There are many locations in Taiwan that allow you to both enjoy the island’s beauty while also learning about its culture.
From the huge retail outlets (like the Eslite Bookstore in Taipei) to the fun and kooky theme restaurants (our favorite: the Modern Toilet restaurant), Taiwan offers plenty of attractions.
Here are our top picks.
1. Taroko National Park
If you have enough time and an adventurous attitude, check out the Taroko National Park. Explore the park while staying in a nearby hostel or hotel. The name “Taroko” means “beautiful,” and this park lives up to its name.
Take a high-speed tour of the park in this video:
2. Taipei 101
For an aerial view of Taipei, head to the Taipei 101. This 101-storey skyscraper was the tallest in the world for a moment in time (2004-2010 to be exact.)
The building is one of the modern engineering marvels of the world. An inner pendulum stabilizes the giant structure, preventing damage from strong winds or earthquakes.
Take the elevator to the 89th floor and enjoy the view from the Indoor Observatory. Hike up a few more flights of stairs to the outdoor Observatory and restaurant.
Find more news and information about the Taipei 101 at here.
3. Ferris wheel at the Miramar Mall
If you’re in the mood for a more down-to-earth experience (or fewer tourists), try the Ferris wheel at the Miramar Mall. The ride is cheap and accessible, and offers a view over Taipei.
4. Tea Houses at MaoKong
The tea houses at MaoKong are a great way to get a good view of Taipei while immersing yourself in Taiwanese culture.
Order your tea (or food) from the hosts, then enjoy the show. The hosts will serve your in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Don’t fret if your hosts don’t speak English well. The menu is usually available in English, even in the more obscure tea houses.
To scale this mountain of tea plantations, visitors have two options: gondola or bus. To take the gondola (or “sky-car”), depart from the Taipei Zoo MRT stop, then enjoy the ride along a system of cables right up to the top. The gondolas close for bad weather. (Check the schedule here.) The buses run less frequently late at night.
Can’t wait to see a tea ceremony? Check one out here:
5. Taipei Zoo
The Taipei Zoo is a another must-see. Visitors with children will appreciate the zoo’s many interesting exhibits and animals. The zoo recently acquired two giant pandas from the People’s Republic of China.
Find more zoo info here.
6. DanShui Waterfront
The DanShui Waterfront features an impressive white bridge and boardwalk. Tourists can spend hours eating, shopping and playing games at the night market. When dusk approaches, the bridge is lined with strolling couples and tourists taking pictures of the gorgeous sunset.
The DanShui Waterfront is easily accessible via MRT. Take the DanShui MRT line all the way to the end, about 40 minutes from Taipei Main Station.