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 is the beloved Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, built to commemorate the life of the leader of Nationalist China who moved his government into exile on Taiwan in 1949. Surrounded by 62 acres of parks and beautifully landscaped gardens, the eye-catching Memorial Hall is a luminous white marble structure, topped with brilliant lapis blue-glazed tiles. There are 89 steps leading up to the Memorial, one for every year that Chiang Kai-Shek lived. Leaving the sights of Taipei behind, return to the ship docked in Keelung.