I was always curious about Taiwan, the “other China,” so I added a few days in Taipei to my Southeast Asia adventure. A Taipei Half-Day City Tour provided the perfect introduction to this intriguing little island only 80 some miles from mainland China.
Sometimes your travel schedule works like a well-oiled machine. Connecting flights line up with Swiss precision and you move effortlessly from one flight to another without delays… sometimes. But on other trips you get more of a sense that “you can’t get there from here” and you are left waiting for eight hours between flights. Such was my travel schedule last week which left me with a scheduled seven hour and 55 minute layover in Taiwan. I had never been to Taiwan. Rather than sit in artificial lighting, eating at the food court and hanging out on airport wi-fi, I arranged a layover tour of Taipei.
Springtime in many East Asian countries is cherry blossom season, when each cherry tree’s thousands of buds burst into colorful pink and white blossoms. The earliest flowers begin to show as early as January, and in the higher altitude destinations, you can see the blossoms through April. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling during this time, check out in each region the best place to view cherry blossoms in Taiwan.
No visit to Taiwan would be complete without a visit to Taroko Gorge, one of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. Taroko Gorge is located on Taiwan’s East coast, near the city of Hualien, just a few hours train ride or a short flight from the Taiwanese capital city of Taipei. Taroko National […]
Fishing in Taiwan is a popular pastime, but with few reservoirs and risk of contamination in some rivers, many Taiwanese have to travel some distance from their homes to enjoy a day of fishing. In Taipei, there has been a surge in popularity in what are known as indoor shrimp centers. Here, shrimp are brought in from outside the city and placed in large pools where people can come do some fishing, enjoy some beers, and hang out with friends.
The remote Taiwan district of Pingxi is renowned for its annual Sky Lantern Festival, wherein over 100,000 hot air lanterns are released into the night sky. Although the event is only held once a year, it’s worth taking a day trip to Pingxi throughout the year to wander the historic towns and rail line, hike […]
A visit to Taipei would be incomplete without spending an afternoon at the National Palace Museum. The museum houses what is said to be the world’s largest collection of ancient Chinese artifacts and works of art. With more than 650,000 items on display, the collection encompasses over 10,000 years of Chinese history. The Song, Yuan, […]
If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, you need to carve out time to visit the Northeast Coast, an easy day trip from the capital city of Taipei. The area is best explored by vehicle as you wind along the scenic coastline, filled with some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. Consider a private Taiwan Northeast Coast tour that includes Nanya, Longdong, and Jiaoshi Hot Springs.
From its meager beginnings in Taipei, the now global brand of Din Tai Fung has helped share the culinary art of xialongbao, or “soup dumplings,” with the world. Din Tai Fung’s dumplings are literally legendary and branches in Hong Kong have even been awarded Michelin stars.
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to explore Taiwan culture is through its night markets. Night markets are an important aspects of Taiwanese culture and there is no shortage of ones to explore in Taipei. While Taipei night markets like Shilin are amongst the most popular, they are often so crowded it’s hard to have an enjoyable experience, especially on a weekend. Look to other more traditional, and less touristy, night markets like Ningxia to really enjoy a number of Taipei’s best street foods.