Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. Located in the northern part of the island nation it is has over 2.5 million residents. The surrounding metropolitan area of Taipei has over seven million people and is the country's largest metropolitan area. The city is Taiwan's cultural, educational, financial and governmental center. Taipei has a number of different museums to visit such as the National Palace Museum, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the National History Museum. Taipei has a number of three to five star hotels with excellent service. The city also has many excellent restaurants that range from typical Taiwanese cuisine to international fare. There are also a plenty of different areas to shop in the city. There are major brand names that are available in stores throughout the capital city as well as many handmade crafts that are recognized around Asia as being of top quality and very intricate.