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—   Special municipality  —
Taipei City · 臺北市
Clockwise from top: Taipei skyline, Grand Hotel, FarEastern Plaza, National Palace Museum, National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei Metro ( Jiantan Station)


Nickname(s): The City of Azaleas
Satellite image of Taipei City
Coordinates: 25°02′N 121°38′E Coordinates: 25°02′N 121°38′E
Country Taiwan
Region Northern Taiwan
Settled 1709
City seat Xinyi District
District-divisions 12 districts
 • Type Taipei City Government
 •  Mayor Hau Lung-pin ( KMT)
 •  Special municipality 271.7997 km2 (104.9425 sq mi)
 • Water 2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi)  1.0%
Population (December 2010)
 •  Special municipality 2,618,772
 • Density Bad rounding here9,600/km2 (Bad rounding here25,000/sq mi)
 •  Metro 7,000,000 - 9,000,000
  ( Metro article) ( Ranked 4 of 22)
Time zone CST ( UTC+8)
Postal code 100–116
Area code(s) (0)2
Districts 12
Bird Formosan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea)
Flower Azalea (Rhododendron nudiflorum)
Tree Banyan (India laurel fig, Ficus microcarpa)
Website (English)
The metropolitan area (or tri-cities) of Taipei includes Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung.
Taipei City
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 臺北 市 or 台北
Simplified Chinese 台北
Literal meaning Northern Taiwan City
Japanese name
Kanji 臺北市
Kana たいほくし

Taipei City ( / ˌ t ˈ p /; Chinese: 臺北市 or 台北市; pinyin: Táiběi Shì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-pak Chhī) is the capital of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Situated at the northern tip of Taiwan, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River; it is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Keelung, a port city on the Pacific Ocean. It lies in the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung (基隆河) and Xindian (新店溪) rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border. The city proper (Taipei City) is home to an estimated 2,618,772 people. Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung together form the Taipei metropolitan area with a population of 6,900,273. However, they are administered under different local governing bodies. "Taipei" sometimes refers to the whole metropolitan area, while "Taipei City" refers to the city proper. Taipei City proper is surrounded on all sides by New Taipei.

Taipei is the political, economic, and cultural centre of Taiwan. The National Palace Museum which has one of the largest collections of Chinese artifacts and artworks in the world is located in Taipei. Considered to be a global city, Taipei is part of a major industrial area. 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 was founded in the early 18th century and became an important centre for overseas trade in the 19th century. The Qing Dynasty of China made Taipei the provincial capital of Taiwan in 1886. When the Japanese acquired Taiwan in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War, they retained Taipei as the capital of the island, and also advanced extensive urban planning in Taipei. The Republic of China took over the island in 1945 following Japanese surrender. After losing Mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) resettled the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the Republic of China in December 1949.


The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction in the Zhongzheng District of Taipei.


Memorial halls and museums

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attractions that was erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theatre 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 Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a memorial to one of the most recognizable founding fathers of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen, and was completed on May 16, 1972. From the opening of the hall, majority of the exhibits displayed were revolutionary events of the national founding fathers at the end of the Qing Dynasty. However, recently its function moved toward a multi-purpose social, educational and cultural centre for the Taiwanese public.

The National Palace Museum houses over 600,000 ancient Chinese artifacts.

The National Palace Museum is an 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. 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.

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

Just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum is the strikingly designed Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines which has magnificent displays of Taiwanese aboriginal arts and crafts and a range of outstanding multimedia displays.

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983. Located in a purpose-built building inspired by Japanese metabolism, it was the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The artworks in the museum are mostly done by Taiwanese artists. There are more than 3,000 artworks in the museum. Most of them are done after 1940 by Taiwanese artist, and are organized into 13 groups. In 2001, the first museum dedicated to contemporary art opened as MoCA Taipei or Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (台北當代藝術館), located in the old building of the Taipei City government.

