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Explore Apr 16, 2011 #57

 

See this amazing lily in a lightbox... www.flickr.com/photos/jungle_mama/5624564537/in/photostre...

 

A simple Water Lily has transformed into an elegant beauty! The light. The shadows tracing stamen-like forms on its pale lavender petals. Dark shadows highlight the depth of this golden-throated blossom. And it is adorned with a watery "glass ring" around its neck! The wondrous result of water tension* making the surface rise up and appear glassy.

 

The water pond sales center not far from us recently closed its doors. We were sad at our loss but delighted to buy more lilies for our ponds at half price so the owners could recoup some of their investment. I purchased five pots of lilies on a cold morning in January when they were dormant and leafless. Now finally in April they have come alive!

 

This is the first one to bloom. I'll need to get down in the mud of my pond to pull out the ID tag and discover its its name. Coming soon...

 

*Surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force. It is revealed in floating of some objects on the surface of water, even though they are denser than water, and in the ability of some insects (water striders) and even reptiles (basilisk) to run on the water surface. This property is caused by cohesion of like molecules, and is responsible for many of the behaviors of liquids.

 

Biscayne Park, FL

www.susanfordcollins.com

  

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

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++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所

 

The King, after suffering such a great financial loss in his latest investment, was exceedingly disheartened and gloomy. So gloomy that his noble friends were beginning to worry about his health. So worried, that they sent Sir Godfrey and Sir Phillip to fetch the Jolly Jumble Jester triplets.

 

Upon arriving, John, James, and Joe immediately began their popular routine, they sung their songs and danced their dances, yet the king's depression remained. His royal brow still was wrinkled in consternation, unable to forget his lost money.

 

At length, the jesters, desperate, attempted their most daring and tricky trick yet. James jumped on John, John jumped on Joe, and Joe, about to jump onto a ball, had the misfortune to miss his footing! Down the brothers went, crashing to the hard marble floor below. The spectacle was so hilarious that the King burst into a roar of laughter and the whole hall of spectators followed suit.

Feel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to get more detail in the glasses.

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++ FROM WIKIPEDIA ++++

 

Lungshan Temple of Manka is a Buddhist temple in Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan. The temple was built in Taipei in 1738 by settlers from Fujian during Qing rule in honor of Guanyin. It served as a place of worship and a gathering place for the Chinese settlers. In addition to its Buddhist elements, it includes halls and altars to Chinese deities such as Mazu and Guan Yu.

 

History

 

This temple originated its name from the ancient Lungshan Temple established in Chin-chiang county of Fukien province in the seventh century. Immigrants from the three counties Chin-chiang, Nan-an and Hui-an of Fukien came to Manka in the beginning of the eighteenth century. As they were pious followers of that ancient Lungshan Temple in their home town, they erected this one as a branch temple at Manka and named it after the root temple when they created a new settlement here in Taipei. Lungshan Temple of today is no longer in the original buildings constructed in 1738. It was rebuilt in 1919 and completed in 1924.[1]

 

The temple has been destroyed either in full or in part in numerous earthquakes and fires but Taipei residents have consistently rebuilt and renovated it. The temple was rebuilt during Japanese rule. Most recently, it was hit by American bombers during the Taihoku Air Raid on May 31, 1945, during World War II because the Japanese were reportedly hiding armaments there. The main building and the left corridor were damaged and many precious artifacts and artworks were lost. It was rebuilt after the end of World War II a few months later.

 

Der Mengjia Longshan-Tempel (chinesisch 艋舺龍山寺, Pinyin Měngjiǎ Lóngshānsī ‚Drachenbergtempel Mengjia‘) ist ein Tempel in Wanhua (Mengjia) in Taipeh.

Architektur

 

Die Größe des Longshan-Tempels beträgt ungefähr 1.600 Quadratmeter und ist in Nord-Süd-Richtung ausgerichtet. Sein Grundriss ist dem chinesischen Schriftzeichen 回 nachempfunden, im Zentrum des viereckigen Innenhofes befindet sich die Haupthalle des Tempels. Das ist die typische Palast-Form der traditionell-chinesischen Architektur, welche auf einer deutlichen Mittel-Achse von Pailou, der Vorhalle, der Haupthalle und der hinteren Halle beruht. Die Hauptgottheit des Tempels ist Kuan Yin.

Geschichte

 

Während der Qing-Dynastie wanderten viele Han-Chinesen aus Fujian und Guangdong nach Taiwan ein. Wegen des gefährlichen Weges und der Schiffspassage über die Taiwan-Straße nahmen sie ihre Volksreligion wie einen Schutz mit nach Taiwan und errichteten dort Tempel nach heimatlichem Vorbild. Der Longshan-Tempel ist dafür ein gutes Beispiel. Er wurde 1738 von Einwanderern aus der chinesischen Präfektur Quanzhou erbaut. Diese Einwanderer werden auch als die „Drei-Yi-Einwanderer“ bezeichnet, da sie aus den drei Bezirken (chinesisch: yì 邑) Jun-Jan, Nan-An und Hue-An der Präfektur Quanzhou stammten.

