Taipei might just be one of the most underrated cities to visit. It doesn’t matter whether you are a foodie, a shopper, or if you simply enjoy marvelling at the wonders of nature – Taipei will have you covered.
So many street snacks to love, so many night markets to roam at, so many more karaoke sessions that we need, so many cultural centres to visit. Taipei is one destination in Asia you must visit.
Here are 25 Reasons To Love Taipei.
#1 THE CITYSCAPE AND ITS ORGANISED MESS
You’ve longed to see iconic skylines in cities like Paris and New York, but Taiwan’s scenic cityscape also holds its own charm. Signboards are everywhere, mostly with Chinese characters that we can’t read – but this mess is precisely what we appreciate.
#2 TAIWAN MILK TEA
Taiwan is home to many good milk teas. They come in bottles of all sizes and patterns, and can be easily found at all the convenience stores. Just pick one up at random and chances are it won’t disappoint.
#3 STEAMED DUMPLINGS
Taiwan might not be the origin of dumplings, but you will be able to find tons of these all over the streets. A plate of piping hot steamed dumplings are what we yearn for the most when we visit in the cold December.
#4 THE EFFICIENT METRO SYSTEM
Getting around the country is easy, especially when their metro system is clean, organised and very efficient. And inexpensive, of course.
#5 THE SHEER NUMBER OF NIGHT MARKETS
This goes without saying. Taiwan’s sheer number of night markets means every night will be occupied and fulfilling. We love roaming these markets and hunting for the best street hawkers and snack stalls.
#6 DIN TAI FUNG
Taiwan is, after all, the birthplace of the world-famous Din Tai Fung. Take things up a notch by visiting the brand’s very first outlet in Xinyi road.
#7 THE ARRAY OF CONVENIENCE STORES AT THE READY
Sounds silly, but if you’ve stepped in to one at Taiwan, you would realize how much it eases your life! Apart from the usual routines like picking up a snack or a drink, you can pay your utility bills, buy movie tickets, use the ATM, have your blood pressure measured, print documents and so much more – all within one convenience store.
Read more about the 12 Things That Make Taiwanese Convenience Stores So Awesome.
#8 YONG KANG STREET – A DINING DESTINATION IN TAIPEI
Yong Kang Street is a dining destination in Taipei. Whether its cheap and delicious Taiwanese snacks like ‘cong zhua bing’, shaved ice mountain or beef noodles; nice and chic cafes where you can get a cup of good coffee and desserts; or niche boutiques selling lifestyle products – there are plenty of options at Yong Kang Street. You can easily spend a day wandering in the alleys.
#9 TAIPEI 101 TOWER
When in Taipei, the Taipei 101 Tower is a must-see. The magnificent giant houses offices and many retail shops. Going up the tower will allow you to get an aerial view of the entire city too.
#10 CHIA TE’S SUNCAKCES AND PINEAPPLE TARTS
Chia Te makes some of the best Taiwanese pastries, and the queues outside their stores – comprising both locals and tourists – is proof of that statement.
#11 THE BEAUTIFUL STREETS OF JIUFEN
Jiufen retains an old-world charm; think bright red lanterns and cobbled pavement. The narrow, snaking streets are made up of souvenir and snack stalls. Jiufen is also a popular filming spot for Taiwanese TV programmes!
Read about the 7 Must-try Local Food at Taiwan’s Jiufen Old Street.
#12 PETS ARE PART OF BOUTIQUES
It is not every day that you get to play with Toy Poodles while shopping for your clothes in a local boutique. Taiwanese sure love their pets and they bring them along to work!
This is the other Yongkang Street you never knew about.
Primarily a residential area, Fujin Street is an upcoming area in Taipei that is littered with coffee shops and lifestyle boutiques. It is still pretty untouched by tourism, and the quaintness is exactly what we appreciate.
For us, no trip to Taipei s complete without visiting the renown tea salon. They serve some of the best scones we’ve ever tasted, along with a myriad of fragrant tea flavours to choose from.
Ximending is probably the most bustling area in Taipei. This is where youngsters head to for some shopping fix and food. While the retail aspect is pretty acquired, we love Ximending for its food options.
Alpaca Cafe is real, and Oia Cafe is where you need to be at.
Oia Cafe is home to a few alpacas and they roam around freely in the cafe. Play with these adorable white creatures and feed them with carrots or food that are approved by the cafe’s owner—this is also the best way to get the alpacas to take a selfie with you.
#17 THE ENDLESS STREET FOOD
Fried squid, fried XXL chicken, sweet potato balls, taro chips, Taiwanese hot dogs, pork buns, milk tea, bittergourd juice… and the list goes on and on. Taipei is not for those who are on slimming diets.
And we say just eat to your heart’s content. The myriad of street food options is simply mind-boggling!
Addiction Aquatic Development is a massive space that houses fresh seafood and aquamarine products, a large Japanese-style supermarket, and many themed restaurants and food kiosks under one roof.
It stands head and shoulders above other famous seafood markets in the world such as Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, Seoul’s Noryangjin Fish Market, Sydney’s Fish Market, and Perth’s Fremantle Market.
#19 KARAOKE SESSIONS
Because karaoke sessions are the best in Taipei. Holding personal concerts are what we do best, especially when the karaoke systems and rooms in Taipei are so impressive.
The song list is unbeatable too, for after all, Taipei is home to Mando-pop.
Yes, it is touristy. And yes, there are better mee sua in Taipei. But you know what? We still go to Ay-Chung Mee Sua every time we are in Taipei. It always hits the spot.
#21 THE PHOTOGENIC CITY STREETS
Let’s face it—Taipei has clean streets and you like your nice OOTD shots taken against the iconic background of motorcycles and yellow taxis, yes?
#22 DUNHUA SHOPPING AREA
This district in Taipei is home to a huge amount of stores selling new-age clothing. It is where the shoppers should know about.
#23 THE NEVER-ENDING AMOUNT OF SHOE STORES
Taiwanese seem to be really into the sports-luxe trend. Bagging home a pair of sneakers or two is easy peasy with the sheer number of options availabile—New Balance, Nike, Adidas, Ked’s and more.
#24 SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL
It is almost like a ritual for all first-timers to Taipei—a visit to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, who was the National Father to The Republic of China. It is a multi-purpose centre to learn more about Dr Sun’s contribution and his life.
The main entrance to the hall also contains a statue of Dr Sun Yat-sen. The renown guards-changing ceremony takes place hourly at the memorial hall’s entrance too.
#25 TRAIN RIDES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
You can take train rides to get from the city to more rural areas like Hualien. The trains are very comfortable, making the ride so much more painless. The trains will go past forests and mountains and rivers, and we love admiring those scenic landscapes along the way.
FOR MORE RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHERE TO GO, READ OUR TAIPEI’S FOOD AND TRAVEL GUIDES.