Blending Chinese and Japanese influences, Taipei is an underrated, exhilerating and diverse city. Located to the north of the island, it sits in the middle of the Yangming and Central mountains. This city is the ideal place to go if you’re a history enthusiast – in fact, it’s more or less like being in a museum, seamlessly blending the ancient and cutting-edge modernity. It also has a quirky charm, progressive values, and really is a one-off.
The National Palace Museum is Taiwan’s oldest, being home to over 10,000 artefacts dating from ancient China right up to modern day. Walk around and you’ll see stunning paintings, ceramics and calligraphy. Most of the items shown here have been collected over the years by the emperors of China. If you’re interested in experiencing more of the area’s local culture, be sure to check out the Taoist Temple, where you’ll find both locals and tourists in solemn prayer.
As food is such an important part of Taipei’s the culture, trying out some of the exquisite cuisine on offer is all part of the experience. Whether you choose a fancy three-course meal in a restaurant or visit the local night markets to sample some of the region’s delicacies, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining.
Taipei has an incredible food scene, some of which may be described by some as simply bizarre to westerners. You’ll see what we mean if you come across ‘kawaii’ culture, mixed with adult influences. Let’s put it this way: you’ll be likely to see steaks served with chocolate sauce (whatever tickles your taste buds?), and unusual themed restaurants in which you might eat dessert out of a toilet-shaped bowl, or even sit down to eat your meal in the middle of a hospital ward.
Taiwan is an excellent city to stroll around, there’s also a metro system which is ideal for getting from place to place around the city. You can either purchase one-way tickets or day cards depending on how often you need to use it. There’s also an efficient bus service that runs through the central regions of Taipei; and rapid trains that stretch from north to south. Making it all the easier to experience the incredible variety on this relatively small gem of an island.
Plan your trip to Taipei today.