Tel Aviv, Jan. 28 (CNA) An article in a Belgian weekly lifestyle magazine has called Taiwan's capital city of Taipei the most underrated city in the world.
"It's time to take a trip to Taipei!" writer Jesse Brouns said to the world in his story carried in the latest version of the Dutch-language Knack Weekend.
Taipei, with a population of 3 million, is a capital city that is exquisite and just right, Brouns wrote.
The real Taipei spirit is hard to tell from its outward appearance as the life of the city is hidden in small alleys, waiting to be tapped, he wrote.
Brouns explained that people around the world may not have a clear impression of Taiwan, but he realized that it is a gourmet's paradise and a mecca in Asia for people in the music industry.
He described Taipei as full of intriguing places, including Din Tai Fung restaurant, night markets such as the one located near National Taiwan Normal University and department stores and shopping centers in the eastern part of the city.
Calling the National Palace Museum "the Chinese version of the Louvre, " he said it was one with which no museums in China could compare, and also pointed to the Grand Hotel, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hotel as other landmarks.
In China, the traces of history can be destroyed in minutes, but in Taiwan, historical structures were retained, he wrote.
Yet the city that has preserved some of its older buildings is also operating the world's most successful modern rapid transit system for a mere 0.5 euros per ride.
Brouns wrote that before Dubai's Burj Khalifa was inaugurated in early January this year, the bamboo post-shaped Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world. Visitors can ascend to the top of the building and enjoy a panoramic view of the city for 10 euros.
He also lauded Taipei's rich cultural diversity, ranging from the 18th-century Longshan Temple and upscale restaurants on bustling Huaxi Street selling snake meat and soup to a theater called Red House, also a historical relic, where renowned local artists and bands perform regularly.
But Brouns' favorite spot may have been Eslite Book Store, which he described as a cultural cornerstone of the city. He praised its variety, from quiet book sections with classical music playing in the background and a Japanese section, to movie houses, a music section and fashion and design corners.
"It's no wonder why Eslite Book Store was rated by Monocle as the most advanced and exceptional store in the world, " Brouns said, referring to the international English-magazine that covers culture and design.
(By Yufan Tsao and Deborah Kuo)