The National Taiwan Museum is the oldest museum in Taiwan. It was established as the Taiwan Governor Museum by the colonial government of Japan on October 24, 1908 to commemorate the inauguration of the North-South Railway during the Japanese rule in Taiwan. The museum had a collection of over 10,000 items in its initial stages. In 1915, the new building of the museum in Taipei 228 Peace Memorial Park (formerly known as New Park) was inaugurated and became one of the major public buildings during Japanese rule. Since 1999, it has been renamed to the "National Taiwan Museum".

Taipei 101 fireworks during the 2008 New Year's Celebrations

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004. Taipei 101 is still among the top ten tallest buildings, though not the tallest. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture and measuring 449 m (1,473 ft) from ground to roof, Taipei 101 lost the title of the tallest completed skyscraper in the world on January 4, 2010. (The tallest skyscraper is now the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE). Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, the building incorporates many engineering innovations. Taipei 101 also set new records for ascending elevator speed which has also recently been surpassed by Burj Khalifa. The landmark has won numerous international awards for its innovations. A large mall is located at the base of the tower. Its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world and its New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

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

A new cultural landmark, the Taipei Performing Arts Centre, is under construction and is slated to open in 2015. The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market 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. The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Centre for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.

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.

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 Theatre. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores. The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the " Harajuku" of Taipei.

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 famous for being one of the world's tallest buildings. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, 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 centre of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19 and Taipei 101 buildings.

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 theatre.

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.


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

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. 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. The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.

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.

Festivals and events

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall during the annual Lantern Festival.

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei, including the Taipei Lantern Festival when thousands of sky lanterns are released in Pingxi. Common locations for festival celebrations include Memorial Square, Taipei 101, and the Zhongshan Hall in Ximending. On Double Ten Day, celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building.

Other annual festivals include Tomb-Sweeping Day, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival. In recent years some festivals traditionally held in Taipei, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, have increasingly been hosted by other cities in Taiwan.

One other huge celebration in Taipei is the one on New Year Eve. Every year, thousands of people will gather in front of the Taipei City Hall to celebrate the beginning of a new year. Every time, there will be many famous singers who perform on the stage that is set up for the New Year Celebration. The performance usually starts out around eight o’clock and continues until midnight. Artists and dancers will perform throughout the night and it is just like a concert. Then, thirty minutes before midnight, the Taipei governor and some Taipei politicians will come up the stage and count down with the people. Then, when the clock reaches midnight, there will be firework at Taipei 101 and every year since, the firework has last longer than the year before.

From November 6, 2010 to April 25, 2011, Taipei held the garden festival named Taipei International Flora Exposition. It was the first such internationally recognized exposition to take place in Taiwan, and the seventh of its kind to take place in Asia. Flora Exposition visitors hit new 1-day high admissions on February 27, 2011 with 110,000 people showing.

