Taipei is a vibrant city, with a rich history, culture and its people are extremely friendly. The city has some of the most stunning Temples, a great food scene, night markets and of course the fabulous Taipei 101, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Taiwan. Take a trip on the fast elevator to the Observation deck on the 89th floor (449 metres), which takes only 37 seconds and you will be rewarded by the incredible views over the city.
The old fishing village of Danshui was once a thriving port however, it is now a major tourist and commercial centre. Danshui Old Street, is one of the most popular attractions, lined with street vendors and shops. You can also visit the Old Customs House or take a walk along the promenade and enjoy the magical sunset. Also, in Danshui you will find the Lover's Bridge by Fisherman’s Wharf. The bridge was originally opened on Valentine’s Day 2003 and is a lovely place to take photos and enjoy lunch at one of the local seafood restaurants.
Taipei is well known for its incredible cuisine and while there are so many fantastic restaurants to enjoy, some of the tastiest delicacies can be found on the side of the street. Taipei’s street food is exceptional with so many choices to try. Walk down any local night market and you will see vendors selling everything from the infamous Stinky Tofu to fried Chicken on a stick to Pancakes stuffed with Beef. For a real downtown experience head to the Shilin Night Market as it is the most famous in the city with brightly lit stalls and offering everything from street food to clothing and kitchenware as well as a market hall in the basement.
Arguably a true icon the famous Longshan Temple has been bombed during WWII, destroyed by several earthquakes and even fires however, each time it has been lovingly restored and maintained to its former glory by the local community. It is one of the most visited Temples in the region and the intricate architecture of the building is beyond comparison.
Built between 1912-1919 the Presidential Palace, now known as the Presidential Office Building, is an impressive feat of architecture. It houses the everyday working office of the President. There are tours that can be joined to see parts of the building with exhibitions on Democracy in Taiwan.
The 1970’s Monument to Taiwan’s former military and political leader Chiang Kai-shek is set in a quiet central city park on the east side of Memorial Hall Square, where you will also see a large statue of Chiang Kai-shek. The best time to visit is during the Changing of the Guard ceremony, every hour between 09:00am-17:00pm daily.
The National Palace Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Chinese Imperial artefacts and has both an impressive permanent as well as visiting exhibitions. Here you will be able to view rare Chinese ceramics, paintings that date back hundreds of years and jade carvings.
The popular National Taiwan Museum is often quite busy, it is where you can learn about the history of local Aboriginal tribes, plants and wildlife of Taiwan. Cross the street and you can then visit the Land Bank wing, a former bank that houses counting rooms and a vault.
Elephant Mountain would have to be one of Taipei’s best tourist spots from which you can get a bird’s eye view over the city and the Taipei 101 skyscraper. It is a short and not too difficult hike to the top, which makes it the perfect location for taking photos of the city skyline. The peak, Xiangshan in Chinese, sits at 183 metres high and you will also find a 1.5 km hiking trail through the trees and ferns.
Bopiliao Old Street is a historical street that was once part of a shipping centre during the Qing Dynasty. Today, it has been restored to its former glory and where you will find the Heritage and Culture Education Centre of Taipei City, now a museum. Take a stroll through the reconstructed buildings that include a school and a Chinese medicine shop.
If you want to enjoy fresh air and dramatic scenery, then head to Yangmingshan National Park, just outside the city. It is one of Taiwan’s most stunning parks and has plenty of hiking trails that offer panoramic views over the city and even some steaming fumaroles rising from vents in the ground.
The tea growing district of Maokong is located on the outskirts of the city not far from Taipei Zoo. Take a ride on the MRT to the Zoo and then take the Cable Car up over the mountain into Maokong. Tourists normally sit and enjoy the locally grown tea in one of the local tearooms or restaurants that have beautiful views of the city. Sunset in the late afternoon or early evening is definitely a highlight and where you will get some amazing shots.
Located outside the city is Wulai, a small village famous for its hot springs. There are even several hot spring hotels where visitors can stay for a few hours and relax in privacy. For those who are more adventurous in nature there is a public hot spring located on the riverside. Take the Cable Car ride to the Waterfall as well as the Aboriginal Village where you will see local handicrafts and can try some local cuisine.