Travelling Taiwan

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Welcome to my little Taiwan Travel Guide. As stated above, my guide is totally devoid of any practical information, but I promise if you stick with me, you’ll get some really cool Instagram pictures of of it.

Exchange student in Taiwan for a semester? Just moved here to teach English? Already live here? Bored & rich? Below you’ll find a list of places I think are worth visiting on the isle formosa (er, Taiwan); with my comments & a link to a blog or two that will supply all the practical trip-planning deets. Have fun, explorers!

(Of course, this is in no way a comprehensive guide, and reflects my opinions and viewpoints only)

Northern Taiwan

Taipei//Nature

Elephant Mountain

The best view of the city (Taipei 101 looms so close!) to reward a short but steep hike. Bring mozzie repellant.

Taipei Botanical Gardens

An underrated gem of the city, tucked into an old district. Perfect for an afternoon date, especially when the pond of water lilies is in bloom.

Taipei Zoo

Life of Pi, anyone? Cheap, well-maintained, with a extensive array of exhibits. Oh, and they have giraffes and pandas. ‘Nuff said.

Da’an Forest Park

Like people watching? Here’s your heaven. In the morning you’ll find grandpas practicing taichi; in the afternoon, see an array of Taipei-ers from all walks of life come out for their dose of green.

Taipei//Artsy Spots

Artyard & Bopiliao Old Street

Retro Taipei, in its sleekest & most accessible form. Artyard provides a renovated space to enjoy a coffee & browse through the (don’t miss inBloom);

Simple Market + Good Cho’s

Huashan Cultural & Creative Park

Songshan Cultural Park

Zhongshan Area + SPOT Film House

National Palace Museum

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Taipei//Cafes + Shopping

National Taiwan University

Shin Kong Mistukoshi

VVG Something + the Dunhua alleys

Beitou (Beitou Library)

Taipei//Fooooooood

Raohe Night Market

Shida Night Market (shopping only)

The Blah List (aka things you will be told you should see, but will ultimately suck)

Taipei 101 (hint: the only thing worth seeing from up high is Taipei 101, so if you go to the top of 101…you obviously can’t see it), Neihu in general (unless you like sucky Ferris Wheel rides or unimpressive half-moon shaped bridges), Ximending (once, I braved the crowds of pimply teens & unbelievably tacky stores and never will I again), Danshui (eh), Maokong Gondola (eh, if you’re five years old, it’s cool), Wufenpu (even at 100NT for a shirt, it’s a lot to pay for all the ugly, not to mention all the time you’ll waste) Bitan/Xindian (just plain ugly), Shilin Night Market (they remodelled it, and ruined it, basically), Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall (…just go to CKS Memorial Hall, but even that isn’t too interesting), Tonghua & Ningxia Night Market (eh, go to Raohe).

Yilan (& er, just not Taipei)

Jiufen

Shifen

Houtong

Yehliu

Ju Ming Museum

Taipingshan

The Blah List:

Central Taiwan

Dawncake (Taichung City)

Feng Jia Night Market (Taichung City)

Smangus

Hehuanshan + Cinjing Farm

Eastern Taiwan

The skinny on Taitung

Hualien? Haven’t been yet. Sorry!

Southern Taiwan

The skinny on Kenting.

The skinny on Tainan.

Kaohsiung? Shit, still haven’t been! This will change soon (hopefully)

The Outer Islands

Penghu

Green Island

Matsu? Orchid Island (Lanyu)?–haven’t been. And honestly, from the pictures I’ve seen, not planning to.

4 thoughts on “Travelling Taiwan

  1. LOL About your description of Ximending. Went to Bitan/Xindian recently for the first time, gotta admit it’s nothing great. Shi Da night market (close to where I live) apparently sucks now according to my relatives since the neighbors tried to close it down. Not much left there now.

    Hm, haven’t been to Shilin this time around yet, gotta go see if it became crappy.

    • @Jonathan: I actually live right next to Shida night market, which really makes me a bit biased, because it’s such a part of my everyday life 🙂 But I do admit that it’s gone downhill; I mostly recommend it only for shopping. Shilin isn’t really anything anymore in my opinion…RAOHE is now my new favorite for both food selection and ambiance 🙂

  2. Ah, I’m so glad I found your blog at the very last minute, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing!
    Headed to Taipei in a few days…and ironically, Taipei 101, Maokong Gondola, Shilin and Ning Xia night markets, and Sun-Yat San Memorial Hall (figured I should visit at least one historic spot) were on the ‘should-do/to-do’ list (based on what I gathered from online guides)…looks like I’ll have to readjust 😉

    • @DEEMAYDEEMAY: Sorry for a late reply!! Hope you had fun on your trip to Taipei–I just had my cousins in town; we went up to Maokong with the gondola and had a wonderful tea-time at one of the teahouses…bliss! Hope you managed to hit that on your trip as well 🙂

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