Taipei in film

  • Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman (drama)
  • Edward Yang's Yi Yi: A One and a Two (drama)
  • Edward Yang's Mahjong (drama/comedy)
  • Edward Yang's A Confucian Confusion (drama/comedy)
  • Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day (drama)
  • Edward Yang's The Terrorizers (drama)
  • Edward Yang's Taipei Story (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's Rebels of the Neon God (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's Vive L'Amour (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's The River (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's What Time Is It There? (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's Goodbye, Dragon Inn (drama)
  • Tsai Ming-liang's Face (drama)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien's Dust in the Wind (drama)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien's Daughter of the Nile (drama)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien's Goodbye South, Goodbye (drama)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien's Millennium Mambo (drama)
  • Hou Hsiao-hsien's Three Times (drama)
  • Leon Dai's No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (drama)
  • Chung Mong-hong's Parking (drama)
  • Chen Yin-jung's Formula 17 (gay/comedy)
  • Zero Chou's Spider Lilies (lesbian/drama)
  • Chen Hung-I's Candy Rain (lesbian/drama)
  • Arvin Chen's Au Revoir Taipei (comedy)
  • Chen Yu-hsun's Tropical Fish (drama/comedy)
  • Te-sheng Wei's Cape No. 7 (drama/comedy)
  • Doze Niu's Monga (drama/action)
  • Hsiao Ya-chuan's Taipei Exchanges (drama/comedy)
  • Lin Cheng-sheng's Betelnut beauty (drama/romance)
  • Chen Kuo-Fu's The Personals (drama/romance)
  • Fen-fen Cheng's Hear Me (drama/romance)
  • Huo Jianqi's Snowfall in Taipei (drama/romance)
  • Hsiao-tse Cheng's Miao Miao (romance/comedy)
  • Sylvia Chang's 20 30 40 (romance/comedy)
  • Hsiao-ming Hsu's Love of May (romance)
  • Yee Chin-yen's Blue Gate Crossing (romance)
  • Jay Chou's Secret (romance)
  • Chen Kuo-Fu's Double Vision (horror/suspense)
  • Chao-Bin Su's Silk (horror/suspense)
  • Jia Zhangke's I Wish I Knew (Documentary)
  • Wong Kar-wai's Happy Together (Hong Kong studio, filmed in three cities : Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, and Taipei)
  • John Woo's A Better Tomorrow (Hong Kong studio, filmed in Hong Kong and Taipei) (action)
  • Kirk Wong's Crime Story (Hong Kong studio, filmed in Hong Kong, Taipei) (action)
  • David Lam's Asian Connection (Hong Kong studio, filmed in Hong Kong, Taipei) (action)
  • Andrew Lau's Young and Dangerous 2 (Hong Kong studio, filmed on location in Taipei)
  • Turn Left, Turn Right (Hong Kong studio, filmed on location in Taipei)
  • One Missed Call 2 (Japanese studio, filmed in Taipei and Jinguashi)
  • About Love (Japanese studio, filmed on three cities in Asia: Taipei, Tokyo, and Shanghai)
  • Mamoru Oshii's StrayDog: Kerberos Panzer Cops (science fiction/drama)
  • Takashi Miike's Rainy Dog (Japanese studio, filmed on location in Taipei) (drama)
  • Takahisa Zeze's Moon Child (Japanese studio, filmed in Taipei, as the futuristic city of Mallepa) (drama)
  • Robert Wise's The Sand Pebbles ( Hollywood studio, filmed in Taipei, Keelung, Tamsui and Hong Kong) (drama)
  • Håkon Liu's Miss Kicki (Swedish studio, filmed in Taipei, Sun Moon Lake) (drama)


The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade-Giles romanization T'ai-pei. Under the official New Phonetic System (also known as Hanyu Pinyin) romanization system, which is used to romanize all street signage in Taipei, and the formerly official Tongyong Pinyin system, the city's name is romanized as Táiběi. However, the familiarity of the longstanding "Taipei" spelling led government authorities to retain it as one of several exceptions to the general standard.


The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.
Tracks of all Pacific typhoons between 1980 and 2005.

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan. 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, where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Cising Mountain (七星山), the highest (extinct) 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 ranked sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

Two peaks, Cising Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city. Cising 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.


Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate ( Köppen Cfa) which is slightly short of a true tropical climate. Summers are very hot, humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, mild 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. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

Climate data for Taipei (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 19.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.1
Average low °C (°F) 13.9
Rainfall mm (inches) 83.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 14.1 14.6 15.5 14.9 14.8 15.5 12.3 14.0 13.8 11.9 12.4 11.7 165.5
 % humidity 78.5 80.6 79.5 77.8 76.6 77.3 73.0 74.1 75.8 75.3 75.4 75.4 76.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 80.6 71.3 89.6 92.6 113.7 121.7 179.0 188.9 153.7 124.0 99.4 90.7 1,405.2

Air quality

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. The levels of fine particulate matter, including PAHs, are consistently more serious in the mornings as there is less air movement; sunlight helps clear up some pollutants, which tend to be trapped close to the ground. When compared to other Asian cities, however, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city. Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring poor air quality to the city.

