National Palace Museum
If you're looking to gain a first-hand look at Taiwan and China's rich and interlocking cultures, be sure to visit the National Palace Museum. The Republic of China's national museum features one of the world's largest and most impressive collection of ancient Chinese art, textiles, sculptures, artifacts and texts. Many of the exhibits within the museum date back more than 8,000 years, including a range of priceless objects that had been collected for centuries by the ancient Chinese emperors.
Holding the title of the world's second tallest skyscraper - behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa - Taipei 101 is sure to impress visitors with its characteristically bold postmodern design, which seamlessly blends high-tech appeal with traditional Taiwanese elements. The structure gets its name from the 101 floors standing above ground. Additionally, there are five subterranean levels to explore along with a chic multi-level mall located adjacent to Taipei 101.
Yang Ming Shan National Park
You can head outside of the city for a bit and visit the enjoyable Yang Ming Shan National Park for a taste of Taiwan's incredible natural beauty. The park is characterized by a postcard-perfect volcanic landscape that is situated next to Shamao Mountain and Qixing Mountain. Additionally, an enormous 22 foot diameter clock sits at the center of the park that is made entirely out of flowers. Water flows around the floral clock, and a different tune plays every hour.
Yehliu Geographic Park
The Yehliu Geographic Park is located nearby, which is known for containing some of Taiwan's most incredible and otherworldly rock formations. The park is situated on the Yehliu Cape, and the rushing sea waters are responsible for many of the smooth and unusually shaped rocks dotting the area.
Constructed by during the Ming dynasty in 1665, the Confucius Temple in Taipei is one of the many Confucian temples located on the island. The temple contains both a shrine and a school, making it a unique center of spiritual education in Taiwan. Additionally, the temple features solemn but breathtaking architecture - earning the structure classification as a Level One National Cultural Relic.