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Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a vibrant blend of traditional culture and cosmopolitan life. As the political, economic, educational and recreational centre of the country, Taipei is home to large numbers of significant cultural sights located throughout the city. The city is situated in a basin in the north of Taiwan that was originally inhabited by aboriginal peoples until settlers from China moved into the area about 300 years ago. These two western districts, being the first permanent settlements of Chinese migrants, retain many of the old customs as evidenced in the architecture, sculptures, and ceremonial activities that take place in the old streets and temples.

More recent cultural focal points in the city include the National Palace Museum, which houses hundreds of thousands of Chinese antiques and art works, and the Taipei 101 Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. The eastern section of the city was developed from the 1970s onwards as a financial and commercial district. Today, its glass and steel skyscrapers prove to be the modern face of Taipei.

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