 

Nach einem Erdbeben im Jahre 1815 und einem Taifun von 1867 wurden Reparaturen durchgeführt. Um die Reparatur eines Termitenschadens zu ermöglichen, gab 1919 ein buddhistischer Mönch seine ganzen Ersparnisse, so dass der Tempel restauriert werden konnte. So blieb der Tempel bis heute erhalten. 1945 wurde seine Haupthalle zerstört, die Statue Kuan Yins wurde jedoch nicht beschädigt.

 

Im Chinesisch-Französischen Krieg 1884 wurde eine Armee von Freiwilligen gegen Frankreich aufgestellt. Zu dieser Zeit befand sich die offizielle Regierung der Provinz Taiwan in Hsinchu und nicht in Taipeh, wobei der Longshan-Tempel als Amtssitz in Taipeh fungierte. Die Freiwilligen signierten mit dem Namenssiegel des Longshan-Tempels und trugen sich beim Amt ein, um Kriegsdienst zu leisten. Deshalb schenkte der Qing-Kaiser dem Tempel als Anerkennung eine Gedenktafel mit der Inschrift „Ewig strahlende Mutter“, in Bezug auf die Hauptgottheit des Tempels, Kuan Yin.

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during the Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 (2015),[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

  

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

  

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that of Hong Kong and Singapore according to The Economist (Nominal GDP per capita in HK was US$38181 in 2013 according to the IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial Times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in Taipei in 2015 was US$44173, behind that of Singapore (US$90151 in 2016 from the IMF) and Hong Kong (US$58322 in 2016 from the IMF; also based on PPP).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

  

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

  

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

  

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

 

Temples

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

I dati dell’Istat sulla produzione industriale fanno scattare una vera e propria sirena d’allarme sulle condizioni della nostra economia. Da 22 anni non si registrava un livello più basso: nel 2012 -6,7%.

“Un dato che fa venire i brividi. Purtroppo si tratta dell’ennesima conferma al declino incontrastato dell’economia italiana.

Di fronte ad una contrazione della domanda di mercato così marcata come quella che si è registrata nel 2012 (pari al -4,7% secondo le stime O.N.F. – Osservatorio Nazionale Federconsumatori, con una caduta della spesa di oltre -33,4 miliardi di Euro) la produzione industriale non poteva che registrare un fortissimo calo. Andamento dettato dalla gravissima perdita della capacità di acquisto delle famiglie: basti pensare agli aggravi a cui queste ultime devono far fronte nel biennio 2012-2013, pari a +3.823 Euro a famiglia (2.333 nel 2012 e 1.490 previsti per il 2013).

I dati diffusi oggi sull’andamento dell’industria lasciano presagire un ulteriore peggioramento del 2013: la caduta di produzione, infatti, inciderà negativamente sul versante dell’occupazione, alimentando nuovi record del tasso di disoccupazione e cassa integrazione e contribuendo sempre di più alla contrazione del potere di acquisto delle famiglie.

Anzi, come denuncia la CGIL, lo Stato fatica a reperire i fondi necessari per garantire la cassa integrazione in deroga nel 2013.

Alla luce di tale tendenza risulta del tutto inutile e aleatorio aggrapparsi alle speranze di chi vede la ripresa alla fine dell’anno: questo non potrà avvenire senza serie ed immediate misure di emergenza per il rilancio del potere di acquisto delle famiglie e per lo sviluppo economico del Paese.

Per questo ribadiamo che il primo punto all’ordine del giorno del nuovo Governo dovrà essere quello di affrontare seriamente, con responsabilità e mezzi adeguati, questa grave situazione, avviando:

- interventi per il rilancio della domanda di mercato (attraverso il sostegno alle

famiglie a reddito fisso);

- misure per la ripresa degli investimenti per lo sviluppo tecnologico e la ricerca;

- un piano per il rilancio dell’occupazione, specialmente quella giovanile, anche attraverso l’allentamento dei patti di stabilità degli Enti Locali (per intervenire soprattutto con pratiche di manutenzione, sicurezza ed edilizia);

- l’abolizione definitiva del nuovo aumento dell’IVA in programma da luglio;

- eliminazione dell’IMU sulla prima casa per i bassi redditi.

  

The Istat data on industrial production trigger a real siren on the conditions of our economy. For 22 years not seen a lower level: -6.7% in 2012.

"One thing that makes me shudder. Unfortunately this is the umpteenth confirmation undisputed decline of the Italian economy.

Faced with a shrinking market demand as marked as that which occurred in 2012 (equal to -4.7% estimated ONF - National Observatory Federconsumatori, with a fall in expenditure of over -33.4 billion ) industrial production could only record a very significant drop. Trend dictated by serious loss of purchasing power of households: just think of the burdens that they must meet in the years 2012-2013, amounting to Euro +3,823 per family (2,333 in 2012 and 1,490 planned for 2013).

The figures released today by industry trends suggest a further deterioration in 2013: the fall of production, in fact, adversely affect the terms of employment, fueling new record unemployment and layoffs and contributing more and more to the contraction purchasing power of households.

Indeed, as reported by the CGIL, the state struggling to raise the necessary funds to ensure the layoffs in derogation in 2013.

