Taipei - the capital city of Taiwan - is officially known as Taipei City and is the country's hub for politics, economics and culture. Being the national capital and the largest city of Taiwan, Taipei is often referred to as a city of smiles and will captivate visitors with its fascinating blend of modern and traditional lifestyles. Facilities for Muslim travellers will also be sufficiently available to ensure a comfortable visit. Most of the country's mosques and Halal restaurants are concentrated in Taipei City and finding access to such facilities will not be too difficult.
The city itself is located at the northern tip of Taiwan, in the Taipei Basin. Travellers will find that the city features a semi-tropical climate throughout, with rather hot and humid weather. The best time to visit Taipei is perhaps during fall, when chances of rain are low and temperatures are not too high. Taipei City is also considered to be quite a safe city, with no areas that are considered unsafe, even at night.
Home to a population of over two million residents, Taipei is considered to be a global city and is divided into 12 administrative districts which are further divided into smaller villages and neighbourhoods. The downtown area comprises an East region and West region - the west is famed for its old Taipei lifestyle while the east is known for its modern city life.
Attractions in the city range from museums to parks to shopping malls, offering travellers plenty to do. Some of its highlights include the Taipei 101 - a landmark skyscraper which was once the tallest building in the world - as well as the National Palace Museum - which houses the largest collection of Chinese historical antiquities in the world. Taipei is also famed for its hot springs and gardens and the city will have something to offer every type of traveller.
There are two airports that serve Taipei City – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport - also known as Chiang Kai Shek International Airport - is located about 30 kilometres away from the city and is used for most scheduled international flights. Songshan Airport is the city's domestic airport and is located in the heart of the city.
There are many Halal restaurants in Taipei City and finding Halal food in Taipei will be much easier than the other cities in the country. A few popular Halal eateries in Taipei City include Yun Tai Muslim Food located at No.4 Wenzhou Street, Da’an District which serves excellent Halal Thai and Yunnanese food, as well as Chungkuo Beef Restaurant at No.1 Alley 7 Lane 137, Yian-Chi Street and Pharaoh’s at No.28 Taishun Street in Da’an District for some fantastic Egyptian cuisine. Muslim travellers may have to be wary about the street food in Taipei City since most local dishes make use of lard during preparation. A wide range of vegetarian options will also be readily available throughout the city due to the large number of vegetarian residents.
Prayer facilities in Taipei City will not be too difficult to find. There are two main mosques in Taipei City that Muslim travellers can visit during prayer times. The Taipei Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the country and also the most famous. Built in 1947, the mosque is presently a historic landmark and is considered to be the most important Islamic structure in Taiwan. Travellers may also visit the Taipei Cultural Mosque in Zhongzheng District, which is considered to be the civilian mosque of the city run on donations.