Taipei was founded in the early 18th century and became an important center for overseas trade in the 19th century. The Japanese acquired the island in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War and made Taipei the capital. The Republic of China took over the island in 1945 after Japan's defeat in World War II. The city became the provisional capital of the Kuomintang government in December 1949 after the communist government was formally installed in mainland China. In the 1990s Taipei was simply made the seat of Taiwan's government, regardless of the party in power.
Taipei is a wonderful city to visit. The people are very hospitable especially to foreigners. There are many opportunities to experience Chinese culture, and the city has a great blend of the traditional and modern. Taipei is famous for its night markets, most famous is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin district of the city. The surrounding streets by Shilin Market get extremely crowded during the evening. Most night markets in Taiwan open around 4 pm, crowds reach their peak between 8 and 11 pm. Business continue operating well past midnight.
Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddist, Taoist and Chinese folk religion deities. Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common, and can be spotted on road sides, parks and neighborhoods.
Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall and a historic cinema. The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens. The Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of the Taipei 101 building, a prime tourist attraction famous for being the tallest completed skyscraper in the world.
There are also many interesting museums i Taipei: the National Palace Museum, Taipei gallery, National Museum of History, and Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. The most famous is the National Palace Museum. It is claimed to be best Chinese museum with over 700,000 exhibits on display: paintings, historical relics, calligraphy, jades, woodcarvings, bronzes, books and documents from the past. It was brought over by Chiang Kai-shek's government when they fled from China.