For mandrin-speakers, Taiwan is a good place to get a short getaway without much of a language barrier. Finding the perfect weather for people who like neither warm nor cold? Taiwan is the answer. Most people would prefer visiting Taipei because it has the right balance between city-life and nature.
Getting to Taipei
There are many airline brands offering flights to Taipei’s Taoyuan Airport. But if you prefer to travel in comfort in the air, we recommend Singapore Airlines.
With ongoing promotions, fly to Taipei from a reasonable price of S$448 only! Check out the best prices for Singapore Airlines here.
Hotel to Stay in
Located near Shilin Market, Dandy Hotel offers clean and neat rooms at affordable prices. Check out this hotel here.
Drop by Shilin Market a short walk away to get some late-night supper!!
Getting Around Taiwan
Taiwan’s public transport is rather efficient and cheap. Although you can buy your tickets at any train station before any journey, it would be more convenient to get an EasyLink. The EasyLink is a stored-value card that allows you to use the trains and buses hassle-free. Purchase your EasyLink at any train station or convenience store such as 7/11.
Another option is getting a taxi. Taxis in Taiwan are affordable and is probably a better travel option if you have a lot of barang barang(bags) with you.
Wifi Router Rental
Although there are some places in Taiwan that offer free wifi services, it is always good to have wi-fi on the go. Especially if you are using public transport to travel, you may need the Internet to lead you to your destination.
You can purchase your Wi-fi router here and pick it up at Taoyuan Airport.
Day 1: Shopping & good food
Ximending is ‘the’ hottest shopping district in Taipei. From shopping to delectable goodies, there is almost nothing you can’t find in Ximending.
If you are looking for a fun twist to your trip, consider visiting some of the many themed-cafes that are near Ximending. Check out the interesting themed-cafes here.
Ever eaten from a toilet bowl? We definitely do not recommend you to bring your face anywhere near an ordinary toilet.
But at this special Modern Toilet Restaurant, please do lick up all the goodness from the toilet bowls.
Opening Hours(Modern Toilet Restaurant): 11.30 am to 9 pm daily
Address(Modern Toilet Restaurant): 2f, No. 7號, Lane 50, Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Yong He Dou Jiang
Eat like locals at Yong He Dou Jiang where they sell traditional Taiwanese breakfast. But you need to start queueing early as the soy beancurd usually sells out at around 11 am. Yes, it’s THAT popular.
You can just choose a market or two to visit, and in a blink of an eye, the sky will turn dark.
Shilin Night Market
Arguably the most popular night market amongst tourists, the Shilin Night market is a must-go place.
Although it is filled to the bream with tourists, the good buys and mouth-watering delicacies will make the hustle all worth it.
Opening Hours: around 6 pm to 12 am (varies from stall to stall)
Raohe Night Market
Almost as big as Shilin, Raohe is another market where you can explore.
Opening Hours: 4 pm to 12 am, daily
A less crowded option, you can visit Ningxia if you are not fond of crowds.
Albeit its smaller size, you will still be able to find your go-to favourites here.
Opening Hours: 5 pm to 1 am, daily
Yong Kang Street
If you want to dine properly in some quality restaurants, you can try Yong Kang Street. One of the ‘must-trys’ is the original Ding Tai Fung.
Famous for their Xiao Long Bao (dumplings with soup in them), be ready to queue for quite some time.
However, the time spent waiting will definitely be worth it!
Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm
Must-try foods at night markets
- Stinky Tofu
Smell like something gone terribly bad when walking in the night market? That’s probably Stinky Tofu.
It is said that the taste is 100 times better than the smell. So if you are adventurous, brave the smell and Stinky Tofu may very well become one of your favourites.
- Flame Grilled Beef Cubes
Having some good beef at a night market may sound ridiculous, but it is the case in Taiwan!
Try the beef cubes that will tantalise your taste buds and get you going back for more!
- Suckling Pork Wraps
Pork wraps with some sweet sauce and chilli can never go wrong!
- Leek buns
Some savoury pastry to fill your stomach quick is always welcomed!
Steamed or fried, you will surely be hunting these buns down once you try it.
- Pepper Pork Buns
Worried about the calories? Then try these delicious black pepper buns that are oven-baked.
- QQ Sweet Potato Balls
Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. These light and airy sweet potato balls are a great snack to munch on!
- Chicken cutlet
ASMR videos getting you craving for some good crunchy chicken? Customise your ginormous chicken cutlets with your preferred flavouring.
Day 2: Exploring Taipei’s tourist attractions
To start off your day, you can visit one of the most popular temples in Taipei, Longshan Temple.
