Taipei City Guide
Taipei is a large modern city located on the dramatically mountainous island of Taiwan. It has plenty of entertainment, shopping and a lively culture. It is the capital of Taiwan and is one of Asia’s most popular destinations. Taiwan is officially part of the Republic of China but the government of Taiwan regards itself as independent of its giant neighbor. The first presidential election was in 1996, and Taiwan then became a democracy.
Today Taipei is a city deeply rooted in Chinese traditions, from the aroma of food flavors among the city’s streets to the bustling shops in the Daan neighborhood.
The climate is steady with warm weather throughout spring, summer, and fall. December through March is the colder months. It’s best to travel during the summer months as the rainfall is lower and the sunshine makes for the perfect conditions for enjoyable outdoor activities.
The original language in much of Taiwan is Taiwanese Mandarin, and more than half the people speak Taiwanese Hokkien. When checking in, the service desk attendant may speak broken English, but it is a good idea to keep a translator handy if catching a cab or communicating with locals in Taipei. Most locals are friendly, and a good thing about getting around is most signs are in both Mandarin and English.
The whole city has a distinct architecture detailed with pointed rooftops, and one stop not to miss is Taipei 101, known as the world’s tallest building. This thriving city with its Japanese and Chinese heritage makes it a great place to travel and explore.
What makes Taipei so unique is its multitude of neighborhoods, with Songshan being popular amongst tourists, with its upscale shopping mall called the Breeze Center. Here you can find high-end designer stores in a cool six-floor shopping mall.
If you’re more of the adventure and explorer type, travel to the Shilin neighborhood where many tourists catch sight of the beautiful azaleas at the Yaoming Mountain. There is also shopping at the Night Market, and history at the National Palace Museum.
Zhongshan has entertainment for all ages. There is a selection of bars and nightclubs for the adults, an entertainment park for kids, and the Fine Arts Museum that is worth the visit no matter what your age. Here you will see great examples of local culture created through architecture and design.
A great place to snap pictures is in the Zhongzheng neighborhood where you will find Taipei’s landmark Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial. Within walking distance are the National Theatre and the National Concert Hall.
Taipei also has some exciting nightlife
Bars,clubs and night markets like Shilin Night Market, Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market (also known as Snake Alley) and Raohe Street Night Market make for great evening adventures.
How to get around
When arriving at Taiwan International Airport, the best way to get into Taipei is by taxi. Visitors can also be taken around the city on a scooter or use the Taipei Metro or Red Line to get to the different districts. The Taipei Metro is one of the cheapest ways to get around, and if staying for an extended time you’ll want to get a Metro card for easy payment.
You might find it a little challenging when communicating as many residents speak Mandarin. Some may have broken English, but traveling the Metro is an easy way to get around and signs are in English and Mandarin.
Where to shop
You can head over to the SOGO shopping area for souvenirs, accessories, and hidden finds in Taipei. The area is known for its high-end stores, restaurants and street food. If you like some nightlife you can visit the Night Market, where they have food and more unique things to purchase.
What to eat and where to go
When eating you might want to try to use chopsticks like the locals! You can get a range of interesting foods, from traditional Japanese style noodles and rice to fruit jellies and beautifully crafted desserts. If you are in the mood for something unique, try out Taipei’s toilet restaurant. Everything from the chairs to the food is shaped along that theme.
Where to stay
Taipei has a number of options when it comes to hotels and other types of accommodation, from cheap sleeps to the high-end luxury you might ordinarily expect on an exotic holiday. Choosing a place should revolve around places you plan to visit, and nearby transportation facilities. For a user-friendly experience why not let World Escape help you find your next place to stay?