Besides reading, traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, and nothing is more fun than reading while traveling. Traveling allows me to discover new cultures and is a way for me to see the world.
Besides reading, traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, and nothing is more fun than reading while traveling. Traveling allows me to discover new cultures and is a way for me to see the world. My ultimate goal is to visit every country on the planet, and I haven’t gotten there yet, but I have traveled to quite a few countries.
I make it a point to visit Taiwan, Phuket, and Thailand every time I travel to Southeast Asia. One of the places I have enjoyed visiting and have already visited twice is Taiwan. Taiwan is a gem and is usually overlooked in favor of its big sister China. So, without further ado, let’s find out about Taiwan and what you can do there.
When to visit Taiwan?
When you tell people you are going to visit Taiwan, they usually confuse it with Thailand because Americans are very self-centered and don’t know much about the rest of the world. So let’s learn more about Taiwan, where it is, and when is the best time to visit?
Taiwan, like Phuket, is an island off the southeast coast of China, located in the Pacific Ocean. The city of Taiwan, Taipei, is the epicenter of this island nation and is home to the future Taipei Sky Tower, which, when completed, will be the third tallest skyscraper in the world.
The best time to visit Taiwan is in the fall and spring. From mid-September to mid-November, the weather is ideal for people who like it hot but not too hot, and the temperature will always be around 20°C.
If you like hiking and seeing the cherry blossoms, you should visit Taiwan in spring. It is best not to visit Taiwan in the summer, as this is the typhoon season which means that you will probably be stuck in your hotel instead of visiting the country.
1. Night Market- Shilin Night Market
Taiwan has fantastic food. It’s a mix of regional Chinese and Japanese influences (among others), and there’s no better place to try them (at a lower cost) than at a night market. Culinary” markets, like Shilin, offer all of Taiwan’s influences in bite-sized pieces.
Wander the narrow aisles and try oyster omelets, fresh seafood, stinky tofu (if you can stand the foul smell), spring onion pancakes, mango ice cream, fried chicken, and honeyed cherry tomato skewers, to name a few. Then have a cup of bubble tea or Taiwan Beer.
KTVs are establishments with several individual rooms containing karaoke equipment. Many KTVs in Taiwan are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Taiwanese people are crazy about karaoke. Unlike in the West, where karaoke is considered a has-been, it is one of the most popular activities on the weekend (especially). You’ll be surprised to see the fancy establishments that host these karaoke events. If you don’t sing, it’s not a problem; you can eat there.
3. Taipei 101 Tower
Taipei 101 offers breathtaking views from its top floor. This tower was once the tallest building in the world. It is best to go on a day when the city is not too foggy (there will always be some fog) to see further. There is an indoor observatory on the 89th floor and an outdoor one on the 91st. In addition to the incredible panoramic view, the elevator ride to the top highlights the building tour. It’s a “trip” in the world’s fastest elevator that awaits you.
4. Immerse yourself in history at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial
You can’t travel to Taipei without soaking up its history. Sun Yat-sen was the father of the Republic of China, and the hall dedicated to his memory is a popular tourist attraction. See the changing of the guard, history and art exhibits, the massive 300,000-book library, and the memorial’s surrounding park.
The memorial has become a city landmark, with its grand and imposing architecture and historical symbolism (Chiang Kai-shek was the former president of Taiwan). There are often performances held in the square by artists, musicians, and groups of teenagers practicing their choreographed dance moves. In the landscaped gardens, tai chi and kung fu classes are held.
5. Theme restaurants
Taipei has many theme restaurants where you can eat in prison, with Barbie and Ken, in a hospital, but also in a toilet bowl. The latter, Modern Toilet, is the buzz here. You can indeed order dishes with weird but very good titles, which will be served in a toilet bowl.
6. Take the Maokong Gondola in the mountains
Take the Wenhu line (brown) to Taipei Zoo, for example. Built-in 2002 to alleviate the traffic of local residents, the gondolas can now carry about 2000 people per hour. For about 6$ round trip, you can enjoy a 20-30 minute ride over the surrounding hills.
As a foodie, I love Taiwan because of its food and ambitious cuisine. The country draws much of its culinary heritage from China but puts its spin on it. The best place to sample Taiwanese cuisine is at the local night market, which is a source of lively debate.
The Keelung night market, which is about an hour from Taipei, is excellent for those on a budget and offers a wide variety of dishes. If you like bubble tea, then Taiwan is the place to be, as it has some of the best bubble tea in the world.
As someone obsessed with bubble tea, I can tell you that you should visit Taiwan at least once in your life, even if it’s just to try their bubble tea. If you like savory food, you should try the soup dumplings, oyster omelet, and beef noodles. If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you should try the shaved ice, mung bean pastry, and pineapple shortcake.
Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about the best things to do in Taipei.