Admire the traditional architecture of the temple that is no longer common in modern temples.
Opening Hours: 6 am to 10 pm, daily
Bopiliao Walking Street
A less crowded place, you will be able to get some breather here.
Take your time to appreciate the Taisho (colonial Japanese) era structures.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm, daily
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
To learn a little about Taiwan’s father, Chiang Kai Shek, head to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.
You can also take some majestic pictures at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.
Do you know that the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall used to be the icon of Taiwan before Taipei 101 was built?
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm, daily
Jinfeng Braised Pork Rice
After half a day of walking, fill your stomachs at the famous Jinfeng Braised Pork Rice.
Pork cooked to perfection that it melts in your mouth coupled with some plump white rice, prepare for the waterworks in your mouth.
Opening Hours: 8 am to 1 am, daily
One of the world’s tallest buildings, the jaw-dropping building will leave you speechless. Be awed by the unique structure that is inspired by Chinese pagodas.
Let your creativity go wild! What do you see? Some say it resembles a stack of Chinese takeaway boxes!
Enjoy a 360-degree birdseye view of Taipei from the viewing platform. To skip the ticketing queue, we recommend purchasing your ticket online here.
To get to the viewing platform you still have to queue for quite some time, approximately more than 1 hour. So if you prefer to skip both queues, you can purchase your express ticket here.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 10 pm, daily
Highest Starbucks in the World
If you are a fan of Starbucks, then you may want to give this place a shot. Having Starbucks so high up is definitely a different experience.
However, due to its popularity, you need to make a reservation at least a day in advance @ +886 2 8101 0701.
Opening Hours: 7.30 am to 8 pm, daily
Trekking up the Elephant Hill for some scenic shots may be one of the best decisions to make.
Just a short 20-minute walk, you will be able to see Taipei from a different point of view that will take your breath away.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 9.30 pm, daily
Day 3: Explore the ‘hipper’ side of Taipei
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
This ‘hipster’ side of Taipei is less talked about amongst tourists albeit its beauty. Huashan 1914 Creative Park is popular for its arts scene, showcasing Taiwan’s young talents.
If you are into the arts, this place may be the perfect place for you to unwind. Walk around and enjoy the exhibits by young Taiwan talents, or drop by any cafe to have a drink and pastries. Come on the weekends if you are keen on seeing the different art displays.
One of the cafes, Fujin Tree Landmark Cafe is well-known for its Instagram-worthy brick wall.
Their coffee has also won the World Barista Championship in 2016, so get your coffee needs fixed here! Don’t miss out on the cakes which are also highly recommended.
Moist and airy, their cakes are definitely a must-try!
Opening Hours: 11 am to 9 pm, daily
Do some quirky cafe-hopping while exploring and supporting the local arts scene. Before you know it, the sky will start to darken.
Address (Huashan 1914 Creative Park): No. 1, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Koo Chen Fu National Library
Located inside the National Taiwan University, the Koo Chen Fu National Library is specially designed by Japanese architect, Toyo Ito.
The reading room is interestingly decorated with white columns to mimick a minimalistic forest. If you are heading here on Sundays, bear in mind they close early at around 5 pm.
Opening Hours: 8.20 am to 10 pm
Day 4: Exploring Shifen
Take a train down to Shifen for a more laidback experience in Taiwan. In Shifen you can enjoy life at a slower pace, a big difference from Taipei’s ‘quick-quick-quick’ culture.
Shifen Old Street
Just across the train station, you are already in the Old Street.
Enjoy some delicacies like beef noodles or Xiao Long Bao to fill your bellies, buy some souvenirs and of course, take photos! When there are no trains on the track, you may enter and take some photos.
Do take note that when you hear the bell, you need to get off the tracks because the trains are approaching!
Head down to any store along the street selling lanterns and purchase one to write your wishes.
It is believed that when you fly your lantern, the wishes on the lantern will come true. Although you may choose your lanterns based on its aesthetics, the colour of the lanterns also symbolise something.
So choose your colours well to multiply the chances of your wishes coming true!
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Also known as ‘Little Niagara’, admire the majestic waterfall that has the shape of a horseshoe.
Although there are electric scooter services to Shifen Waterfall from Shifen Old Street, we recommend walking instead.
The scenery along the way is worth taking your time to appreciate. Moreover, the walk is a good way to burn the calories that you have accumulated this holiday. After crossing 2 bridges and climbing some stairs, you will arrive at the observation deck.
There are multiple observation decks, so do explore and find your favourite spot to awe at the magnificent sight.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5.30 pm, daily