Taipei City, The fun never stops

Wednesday December 14, 2016 | by Jonathan Lee | In Asia

Have you heard of Taipei? Probably yes. Taipei is home to amazing landscapes, architecture and night markets with tons of shopping and eating. Join me as I bring you around the things to do and see when you visit the magical land of Taipei. Be prepared tho, weight gain is inevitable from all the amazing delicacies you will encounter.

 

  1. Flight and accommodation

No one in the right mind wants to spend more when they could be spending less. We are having a 3-Day Flash Sale to Taipei, Bangkok and Seoul. Paying for a cheaper flight could result with more shopping! 

Whats more? Be the first 100 to book and win a free Takashimaya voucher when you book a flight to Taipei, Bangkok or Seoul! What are you waiting for? Check it out now!


Click here to check out our Flash Sale →

 

Finding accommodation can be easy and cost saving at the same time. With offers from motels to hostels and hotels, there is a room for anyone and everyone. With ZUJI’s hotel search, you can sort by price, no of stars, as well as special deals. Worrying if you will get a good night’s sleep should never happen when travelling. Wait there's more! With ZUJI's coupon code, you could be saving an additional 12% off your hotel bookings. WOW! 

  1. Transport

Taiwan’s train system, Metro is more similar to Singapore’s own MRT than you would imagine with less breakdowns! The Metro is super clean, fast and convenient. Doesn’t that sound just like our own train system?

Taipei’s transport map is similar to that of our own and easy to understand. Still worried about getting lost? Here is an official app you can download to check for travel routes, train arrival timing and others. If you are unfamiliar with Taipei and the bus system, it is confusing and thus not recommended. Stick to the trains and you won’t get lost!

Source: Taipei Metro



  1. Where to go
  • Taipei 101

When I picture Taiwan in my head, the first image that comes to mind is Taipei 101. Yes, that massively tall building. Did you know that the building has many world records? Including Fastest elevator in the world, largest mass damper in the world, tallest building in the world and many more!

If you haven’t been before, it is a must go! There are many things to do and see at Taipei 101, including the observatory deck (where you can oversee the entire city), dining at Din Tai Fung, shopping and visiting galleries.


Setting Off Fireworks From Taipei 101 at a New Year Countdown

 

                Observatory Deck

A ticket is needed to visit the observatory deck. The observatory deck is accessed by a state of the art elevator. Through innovation and technology, the elevators at Taipei 101, ascend at a staggering rate of 1010m/min reaching the observation deck on the 91st floor in under 40seconds. #Mind blown.

There are 2 featured decks, an indoor and outdoor deck. The outdoor observatory deck would be open for viewing if weather permits. Taipei is home to strong winds and typhoons, which can be up to 150km/h. The wind would just blow you away if you were standing in the outdoor deck during a storm.  

Both observatory decks have a 360 view of the entire city, showing its city view in the best possible way. The indoor observatory deck offers a comfortable environment to enjoy the stunning view.

The purchase of the tickets also grants access to the museum and a look at the mass damper which prevents the building from toppling. The Damper reduces vibrations to the building which can cause damage or a structure failure.  

Source: Guide to Taipei

89th Floor, No. 7, Xinyi Road Section 5, Taipei City

Opening Hours:
9AM – 10M (Closing time of tickets is 9:15PM)

Fees:
Adult: NT 600
Concession(students): NT 540

                 Din Tai Fung

The one thing to eat at Taipei 101 is, Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung originated in Taipei and has since expanded into different countries including Singapore. Even though the outlets in Singapore has rave reviews, I still prefer the original in Taipei. The must try dish is xiao long bao, or soup dumpling. Just the thought of slurping into one makes my mouth water.

Source: Migrationology

Did I not mention that Din Tai Fung is a 1 Michelin star restaurant? As Din Tai Fung is always packed, it is recommended that you visit during the weekdays to avoid the super long week-end queue.