In light of this trend is completely useless and random cling to the hopes of those who saw the shooting at the end of the year: this can not happen without serious and immediate emergency measures to boost the purchasing power of households and economic development of the country.

This is why we insist that the first item on the agenda of the new government will be to deal seriously with responsibility and appropriate means, this serious situation, by running:

- Action to boost market demand (through support to

Fixed-income families);

- Measures for the recovery of investment for technology development and research;

- A plan to boost employment, especially among youth, through the relaxation of stability pacts Local Authorities (especially to intervene with maintenance practices, safety and construction);

- The definitive abolition of the new VAT increase scheduled for July;

- Elimination of the IMU on the first home for low income earners.

A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones. The particles of which the beach is composed can sometimes instead primarily be of biological origins, such as whole or fragmentary mollusc shells or fragments of coralline algae.

Wild beaches are beaches which do not have lifeguards or trappings of modernity nearby, such as resorts and hotels. They are sometimes called undeclared, undeveloped or undiscovered beaches. Wild beaches can be valued for their untouched beauty and preserved nature. They are most commonly found in less developed areas including, for example, parts of Puerto Rico, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Beaches often occur along coastal areas where wave or current action deposits and reworks sediments.

 

Although the seashore is most commonly associated with the word beach, beaches are found by lakes and alongside large rivers, as well as by the sea or oceans.

Beach may refer to:

small systems where rock material moves onshore, offshore, or alongshore by the forces of waves and currents; or geological units of considerable size.

The former are described in detail below; the larger geological units are discussed elsewhere under bars.

There are several conspicuous parts to a beach which relate to the processes that form and shape it. The part mostly above water (depending upon tide), and more or less actively influenced by the waves at some point in the tide, is termed the beach berm. The berm is the deposit of material comprising the active shoreline. The berm has a crest (top) and a face — the latter being the slope leading down towards the water from the crest. At the very bottom of the face, there may be a trough, and further seaward one or more long shore bars: slightly raised, underwater embankments formed where the waves first start to break.

The sand deposit may extend well inland from the berm crest, where there may be evidence of one or more older crests (the storm beach) resulting from very large storm waves and beyond the influence of the normal waves. At some point the influence of the waves (even storm waves) on the material comprising the beach stops, and if the particles are small enough (sand size or smaller) , winds shape the feature. Where wind is the force distributing the grains inland, the deposit behind the beach becomes a dune.

These geomorphic features compose what is called the beach profile. The beach profile changes seasonally due to the change in wave energy experienced during summer and winter months. The beach profile is higher during the summer due to the gentle wave action during this season. The lower energy waves deposit sediment on the beach berm and dune, adding to the beach profile. Conversely, the beach profile is lower in the winter due to the increased wave energy associated with storms. Higher energy waves erode sediment from the beach berm and dune, and deposit it off shore, forming longshore bars. The removal of sediment from the beach berm and dune decreases the beach profile.

The line between beach and dune is difficult to define in the field. Over any significant period of time, sand is always being exchanged between them. The drift line (the high point of material deposited by waves) is one potential demarcation. This would be the point at which significant wind movement of sand could occur, since the normal waves do not wet the sand beyond this area. However, the drift line is likely to move inland under assault by storm waves.

 

Beach formation

 

Beaches are the result of wave action by which waves or currents move sand or other loose sediments of which the beach is made as these particles are held in suspension. Alternatively, sand may be moved by saltation (a bouncing movement of large particles). Beach materials come from erosion of rocks offshore, as well as from headland erosion and slumping producing deposits of scree. Some of the whitest sand in the world, along Florida's Emerald Coast, comes from the erosion of quartz in the Appalachian Mountains. A coral reef offshore is a significant source of sand particles.

 

The shape of a beach depends on whether or not the waves are constructive or destructive, and whether the material is sand or shingle. Constructive waves move material up the beach while destructive waves move the material down the beach. On sandy beaches, the backwash of the waves removes material forming a gently sloping beach. On shingle beaches the swash is dissipated because the large particle size allows percolation, so the backwash is not very powerful, and the beach remains steep. Cusps and horns form where incoming waves divide, depositing sand as horns and scouring out sand to form cusps. This forms the uneven face on some sand shorelines.

There are several beaches which are claimed to be the "World's longest", including Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh (120 km unbroken), Praia do Cassino, Fraser Island beach, 90 Mile Beach in Australia and 90 Mile Beach in New Zealand (88 km), Troia-Sines Beach (63 km) in Portugal and Long Beach, Washington (which is about 40 km).

 

Beaches and recreation

 

Many beaches are very popular on warm sunny days. In the Victorian era, many popular beach resorts were equipped with bathing machines because even the all-covering beachwear of the period was considered immodest. This social standard still prevails in many Muslim countries. At the other end of the spectrum are topfree beaches and nude beaches where clothing is optional or not allowed. In most countries social norms are significantly different on a beach in hot weather, compared to adjacent areas where similar behaviour might not be tolerated and might even be prosecuted.

Usually beach wear consists of a bikini, short shorts, and beach sandals for women. For men it is usually swim trunks and beach sandals.

 

In more than thirty countries in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Costa Rica, South America and the Caribbean, the best recreational beaches are awarded Blue Flag status, based on such criteria as water quality and safety provision. Subsequent loss of this status can have a severe effect on tourism revenues.

