Taipei
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About Taipei

Since the government of China withdrew to Taiwan in 1949, the city of Taipei – located in the northern tip of Taiwan – became the political, economic and cultural center of Taiwan. Today, Taipei is the capital of the province of Taiwan. Considered to be a global city, Taipei is part of a major industrial area. High speed rail, railways, highways, bus lines and airports connect Taipei with all parts of the island. In 2012, Taipei ranked 9th in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best Places to Travel’. This popularity has to do with the authenticity of Taipei, as well as the diversity of the city and its surroundings. Taipei not only has the museum with the biggest collection of Chinese art in the world - the National Palace Museum - but it also has one of the biggest night markets of the world, Shilin Nightmarket. Furthermore, Taipei has beautiful surroundings with diverse flora and fauna, from tropical jungle to alpine meadows at a height of 3,000 meters. Taipei is a very safe and friendly city to visit, while beautiful coastlines, long sandy beaches and great national parks are just a one-hour train ride away. Taipei suits everyone.

Climate
Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate. Summers are long, humid and hot (accompanied by heavy rainstorms and typhoons), whereas winters are short and generally mild. Due to Taiwan’s location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October. Record temperatures range from 39.2C to -0.2C. 

Interesting facts

  • Taipei is home to the Modern Toilet Restaurant, where your food is served in toilet bowls, you sit on toilets and everything, including the food, is toilet themed!
  • Taipei has many famous clubs, including Myst (featuring a huge waterfall and a prime sight of the Taipei 101), and Luxy (featuring the famous laser-beam grid greeting you at the entrance and making you feel like you are in a James Bond movie.
  • Taipei has restaurants where you can catch your own shrimp before eating it. Fishing rods are provided! 

Studying in Taipei

Taipei has 18 universities and 6 colleges, of which the National Taiwan University is ranked highest (world ranking: 40). The number of international undergraduate students in Taipei has almost doubled to almost 5,000 from 2008 – 2012. The number of foreign students pursuing graduate degrees rose in the same period from 2,033 to 3,603. In order to accommodate these internationals, many universities in Taiwan are increasing the number of degree courses taught (partly) in English. Moreover, the government is offering a series of scholarships for international students. According to a governmental survey, other top reasons to study in Taipei include the high quality of the country’s academic resources, the rich cultural environment and future job prospects. 

Living in Taipei

Taipei has very modern and high-quality public facilities (e.g. clean and free bathrooms in every metro station, free Wi-Fi around the island, with hotspots built in tourist attractions, transport hubs and governmental buildings, and a national healthcare plan). Moreover, the city has a rich social life, against the backdrop of its many night markets, bars and clubs. Fortunately for internationals, more people speak English in Taipei than in mainland China. In order to encourage people to use the public transportation (i.e. bus, MRT, intercity bus, and intercity railway), perfect service facilities have been built. Taipei also has a bike plan, called Youbike. Thirty minutes on a Youbike is free with your MRT card! The most popular neighbourhoods in Taipei are Daan, Shilin and Wanhua. All are far from quiet and bustling from morning till night. Shilin is – with its night market - one of the most visited neighbourhoods in Taipei.

Top three activities

  • National Palace Museum: the collection includes oracle bones, bronze vessels, Ming Dynasty pottery and jade. The museum is open every day of the year.
  • Taipei 101: is one of the tallest buildings in the world and includes 101 floors filled with offices, restaurants and shops.
  • Shilin Night Market: a night market in the Shilin District. Try the oyster omelet and, if you dare, the stinky tofu!

Facts about Taipei

Population      2,600,000
Size (km²)271,8
Life expectancy79,7 years
GDP per capita$20,336

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