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What to see in Taipei

Modern, cosmopolitan, and filled with a sense of exuberance, it is a vibrant metropolis. Visiting Taipei is like entering a world of fascinating contrasts-a fusion of tradition and modernity, infused with the bubbly energy and friendly smiles of Taiwanese.

♦ TAIPEI 101

Taipei 101 is impossible to miss with its 508mt held the title of the world’s tallest green building until 2011 and it is the largest engineering project ever in the history of the Taiwan constructions.
Designed to resemble the strong, flexible bamboo that rises to the skies, the building reflects traditional Chinese architecture’s philosophy.
– High-Speed Elevator
The Taipei 101 Observation Deck is equipped with two high-speed elevators – the only intelligent high-speed elevators in the world, equipped with constant pressure devices, dampers, and high-temperature ceramic brake systems – that have a rising speed of 1,010 meters per minute.
It takes only 37 seconds to go from the 5th to the 89th floor observation deck.
– Mass Damper

The technical name of the wind damping ball is Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) – build to reduce swaying by strong winds to make working in such a tall tower comfortable – is both functional and an aesthetic attraction.
Δ Keep in mind: Closed on Monday,
Tuesday-Friday 11:00-19:00,
Saturday-Sunday and national holidays 10:00-19:00.
Our suggestions:
– Book your ticket  in advance to avoid long queues!
At the end or before your visit enjoy a meal and the Din Tai Fung Restaurant in the building.

♦  ELEPHANT HILL

Elephant Mountain is definitely one of the top things to do in Taipei. You can make the hike in 15 – 20 minutes and end up at a viewing platform with a great view of Taipei 101 and the city.
Our suggestion: Perfect spot for photo opportunities especially early in the morning or to enjoy the sunset.

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LONGSHAN TEMPLE

Founded in 1738 during the Qing Dynasty has been rebuilt multiple times after destruction by earthquakes, typhoons, and even bombing in the last days of WWII and every time the temple has been rebuilt with the help of the local community. Many temples around the world, and in Taiwan as well, are dedicated to one deity or one religion; however, Longshan Temple is a delightful mix of the Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian faiths. It is for worshiping Guanshiyin Buddha and over 100 divine spirits. Longshan Temple embodies Taiwan’s inclusive approach to religion.
Despite being home to many gods, local singles will come to pray to the deity in the hopes that their true love will marry them and stay with them forever.
Our suggestions:
Just around the corner from Longshan Temple, find the Herb lane a herb-selling area dates back to the Qing period,  Chinese herbs can be found here in remarkable variety.
Avoid to visit the temple during local holidays, it can be very crowded.

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♦ NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM

Explore 5.000 years of history in just one place, Home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Chinese art, this vast collection covers treasures in painting, calligraphy, statuary, bronzes, lacquerware, ceramics, jade and religious objects.  It ranks sixth among the top ten most popular museums in the world.
Opening time
From Monday -to Thursday 8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Friday and Saturday 8:30 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday8:30 am – 6:30 pm
Regular tickets entrance: TWD 350
 Our suggestion: If you only have to chose a museum to visit, this is the one.  Breathtaking art displays  and the history about Taiwanese is here.

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♦ CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL

The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and the area surrounding it is one of the most prominent landmarks in Taiwan. The Memorial Park, all together, covers an area of over 240,000 square meters and during the Japanese Colonial era was a military base. The expansive park consists of three large buildings: the Memorial Hall, The National Theatre, the National Concert Hall and the beautiful gardens behind the Memorial hall.
Memorial Hall. It was built using Taiwanese marble and the roof is blue representing the color of Chiang Kai Shek party and “freedom”. It has a octagon shape because the number eight is associated with abundance and good fortune.
Inside the Memorial hall there is an exhibition hall which documents important parts of Chiang’s life and also some artifacts left by the former presidents estate which include his Cadillacs, uniforms, calligraphy, etc.
The most imposing and impressive structures are the National Theatre and National Concert Hall. The two buildings host major performances all year long. Behind the Memorial Hall there are beautiful gardens home of squirrels, birds, fish, turtles and cranes.
Our suggestion; Visit the park during  in the evenings, you can see groups of kids practicing  moves and playing music.

