Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan. With its busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings, Taipei serves as the island’s financial, cultural and governmental center. The skyline is crowned by the bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper, with upscale shops at the base and a rapid elevator to an observatory near the 508-meter top.
The downtown area offers enjoyable contrasts, with the west side’s narrow streets and street vendors showing Taipei’s past. The city’s east side is now its financial and commercial center, with the Xinyi Planning District’s malls and nightlife representing the city’s metamorphosis into a modern international city.