 

Due to intense use by the expanding human population, beaches are often dumping grounds for waste and litter, necessitating the use of beach cleaners and other cleanup projects. More significantly, many beaches are a discharge zone for untreated sewage in most underdeveloped countries; even in developed countries beach closure is an occasional circumstance due to sanitary sewer overflow. In these cases of marine discharge, waterborne disease from fecal pathogens and contamination of certain marine species is a frequent outcome.

 

Beach tokens

 

"Beach tokens", a form of season pass admission ticket, may be required for entrance, for people and even pets. They are made of metal etc. durable material, to enable them to withstand swimming, so the bearer can just carry them around his neck or on his swimsuit. Goals may be:

-restricting to only community members

-user fees for lifeguards, clean up

 

Artificial beaches

 

Some beaches are artificial; they are either permanent or temporary (For examples see Monaco, Paris, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore).

The soothing qualities of a beach and the pleasant environment offered to the beachgoer are replicated in artificial beaches, such as "beach style" pools with zero-depth entry and wave pools that recreate the natural waves pounding upon a beach. In a zero-depth entry pool, the bottom surface slopes gradually from above water down to depth. Another approach involves so-called urban beaches, a form of public park becoming common in large cities. Urban beaches attempt to mimic natural beaches with fountains that imitate surf and mask city noises, and in some cases can be used as a play park.

Beach nourishment involves pumping sand onto beaches to improve their health. Beach nourishment is common for major beach cities around the world; however the beaches that have been nourished can still appear quite natural and often many visitors are unaware of the works undertaken to support the health of the beach. Such beaches are often not recognized (by consumers) as artificial.

 

A concept of IENCE has been devised to describe investment into the capacity of natural environments. IENCE is Investment to Enhance the Natural Capacity of the Environment and includes things like beach nourishment of natural beaches to enhance recreational enjoyment and snow machines that extend ski seasons for areas with an existing snow economy developed upon a natural snowy mountain. As the name implies IENCE is not quite mainstream natural science as its goal is to artificially invest into an environment's capacity to support anthropogenic economic activity. An artificial reef designed to enhance wave quality for surfing is another example of IENCE. The Surfrider Foundation has debated the merits of artificial reefs with members torn between their desire to support natural coastal environments and opportunities to enhance the quality of surfing waves. Similar debates surround Beach nourishment and Snow cannon in sensitive environments.

 

Beaches as habitat

 

A beach is an unstable environment which exposes plants and animals to changeable and potentially harsh conditions. Some small animals burrow into the sand and feed on material deposited by the waves. Crabs, insects and shorebirds feed on these beach dwellers. The endangered Piping Plover and some tern species rely on beaches for nesting. Sea turtles also lay their eggs on ocean beaches. Seagrasses and other beach plants grow on undisturbed areas of the beach and dunes.

Ocean beaches are habitats with organisms adapted to salt spray, tidal overwash, and shifting sands. Some of these organisms are found only on beaches. Examples of these beach organisms in the southeast US include plants like sea oats, sea rocket, beach elder, beach morning glory aka Ipomoea pes-caprae, and beach peanut, and animals such as mole crabs aka Hippoidea, coquina clams aka Donax, ghost crabs, and white beach tiger beetles.

I find daylight landscape photography to be a total loss most of the time lately. Friday had a spectacular sky all day while I was working. It's hard for me to get motivated to get out somewhere worthy with a time investment since the conditions change rather dramatically and often quickly, while varying greatly from area to area. Most of the time it's Sonic Clear, and we are in drought status making one of my normal winter go-to's (waterfalls and streams) unavailable.

 

I awoke this AM at 6:30 and the custom is to look out the back window towards the east and noticed some interesting clouds. Too rare to pass up so I jumped in the car and headed up the parkway to the east facing flanks. This time of year the sunrise is perpendicular so hard to find much of interest for the foreground, but the sky was rather colorful, much as one can ask for now it seems.

 

Waiting for the Sun

On Explore! December 6, 2007! #352

Thank you very much to all of you my dear Flickr friends for your so kind comments!

 

Last News:

I'd an apparition near my Wild River... an interview by an angel...!!! :)))

angiereal.blogspot.com/2007/11/interview-with-my-flickr-f...

 

Wonder of innocence!

 

A short guide of accomplishment that you will find nowhere else on the practice of spiritual I Ching in your life! For the I Ching… all acts of your life outside… are spiritual… that your thoughts are realistic or not!

 

1. The experience of the I Ching is acquired in daily practice with regularity… by living to the full!

 

2. No need to question him or force anything as advocated in all tutorials… you pick and translate the responses into action depending on how your heart fill with… no risk of mistakes interpretation !

 

3. Regularly, to deal with certain situations in your life, you need to step back… to study the effects of a project on your environment! The I Ching will help you to determine if this is the right time to act or not to act!

 

4. The regular practical experience will teach you to when you step back to analyse! Once you understand that this way is according to the universe that your previous situation… you would discovered that the Invisible just waiting to protect you from the outside world in all areas of your life!

