So last week, I introduced you to a little bit of why I went to visit Taiwan.
And this is why I did so:
- 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
- Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part I
Taiwan is all in the news at the moment, so visit sooner rather than later, before it gets all complicated!
ANY IDEAS OF WHAT I SHOULD DO WHEN I GET TO TAIWAN?
I only went for five (5) days and based myself in Taipei, so this was a sloooooow cultural solo trip.
Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include:
- The Taipei 101 Observatory and Taipei skyscraper!
- The national monument – Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
- The Dalongdong Baoan Temple otherwise known as the Taipei Baoan Temple!
- The 228 Peace Memorial Park
- The Mengjia Longshan Temple, otherwise known as the Buddhist Lungshan Temple of Manka, which you really shouldn’t miss!
- The Hsing Tian Kong temple
- The historical Zhongshan Hall
- The Taipei Botanical Garden, which I had a lovely time strolling through..
- The Presidential Office Building housing the Office of the President of the Republic of China (ROC), which I walked by a million times ‘cos I was lost!
- Maokong for tea culture and the largest tea growing region in the country!
- Taiwan hot springs and spas
- The Yangmingshan National Park, otherwise known as the delightful Grass Mountain!
- The National Palace Museum was pretty interesting and has the largest permanent collection of ancient Chinese artifacts in the world! You know how much I like musuems!
There really is plenty to do, and I wrote 16 brilliant reasons all about it!
WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?
Taipei is easy to navigate.
Taxis are cheap and so is public transport.
The trains were easy to navigate and use, and were cheap, costing just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey!
The trains weren’t crammed or packed, and the floors were clean. I used my finger, and checked lol! There were plants and mobile-phone chargers everywhere, and even boxes for you to take a free umbrella!
If that isn’t service, I really don’t know what is!
There are underground trains, mainline trains, high-speed rail, and bus lines connect Taipei with other parts of the Taiwanese island!
One of the biggest pulls to Taiwan is the food that you can find there at Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites), at the many department stores, kerbside restaurants, hawker carts, bubble tea stalls, and the famous daytime and night markets, so here we go.
THE TAIPEI HUAXI STREET NIGHT MARKET
Located near the Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street Night Market is the most well-known international tourist night markets in Taipei, and has been in business for more than 60 years! Traders sell Chinese herbal food, crafts, commodities, gourmet snacks, Chinese herbal cuisine cooked with snake and other exotic meat, foot massage shops, spas, and seafood!
Specialities include such delights as fish head soup, and deep-fried squid, with a variety of sauces such as spicy pepper and mind-blowing wasabi!
- Cost of fried squid: NT$10 or €0.30!
- Cost: NT$10 or €0.30!
Nearest station: Longshan Temple
Opening Times : 16:00-24:00
RAOHE STREET NIGHT MARKET
The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, and just across the street from my amba Taipei Songshan hotel! It’s also quite traditional, packed with snacks, quaint shops and stalls, and carnival games with prizes, and is considered to be the largest garment wholesale market place in Taiwan!
In order to get there, I found myself getting lost among the maze and alleys full of racks of clothing, and discounted fashion shops at the Wufenpu Fashion Area!
- Cost of noodles: NT$8 or €0.25 per piece
- Cost of soup: NT$15 or €0.45 per bowl
Nearest station: Songshan
Opening Times : 17:00-24:00
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET
The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan! It was built in 1899 and is famous for great food!
The Shilin Night Market is famous for local Taiwanese cuisine, and spills out into several bustling streets with more than 500 stores and vendors! The night market is divided into two parts. One part is in the Shilin Market building with a food court on the underground floor. The second part centers on the Yangming Cinema and the Cicheng Temple, and consists of a cluster of shops and stores popular with Taiwanese students and young people.
Not to be outdone – Taiwanese Afters and desserts!
Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu!!
Nearest station: Shilin, but get out at Jiantan train station instead!
Opening Times : 17:00-24:00
LOCAL FOOD AT TAIWANESE RESTAURANTS
I went to a local restaurant late one night and had a hotpot of noodles, beef, and tofu. I went with two Americans and we didn’t really know what to do with all the stuff, so I asked two visitors from Malaysia!
You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!
German imported Blue Girl beer!
ORGANIC TAIWANESE FOOD & DRINK
I wasn’t feeling at all well when I arrived in Taiwan, so I started my day at the amba Taipei Ximending with fresh organic food, a salad, and some chips, to make me feel at home! All the nore to get that boutique feeling which you can do, if you book your hotel here!
- Cost of fruit juice: NT$170 or €5.70!
- Cost of potato fries: NT$160 or €4.80!
- Cost of salad: NT$220 or €6.50!
I really liked Taipei.
It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks really modern. It’s not as cheap as South East Asian (SEA) countries, but is certainly reasonably priced.
If you’re looking for the next best East Asian city that’s safe, quiet, and away from the tourist throngs, you’ve found it.
WOULD I COME AGAIN?
Because Taiwan has the feel of being Chinese, but itsn’t!
Let’s do it!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the steaming hotpots that I plunged into, are my very own!
Next week I’ll be writing about Christmas, and then returning to the Philippines later!
In January, I’ll be going to Holland.
The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017
Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th – 20th January, 2017.
At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.
Save the Date!
December is going to be sharp!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!