And Taiwan? The little democratic island of 23 million just can’t compete with the Communist state of 1.3 billion that claims it as a renegade province and would react unfavorably if Taiwan’s leaders were officially to declare independence. Unless you’re in the semiconductor business, chances are you’ll choose the Forbidden City over, say, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, especially when Taiwan’s tourist bureau promotes it with slogans like “Taiwan: Touch Your Heart.”
Which is a pity if you like to eat, for food is one arena where Taipei — the world’s most underrated capital city, according to Monocle magazine — blows Beijing away. Its food incorporates more influences, spans street food to haute cuisine with greater aplomb and is out and out more delicious than that of its mainland counterpart. Not to mention that its people are perhaps the most comestible-crazed Asians outside of Singapore — no excursion is complete without, say, a bag of stewed duck tongues at journey’s end.
Had to laugh at the dig at Taiwan's klutzy tourism bureau. Although I know many people who would strongly dispute the claim that Taipei blows Beijing away. Three pages, a long and loving look at the island's culinary capital. (hat tip to Joel H, come back to Taiwan soon, man!)