Taipei (pronounced TIE-bay) is where East meets West. In this capital city of Taiwan, you'll find an explosion of neon lights, designer goods (both Chinese and Western), noise and smog—all new to a city where a few decades ago rice paddies and fields covered the landscape.

Taipei is a sprawling metropolis, and it's the home of the well-known Taipei 101 building, a financial and shopping complex standing 1,671 ft/509 m high, so named for its 101 floors.

There are great getaways from the hustle of downtown to nearby mountains, where hot springs can ease away urban stress. Taipei is also one of the best cities in the world in which to sample Chinese delicacies and other foods from around the globe—often at great value.

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