A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
So last week, I introduced you to a little bit of why I went to visit Taiwan.
And this is why I did so:
Taiwan is all in the news at the moment, so visit sooner rather than later, before it gets all complicated!
ANY IDEAS OF WHAT I SHOULD DO WHEN I GET TO TAIWAN?
I only went for five (5) days and based myself in Taipei, so this was a sloooooow cultural solo trip.
Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include:
There really is plenty to do, and I wrote 16 brilliant reasons all about it!
WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?
Taipei is easy to navigate.
Taxis are cheap and so is public transport.
The trains were easy to navigate and use, and were cheap, costing just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey!
The trains weren’t crammed or packed, and the floors were clean. I used my finger, and checked lol! There were plants and mobile-phone chargers everywhere, and even boxes for you to take a free umbrella!
If that isn’t service, I really don’t know what is!
There are underground trains, mainline trains, high-speed rail, and bus lines connect Taipei with other parts of the Taiwanese island!
One of the biggest pulls to Taiwan is the food that you can find there at Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites), at the many department stores, kerbside restaurants, hawker carts, bubble tea stalls, and the famous daytime and night markets, so here we go.
Located near the Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street Night Market is the most well-known international tourist night markets in Taipei, and has been in business for more than 60 years! Traders sell Chinese herbal food, crafts, commodities, gourmet snacks, Chinese herbal cuisine cooked with snake and other exotic meat, foot massage shops, spas, and seafood!
Specialities include such delights as fish head soup, and deep-fried squid, with a variety of sauces such as spicy pepper and mind-blowing wasabi!
And now for something completely different…chewy balls of tapioca bubble tea at the street market. A boon for me as bubble tea is actually banned in Germany!
Nearest station: Longshan Temple
Opening Times : 16:00-24:00
The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, and just across the street from my amba Taipei Songshan hotel! It’s also quite traditional, packed with snacks, quaint shops and stalls, and carnival games with prizes, and is considered to be the largest garment wholesale market place in Taiwan!
In order to get there, I found myself getting lost among the maze and alleys full of racks of clothing, and discounted fashion shops at the Wufenpu Fashion Area!
Nearest station: Songshan
Opening Times : 17:00-24:00
The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan! It was built in 1899 and is famous for great food!
The Shilin Night Market is famous for local Taiwanese cuisine, and spills out into several bustling streets with more than 500 stores and vendors! The night market is divided into two parts. One part is in the Shilin Market building with a food court on the underground floor. The second part centers on the Yangming Cinema and the Cicheng Temple, and consists of a cluster of shops and stores popular with Taiwanese students and young people.
Not to be outdone – Taiwanese Afters and desserts!
Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu!!
Nearest station: Shilin, but get out at Jiantan train station instead!
Opening Times : 17:00-24:00
I went to a local restaurant late one night and had a hotpot of noodles, beef, and tofu. I went with two Americans and we didn’t really know what to do with all the stuff, so I asked two visitors from Malaysia!
You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!
German imported Blue Girl beer!
I wasn’t feeling at all well when I arrived in Taiwan, so I started my day at the amba Taipei Ximending with fresh organic food, a salad, and some chips, to make me feel at home! All the nore to get that boutique feeling which you can do, if you book your hotel here!
I really liked Taipei.
It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks really modern. It’s not as cheap as South East Asian (SEA) countries, but is certainly reasonably priced.
If you’re looking for the next best East Asian city that’s safe, quiet, and away from the tourist throngs, you’ve found it.
WOULD I COME AGAIN?
Because Taiwan has the feel of being Chinese, but itsn’t!
Let’s do it!
This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the steaming hotpots that I plunged into, are my very own!
Next week I’ll be writing about Christmas, and then returning to the Philippines later!
In January, I’ll be going to Holland.
The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017
Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th – 20th January, 2017.
At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.
Save the Date!
December is going to be sharp!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
I love food Markets and one of my favourites is Borough Market in London. I also visited some in Bangkok and Chiang Mai that were amazing. Asian food is just so delicious you can’t really go wrong. Looks like you have packed a lot of exciting things on your 5 days visit to Taiwan? I have enjoyed all your posts, thank you😄
Thanks so much Gilda! Farmers markets are so much “in” right now, but I’m not complaining lol! Borough Market in Southward is one of the best, as is Convent Garden and Camden Town. And yes, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are right up there! In fact, while we were in Thailand a few years ago, we went to a cookery school too! 😀
p.s. I really had a marvellous time and didn’t even do as much as I wanted as I was slightly unwell, but I’m quite happy with what I achieved. 🙂
I loved Taipei! Everything was so clean and organised and the metro was amazing, better than the Tube any day! We stayed with an amazing couchsurfing host in Taipei and ate delicious shaved ice at Shillin market. Oh, and how nice are the Taiwanese people?!
Thanks so much Amy!Taipei was amazing! I was positively shocked! And the locals were just so friendly. I had read about that from Asian bloggers in Singapore! And they were so right! 😀
I was exploring Seoul with my Korean roommate who showed me amazing food stands across the city. The ice-cream and cookies looked so cute. They featured this sad teddy bear LOL 🙂 EPIC ! ! !
Thanks so much Agness! I can’t wait to visit Korea some day too. And yep! The ice-cream and biscuits are amazing. We even had one made out of wasabi!!!! I tried it and it was really, really spicy lol!
p.s. But why a sad teddy bear :D!
Taiwan is awesome, isn’t it? Haven’t been there since 2009 but great memories. The food is amazing, isn’t it? Fan of hotpots now? From all the photos looks like you had fun and made the most of your five days. And you even found a Blue Girl woo-hoo cheers
Thanks so much Derek! Taiwan certainly is! I really liked it and I’m awfully surprised that most people don’t seem to visit. I mean, it’s nicer than China and cheaper than Japan, so a win-win in my book!
p.s. I loooove hotpots. In fact, the first hotpot I ever had was in Hong-Kong. I was on my GAP year after university, travelling through Asia, and I had never even used chop-sticks before, not to talk of having a hotpot. I followed all these local business people who went on the top floor of a shopping arcade. The place looked nice even though the menu was all in Chinese, so I just looked at what everyone else was eating and pointed at them. You should have seen my surprise when they brought a stove, a plate of raw meat, and left me to it!
At the time I hadn’t a clue of what to do, but I coped. Eventually…!! 😀
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The string of red balls in your pic is 糖葫蘆 (literally sugar gourd)! strawberries or tomatoes covered with sugar, very common dessert in Taiwan
And yeah, I have to admit that Taiwanese LOVE to eat and we really have the best food and bubble tea in the world lol
Thanks for your nice introductions! welcome to visit us again 🙂
Thanks so much for letting me know Jessica!
I had a wonderful time in Taiwan, and really enjoyed my visit. I very much look forward to travelling to Taiwan in the future again. I have a feeling that my German husband would love it! 😀
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