Source: IEATTAIWAN

Din Tai Fung (Taipei 101 Branch)
B1, No. 45, Shifu Rd., Taipei City (Taipei 101 Mall)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thurs: 11:00 - 21:30
Fri, Sat & Day before holiday 11:00 - 22:00

                Shopping Spree

After a good meal, the one thing we Singaporeans love to do is shop. At Taipei 101 Mall, there are plenty of shopping options for you! From branded goods such as Louis Vuitton to Coach, fashion wear Zara to Ralph Lauren, and accessories Chanel to Cartier. All you need is a healthily fat wallet. I could easily spend an entire day shopping here. Just kidding! I mean window shopping. It’s good to dream every once in a while.

Source: Museologue

  • Elephant Mountain

If you find the ticket to the observatory tower a tad too expensive, Elephant Mountain is a nice alternative. It is also said that the best view of Taipei is at the top of Elephant Mountain. Photographers from all over the world flock there just to get a nice sunset shot!!

Source: Taiwan Bubble

To get to Elephant Mountain, alight at the final stop of the red line, XiangShan Station. From the station, there will be signs leading you to the mountain (10min walk). *Be warned, if you go in an afternoon weekend, it will be crazy packed! Everyone would be fighting for a spot to see the sun set.

It takes an average of 25mins to reach the top. Even though there are a lot of stairs to climb, I assure you will have no regrets.

Source: Taiwan Bubble

Hiking up the trail, you feel as though you entered another world. It does not feel like you’re in the city. You will reach a point called the 6 boulders. It is the place where people gather to take pictures and wait for sunset. Looking at the sunset pictures, its completely worth it!

  1. Night Markets

Just talking about exercising just makes my tummy growl. There are many night markets for you to visit, each with their own specialty.

                Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)

Let’s get it over with. It is not the cheapest night market, and it is also by far the most crowded. YET it is still a night market you have to go. Being the largest night market in Taipei, it has a wide range of food, electronics, fashion, accessories and gadgets.  It is also one of the most popular area of night life activity for locals and tourists!

Source: Food Douchery

Shilin night market, is like a maze with amazing food and shopping with rows and rows of shop carts. It is close to impossible to finish walking the entire area in just 1 night (partially thanks to the food coma).

Directions: Take the train, red line to Jiantan station (NOT Shilin Station), Exit 1 and just follow the crowd

                Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市

Ningxia Night Market is less crowded than Shilin, but also significantly smaller. It is a very popular market amongst locals, with a lot of street food. As it is not very touristy, prices are reasonable. This market is also popular with tourists who want to experience something more local.

Source: Travel King

Directions: Train, at red line between Shuanglian and Zhongshan (Alight at any)
From Shuanglian: exit 1, and follow MinSheng West Road
From Zhongshan: exit 2, and follow Nanjing West Road

                Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市)

Raohe Night Market is also one of the must visit night markets in Taipei. This market, is also primarily food with some fashion and accessories.  

Source: Walking Through Wonderland


Directions: Take the train, exit green line at Song Shan station, exit 5 and you’re there!

                Wu Fen Pu (五分埔)

This is hands down the best shopping heaven in Taipei. There is everything you would want, from clothes, shoes, accessories and much more! The best thing? The things are so cheap you wouldn’t even feel a thing! It is definitely a place you wouldn’t want to miss.

Source: Celine Chiam

Directions: Take the train, green line at Song Shan station, exit 3
OR, take the train, blue line at Hou Shan Pi Station, exit 1

  1. Die die must try food in Taipei

Taipei is a food haven. Even if you were there for 2 weeks, you wouldn’t be able to try everything. Here is a compilation of food you absolutely have to try.

                Oyster Omelette 蚵仔煎)

Similar to the Singapore version, this also consists of oysters, eggs and flour. The Taiwan style however, is not something ul find in Singapore. Each of the markets makes their own version of this. My favorite one is at Shilin. The crispy fried bits, with the sweetness of oysters, topped with a special sauce. How good does that sound!

Source: Wikimedia

                Lu Rou Fan (卤肉饭)

One of the most loved dishes by locals and visitors. It sounds simple, rice topped with braised pork (lu rou) but the braising of pork, and the ratio of fat and meat is so important. A good lu rou would just melt in your mouth. The most popular lu rou fan is probably Jin Feng (金峰). When googling lu rou fan + taipei, Jin Feng is almost always the one that appears first (it is not just hype, but seriously good).

