Taipei has an excellent fusion of Chinese, Japanese and Western influences in its food, culture, and architecture. The energetic city has some of the best rooftop cocktail bars, multifarious food markets, cultural parks and riverside cycling routes. A quick MRT or bus ride takes you to tea fields, natural hot springs and aboriginal towns backed by a mountainous national park. We found the ten things, you definitely should not miss when visiting Taiwan’s buzzing capital.
1. The Four Beast Mountain hike is made up of four mountains that are said to resemble an Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and Lion. For the best city view –if it’s not cloudy- hike up Tiger or Elephant Mountain. Being so close to the city, the mountains afford hikers superb views of the Taipei skyline, especially at night.
2. Taiwan is a foodie’s heaven and we for sure liked this! Raohe Street night market was our favourite night market, selling everything you might be craving. Next to that some weird Taiwanese foods, always fun to try out.
3. Taipei 101 is definitely worth a visit. Check out the dumpling Michelin star restaurant at floor -1. Go up to the highest level to the observation deck and walk around in the surrounding hip and happening Xinyi District (信義區).
4. Taipei has many, many, many good restaurants but for us the top of the bill was Achoi. The restaurant has super good food, some of the best wines we drank in six weeks Taiwan, a stylish designed interior and a hip crowd. With a great price value rate we are definitely coming back when in Taipei!
5. Huashan 1914 Creative Park was built in 1914. The factory was one of Taiwan’s largest wine producers, but has been abandoned for a long time. Local artist began using the factory as an inspirational workspace. Huashan now serves Taipei’s primary creative arts center. Check out the galleries and try out the food, coffee & cocktails of one of the hip cafés surrounding.
6. Rent a bike for a day and cycle along the city instead of using the MRT. This way you see much more. Do you find the city a bit too busy to cycle? Along the river that flows through the whole capital is a specially made cycling path.
7. One of the best rooftop cocktail bars in Taipei you will find on the fifth floor of Le Méridien hotel. The bar’s terrace emphasizing the radiant night views of Xinyi District below. (http://www.lemeridien-taipei.com/)
8. Dahu Park is located in Neihu District of Taipei City. Dahu Park is a mesmerizing Taipei leisure spot that can simply be accessed by Taipei Metro (Taipei Mass Rapid Transit) on Wenhu Line to the MRT Dahu Park Station. Next to some fresh air and a nice stroll you will find a beautiful Moon Bridge in the park.
9. Jiufen is situated in the mountains in New Taipei Area. This small village was relatively isolated until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893. The town quickly developed due to the gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island. It’s a photogenic village packed with tourist but even though definitely worth wile.
10. Hot springs. For a true local experience visit the Wulai hot springs. They are a half an hour drive up in the mountains from Taipei. Dip in with the aboriginals; steam away the city buzz, cool down in the river and all this for free!
*External photo credits upon request