The Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica is situated in Nangang District of Taipei City. Nestled in the center of the Taipei Basin, Taipei City is surrounded by mountains to the north, east and south, and by the Danshui River to the west. As a result, it is endowed with unique natural scenery, with lush forests and winding rivers, and a variety of fascinating terrains, including volcanic mountains, foothills, terrace tablelands, coastal plains and river wetlands.
In addition to beautiful sceneries, Taipei is also a city for individuals who enjoy indulging themselves in shopping, exotic meals, and feasts of arts and culture.
Taiwan's climate is deeply affected by geographical and spatial variations, which can lead to drastic temperature changes depending on one's location on the island. The temperature decreases as the altitude increases, and variations in winter are greater than those in summer.
The following statistics depict data provided by the Central Weather Bureau recorded from the Taipei Meteorological Station for the Taipei Plain:
w Accumulated rainfall: 2969.2 millimeters
w Heaviest rainfall in a single day: 282.5 millimeters (September 14)
w Annual number of rainy days: 168 days
w Average temperature: 23.2˚C
w Absolute highest temperature: 37.3˚C (July 24)
w Absolute lowest temperature: 7.8˚C (February 13)
w Average relative humidity: 75.1%
Taipei's weather is affected by latitude, altitude, terrain, and monsoon factors. Generally speaking, the weather is warm in the winter and hot in the summer. Rain occurs throughout the four seasons, and its climate is usually warm and humid.
For detailed weather forecast, please log on Central Weather Bureau website (http://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/index.htm)
The local love of food aside, Taipei's culinary scene has benefited from its place as a magnet for immigrants from nearly every region of China. While the local Taiwanese cuisine is heavily influenced by the diet of Fujian province, from which many of the old-time city residents hail, the newer mainland arrivals have brought to Taipei the secrets of every major regional Chinese cuisine. So whether you are craving spicy Sichuan or exotic Cantonese cuisine, expect dishes meeting the highest standards of authenticity when dining out in Taipei.
The final ingredient that makes Taipei such a food lovers' paradise is the ready availability of fresh farm and sea ingredients of every imaginable type. Tropical fruits and high mountain veggies all thrive in the fertile soil and sunny climate of Taiwan, producing a harvest of top-quality ingredients for equally first-rate cuisine.
Many of Taipei's top restaurants are conveniently located in major tourist hotels, but make sure also to venture further afield to fully appreciate the city's food attractions. Traditional Taiwanese breakfasts served with fresh-made soymilk, exotic wild-grown vegetables savored at a scenic mountainside restaurant, night market snacks, spicy hot pots, and riverside seafood restaurants are just a few of the many mouthwatering experiences that await you in Taipei.
There are dozens of department stores and shopping malls throughout the city, crowned by the 135,000-square meter Living Mall and the similarly capacious Taipei 101 Mall. Bargain hunters can indulge in cheap chic at the several night markets in town, as well as at the Ximending shopping area—a magnet for young people decking out in the season's fashions. And if price is not an issue, nearly every couture boutique is represented in the city.
Apart from clothing, jewelry and the other accruements of modern life, Taipei has several shopping areas for consumption of a more traditional kind. A visit to Dihua Street, in the historic heart of Taipei, is like stepping back in time with shops selling Chinese herbal remedies, tea, dried foods and other yesteryear goods. Taipei also boasts one of the world's largest jade emporiums—the Jianguo Weekend Jade Market, with an amazing selection of both antique and modern pieces.
Taipei is also a reader's heaven with several well-stocked and browser-friendly bookstores, including the 24-hour Eslite on Dunhua Road and Page One at Taipei 101. Most of the big bookstores in Taipei have a decent selection of English titles, so you don't have to learn Chinese to enjoy.
Specialty shopping areas abound in Taipei as well. You can pamper your inner nerd at Guanghua Market—the computer capital of Taiwan, while shutterbugs and audiophiles can kit-out at the shopping areas of Boai Road and Hankou Street.