Administrative divisions

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

Map District Population
(Feb. 2012)
Name Chinese Pinyin Wade–Giles Pe̍h-ōe-jī
Districts of Taipei-Taiwan.png Beitou District 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 252,484 56.8216 112
Da'an District 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 313,710 11.3614 106
Datong District 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 127,092 5.6815 103
Nangang District 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 116,516 21.8424 115
Neihu District 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 276,217 31.5787 114
Shilin District 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 287,248 62.3682 111
Songshan District 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 210,347 9.2878 105
Wanhua District 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 190,963 8.8522 108
Wenshan District 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 266,934 31.5090 116
Xinyi District 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 226,770 11.2077 110
Zhongshan District 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 224,258 13.6821 104
Zhongzheng District 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 161,409 7.6071 100

City planning

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles. The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards (500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides). However there is little uniformed planning within these blocks; 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 of the city from trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the downtown. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal projects.


Diagram of Old Taipei revealing the original city wall and gates. Important buildings are highlighted.

First settlements

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century. Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709. 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 exportation. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture (Chinese: 臺灣府) and incorporated into the new Taipei Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Chinese government (Qing Dynasty). Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (during the Qing Dynasty) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of the Taipei Prefecture and the prefectural capital. In 1886, when Taiwan was proclaimed a province of China, Taipei city was made the provincial capital. Taipei remained a temporary provincial capital before it officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894. All that remains from the old Qing Dynasty city 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.

Japanese rule

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. During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative centre, 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 Taiwan Governor-General ( Japanese: 台湾総督府〔臺灣總督府〕).

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture ( Japanese: 台北州〔臺北州〕). It included Bangka (艋舺), Twatutia (大稻埕), and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village Matsuyama (松山庄) 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.

Under the Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved hands to Taiwanese people during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

On December 7, 1949, the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek, after being forced to flee mainland China by the Communists at the Chinese Civil War, declared Taipei as the provisional capital of the Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking).

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. 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.

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 — 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, the then 16 districts in Taipei City were consolidated into the current 12 districts.


Bellavita Shopping Centre and CPC Building at Xinyi Business Area

As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei has been at the centre 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. 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.

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2007, the nominal GDP of the core city of Taipei has accrued to an amount of nearly US$160 billion, while the metro region of Taipei has a GDP (nominal) of around US$260 billion, a record that would rank it 13th among world cities by GDP. The GDP per capita of Taipei is US$48,400, and the second highest in Asia behind Tokyo, which has a GDP per capita of US$65,453. If outskirts, neighboring cities, and townships are taken into account, the GDP per capita would fall to US$25,000.

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors. 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 with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008. Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan. National brands such as ASUS, Chunghwa Telecom, Mandarin Airlines, Tatung, and Uni Air, D-Link are headquartered in Taipei City.


Taipei City Hall

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. 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. Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China.

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); however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Republic of China's 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, and public festivals.

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. This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.


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%. 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. 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. 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.


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. 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, as well as a rapid transit line to connect the city with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan County.

Taipei Railway Station front


Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project. The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of Banciao, 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. The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.


An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation. 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.

Taipei Songshan Airport


Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan County. 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 not yet accessible by rail but a line is under construction.


Taipei City is home to 2,607,428 people, while the metropolitan area has a population of 6,776,264 people. The population of the city proper has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. 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.

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. By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age. Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines. 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.


West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

20 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

  • National Taiwan University (1928)
  • National Chengchi University (1927)
  • National Taipei University
  • National Taipei University of Education
  • National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • National Taipei University of Technology
  • National Taiwan Normal University (1946)
  • National Yang Ming University
  • Taipei National University of the Arts
  • Taipei Municipal University of Education
  • Tamkang University
  • Fu Jen University
  • Soochow University
  • Chinese Culture University
  • Ming Chuan University
  • Shih Hsin University
  • Shih Chien University
  • Taipei Medical University
  • Tatung University
  • China University of Technology

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 centre of medical research.

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 Centre, 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 Guting district 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 Centre (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University
  • Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)


Due to Taiwan being under American and Japanese influence over the years, the sports of baseball in particular and basketball have become popular in the city. Taipei, like the rest of the country, has featured most prominently in baseball and has often been the venue for the Asian Baseball Championship since the 1960s.

