Travel Guide for First Timers

If that you are planning a vacation in Taiwan in my ballet shoes, there are numerous areas worth visiting for making the most of one’s trip. While you will find multiple beautiful, historic areas, listed below are my personal favorites for Taipei travel. Please feel free to utilize this as a form of personal Taipei travel guide when planning your Taipei vacation.

Taipei 101

We start our Taipei tour at Taipei 101. This is usually a skyscraper perfectly found on the Xinyi District. In 2004, that it was listed because world’s tallest building at 1,671 feet. It held that title for 6 years before the Burj Khalifa in Dubai eclipsed Taipei 101 this season. The tower boasts 101 stories and features an outdoors observation deck for the 91st floor much like the Empire State Building in New York City to see beautiful views with the surrounding areas.

The bottom five floors of Taipei 101 have a luxury retail complex with upscale shops for example Burberry and Louis Vuitton. On the 88th floor indoor observatory, you can view the 730-ton mass damper, basically a huge ball that acts just like a pendulum to counteract the buildings sway during high winds. Without this damper, people on high floors can certainly suffer from motion sickness from your constant swaying with the building! Taipei 101 is usually a city icon that is certainly visible for miles along the city. Every New Year’s, Taipei 101 attracts 1000s of visitors to see its spectacular fireworks display.

Ximending Shopping

If you’re into shopping, you simply can’t go wrong with Ximending. This will be the shopping area inside Wanhua district of Taipei and is particularly considered being the fashion capital of Taiwan. On weekends, Ximending streets are closed to traffic and gets to be a pedestrian retail center. The area is favored by street performers coming from all types and, because it is usually a hotspot, you may catch celebrities hosting small outdoor concerts, album launches, along with other events.

Ximending is additionally famous due to the “Theater Street” where there is often a concentration of several movie along Wuchang Street. For history buffs, though, probably the most famous theater inside district could be the Red House Theater that was built in 1908 during Japanese occupation which is still an operational theater with regular performances.

Yangmingshan National Park

If beautiful sights are whatever you look forward to when travelling, then I can’t recommend Yangmingshan enough. It could be the largest natural park in Taipei. Yangmingshan is wonderful for hiking and possesses numerous trails that could last a whole day or maybe a couple of hours. Popular trails include Seven Stars Peak that could take you to your highest peak in Taipei at 1120 meters (3600 feet) or view the stunning waterfall with the Juansi Waterfall Trail.

Each February through March, Yangmingshan may be the site on the Yangmingshan Flower Festival when several kinds of flowers including azaleas, camellias, and particularly cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom. Every evening in the festival, cherry blossom trees are illuminated for the particularly romantic sight. Visitors may also have lunch and dinner at one of the many restaurants including The Top or Grass Mountain Chateau for spectacular vistas of Taipei below.

Between the beauty on the cherry blossoms and also the views with the city, Yangmingshan is usually a well-known romantic location for lovers around Taipei. From April to May, when calla lilies reach full bloom, you may pick your lily flowers for less than a few dollars at one of the flower farms.

Lastly, don’t forget Yangming Shuwu, often known as Yangming Villa, the gorgeous summer retreat in the late president Chiang Kai-shek. Yangming Villa house and gardens are maintained when they were when occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Chiang. The house is often a two-story traditional Chinese home, with reception rooms and offices around the first floor as well as the Chiang’s personal residence around the second floor where their paintings and photographs remain displayed. The gardens are specifically beautiful inside Spring if the flowers are usually in bloom. As a little trivia, this has been noted that several bushes are planted in bunches of five – to symbolize the “5-star” rank of General Chiang.

National Palace Museum

Next, we discover ourselves with the National Palace Museum which opened in 1965. If you love history, this will be the place for being! National Palace Museum features a humongous variety of 700,000 permanent exhibits of Chinese Imperial background and artwork that spans over 2000 years plus prehistoric Chinese artifacts and artwork that dates on the Neolithic era, or better known because “Stone Age”.

The most widely used item rolling around in its collection will be the Jadeite Cabbage. Carved over the 19th century, it is often a piece of jadeite that’s been shaped to resemble a head of Chinese cabbage and contains a locust as well as a grasshopper camouflaged in their leaves. Legend says the sculpture can be a metaphor for female fertility, while using white cabbage stalk representing purity, the green leaves on the cabbage representing fertility, as well as the insects representing children.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Another historically significant landmark on our trek to find out about the reputation Taiwan will be the Chiang Kia-shek Memorial Hall. This is usually a national monument that was built-in honor of former Republic of China President Chiang Kia-shek. The memorial marks the geographic and cultural center of Taipei. It is by far the most visited attraction by foreign tourists. The pagoda style memorial hall carries a presidential library and museum about the ground level.

The main hall carries a large, seated statue of Chiang Kai-shek, much such as the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial hall as well as its surrounding Liberty Square plaza encompasses 60 acres and includes many ponds and garden spaces. The plaza also houses a couple of Taipei’s performance art buildings, the National Theater along with the National Concert Hall.

Beitou Hot Springs and Public Library

My favorite spot to visit when it is in Taiwan is surely an area called Beitou. Beitou can be a mountainous district north of Taipei City and is also most known due to its hot springs as well as its magnificent public library. The mineral waters from your many natural geothermal vents in Beitou are famous because of their healing and therapeutic properties. An entire industry of hot springs bathhouses and hotels have sprouted in Beitou offering aroma therapy, massages, and hydrotherapy. There are a lot of places where tourists can soak their feet from the hot springs stream. Be sure to look at the Hot Springs Museum. When it absolutely was built in 1913, it had been the largest public bathhouse in Asia during that time. Today, the museum provides a glimpse at its bathhouse facilities and Beitou’s history.

Next, go to Beitou public library. Its wooden structure that suits seamlessly into its Beitou Park setting. Through use of eco-friendly features and design, the library is Taiwan’s first “green” building. The library opened in 2006 and was developed to reduce the use of water and electricity. To do this, architects used large windows to allowing in natural light and also a solar panel roof to supply the electricity required for operation. Also, the library collects rain water being stored and utilized to flush its toilets.

Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf

Our final stopping point is Tamsui. Tamsui is located around the western tip of Taipei and well known place was the Fisherman’s Wharf. We found that not only do the restaurants that dot the Fisherman’s Wharf boardwalk give you the freshest seafood available, additionally, it provides breathtaking sunset views. Fisherman’s Wharf still functions as being a harbor for local fishermen and so they proudly provide harbor for 150 vessels! Our favorite walk is along the “Lover’s Bridge” pedestrian bridge, named so because it opened on Valentine’s Day 2003.

Its architecture resembles a sailing ship’s masts. It was in regards to 3-minute walk through the bridge, which at sunset is magnificent. Lover’s Bridge can also be a great spot to catch the yearly fireworks show and concert the city hosts each and every year to celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day (which happens in August and never February 14th). Another solution to experience Tamsui would be to take a ferry from your Tamsui Ferry Pier and disembark with the Fisherman’s Wharf. The ferry is usually a cheap solution to see terrific views on the Tamsui waterfront. A one-way fare costs only $2 USD and takes just about 15 minutes.