Many people do not have the best idea of Taiwan, in fact, this is an amazing place full of hot springs, delicious and unusual street dishes, and with a colorful capital – Taipei. Here’s a list of 10 things that are sure to please the soul of the capital of Taiwan.
Look at the Chinese Treasures!
As is known, after the expulsion of Generalissimo Chan Kai-shi and his supporters from China, they went to Taiwan, and along with them, they took one of the greatest collections of Chinese art from the Forbidden Palace with them. These imperial treasures – calligraphy, bronze and jade items are displayed in the Museum of the Imperial Palace.
I do not recommend visiting the museum on weekends because of the large influx of tourists, which distract from priceless objects. The entrance will cost 9 dollars.
Try Smelly Tofu Cheese!
Can you eat something smelling of unwashed feet? In fact, “smelly tofu” is much tastier than it might seem at first, it is fried and served with chili. But this is just one version of the unusual street food that can be found in Taipei’s night markets. Also, you can cheaply bite a soup of squid or sticky rice in bamboo. The main thing is to avoid tourist markets, such as Shilin, and to go to the real Taiwanese market of Ningxia. The cheapest dishes here cost around 1$ to 8$.
Live in the Palace!
On the wave of the design trend – neo-brutalism, the owners of the Grand Hotel decided to transform the old imperial palace into a modern luxury hotel. Despite the fact that the prices for the room here are significant, make sure to check prices. The facade of the building did not change much, so the first thing that catches your eye is the incredibly tall red columns supporting the golden double-hipped roof. Inside the hotel you can see the corridors on roller skates, traveling along the luxurious marble floor. Near the hotel is the Xinyi district, where you can find shops and nightclubs, as well as a more modern hotel – Home Hotel.
Prepare Chinese Dishes!
Any gourmet, having become acquainted with the cuisine of Taipei, will necessarily want to visit some culinary master class, where a private chef will reveal all the secrets of real Chinese cuisine. For a couple of hours of practice, you can learn how to make Chinese dumplings with fried crust, which spices to add to sweet and sour soup, to get the right taste and many other authentic dishes. You can order a master class through My Taiwan Tour for 100$ per person.
Learn how to Brew real Oolong Tea!
Pick up a suitable oolong for yourself and learn how to brew it can be done at the tea company Ten Shang. Among the fragrant sacks of tea leaves, Mr. and Mrs. Chang treat their visitors with varieties collected on their plantations and help understand the variations of high-mountain green oolongs and low-lying black teas. The cost of 150 g. Oolong from the mountain of Li Shan will cost 56 dollars.
Climb to the Clouds!
Between 2004 and 2010, the Taipei 101 Tower was the tallest building in the world. The building is simply amazing, considering that on the 86th floor you climb in 36 seconds. A panoramic view of the whole city will not leave anyone indifferent. Taipei 101 is also a shopping center; there are places to eat and stores on the lower floors. It costs 20 dollars.
Try the best Xiao Lun Bao in Taipei!
Steam dumplings Xiao Lun Bao is made from the finest dough with broth inside. It is best to eat them with a spoon, so as not to accidentally pierce them with chopsticks and do not pour out the whole “stuffing.” For the most delicious dumplings, go to Din Tai Fung, but we warn you, you can stand in line for up to 90 minutes. A portion of their five Xiao Lun Bao costs 6 dollars.
Buy in the Sulfur Valley!
For a real rest, be sure to visit the spacious baths with hot springs in the suburb of Beitu. Two hours of rest in multi-level mineral pools, boiling at a temperature of 45° C will cost 2$.
Pray in Colorful Temples!
In Taiwan, two spiritualities are combined – Buddhist and Tao, which is expressed in fanciful and colorful temples, unusual religious festivals and other features. Be sure to visit the carnival in the Longshan Temple to get in touch with the spiritual life of Taipei.
Embark on a Bicycle for the City Tour!
At the Tamsui metro station, Golden Riverside Path rents bicycles and conducts a 10-mile excursion through mangroves and Fort San Domingo built in the 17th century. The cost of renting a bicycle for 4 hours is 6 dollars. Also during the trip, you can visit the Yangming Shan National Park.
Other Notable Taipei Attractions Are:
Yangmingshan National Park
Yangminshan National Park is located 30 minutes’ drive from the city center and is surrounded by rocks, mountain meadows, and a beautiful lake, and the park is a great place to relax after a full day of sightseeing in Taipei. The best time to visit in February and March when cherry blossoms and in the park a real firework of colorful flowering flowers. The attraction of the park is by right the medical hot springs and volcanoes, which are more than 20 on the territory of the park.
Jiufen Old Street
The Chiufen (Jiufen) village in the new Taipei City was once the center of gold mining. You can find many special accessories of Chinese culture on this street. In this place where local food is made, fried dumplings, taro rolls, steamed taro cakes and rice cakes are among the tastes you will want to taste. The Chinese teas are the indispensable tourists in the region.
It is one of the oldest temples in the city of Taipei, and it was built in 1738 by the first Chinese settlers who came from Fujian province. The temple is open to Buddhism, Taoism, and traditional Taiwanese beliefs.
Huaxi Night Market
During the tour of Taipei, do not miss the night market of Huaxi. This market is known for its variety of delicious foods and dishes, for example, meat soup, eel noodles, shrimp, and snake meat. Huaxi Night Market, the most famous and popular in Taipei is located near the Longshan Temple.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Although I have never been to China, the square in front of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial reminded me of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. A huge square with a Chinese temple forms the entrance to the memorial where the Chinese nationalist Chiang Kai Shek lies in a tomb. Every hour there is a traditional changing of the guard, during which there are all sorts of passes and actions for a quarter of an hour. Personally, I actually found the square much more impressive. It is highly recommended to take a seat on one of the stairs and enjoy the view and diversity of people passing by.
In Asia, you can shop as the best and Taipei is no exception. The nicest neighborhood for this is by far Ximending. Shop after store after store, it does not seem to stop. Besides clothing and shoes, you can also very well succeed for nice souvenirs, unique gadgets, and phone accessories. Between all those stores you will find more than enough bubble tea business and good restaurants. Ideal to catch your breath and escape the busy streets of Taipei! Personally, I liked to visit Ximending in the evening. Bright neon lighting, food stalls and masses of people form the backdrop of your shopping spree.
There is more than enough to do in Taipei. Even if you do not have anything planned, you can easily entertain yourself for a few days. Wander around and discover the nicest shops, the most beautiful temples and the tastiest food.
Is Taipei on your bucket list?