Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan. Many people confuse Taiwan with China. This is because, since 1949, two Chinas have existed. Mainland China, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, the Republic of China. Taipei is one of the wealthiest cities in Asia. Their contribution to the development of electronics has contributed significantly to their wealth. When people talk of Taipei, they think of Taipei 101 and the night markets. However, there is much more to explore. Here are some reasons you should consider visiting Taipei
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1. It boasts of some great architecture
Taipei has some significant historical and modern buildings. Tourists can spend a great deal of time just touring buildings. Here are some common ones to consider.
a. Taipei 101
The Taipei 101 is one of the main tourist attractions. It was once the tallest building in the world. It has 101 floors, excluding those underground. It has a pressure controlled elevator that moves at a speed of 1010m per minute. It also has a 720-ton stabilizer ball hanging at its center that prevents it from falling during earthquakes. It is truly an architectural marvel
b. Grand Hotel
This famous hotel has played host to many dignitaries and celebrities. Its design gives it a historic feel. You may come here to take photos and drink tea even if you don’t stay at the hotel
c. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Dr. Yat-Sen was the first president of Taiwan. This memorial hall is a beautiful structure. Tourists can roam the galleries to see some of Yat-Sen’s items. They can also enjoy a picnic in the park around the hall.
d. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-shek was a military and political leader in Taipei. The building is beautiful and is set in a quiet city park. People particularly enjoy seeing the changing of the guard every hour from 9 am to 5 pm
e. Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence
The residence of this former president is set within beautiful botanical gardens. It has undergone many years of restorative work and is now open to the public. It hosts many exciting items that once belonged to him and his wife.
There are many other buildings and memorial halls that would fascinate any architectural fan
2. It is the home of very many temples
Taiwan has more than 15,000 registered temples. Some of them are very old and are beautifully designed. Temples in Taipei range from old to new. Consequently, they come in different designs from intricate designs to simple architecture. Here are a few temples you should consider visiting while in Taipei
a. Bangka Longshan Temple
This Buddhist temple (and shrine) was originally built in 1738. It has suffered fires, earthquakes, typhoons, and bombs, but the locals always restore it. It has statues honoring hundreds of gods and goddesses. It is built like a palace complex and is guarded by mythical creatures according to Chinese Folklore
b. Bangka Qingshan Temple
This temple is not very far from the Longshan Temple. It is much smaller than the Longshan temple, but it is highly valued by the people. It hosts a statue of Zhang Gun, a Taoist deity who people believe wards off disease. It is also known for very loud street processions.
c. Taipei Tianhou Temple
This temple is sandwiched between buildings. If you are not careful, you may miss its entrance. Tianhou refers to the goddess of Fishermen and the sea, Matsu. Matsu is one of Taiwan’s favorite deities. Every year, there is a significant religious procession, the Matsu pilgrimage.
d. Taipei Confucius Temple
While typical Taiwanese temples are ornate and busy, this temple is calm and simple. It houses tablets and plaques with calligraphy rather than the usual god statues.
You could spend a significant amount of time in Taipei visiting the temples alone.
3. Commune with nature in Taipei
Start your visit at the Taipei zoo, also called Muzha zoo. It is one of the largest zoos in Asia. You will see animals from all over the world e.g., from Africa, Australia, Asia, and Taiwan. You will also get to see over 130 species of birds. Next hop on the Maokong Gondola. They will take you into the hills in the Southeast of Taipei. For an even better view, be sure to get on the correct line for the ‘Crystal Cabins’ with glass bottoms.
Take some time to soak in thermal waters at the Beitou Hot Spring. They offer a variety of hot spring spas to cater to people with varying budgets. If you enjoy hikes, consider climbing up the Four Beasts. These are four connected mountains on the east side of Taipei. You will get some fantastic views of Taipei from them. The Elephant Mountain is the most famous, and a 30-minute hike will get you to its renowned viewing point. If you love flowers, stop by the Yangmingshan National Park and see some calla lilies.
4. Explore the different types of food
Taipei is renowned for its street food. When you visit, don’t forget to stroll through one or more of the city’s night markets. The top five night markets are Shilin, Tonghua, Ningxia, Raohe, and Huaxi. You also have the option of exploring actual restaurants in the city or even taking a cooking class.
5. Have some fun
Not everything on your trip has to be an educational experience. Why not take a ride on the Miramar Ferris wheel. Besides fun, it also promises fantastic views of Taipei and Yangmingshan. Hire their famous orange and yellow bikes and ride along with Taipei’s riverside parks. If it’s New Year’s, you will witness the Lunar New Year, dragon and lion dancing. A little later, you may also see some incredible lanterns during the lantern festival. You could also rent a room with friends and experience a KTV bar.
The list of things to do in Taipei is endless. A flight on Cathay Pacific could quickly get you there. If you are thinking of your next tourist destination, Taipei is one for the books. Start saving up for a trip today.