 

5. The I Ching is the best only in situations under your control! For example… you should make travel by road or air at a given moment you choose… it will tell you if there is a danger or not at this precise moment! Another example… you receive a message that you do not understand… such as hexagram # 57, communication, changing in hexagram # 3, difficulty… watch what will happen in the minutes that followed… it could be a phone whose subject is the difficulty! You should know that the I Ching captures all the intentions of the others about you! Fascinating… right? :)))

 

If you want to take this way of life with a light heart … your inner Guide is ready since the beginning of the humanity … to help and protect you!

 

Finally as an example… here is a small code meanings for each of the hexagrams that I use regularly:

# 1 Inner Guide, Heaven, Creation, Soon, Tomorrow # 2 Me, Ego, Earth, Responsiveness, Overture # 3 Difficulty # 4 Apprenticeship, Study, Children # 5 Waiting # 6 Conflict # 7 Politics, Governments # 8 Union, Friendship, Solidarity # 9 Vision # 10 Action, March # 11 Peace, Serenity, Harmony, Agreement with my inner Guide # 12 Stagnation, Denial, No agreement with my inner Guide # 13 Community, Mails # 14 Wealth # 15 Humility # 16 Enthusiasm, Music # 17 Continuation # 18 Housework, Order # 19 In the short term, Approach # 20 Future vision, Planning # 21 Investments Market Exchange # 22 Beauty , Design # 23 Loss # 24 Return # 25 Innocence, Nature # 26 Great opportunity # 27 Physical and spiritual food # 28 Renunciation # 29 Running water, My Wild River, Money, Danger # 30 Light, Clarity, Sun # 31 Influence, Application # 32 Time, Eternity # 33 Removing # 34 Stop # 35 Great progress # 36 Darkness, Black, Evening, Night, Evil # 37 Family, House, Home # 38 Opposition # 39 Obstacle # 40 Liberation, Freedom # 41 Decrease # 42 Growth # 43 Fees, Expenses, Resolution # 44 Meeting # 45 Gathering, TV # 46 Writing, Effort # 47 Tiredness, Disease, Sleeping, Exhaustion # 48 Bank, Cooperation # 49 Revolution, Change # 50 News, Novelty, I Ching # 51 Awakening, Thunder # 52 Meditation, Immobilization, Mountain, Reflexion # 53 Gradual progress # 54 My soulmate, Marriage, Women # 55 Abundance, Art, Fullness # 56 Travel, Car # 57 Communication, Wind # 58 Inner joy, Joy # 59 Media # 60 Limitation # 61 Truth, Trust # 62 Transition # 63 The end, Agenda # 64 Not finished

 

Some of the hexagrams are related to a person as # 54 for my soul mate… many of you are identified by one of the hexagrams! :)))

 

Very happy and interesting comment of JucaFii... I add comment too!!! :)))

  

Merveille de l’innocence!

 

Un petit guide d’accomplissement que vous ne trouverez nulle part ailleurs sur la pratique du Yi King spirituel dans votre quotidien! Pour le Yi King… tous actes de votre vie extérieure… sont spirituels… que vos pensées soient réalistes ou non!

 

1. L’expérience du Yi King s’acquiert dans la pratique quotidienne régulière… en y mordant à pleines dents!

 

2. Pas besoin de l’interroger ou de forcer quoi que ce soit comme le préconise toutes les guides d’utilisation… vous tirez et traduisez les réponses obtenues en actes selon ce que votre cœur perçoit… ainsi pas de risques d’erreurs grossières d’interprétation!

 

3. Régulièrement, face à certaines situations de votre vie, vous avez besoin de prendre du recul… d’étudier les effets d’un projet sur votre environnement! Le Yi King vous aidera à déterminer si c’est le bon moment pour agir ou ne pas agir!

 

4. L’expérience pratique régulière vous enseignera à quel moment vous retirer pour digérer vos expériences! Lorsque vous aurez compris que le chemin parcouru est plus en accord avec l’univers que votre situation antérieure… vous aurez découvert que l’Invisible ne demande qu’à vous protéger du monde extérieur dans toutes les situations de votre vie!

 

5. Le Yi King n’excelle que dans les situations sous votre contrôle! Par exemple… vous devez prendre la route ou l’avion à un moment déterminé… vous craignez l’avion… il vous indiquera s’il y a danger ou non à ce moment précis! Un autre exemple… vous recevez un message que vous ne comprenez pas… comme par exemple l’hexagramme #57, la communication, se transformant en hexagramme #3, la difficulté… surveillez bien ce qui va se passer dans les minutes qui vont suivre… il se peut que ce soit un téléphone dont le sujet est cette difficulté! Il faut savoir que le Yi King capte toutes les intentions des autres vous concernant! Fascinant n’est-ce pas?

 

Si vous souhaitez prendre la route de la vie le cœur léger… votre Guide intérieur n’attend que cela… sa mission… vous aider et vous protéger!

