Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Taipei

Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:09pm EST
 
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By Ralph Jennings

TAIPEI (Reuters Life!) - Taipei, once a litter-strewn, concrete shantytown, has become a crowded but convenient mix of museums, monuments and high-end eateries from the world's second tallest building to the scenic slopes of an urban mountain range.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short stay:

FRIDAY

6 p.m. - Start at the top. Around dusk, the world's second tallest building, Taipei 101, offers sunset views that take in an urban area of nearly 6 million people, three rivers and mountains on four sides. Admission to the 89th floor observation deck is T$350 ($10.93) per adult.

8 p.m. - Restaurants and coffee shops dominate the veranda-like fourth floor of Taipei 101. Prominent ones include Hwa Young Boutique Cuisine and the Wasabi Buffet & Dining Bar. Sit outside and watch Taipei's modern elite walk by.

10 p.m. - Tip a few back at a full-service bar, sometimes with featured micro-brews, at the Cosmopolitan Steak & Grill outside the skyscraper on Songren Road.

SATURDAY

7:30 a.m. - Eat a Chinese or Western breakfast at The Grand Hotel on a hillside with views over much of Taipei offers a buffet on one side of its cavernous red-carpeted lobby, part of a 12-storey Chinese-style monolith built in 1952 by Taiwan's then dominant Nationalist Party (KMT).   Continued...