Taiwan’s history can be traced back to around 7,000 years ago with the country’s early inhabitants being of Austronesia as well as Portuguese and Dutch descent. Although rich in history, Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei, gives travellers much to see and do by way of cultural discovery and experiences! Here are my top picks for activities in the bustling city:
- The Taipei 101 Tower – this 106-floor bamboo-like structure is a major focal point of the city and it was once considered the world’s tallest building up until the mid-2000s. The tower and base is known as a major shopping destination and business centre and the observation is well worth a visit for 360 degree views!
- The historical Lungshan Temple – Representing Chinese history as well as folklore stories, this place of worship was built in the 1700s and it currently is one of the oldest temples in the country. Learn about the building’s heritage from the original owners – Fujians and the Qing dynasty – and the functions of the temple and meanings behind the architecture from when it served as both a place of worship and a meeting place for Chinese settlers.
- Shilin Night Market – Considered to be among one of the largest and most sought-after night markets in the city, Shilin doesn’t disappoint if you’re a foodie looking for good eats and sweet treats! In addition to toothsome delectables, there are a variety of shops that line the outside of the market place where you can pickup souvenirs and gifts. The area also offers karaoke bars and video arcades for an evening of good playful fun! Other night markets include the Snake Alley for souvenirs and the oldest market in the city, the Raohe Street Night Market.
- Yangmingshan National Park – For a little break north of the bustling city, half an hour away by car, lies the stunning national park, popular for its hot springs, beautiful cherry blossom flora and the country’s tallest dormant volcano. Embark on a hike on one of the region’s walking trails and check out the lakes, waterfalls and the park’s overall natural beauty! Other natural wonders include Maokong, one of Taipei’s past tea-growing regions and the Daan Forest Park, a city park with lush greenery to explore.
- Ximending neighbourhood – a car-free pedestrian zone, this charming but lively neighbourhood offers much for visitors and locals alike! The area offers some of Taiwan’s latest high-fashion stores and retail chains as well as much entertainment from small concerts to theatre performances, street entertainment and LGBTQ events. The region’s history is rooted in Japanese culture as it was built during a Japanese rule (1895-1945) and this is evident in the Japanese-style architecture of the buildings in this area such as the Mazu Temple.
Written by: Jane (Destination Specialist)
-I’ve recently travelled to Taiwan and I enjoyed my time there greatly. There is much to experience; the food is delicious and the historical and cultural sites, and temples, are awe-inspiring!