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Just 86km and 34 minutes from Taipei by High Speed Rail, HSINCHU (新竹; xīnzhú) is one of the wealthiest cities in Taiwan, largely as a result of the huge revenues generated by the Science Park on its southeastern border. Yet tucked away in the centre are remnants of one of north Taiwan’s oldest cities, with plenty to offer casual visitors: temples and traditional food stalls reflect the city’s historic roots while the absorbing Glass Museum is testimony to its central role in Taiwan’s glass industry. It’s also the gateway to the heart of Taiwan’s Hakka country, centred on the town of Beipu.

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