You will definitely have heard of Taiwan. If you are reading this on an Acer or Asus computer or HTC phone, then you own a piece of Taiwanese technology, but this large Asian island is officially unrecognised by all-but 19 countries.
As a result of its complex history, Taiwan, or the Republic of China as it is officially known, is more American in its outlook than nearby People’s Republic of China, but the island has not lost its truly Asian culture and appearance.
Taipei – the foodie capital
The modern capital is Taipei, a large metropolis like most in Asia: towering skyscrapers such as the former world’s tallest building Taipei 101, bustling street markets selling every Chinese food imaginable, and award-winning restaurants to rival those anywhere else across the world.
As you walk around the city, you cannot escape the mesmerising smells of tasty food drawing you towards the street markets spread across the city. The most famous street food is to be found in Raohe Street Night Market, with its countless stalls selling everything from egg fried rice with Korean chili sauce, fried potato spirals, steamed blood cake, and the infamous stinky tofu. The food here is surprisingly cheap in comparison to European standards too.
Taipei is undoubtedly one of Asia’s foodie capitals – it even has a 3-Michelin starred restaurant. Le Palais was awarded 3 Michelin stars in this first year of the Michelin guide including Taipei.
Located inside the Palais de Chine Hotel, the Le Palais restaurant specialises in typical Chinese cuisine, with ingredients sourced locally where possible. Dishes including cubed beef on rice crackers, Peking duck and fried rice noodles are served in museum-like surroundings with pottery and gold statues sourced from around the world.
Taipei – the view
In the Xinyi district, It is hard to miss the towering bamboo-style Taipei 101 skyscraper – formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center – was once the world’s tallest building with an elevator that travels to the top in less than 40 seconds. The sweeping views across Taipei and New Taipei are simply spectacular.