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♦ BOPILIAO HISTORICAL BLOCK 

Travel Back in time,  buildings here date all the way back to the Qing Dynasty as well as buildings from the Japanese occupation and early post-war periods. It represents a part of Taipei that has not been touched by the city’s rapid development, making it a significant link to Taiwan’s cultural past!
Δ Keep in mind: Bopiliao Historic Block is a tobacco free space and no pets are allowed, except for guide dogs.
Our suggestion: Located at the southeast corner of the complex next to Laosong Elementary School, there is the Heritage and Culture Education Center.
This education center, is the gem of the Bopiliao Historic Block, is a must-see historic tourist attraction.

bopiliao

♦ RED HOUSE 

In the Japanese era, the Red House came to symbolise the bustling and cosmopolitan commercialism of the Ximending District. Post WWII it was an opera house, a performance theatre, a movie theatre and, finally, a multifunctional cultural center with regular live performances and exhibitions. All the area is full of bars, restaurants and it is also the city’s gay bar district.
Our suggestion: If you like quirky and unique gifts, this is one of the best places in Taipei to visit.
Red house, Taipei

♦  BAO-AN TEMPLE

Bao-An Temple goes back to 1742 and it is one of the busiest and most beautiful  temples in Taiwan. It has been recognized by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Bao-An Temple is dedicated to a Taoist folk religion deity, Bao-Sheng Emperor known in life as Wu Tao, famous for his knowledge of Traditional Medicine as well as Taoism.  Famous for having performed several medical miracles as well as assisting people in his profession as a physician.
Our suggestion
Bao’an temple is normally quiet but it becomes particularly crowded on a special day of the year: the 15th of the third month of the lunar calendar, the “birthday” of the god of medicine to whom the temple is dedicated. On that day a sumptuous parade is organized in front of the temple, which ends with the bonfire of a lion statue, accompanied by the explosion of firecrackers and the lights of fireworks.

Baoan Temple, Taipei

♦ HUANSHAN CREATIVE PARK

Originally built as a winery, the complex has been transformed into a multipurpose park and creative space for Taipei’s youthful art scene, and is home to multiple exhibitions and shows.
Nice area for a day or night stroll , with some good bars and restaurants .
Our suggestion: Great place for a drink just before dinner!

Huashan creative park

♦  SONGSHAN CREATIVE PARK

This complex, located on the grounds of a former Japanese tobacco factory, is one of Taipei’s largest creative arts spaces. The Taipei City government finished the renovations of the area in 2011 and transformed it into a large public park with exhibition halls, art shows, and conference spaces. 
It is open seven days a week from 9 am to 6 pm.
Our suggestion: learn about local wildlife and local species in the large ecology area beyond the buildings. 

Songshan creative Park

♦  WUFENPU DISTRICT

Wufenpu is the place to shop for quirky clothes, trendy accessories, and other eye-catching attire! There are endless shops and outlets for you to choose from and it’s all at bargain prices! 
OPEN : 2.00pm – 11.00pm

♦  CHIEN KUO WEEKEN FLOWER MARKET 

Plants lovers cannot miss this place. Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

♦  LIN FAMILY MANSION AND GARDEN

Its garden scenes are inspired by Chinese traditional gardens as well as the style of south of Yangtze.
Taipei’s “best private garden” is a great place to get away from the city hustle and bustle.
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Δ Keep in mind Closed on the 1st Monday of each month.

Lin house and garden Taipei

TAIPEI FISH MARKET

The Taipei Fish Market in the Zhongshan District offers a fish market, a live aquarium, and a dining area in just one spot!   Open seven days a week, from 6 am to 8 pm, except on Mondays, when it closes at 6 pm. 

♦  TAIPEI NIGHT MARKETS

There are many markets all around the city, each market has it’s own charm and food. Generally open in the late afternoon, after 16.00 or 17.00, they stay open till midnight, more or less!
Here a list of the main ones: 

  • Huaxi Street Night Market
  • Ningxia Night Market
  • Raohe Night Market
  • Shi Lin Night Market
  • Gongguan Night Market
  • Ximending Night Market
  • Shida Night Market
  • Nanjichang Night Market
  • Lehua Night Market
  • Liaoning Street Night Market
  • Guangzhou Street Night Market
  • Dalong Street Night Market
  • Meng Xia Night Market
  • Xichang Night Market
  • Yansan Night Market
    Sanhe Night Market

Our suggestion: You don’t really need to visit the most famous ones, chose the one nearby your hotel as all of these markets have their own specialty.

Taipei night market

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