 

En terminant à titre d’exemple voici un petit code de significations pour chacun des hexagrammes que j’utilise régulièrement:

#1 Guide intérieur, Ciel, Création, Bientôt, Demain #2 Moi, Égo, Terre, Réceptivité, Ouverture #3 Difficulté #4 Apprentissage, Étude, Enfants #5 Attente #6 Conflit #7 Politique, Gouvernements #8 Union, Amitié, Solidarité #9 Vision #10 Action, Marche #11 Paix, Sérénité, Harmonie, Accord avec le Guide #12 Stagnation, Négation, Refus, Pas d’accord du Guide #13 Communauté, Courriels, Courriers #14 Richesse, Avoir, Biens #15 Humilité #16 Enthousiasme, Musique #17 Continuation, La suite, Poursuivre #18 Ménage, Mise en ordre #19 À court terme, Approche #20 Vision future, Plan #21 Placement, Marché, Bourse #22 Beauté, Design #23 Perte #24 Le retour, Revenir #25 Innocence, Nature #26 Grande occasion #27 Nourriture physique et spirituelle #28 Renoncement #29 Eau courante, Ma rivière sauvage, Argent, Danger #30 Lumière, Clarté, Soleil #31 Influence, Demande #32 Temps, Durée, Éternité #33 Retrait #34 Halte #35 Gros progrès #36 Obscurité, Noir, Soir, Nuit, Mal #37 Famille, Maison #38 Opposition #39 Obstacle #40 Libération, Liberté #41 Diminution #42 Croissance #43 Frais, Dépenses, Résolution #44 Rencontre #45 Rassemblement, Réunion, TV #46 Rédaction, Effort #47 Fatigue, Maladie, Dormir, Épuisement #48 Banque #49 Révolution, Changement, Agenda #50 Nouveauté, Yi King #51 Éveil, Tonnerre #52 Méditation, Immobilisation, Montagne, Réflexion #53 Progrès graduel #54 Mon âme sœur, Épouser, Femme #55 Abondance, Art, Plénitude #56 Voyage, Automobile #57 Communication, Internet #58 Joie, Cinéma #59 Diffusion, Média, Perte de biens #60 Limitation #61 L’essence intérieur, Vérité, Confiance #62 Transition, Économie #63 La fin, l’ordre #64 Pas terminé

 

Certains de ces hexagrammes sont en rapport avec une personne comme le #54 pour mon âme sœur… plusieurs d’entre vous sont identifiés par un de ces hexagrammes!!! :)))

 

Un commentaire très intéressant de JucaFii... j'ai émis un commentaire aussi!!! :)))

 

Requiem… Mozart!!!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-zDH_ekIUg

 

THIS PAINTING WILL BE PUT UP FOR SALE SOON

A painting in watercolours by the Irish artist and musician from Ireland (Eire) Percy French. Being late 19th Century the subject was rather risque at the time! This watercolor is unusual in that it has people in it. Even more unusual in that they are naked women. There does not appear to be any other Percy French paintings like it!

It was originally gifted to my Great Grandfather RJ Mecredy by Percy French himself. There were other watercolours I remember being in the family but they have long since been distributed to all the family members after my parents died.

 

Percy French

(1854 - 1920)

  

Percy French was born in Cloonyquin, County Roscommon on 1st May, 1854. He became one of the foremost entertainers of his day. He was educated at Windermere College, Foyle College and TCD. He graduated in civil engineering in 1881 and joined the Board of Works as a surveyor of drains in County Cavan. When the Board reduced its staff around 1887 and he lost his capital in an unwise investment in a distillery he turned to journalism as editor of the Jarvey, a weekly comic paper. When this failed his long and successful career as a songwriter and entertainer began. With a Dr. Collisson as partner, he toured Canada, the United States, the West Indies and England. He delighted in composing and singing comic songs, accompanying himself on the banjo. He gained considerable distinction with such songs as Phil the Fluters Ball and Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

 

His association with County Clare is related in the song Are ye right there Michael?. In 1898 Percy French sued the directors of the West Clare Railway Company for "loss of earnings" when he and his troupe of entertainers were late for a performance in Moores Hall, Kilkee. He had advertised a concert for 8 p.m. on the evening of 10th August 1896, in Kilkee. He left Dublin that morning and arrived in Ennis on time for the 12.30 train which was due to reach Kilkee at 3.30p.m. The train slowed up approaching Miltown Malbay and when it got to the station there did not go any further. Five hours elapsed before a replacement train arrived and as a result he did not get to the hall in Kilkee until 8.20 p.m. His magic lantern, which was with his luggage, did not arrive until 9.00. When he reached the hall most of the audience had gone home and the receipts were only £3 instead of the usual £14. A railway company official explained that when the engine took on water at Ennistymon weeds got into the boiler. This became apparent after a few miles and by the time Miltown Malbay was reached the driver decided to put out the fire because of the possibility of an explosion. No further progress was possible and a replacement engine was requested.

 

French was awarded £10 expenses. The Railway Company appealed but the award stood. The incident led to the song Are ye right there Michael? which became one of the most popular numbers in his repertoire.

 

"Are ye right there, Michael, are ye right?

Do you think that we'll be there before the night?

Ye've been so long in startin

That ye couldn't say for sartin -

Still ye might now, Michael, so ye might".

 

Because of the court case the West Clare Railway and Percy French have been closely associated ever since.

 

Percy French was also a talented painter. He loved painting skies, which are usually the centre of interest in his water colours. He sketched wherever he went and regularly found inspiration for his paintings in the Irish landscape.

