Taipei, Taiwan

Fashionable, Fun and Forward-Thinking Capital

Iyna Bort Caruso

Taipei City, the energetic political, economic and cultural capital of Taiwan, is a showcase of Asian living at its finest.

Taipei City stands out among the continent’s financial and cultural superstars. Amid the modern glass-and-concrete Western-style skyscrapers and the ages-old temples are broad avenues and city blocks bisected by a half-dozen rivers. In the distance, are hills laced with hot springs and hiking trails.

Taipei City is a livable, fun city of seven million known for its bustling night markets and a spirited new lounge scene, street delicacies and a culture steeped in preserved ancient traditions. It is also a major economic force with fast-growing global high-tech, information, communications and banking sectors, as well as established textile and manufacturing industries.

Like New York's Central Park, Da’an Forest Park, Taipei City's largest public green space, provides coveted views for many luxurious dwellings. The park, a favorite spot to watch musical performances on an open-air stage or a fresh-air setting for tai chi aficionados to practice their moves, is in a neighborhood known for its top-notch cultural institutions, schools and universities. Along nearby Qingtain Street, secluded luxury homes shaded by mature trees are favored by the rich and famous.

In the Dazhi District on the north side of the Keelung River across from Taipei's city center, waterside parks add tranquility to a comfortable and forward-looking enclave, popularly dubbed  "Taipei's Green Silicon Valley."

Taipei City's slice of Manhattan is the dazzling and prestigious Xinyi Planning District, a commercial, cosmopolitan and fashionable hub. Xinyi is home to the landmark Taipei 101 skyscraper--once the world’s tallest--as well as fine restaurants, boutique flagship stores, designer hotels, cinemas, trendy nightclubs and the headquarters of domestic and foreign corporations. Luxury apartment buildings along Songren Road such as Polaris Gardens provide elegant residences for Taiwan's top earners.

Diplomats, politicians and wealthy business executives often favor the secluded villas, historic homes and luxurious mansions in the hills of Yangmingshan National Park. Here, development is closely regulated and, with numerous embassies, security is tight.

Taipei City’s luxury homes and apartments, though the most expensive in Taiwan, command less than in Asian markets like Singapore or Hong Kong, a fact not unnoticed by overseas investors.