I am from a city called Kaohsiung which is in the south of Taiwan. Kaohsiung is a truly amazing city – delicious food , friendly people and nice weather most of the time. In my 18, I left my beloved hometown to study and started a new chapter here in Taipei – the capital city of Taiwan.
Until now, I have lived here more than 7 years. So let me take a chance to introduce this beautiful city.
TAIPEI ,台北, 타이베이
How to come here?
There are 2 International airports in Taiwan- Taoyuan and Kaohsiung. Taoyuan International Airport is the biggest one, and also closer to Taipei.
From the Airport
Bus is the easiest way to travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei – fast and cheap. Buses stop at servals places in the city, such as city hall, ZhongXiao Fusing Station….. A one-way ticket is around 145 NTD( 4~5 USD), depending on different routes. And the time from airport to the city is about 1-1.5 hr. For me, it’s the most convenience way since there is a bus stop right in front of my place. lol
Or you can take High Speed Railway(HSR) from Taoyuan to Taipei, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. From the airport to the HSR station is 15-20mins by shuttle bus ( 30 NTD), and from Taoyuan to Taipei by HSR is 20 mins.( 160-170NTD). However, you still need to check the HSR train schedule. Sometimes, it takes more than 30 mins for the next train to come.Except that, Taipei main station is like a maze. I always got lost in my first 2 years in Taipei. lol.
Taxi from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei directly is around 800-1400 NTD (33-47 USD).And the whole trip is about 40 mins.
Well.. there will be a Airport subway in 2017. It might be another choice for traveller.
in the city
Taipei Metro (MRT) for sure! An easy card will be the first thing to buy here in Taipei. Ticket price is around 20NTD-65NTD , depending on the distance and stops.
MRT operates from 6am to the midnight. The last train departs around 12 or 1am. There are 5 main lines so far. Those have covered most area in Taipei and some places in New Taipei city. Something needed to notice is that eating and drinking (even water) are not allowed in the paid area. Don’t ever try to do that in Taipei MRT!
Bus is also a good way to travel here. Since some bus stops are only written in chinese, it might be kinda complicated for foreigners.
What to see?
Taipei 101 and Xinyi Dist.
If you want to have the best view of 101, I recommend two places to go- Elephant mountain and Good Chu’s.
It takes around 20 mins for hiking to the top of elephant mountain. You can have the best view of 101 there. Sometimes, we will grab some snacks and beers from 7-11 to drink and eat at the top with this amazing night view. Good Chu’s is around Taipei world trade center, which is very close to Taipei 101. It was a old village, and now the government has turned it into an art area. On weekends, there may have a 2nd-hand market with some interesting stuffs.
The best place for night life is also around Taipei 101 as well. This area is called Xinyi Dist- the most prosperous and bustling places. MRT stops here are the city hall station or Taipei 101 station. Since there are departments stores around, it is also the place to go shopping and luxury restaurants. For clubbing, ATT4fun is where I recommend .In this buildings, there are serval clubs and bars on different floors.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall MRT station)
Xi Men Ding + Long Shan Temple
(MRT: Ximending station+Long Shan Temple station)
What to eat?
1. Fruit Beer
Okay, the first thing you need to try is fruit beer. All my foreigner friends love it! You can buy it from 7-11, family mart… There are pineapple, grape, banana, honey, ….different kinda of beer. Well.. some people thing fruit beer is to girlish. Then take a chance on Taiwan Beer , but i only recommend the one with “18 days” logo. lol
2.Night Market and street food.
Street food and night market are really common in Taiwan. It’s not that special to me, but still some typical food you should try when traveling here.
- Fried Chicken steak- fried chicken with insane size. They marinate chicken breast with special source, dredged in flour and then deep fried for few minutes. After these procedure, the chicken will be seasoned with pepper or the spicy one to bring out more flavour. Well,.. for me it’s too heavy and big.I haven’t tried this for more than 5 years. But the meat is juicy and with strong flavour.The most famous shop for fried chicken steak is called Hot Star. The size is around 30 cm, which already bigger than my friend’s cute face. 😛
- Wheel Pies- It’s one of my favourite dessert here. It’s like 今川焼きin Japan and also kinda like 붕어빵 in Korea but a round shape. The crust of the pie is made by flour, eggs and sugar. And there are many different choice for the filling. The typical ones are red beans, and cream. Taro, peanuts, and ice cream one are also really common.To decide”red beans” or “cream”, it’s one of the most difficult choice to made! For me, the best wheel pies is called 晴光紅豆餅. You can find the shop in GongGuan nite market or the market nearby ZhongXiao Fuxing Station.
- Rao He night market (MRT : SongShan Station) –Among all the night markets, i will suggest Rao He for sure. The price is quite fair, not so many people like ShiLin and it is really close to the city center. Well..just take a look at those pictures, and you will understand why.
3. Cheap dumpling place in the basement – 頂好紫琳蒸餃館 Zi Lin steamed dumplings.
It is my first choice when having meal with friends. This place is kinda hard to find. You have to take the escalator down in an old and local department store, and then you will see many people there waiting in line. The steamed dumpling with pork is my favorite dish there. And the beef noodles, fried dumplings are also highly recommended.
This restaurant is in the shopping place- Dong Qu (the east dist.) , but the price is really cheap and reasonable.
Address: No. 87, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Daan Dist | B1, Taipei, Taiwan
My final note..
Well,… every time friends visit here, i have to come up some plans for them. That’s why i thought it might be a good idea to write down all i like and recommend in this city. However, there are too many to introduce.And I am also discovering Taipei…
Anyway, I will try my best to write another post about Taipei soon. Hope so!