Subject: RE: Taiwan
Hi Marco,

I was there for just two days a few years ago and didn't have quite enough time to see everything I wished to see. Although I found it an interesting city, it is certainly not my favourite in Asia. I'd guess that three days of exploring is probably optimal. I found the Chiang Kai-Shek and Sun Yat sen Memorial Halls to be very interesting and the National Palace Museum ( is superb (some of the many of the Chinese cultural treasures 'rescued' and brought to Taiwan by the Kuomintang during the Cultural Revolution are on display - they alternate the collection because it is too vast to display all at one time).

Although many articles I have read are rather disparaging of Taipei - I found it an interesting city to wander around in. Once you get used to the streets jammed with motorbikes going in every direction, the contrasts are fascinating (from old temples to glass and concrete modern structures) and the people friendly and helpful. One morning I hopped on their rapid transit system ( and then took off on a long trek to an old homestead noted in the tourist literature. I seemed to walk forever (along some very busy roads and then into a park area) and finally found a well-preserved, relocated old clan house that proved to be a very interesting walk back in time. I just tried to find some mention of this on the web and I think it was the Lin Antai Old Homestead (but not positive). In looking for that, however, I found what sounds like a good museum on the aboriginal cultures called the Shung Ye Museum

If you have an opportunity to travel outside Taipei - there's what sounds like a fascinating town steeped in heritage on the west coast about 3 hours from Taipei called Lukang. A story in a local (HK) paper intrigued me - it sounds like it has some interesting old architecture, 'twisting' alleys, and wonderful local craftsmen. I really want to go there when I return to Taiwan to see other parts of the island.

In anticipation of a section on Taipei on our website, a Canadian professor who studied in Taipei and loved the city wrote an article on it for our
>From the Heart section. I'll send it to you as an attachment by private email. You'll see that it certainly is a city with a heart - that I don't think many visitors see.

Have a great trip! Judy in Hong Kong