Source: Yina Goes

 Other than braised pork, there are other must try dishes including the braised pork belly and braised eggs!

Source: Yina Goes

 

Price: NT 30-60
Address: No. 10, Section 1, Roosevelt Rd, ZhongZheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan

                Beef Noodles (牛肉麵)

Another loved dish by locals. Although there are many stalls that sell this, the one I always fall back to is Lin Dong Fang (林東芳). The noodles are nice, fresh and springy, with a delicious broth that contains Chinese herbal medicine (Yes, its healthy!). It’s no wonder this place is always packed and I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet.

Source: Where Jess Ate

The beef, firm and full of flavor which literally melts in your mouth when you bite into it. *I HIGHLY suggest going for the large bowl. You will not have enough of this I promise!

Source: Migrationology

Price: NT 140++
Address: No, 274, Section 2, Bade Rd, ZhongShan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104

                Oyster Mee Sua (蚵仔麵線)

Im sure you’ve been to Shihlin, Singapore’s own store selling Taiwan’s snacks. Mee Sua has always been that one thing I crave for. Ay-Chung (阿宗麵線) is one to die for.

Source: Migrationology

The queue is always long but its insanely good. The noodles, is made from flour rice, topped with their gravy made from bonito flakes which gives it that unique smoke and salty flavor. To me, the oysters are not necessary but a good addition nonetheless. Even without the oysters, I would still queue up for this delicious bowl of flour rice and gravy.

Source: TheSmartLocal

Price: NT 30-65
Address: No. 8-1 Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei

                Black Pepper Bun (胡椒饼)

The one big reason to visit Raohe Night Market is for the black pepper bun. Specifically, Fu Zhou Black Pepper Bun (福州胡椒饼). When queueing for the delicious goodness, you are able to see the buns made fresh and baked.

Source: Daniel Food Diary

The meat filling in the bun is a mix of pork and black pepper covered with a chewy bread dough. As the buns are baking, the aroma fills the air and makes you want to dig straight into them. Be careful tho, they are extremely hot. It’s worth the 20seconds wait to blow and not scald your tongue.

Source: Daniel Food Diary

Price: NT 50++
Address: No. 249, Raohe St, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105

                Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐)

One of the fine things in life that you either hate or love. There are two types, fried or stewed. Both have the pungent smell, but have amazing texture and flavor. Although you can find stinky tofu at almost any night market, Shenkeng Old Street (深坑老街) specializes in tofu. This place is so renowned that it is known as tofu capital. You are able to see tofu everywhere!

Source: Foodie Hub


Address: Shenkeng St, Shenkeng District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 222

 

  1. Things to try/do?*

There are more things to do in Taiwan other than night markets. Here is a list of to-do if you have the time and energy!

                Beitou Hot Springs (北投温泉)

Beitou is a famed area for tourists and locals to enjoy authentic thermal springs (water is heated from an actual volcano!). The water from the springs comes naturally from Beitou’s Thermal valley. The thermal valley is a volcanic crater filled with natural sulfuric spring water. Few places in the world still have volcano supplied hot springs to enjoy, and Taipei is one of the lucky few.

Directions: Take the train, red line and alight at Beitou station. Transfer to the pink line to Xinbeitou. The hot springs is roughly a 5mins walk.

                Visiting Temples

There are many temples to visit in Taipei but if you only have time to visit one, visit Longshan Temple, Taipei City. Combining traditional Chinese architecture and a well-established history, it became the most popular temple to visit. It is often crowded with locals praying and tourists visiting.

Source: Deuce

                National Palace Museum

The museum holds a massive 700,000 art pieces dating over 10,000 years in history. Wow, just wow. Unfortunately, because of its massive collection you will never be able to see all of them. Only 1% of the entire collection is exhibited at any one point. You really have to see it to believe it.

Source: Daniel Chan

Price: NT 250 (adult)
                NT 150 (Concession, Student)

Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111    

 

Hope this guide gives you an idea of where to go, what to eat and things to do during your trip. Book now with our flash sale and get a Takashimaya voucher, hurry while stocks last!

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