Taipei. In many ways, this 300-year-old city is like a living museum. The Taoist temples buzz with the prayers of the hopeful. The wooden boards of Japanese-era mansions creak under the feet of visitors. The pilfered treasures in the National Palace Museum date back 5000 years. Merchant villas to military barracks have been restored, reworked, and now live again as a museum or a shopfront.