For a 300 year old city, this vibrant capital of Taiwan is blooming with a unique cultural mix. With influence from China, Japan and the Western states, Taipei is now comfortable in it’s own skin as a mix of all three… The food, arts and architecture is something special to experience in this buzzing, expanding and adventurous city.
Now that my introductions are complete, here are 3 reasons you should visit Taipei City:
1. You will experience the best of the best food
Taipei is known across the world for its food. From the classic mala hotpot to stinky tofu, there is a flavour for every fettish. Keen on some ramen? gyoza? Or maybe some scorpions to hit the spot? Taipei is a foodie wonderland with the flavours of the world to be explored in one of the famous night markets. You won’t just find Chinese and Taiwanese food but also a cruise of asian dishes that rival Hong Kong and even Singapore.
Taipei is a fusion food city. Every flavour is mixed with something else of infused with something more. Trust the locals – the know what you will love. Get ready to be disappointed when you return to your western food! Taipei food is never to be forgotten, always to be desired.
For the first time in Asia tonight I felt claustrophobic! Night markets were packed as far as eye can see in every direction. A photo posted by Lachy (@officiallachyn) on
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2. It’s the perfect mix between China and Japan
I’ve been to both, but Taipei holds the balance perfectly. There is a modern feel of Japan with certain technology and architeture influences, however there is also a the ever present raw feeling of China with the bustling scooter streets, the style of food and of course the large number of immigrated Chinese actually living in Taipei. At some points walking into one of the convenient 7-11’s (one located ever 10 meters apart) I feel as if I am back in Japan… Then next minute, I’m in a side street eating noodles on the footpath and supping bubble team and wonder if i’m back in China.
Ximen district 10am before the rush. A photo posted by Lachy (@officiallachyn) on
Alongside the food Taiwan shares many recreational, cultural and sporting commonalities between the two countries. Taipei is the perfect pop-culture middle ground if you like both Japan, and a big mix of Chinese culture.
3. Taipei is really really fun
After you’ve had your morning coffee, it’s time to choose your own adventure. Taipei has some incredible temples worth exploring, including some amazing architecture to be found spread across the city – all accessible by one of the best and easier metro systems to navigate in the world. If you want some city views it’s recommended you climb ‘Elephant Mountain’ (yes it’s actually called that!). If you’re into nature, hit up Yangmingshan National Park and also relax with the half-day Hot Springs tour to reset your body with some good natural steam.
CKS Memorial Hall A photo posted by Lachy (@officiallachyn) on
If you’re more into Art, then hit up the National Palace Museum with a fine collection of Chinese art and treasures. As dusk breaks, the night markets begin to start. Grab some food with friends at one of the many street markets in the city.
A photo posted by Lachy (@officiallachyn) on
Taipei after dark is another world. Head to the heart of karaoke in the city, check one of the many incredible expat bars or go up the Taipei 101 tower for incredible 350 degree views of the skyline.
Night rush in outer Johngijhen District A photo posted by Lachy (@officiallachyn) on
But most importantly, the people are the gem of Taipei. Sit down at any restaurant as a foreigner and within minutes you can meet a local and start openly talking about anything. The taiwanese people are just as friendly as Japanese, but less shy! I implore you to seek out and make friends with the locals – because they are the best part of this incredible city and country.
I’m heading back to Taipei next year – to stay up to date with this blog subscribe below!