Saturday, February 3, 2018

Top Things to Do in Taipei

Taipei is a bustling city that has plenty to offer, from day trips to attractions just outside the metropolis, cultural and historical destinations and markets for shoppers and foodies.


Yangmingshan


Nature lovers have a possible day trip from the bustling city. Yangmingshan is a bus ride away from the metropolis. This huge park has different sections and easy hiking trails for those who want to enjoy fresh air and get some exercise.




If you visit during the right season, you'll see cherry blossoms in the park.





Start early so you can maximize your stay in the park, drop by the tourist information center to plan your route so that you don't waste time lingering in one place or getting lost.

Yehliu Geopark

If you can't get enough of parks, another one to consider is Yehliu Geopark. The latter has many unique, yellowish rock formations that take the shape of different objects or even people.



The park is huge enough for a couple of hours exploration where you'll also get beautiful sea and landscape views.



The park is also accessible via public transportation, which makes it a good day trip and destination for those traveling on a budget.

Shifen


Shifen is another destination to add to your list as a day trip from Taipei. This quaint railway side old town is a good place to visit for foodies and history lovers.  The tracks were built during the Japanese era as a means to transport coal. The village became a vibrant marketplace because of its convenient location just next to the station and tracks. Fast forward to today, it is now a famous tourist attraction where visitors release lanterns into the air with their wishes and get a taste of local cuisine.



Other than the old town, you can also visit Shifen Waterfall. This beautiful, natural attraction makes the trip complete.



Shifen is a good full or half day trip from Taipei, depending on how much time you have left. It is also accessible by public transportation.

Jiufen


If you're a fan of anime and have seen Spirited Away, you'll recognize one of the buildings in the cartoon and the building and lanterns you'll see in Jiufen.



This former gold mining town has transformed itself into a premier tourist destination. Its narrow alleys and walkways are reminiscent of many Asian bustling old towns that have tea shops, local restaurants and stores selling souvenirs.



The red lanterns strewn across buildings are also quite beautiful despite their chaotic arrangement. Jiufen is also accessible via public transport and is easy to get to from Taipei.

Ximending




If you've been to Tokyo's vibrant Shibuya district, Ximending will remind you of it. Taipei has a number of local markets for those looking for an authentic experience. However, for visitors who want to see neon lights, glitzy shopping centers and a youthful hustle and bustle Ximending is the place to go to. This district lights up the night sky once the sun sets.

Night Market Hopping

Taipei is a mix of old and new, and modern and traditional; one of the ways it exemplifies this dynamic mix are the night markets near to or just next to glitzy commercial districts.



There are a number of local night markets, selling everything from used clothes, furniture and appliances to delectable local street food. You'll also see family-owned small shops and stores selling their own or outsourced brands.



One of the most popular night markets is in Shilin.

Taipei 101

Taiwan's most iconic building is Taipei 101; you can already see it as your plane lands for arrival or whenever you explore the city during a clear day.




Standing at around 449m high, this icon used to be the tallest building in the world upon completion more than a decade ago until Dubai's Burj Khalifa surpassed it.

Temple Hopping

Taipei may be a modern city, but it still has some of its ancient and traditional charms as you'll see in the many temples scattered throughout the bustling metropolis.




Buddhists come and go to say a prayer, pray for luck and/or express gratitude, or show their respects to their ancestors. .

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

For history lovers, a trip to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei is one of the things you can do. The area was built to honor the late Generalissimo and former President of the Republic of China.




Other than the statue of Chiang Kai Shek, the complex is a good place to hang out in because of its spaciousness and garden-like feel.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

If you're up for another visit to a memorial hall, the one for Sun Yat Sen is a place to add to your itinerary.


Built as a tribute to the Republic of China's founder, you'll see many displays about the life and accomplishments of Sun Yat Sen.


You'll also see a statue of Sun Yat Sen during your trip.

Taipei has many other interesting things to do in and outside of it; this is only a short list. Visit the bustling city to discover all that it has to offer. Visit my post (Taipei expenses guide) about how much you'll need during your stay.



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