On the surface, it does look like drinking yourself into a stupor is Taipei’s biggest past time activities but it’s not. Things to do in Taipei vary but are largely limited according to your personal interests.
After the initial culture shock, you will need to keep your mind open and your social circle diverse so you may experience different aspects of Taipei life. Perhaps you will end up feeling like there isn’t much to do in Taipei yet there is always something happening.
Unless you spend your free time club hoping in Taipei, you probably have figured that you need to expand the list of things to do so you are do not fal into a boring routine of activities. It is worth mentioning that the little fun you have in Taipei boils down to what you are willing to try, how energetic you are and your budget.
1)Domestic travel (tourism) in Taiwan is something that one can enjoy and I would highly recommend. Look at it as a way to get to spend quality time with your exotic Asian beau,*wink* or just get your friends together and explore Taiwan. So learn to save some coins hunni.
There are decent backpacking hostels,boutique hotels and B&Bs, called minsu (民宿) that you can stay at including Air BnB.
Most people prefer places like kenting but there are other beautiful places you can visit during certain times of the year according to your schedule of course.
For transportation you may take a bus, MRT or The HSR (High Speed Rail) ,depending on where you are headed. If travelling domestically, always have the address of where you are going in both English and chinese, find out whether or not you will need to take a bus or taxi from the HSR station to your final destination.
2) Hiking may not be something that you like to do but it’s something learn to enjoy from time to time. If anything, try it once and see how you like it. There are beautiful trails through out Taipei that you will want to try out. If it turns out to be something you like then you may consider joining a hiking group.
3) River tracing– this an excellent summer weekend activity, get a group of friends together and do this! it is definitely fun. If you have never tried before, you can check out Taipei River Tracing Club (02 296-7042), Taiwan-adventures or take a trip out to beautiful Hualien and contact Hualien Outdoors.
4) Create your own Pottery and ceramics in Yinge district in New Taipei City – From Taipei:
Take a local Taiwan Railways train (區間車) from Taipei Main Station south to Yingge station. There are many signs to direct you to both the ceramics museum and shopping street. The ceramics museum is easily accessible from the train station.
The main attraction in the town is Yingge Old Street (鶯歌陶瓷老街), sometimes called Yingge Ceramics Street or Yingge Pottery Street, and is a pedestrian shopping street specializing in ceramic arts, pottery, porcelain, and other related products ranging all price points. If you think you you will need a guide, here are several places online offering one day or half-day tour packages that come with a professional guide etc.
5) Hot springs, whether private or public, are a worthwhile experience. If you haven’t been, Beitou area Hot springs (北投溫泉) are very touristy but good, there are quite a few hot springs in this area. Each bath may have different etiquette and general rules regarding gender separation, whether or not bathers are permitted to wear clothing, and other regulations such as those regarding food and drink, so be sure to first check the rules before entering the bath.
Private hot springs in the Beitou area are also very popular, I recommended that you book a private room in advance for convenience.The are three common types of hot springs include green sulfur (slightly green colored and only found in Beitou and Akita, Japan), white sulfur (a milky colored spring which make up the majority of springs in the area), and iron sulfur (transparent springs found around the Ding Beitou area).
6) Visit Bali left bank in Tamsui (八里左岸)– This place is located directly opposite of Tamsui Old Street. The central area of Bali Is located nearby Bali Ferry Pier (八里渡船頭) connecting Bali with Tamsui across the river. Regular ferry service operates between the two locations, and service is consistent and affordable. Simply purchase a ticket or swipe an Easycard to travel across the river.
Once you get across, rent a bicycle! Bike rentals are affordable, and shops are located along the entire length of the coast. Along with standard bicycles of all sizes, tandem and multi-seat bikes are also available for rental. Bicycle is the preferred method to explore Bali as attractions are slightly spread out and a well-maintained bicycle path connects the entire area.
7) Longshan Temple (龍山寺)– This is most popular or well known temple in Taipei I believe, it is one of largest and oldest temples in Taiwan. The entrance is free, but donations to maintain the upkeep of the temple are accepted.
It is also one of the “Big 3” temples in the historic Wanhua district, the other two temples are Bangka Qingshui Temple (艋舺清水巖祖師廟) and Taipei Tianhou Temple (台北天后宮).
