Woaw! Woaw … what temperature, woaw … what humidity, woaw … what prices, woaw … what a city. Taipei surprised me from the beginning and in the good way. The change in relation to Japan was big. First, the temperature, coming from a country with fresh nights to one who received me at 27 degrees at ten in the evening with a suffocating humidity. The second was the prices, the same products but to a third or a quarter of the price of Japan. And finally, a chaotic city in terms of traffic, whose main feature are motorcycles. Motorbikes everywhere. Motorcycles on the road, motorcycles on the sidewalks.
The change was big, but I liked it. My hostel was in the middle of a busy area, Xaoming, where there were many shops and food stalls on the street. I liked the atmosphere, I liked the change. I was very happy and I stayed almost a week ahead to enjoy the city.
Taipei is a city that is still not very touristy for Westerners, in fact it was not easy to meet non-Asian people, which makes it even more special.
Certainly Taipei has many places to visit and these were some of the ones I can recommend:
– Ximending. It was the area where my hostel was. It is an area full of shops and street food stalls.
– Longshan Temple. It is necessary to visit it during the day and night, and to be honest, at night is spectacular.
– Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Definitely one of the main attractions of Taipei. It is a building dedicated to the memory of the Ex-President of the Republic of China. The Theater and the National Concert Hall are located at both sides of the building.
– National Revolutionary Martyrs’Shrine. This sanctuary is a tribute to the almost four hundred thousand people dead in the different wars of the Republic of China. The most important thing is not to miss the change of guard.
– Shilin Night Market: One of the largest night markets in the city. It is a good opportunity to eat street food at a good price. I still remember those fried calamari I ate. Delicious! In addition to food there are also clothing stands and other objects.
– Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan). Perfect spot to watch the sunset and see the extension of Taipei from above observing how Taipei 101 tower stands out from the rest of the city. For this it was necessary to climb their sloping stairs for about 20-30 minutes. I think I have not sweated so much in my life.
– Taipei 101. The most famous tower in Taipei, with 101 floors. It is the tallest building in Taiwan and one of the highest in the world. Another great opportunity to see Taiwan from above. The good thing is that you do not have to climb stairs, the bad thing is that you have to pay the entrance fee for an elevator which take you to the 89th floor in only 29 seconds.
– Gay Pride Parade: On my last day before I left, the Gay Pride Day was celebrated, so I decided to come there. Although the parade itself had nothing special, I was surprised by the big number of people who was participating.
– Bopilao Ancient Street: It is one the most traditional neighbourhoods in Taipei, which has been renovated to maintain its history.
– Hsing Tian Kong
– Taipei Confucius Temple
– Office of the President Building
– Kuantu Temple
After a week in Taipei and thinking to return to explore the rest of Taiwan, it was time to take the plane again to go to the Philippines, specifically to Manila.