Major sporting events

Below is a list of recent sporting events hosted by the city:

  • 2001 Asian Baseball Championship
  • 2001 Baseball World Cup
  • 2001 AFC Women's Championship
  • 2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship
  • 2007 Baseball World Cup
  • 2009 Summer Deaflympics
  • Upcoming 2017 Summer Universiade
Taipei Arena

The Taipei Arena is located in the city home to baseball with a capacity of over 15,000. It is located at the site of the former Taipei Municipal Baseball Stadium (demolished in 2000). Designed by Archasia, the arena was opened on December 1, 2005. Since opening in 2005, the arena has held more art and cultural activities (such as live concerts) than sporting events, which it was originally designed and built for.

The main arena has an adjustable floor space: its minimum floor space is 60 m × 30 m (196.85  ft × 98.43 ft), and can be extended to 80 m × 40 m (262.47  ft × 131.23 ft). The Chinese Taipei Ice Hockey League (CIHL) plays out of the auxiliary arena, which is a 60 m × 30 m (196.85  ft × 98.43 ft) ice skating rink.

Taipei has the only football- specific stadium in Taiwan, Zhongshan Soccer Stadium, which hosts the national football team. It hosts qualifiers for the FIFA World and AFC regional cups, and finals of school football tournaments. Since there are no professional football leagues in Taiwan, no other sporting events are held there.

Professional baseball

The Brother Elephants baseball team competes in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). Its home games are played in Sinjhuang Baseball Stadium.

Youth baseball

In 2010, a Taipei baseball team — Chung-Ching Junior Little League — won the Junior League World Series, after winning the Asia-Pacific Region, then defeating the Mexico Region and Latin America Region champions to become the International champion, and finally defeating the U.S. champion (Southwest Region), Rose Capital East LL (Tyler, Texas), 9-1.

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Taipei is twinned with:

  • United States Houston, United States (1961)
  • Togo Lomé, Togo (1966)
  • Philippines Manila, Philippines (1966)
  • Benin Cotonou, Benin (1967)
  • Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (1968)
  • Philippines Quezon City, Philippines (1968)
  • South Korea Seoul, South Korea (1968)
  • United States San Francisco, United States (1970)
  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1970)
  • United States Guam, United States (1973)
  • United States Cleveland, Ohio, United States (1975)
  • Honduras Tegucigalpa, Honduras (1975)
  • United States Indianapolis, Indiana, United States (1978)
  • Saudi Arabia Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1978)
  • United States Marshall, Texas, United States (1978)
  • United States Atlanta, United States (1979)
  • United States Los Angeles, United States (1979)
  • United States Phoenix, Arizona, United States (1979)
  • United States Oklahoma City, United States (1981)
  • Australia Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (1982)
  • South Africa Johannesburg, South Africa (1982)
  • South Africa Pretoria, South Africa (1983)
  • Malawi Lilongwe, Malawi (1984)
  • Costa Rica San José, Costa Rica (1984)
  • France Versailles, France (1986)
  • Paraguay Asunción, Paraguay (1987)
  • Panama Panama City, Panama (1989)
  • Nicaragua Managua, Nicaragua (1992)
  • El Salvador San Salvador, El Salvador (1993)
  • Poland Warsaw, Poland (1995)
  • Russia Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, Russia (1996)
  • The Gambia Banjul, Gambia (1997)
  • Guinea-Bissau Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (1997)
  • United States Boston, United States (1997)
  • Senegal Dakar, Senegal (1997)
  • United States Dallas, United States (1997)
  • Bolivia La Paz, Bolivia (1997)
  • Swaziland Mbabane, Swaziland (1997)
  • Mexico San Nicolás, Nuevo León, Mexico (1997)
  • Mongolia Ulan Bator, Mongolia (1997)
  • Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala (1998)
  • Marshall Islands Majuro, Marshall Islands (1998)
  • Liberia Monrovia, Liberia (1998)
  • Lithuania Vilnius, Lithuania (1998)
  • Latvia Riga, Latvia (2001)
  • Philippines Malabon, Philippines (2005)
  • Burkina Faso Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (2008)
  • South Korea Daegu, South Korea (2010)
  • Malaysia George Town, Malaysia (2009)
  • India Bangalore, India
  • Japan Tokyo, Japan (2012)

Partner city

Friendship cities

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