Small and sometimes unassuming, Taiwan is often brushed aside when it comes to travel destinations. If you’ve seen China, it most likely will be the same thing, right? Think again! Taiwan has its own charm that sets it apart from other Chinese regions.
In fact, here’s a quick Taipei travel guide you can refer to if you plan to go:
Write on and fly your own lanterns
Wishing for something? Write it on a sky lantern and set it off yourself at Shifen Old Street! It’s situated in a countryside town of Taipei called Pingxi. The town attracts thousands of tourists due to its tradition of flying sky lanterns as a way to send prayers and ask for blessings from the gods.
You’ll be asked to choose your own lantern as each color symbolizes something and will be given a brush to write your wishes, dreams and intentions on the lantern itself.
Shop for stationery
Much like Japan, Taiwan is also a haven for stationery lovers. Taipei has a bookstore that operates for 24 hours straight called Eslite and you’re more than welcome to sit around to read a book or two and find a few stickers and washi tapes to keep as memorabilia of your trip.
Relax in your own private bathhouse near thermal hot springs
If you’re looking for what to do in Taipei if you want a relaxing getaway, the city also has something worth checking out. The mountainous district of Beitou is situated in northern Taipei and it’s home to various hot springs and sprawling green spaces. It’s basically Taipie’s hot spring village and it’s accessible via MRT.
The private bathhouses of hotels in this region sources their water from actual hot springs. This is because Beitou is just below Yangmingshan National Park where there are thermal valleys.
Hop from one night market to another
When it comes to going on a food trip in Taiwan, you should never miss the night markets! Lots of them are scattered around Taipei but Shilin Night Market is the favorite night market in Taiwan. There are over 500 stalls, with one of them even making it into the Bib Gourmand street food list by the Michelin guide.
Get a majestic view of Taipei City
Whenever this activity is suggested, people would immediately think of going up to the top of Taipei 101. While it’s the most available option, there’s also another way to see Taipei City from above.
The Taipei 101 building has a Starbucks cafe situated on the 35th floor and is considered the highest Starbucks in the world. It’s the perfect place to relax and chill with your travel buddies while also getting a view of the city. Do note that you need a reservation to get in.
Hike the Elephant Mountain
If you’re more into adventurous activities, hiking while in the city is also possible! A lot of locals and tourists alike hike the Elephant Mountain to get an unrivaled view of Taipei City. The hike to the top usually only takes less than 30 minutes from the park entrance.
Drink milk tea in the very first milk tea shop in the world
While the Chun Shui Tang Teahouse branch in Taipei isn’t the very first branch (you can find that in Taichung City), they also serve their famous Pearl Milk Tea in all other branches in Taipei. This is said to be the very first bubble tea in the world and is served in a large glass that’s more than enough for sharing!
Stroll along creative parks
Enjoy a picnic with friends or go on a mini shopping spree in Taipei’s creative parks. Various artists and exhibitors often hold events in places like Huashan 1914 Creative Park and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. It’s a great way to support the local creative industry!
Get a knife massage
Sounds dangerous? Not quite. In fact, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that perfectly encapsulates the Chinese’s massage treatment. This 2000-year old practice is how you would expect it to be—chopping motions all over your face and body. However, it’s 100% safe as the knives used are blunt and are specifically crafted for these body massages.
Did this guide on what to do in Taipei excite you? Comment below if you’re adding Taiwan in your travel list!