Taipei & Taiwan
where we are
Taipei is the capital city of the Republic of China, and also serves as the nation’s major center for politics, commerce, mass media, education, and pop culture. The city is currently the site of 18 universities, 6 colleges and a number of major museums and libraries. The city’s economy is driven by various industries including electronics, textiles, metals, ship-building, and motorcycles. Taipei recently won international recognition as the World Teleport Association’s (WTA) Intelligent Community of the Year for 2006, and among other up-and-coming urban hubs it is widely considered a "Gamma world city".
Taipei is in every sense a modern metropolis, with its sleek glass and steel architecture, advanced transportation system, and vast, lively scene of shopping malls, arts venues, hotels, restaurants and night spots. Since the 1970s, the city’s eastern area has emerged as a bustling center of finance and commerce, and now features skyscrapers, wide boulevards and the Taipei World Trade Center. Yet the modern skyline retains a distinct Chinese flavor, in landmarks such as the Grand Hotel, the Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen Memorial halls, Longshan Temple, the Confucius Temple, and the National Palace Museum, to name a few examples.
While the city embraces modernity, cultural traditions and arts continue to thrive and color daily life in Taipei, where concerts, festivals and other events are celebrated in full splendor throughout the year. Nature lovers will appreciate the abundance of nearby mountains, greenery, urban parks and waterfronts. No matter what you enjoy—whether bustling cityscapes, the arts, scenic natural areas—Taipei and its environs offer something special for everyone.
Academia Sinica is located in Taipei’s Nankang district, a southeastern part of the city that also hosts Nankang Software Park (NKSP), one of Taiwan’s many notable centers of IT research and development. Nankang, which means "southern port", refers to the district’s location on the Keelung River. Taipei city is located in a basin, surrounded by mountains on the island’s northern end. The rivers Xindian and Danshuei border the city to the south and west; to the north, the districts of Shilin and Beitou extend beyond the Keelung River, to the edge of Yangmingshan National Park. Census data (collected in July 2006) hold the total population of Taipei City (not accounting for Taipei County) to be 2,625,757. The regional climate is subtropical, and because of its location in a valley, high temperatures and humidity are common for Taipei City during the summer months.
Academia Sinica and its surrounding neighborhoods are serviced by several city bus routes so that residents can easily shuttle between campus, downtown Taipei and other districts. The entire city is readily accessible via an extensive system of buses, taxis, and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, whose nearest station, Kunyang, is a short bus ride from campus (a Nankang MRT station is currently under construction).
While Taipei City offers many exciting cultural and recreational opportunities, there is much more awaiting your discovery throughout Taiwan. Called Formosa by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century, this "beautiful island" has everything from lush forests, to majestic mountains and sunny beaches. Located along the western arc of the Pacific "rim of fire", Taiwan's verdant landscapes and dramatic topography reflect the combined blessings of seismic activity and a tropical to sub-tropical climate.
Mountain climbing is naturally a popular activity, as the island hosts some 258 peaks that exceed 3,000m in height. A variety of distinctive land formations and scenery beg exploration in the six national parks scattered throughout Taiwan: Taroko National Park, Yushan (Jade Mountain) National Park, Shei-Pa National Park, Yangmingshan National Park, Kenting National Park and Kinmen National Park.
The government has also designated 13 national scenic areas under its protection, and some 18,400 species of wildlife, including thousands of rare or endangered species, are native to this small but spectacularly blessed island. Add to this landscape a handful of bustling cities— Taichung, Kaoshiung, Puli to name a few—and you have a rich host of attractions beckoning throughout this splendid, culturally rich place.
Weather in brief
Throughout the year, Taiwan sees periods of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate climate, with distinct transitions marking the seasons. The island enjoys an oceanic and subtropical monsoon climate with long, humid summers and short, mild winters. The typhoon season lasts from June through October. Average monthly temperatures range from 25 - 28°C (77 - 82°F) during the summer (with daily highs in the low 30° range) and the hottest temperatures occurring in July and August. Temperatures start to cool down near the end of September, and the winter cold extremes register around 15 - 19°C (cooler in the north) in January and February.
For more information
- Visiting Taiwan
- Taipei City
- Taiwan Weather Information