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6 things you must do in Taipei
Taiwan is the jewel of Asia that is often skipped by many. Its enchanting capital Taipei is like the whole country in a miniature size. You find amazing nature, friendly people, great living standards and so many things to do. It is a good idea to have your base in Taipei as you can easily explore the city and surrounding areas. If you want to make the most of your time in Taipei and get a great overall impression of the city you definitely want to check out these amazing must-do’s.
Visit Taipei 101
Taipei 101 is the symbol of Taipei and it can be seen in most pictures of Taipei. This iconic skyscraper is 508 meters high and it actually used to be the highest building in the world from its opening in 2004 until 2010. You can visit its indoor observation deck or just admire it outside. A picture is a must!
Taipei 101 is the symbol of the city. Photo by Remi Yuan / CC BY
In the heart of the city is Elephant mountain, a great place to see the skyline of the city. Getting up requires a small hike along stairs so take a bottle of water with you. The view is beautiful both day and night time, so it’s good idea to get there around 5 PM to be able to enjoy both views. Another option nearby is Yangmingshan national park, located only about 45 minutes away from Taipei City, offering magnificent scenery and hikes of different durations and levels.
Beitou is the northernmost district of Taipei city and it is famous for being geothermal area. Visit Thermal valley, a hot spring that is one of the sources of the hot creek running through the area. Beitou Hot Spring Park has outdoor pools open for public and you can bath and relax in 38-42 degree water coming from Thermal valley.
You might also be interested in: 5 Interesting Facts About Taiwan You Might Not Know
Explore the city
One of the best things to do is just stroll around the streets as Taipei is definitely a pedestrian-friendly city. The city has also an amazing public bicycle system called Youbike. Area of Ximending is car-free and often called as Harajuku of Taipei according to similar area in Tokyo, Japan. Here you will find neon lights, shops, restaurants and movie theaters. Shida is cool neighborhood that is popular among students. Here you can find nice yet inexpensive bargains. Something you can’t avoid no matter your location is the smell of stinky tofu. You’ve been warned.
Eat like there’s no tomorrow
A trip to Taipei is not completed without visiting a night market. The city has many to choose from. The biggest ones with wide selection of treats and a lot to explore are Shilin night market and Raohe night market. Food is cheap and tasty. Try dumplings, deep fried mushrooms or stinky tofu fries. Wash your food down with one of the prides of Taiwan, bubble tea. It’s not hard to find delicious food outside night markets either. Teppanyaki, hot pot and Din Tai Fung’s world-famous dumplings are totally worth trying!
The public transport system in Taipei is amazing and extensive, reaching almost every corner of the city. Day trips outside of the city are simple and convenient. Visit Thousand Island Lake for an amazing view of lakes, tea field terraces, and mountains. Old Street and the waterfall in Shifen are great places to combine and spend a day. If you’re an early bird and limited on time, it’s also possible to visit the magnificent Taroko national park in Hualien in one day!
Studying in Taipei as an exchange student gives you plenty of time to do all these and so much more!
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This article was written by our destination intern, Noora!