 

On 28th June 1890, Percy French, then aged 36, married Ettie Armytage. A daughter was born on 5th June 1891 but tragically both mother and baby died. In 1894 he married Helen (Lennie) Sheldon, with whom he had three daughters, Ettie, Mollie and Joan.

 

Percy French died from pneumonia on 24th January 1920, aged 65. He is buried in Formby in Lancashire.

  

Links here:

www.ricorso.net/rx/az-data/index.htm

 

www.flickr.com/photos/robinhutton/182887140/in/pool-22584...

  

Belfast Harbour Marina was opened in 2009 as part of the Belfast Tall Ships Festival. Located in the Abercorn Basin, it features 40 berths for leisure craft, it was funded by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Belfast Tall Ships 2009 Ltd. It is the forerunner to a future 200 berth marina in the Titanic Quarter.

 

The Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland is a blue-chip technology district, including apartments, a riverside entertainment district, and a major Titanic-themed attraction under development on reclaimed land in Belfast Harbour, known until recently as Queen's Island. The 185-acre (75 ha) site, previously occupied by part of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, is named after the company's (and city's) most famous product RMS Titanic.

 

The area first came to public attention as 'Titanic Park' in 1995, when it was officially opened by U.S. President Bill Clinton during his 'peace mission' to Northern Ireland. Plans accelerated in September 2002 when the former head of public-private investment company Laganside Corporation, Mike Smith, was appointed as Chief Executive of the renamed 'Titanic Quarter'.

 

Titanic Quarter was largely a brownfield site, notable only for the presence of the abandoned headquarters of Harland & Wolff (now relocated). Since 2005 it has also been the home of the Northern Ireland Science Park, a hi-tech science park affiliated closely with Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster, and Titanic Studios, a film studio used during the production of films such as Closing the Ring and City of Ember.

 

In July 2006, work began on phase one of the development. On 31 October 2006, BBC News reported that Belfast Institute for Further and Higher Education (now Belfast Metropolitan College) plans to build a new £44 million campus in Titanic Quarter, moving from its Belfast city centre sites on Brunswick Street and the aging College Square East building.

 

In October 2007 the second phase of the development was given planning permission, which includes the development of over 2,000 homes. The application was the largest ever submitted to the Department of the Environment's Planning Service. The Odyssey Complex is adjacent to Titanic Quarter.

 

Titanic Quarter may eventually develop into a hi-technology orientated village, a new-model futuristic sector, in the mould of Paris's La Défense. In the past, entrepreneurship in specialist technology sectors has been evident in Northern Ireland, in such areas as shipbuilding and aerospace. Harland and Wolff and Shorts Bombardier, the province's two key players in the above industries, have downsized substantially, at the loss of a great number of jobs.

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

The ECONOMY AMERICAN Is DANGER, BUSH CONVENES An EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT To the WHITE HOUSE....

 

Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America's economy. Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration. We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money. We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action. We boosted confidence in money market mutual funds and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain. Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets. Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the house decline, and the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger. So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending. This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry. It is aimed at preserving America's overall economy. It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America's financial system is back on track. I know many Americans have questions tonight: How did we reach this point in our economy? How will the solution I propose work? And what does this mean for your financial future? These are good questions, and they deserve clear answers. First, how did our economy reach this point? Well, most economists agree that the problems we're witnessing today developed over a long period of time. For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad because our country is an attractive and secure place to do business. This large influx of money to U.S. banks and financial institutions, along with low interest rates, made it easier for Americans to get credit. These developments allowed more families to borrow money for cars, and homes, and college tuition, some for the first time. They allowed more entrepreneurs to get loans to start new businesses and create jobs. Unfortunately, there were also some serious negative consequences, particularly in the housing market. Easy credit, combined with the faulty assumption that home values would continue to rise, led to excesses and bad decisions. Many mortgage lenders approved loans for borrowers without carefully examining their ability to pay. Many borrowers took out loans larger than they could afford, assuming that they could sell or refinance their homes at a higher price later on. Optimism about housing values also led to a boom in home construction. Eventually, the number of new houses exceeded the number of people willing to buy them. And with supply exceeding demand, housing prices fell, and this created a problem. BUSH: Borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages, who had been planning to sell or refinance their homes at a higher price, were stuck with homes worth less than expected, along with mortgage payments they could not afford. As a result, many mortgage-holders began to default. These widespread defaults had effects far beyond the housing market. See, in today's mortgage industry, home loans are often packaged together and converted into financial products called mortgage-backed securities. These securities were sold to investors around the world. Many investors assumed these securities were trustworthy and asked few questions about their actual value. Two of the leading purchasers of mortgage-backed securities were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk. The decline in the housing market set off a domino effect across our economy. When home values declined, borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, and investors holding mortgage-backed securities began to incur serious losses. Before long, these securities became so unreliable that they were not being bought or sold. Investment banks, such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, found themselves saddled with large amounts of assets they could not sell. They ran out of money needed to meet their immediate obligations, and they faced imminent collapse. Other banks found themselves in severe financial trouble. These banks began holding on to their money, and lending dried up, and the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt. With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, I faced a choice, to step in with dramatic government action or to stand back and allow the irresponsible actions of some to undermine the financial security of all. I'm a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention. I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business. Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence, and major sectors of America's financial system are at risk of shutting down. The government's top economic experts warn that, without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold. More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically. And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs. Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And, ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession. Fellow citizens, we must not let this happen. I appreciate the work of leaders from both parties in both houses of Congress to address this problem and to make improvements to the proposal my administration sent to them. There is a spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans and between Congress and this administration. In that spirit, I've invited Senators McCain and Obama to join congressional leaders of both parties at the White House tomorrow to help speed our discussions toward a bipartisan bill. I know that an economic rescue package will present a tough vote for many members of Congress. It is difficult to pass a bill that commits so much of the taxpayers' hard-earned money. I also understand the frustration of responsible Americans who pay their mortgages on time, file their tax returns every April 15th, and are reluctant to pay the cost of excesses on Wall Street. But given the situation we are facing, not passing a bill now would cost these Americans much more later. Many Americans are asking, how would a rescue plan work? After much discussion, there's now widespread agreement on the principles such a plan would include. It would remove the risk posed by the troubled assets, including mortgage-backed securities, now clogging the financial system. This would free banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses. Any rescue plan should also be designed to ensure that taxpayers are protected. It should welcome the participation of financial institutions, large and small. It should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars. BUSH: It should establish a bipartisan board to oversee the plan's implementation, and it should be enacted as soon as possible. In close consultation with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and SEC Chairman Chris Cox, I announced a plan on Friday. First, the plan is big enough to solve a serious problem. Under our proposal, the federal government would put up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the line to purchase troubled assets that are clogging the financial system. In the short term, this will free up banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses, and this will help our economy grow. Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply, yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages. The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal. And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back. The final question is, what does this mean for your economic future? Well, the primary steps -- purpose of the steps I've outlined tonight is to safeguard the financial security of American workers, and families, and small businesses. The federal government also continues to enforce laws and regulations protecting your money. The Treasury Department recently offered government insurance for money market mutual funds. And through the FDIC, every savings account, checking account, and certificate of deposit is insured by the federal government for up to $100,000. The FDIC has been in existence for 75 years, and no one has ever lost a penny on an insured deposit, and this will not change. Once this crisis is resolved, there will be time to update our financial regulatory structures. Our 21st-century global economy remains regulated largely by outdated 20th-century laws. Recently, we've seen how one company can grow so large that its failure jeopardizes the entire financial system. Earlier this year, Secretary Paulson proposed a blueprint that would modernize our financial regulations. For example, the Federal Reserve would be authorized to take a closer look at the operations of companies across the financial spectrum and ensure that their practices do not threaten overall financial stability. There are other good ideas, and members of Congress should consider them. As they do, they must ensure that efforts to regulate Wall Street do not end up hampering our economy's ability to grow. In the long run, Americans have good reason to be confident in our economic strength. Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised. It has unleashed the talents and the productivity and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. It has made this country the best place in the world to invest and do business. And it gives our economy the flexibility and resilience to absorb shocks, adjust, and bounce back. Our economy is facing a moment of great challenge, but we've overcome tough challenges before, and we will overcome this one. I know that Americans sometimes get discouraged by the tone in Washington and the seemingly endless partisan struggles, yet history has shown that, in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion. And together we will show the world once again what kind of country America is: a nation that tackles problems head on, where leaders come together to meet great tests, and where people of every background can work hard, develop their talents, and realize their dreams. Thank you for listening. May God bless you.

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

"The strength of your thoughts, and the reflection of your actions, are the signature you leave in this world." Woody Allen.

 

There are corners in the world whose fragility makes them even more unique. The small medieval village of Civita di Bagnoregio, with its only 12 inhabitants registered, has long been with the constant shadow of the disappearance. Not only for the small number of people who live in it, but above all for the continuous erosion and landslides that take place in the mountains of clay in which it is erected.

It would be a great loss that "The city that dies" will eventually disappear someday. A place that I knew for the magnificent images of other photographers, and that if things are done well, it could be saved with the right recognition and investment. Photography allows more people to know this place and attract them here, hope the darkness that looms over this amazing place never turns off its light.

 

----------------------

 

"La fuerza de tus pensamientos, y el reflejo de tus acciones, son la firma que dejas en este mundo". Woody Allen.

 

Hay rincones en el mundo cuya fragilidad los hace aún más únicos. El pequeño pueblo medieval de Civita di Bagnoregio, con sus solo 12 habitantes censados, lleva mucho tiempo con la sombra constante de la desaparición. No ya por el reducido número de personas que viven en él, sino sobre todo por la continua erosión y los desprendimientos que tienen lugar en las montañas de arcilla en las que se erige.

Sería una gran pérdida que finalmente "La ciudad que muere" acabe por desaparecer algún día. Un lugar al que llegué por las magníficas imágenes de otros fotógrafos, y que si se hacen las cosas bien se podría salvar con el reconocimiento y la inversión adecuados. La fotografía permite a más personas conocer este lugar y atraerlos aquí, esperemos que la oscuridad que se cierne sobre este increíble lugar nunca apague su luz.