Visit Guangzhou Night Market, and make sure to try the snake soup at snake alley, Huaxi Night Market both located just west of the temple. Snake soup is exactly what it sounds like, and this experience is not one to be forgotten.
8) Visit a strawberry farm and pick your own berries- Neihu’s tourist strawberry farms are spread out along Dahu Street and Bishan Road. Most Neihu strawberries are grown organically in greenhouses, using no insecticides or pesticides. The production period lasts (approximately) from December through May: a great time for rustic fruit-picking.
Location: Neihu District, area along Dahu St. and Bishan Rd. Tel: (02)2790-7263 (Neihu District Farmers’ Association)
Transportation: Take Exit 1 at MRT Line 1 (Wenhu Line) Neihu Station, walk to bus stop across next to 452, Sec. 2, Neihu Rd. (Yentou Earth God Temple), and take bus S2. Alternatively transfer to bus S3 at MRT Dahu Park Station (no marked stops in mountain area; flag buses down anywhere on the route).
Taipei Recreational Agriculture website: www.recreational-agriculture.taipei (it has an english option).
S.Garden Tel: (02)2790-2492, 0937-458-986
Martin Organic Farms Tel: (02)2790-2706, 0975-638-765
Neihu Strawberry Farm Tel: (02)2796-0876, 0938-536-669
9) Jiufen (Chiufen) Old Street in new Taipei City – famed for the architectures built along the hill slopes forming picturesque views. The majority of attractions are concentrated along the cobblestone steps of Shuqi Road (豎崎路) between Jiufen Elementary School and the Jiufen police precinct. The three roads running perpendicular to Shuqi Road (Jishan St., Qiche Rd., and Qingbian Rd.) each boast a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafés.
Besides the main roads, there are numerous small alleys and lanes that snake around the area and sometimes even run beneath buildings.
Jiufen is the former center of gold mining, historical sites such as Museum of Gold, Environmental building, Crown Prince Chalet, Four-joined of Japanese Styled Residence, Gold-refining building and Benshan Fifth Tunnel are available to give visitors an idea of Chiufen in old days.
By Train– From Taipei Main Station (台北車站), take the train north to Ruifang Station.
After exiting the station and facing the Wellcome supermarket, take a left and walk 200 metres down Mingdeng Road. Next to the police station is a bus station (named Local Residents Plaza, 區民廣場) with routes 827 and 788 heading toward Jiufen. Please note that the bus stop next to the police station heads east toward Jiufen, and the bus stop across from the police station heads west toward Taipei.
Route 825 provides weekend service only. From here, the bus trip takes roughly 15 minutes, and the fare is NT$15.
It is recommended to take bus 1062 back to Taipei and enjoy some time at Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市).
By Bus– From MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing (忠孝復興), Brown Line 1 and Blue Line 5 interchange, leave from Exit 1 and take bus route 1062 (Keelung Bus) to Jinguashi, alight at Jiufen. The ride is about 1 hour and the fare is NT$102. Be sure to get a good seat to enjoy scenic views of Northern Taiwan. Bus 788 is also available from Keelung.
A shuttle bus service is available to Jiufen then on to Shifen Old Streets (十分老街) from Taipei City at Ximen (西門町), leaving in the morning and returning before dinner.
OTHER INTERESTING THINGS TO DO:
- Fort San Domingo and Former British Consular Residence
(紅毛城, Hongmao Cheng)
- Moon Bridge, Dahu Park
- Lucky Art Crayon Factory in Yilan
- If you are an avid reader, become a member of Taipei Public library. It is easy to join and they have a wide english language collection covering various subjects and authors.
- Visit Pingxi during the lantern festival
- Volunteer for caring of orphaned and vulnerable children
- Visit an aboriginal tribe.
- Regularly check out what taipei expo park has to offer (Yuashuan MRT stop on the red line)
- Regularly check out the Red Room for updates of activities, it is very new age.
- Pick up a copy of Centered on Taipei magazine, it is Free and very helpful with interesting content all in English.
- Off the Wall club usually has interesting music acts to see.
- Have dinner at Modern Toilet in Ximending. And do not forget to take a photo of you eating out of a mini toilet bowl.
- Eat 牛肉麵, Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Try one of the plain street stands.
FYI: I opened an instagram account of the blog, follow the link and lets connect, thank you to all those who have participated in the conversations on there.
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