Surrounded by mountains and crisscrossed by rivers, Taipei is the center of Taiwan's (Republic of China) government, economy and culture. On this half-day tour, discover Taipei, a modern and cosmopolitan city infused with ancient culture and traditions. You will begin with a drive from the busy port of Keelung to dynamic Taipei.
Your first stop is the prestigious National Palace Museum, boasting one of the world's most important art collections, originally housed in Beijing's Forbidden City. In 1931, the collection went to Nanjing, then on to Shanghai, to avoid falling into invading Japanese hands. In 1949, Chiang Kai Shek's armies took the collection to Taiwan, following their defeat at the hands of Mao Zedong. Today, the museum holds over 650,000 items, including jade, bronze, porcelain and lacquer pieces, as well as tapestry and embroidery. Continue with a visit to the remarkable Martyrs Shrine, built in memory of those who sacrificed their lives in founding the Republic of China.
Your next stop will be Shilin Main Presidential Residence, which maintains a quiet and attractive garden which is full of plums, chrysanthemums and roses. Flowers bloom according to season and make for a stunning view throughout much of the year.
Leaving the sights of Taipei behind, return to the ship docked in Keelung.