TAIWAN: First Timer's Guide to an Awesome Experience in Taipei! #ComeToTaiwan
WHERE TO EAT:
1. DIN TAI FUNG
DIN TAI FUNG is a popular Xiao Long Bao Restaurant in Taiwan that has been awarded the Michelin Star 5 times.
It's recognized as one of the best dimsum places in the world, with international branches in Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia, Thailand, USA, and soon, in Manila.
Here's a foodie guide on where to find, what to order, and how to properly eat Xiao Long Bao in Din Tai Fung Taiwan...
2. TIAN WAI TIAN HOT POT
Exploring other foodie cultures is always a good way to educate and remove any mental barriers on what's possible with your foodie experience.
A visit to Tian Wai Tian was an eye opener for me -- I never thought hot pots could be that awesome.
I was surprised with the high quality and wide variety of ingredients available in the eat-as-much-as-you-want hot pot. Plus, they have a really good selection of drinks and desserts.
When in Taiwan, you must eat in Tian Wai Tian! Check it out...
Related Blog Post: TIAN WAI TIAN - My BEST Hot Pot Experience
3. HAVE HOT POT
I love Taiwanese Hot Pot! One actually shouldn't leave Taipei without having tried it.
I recently had one of my most memorable hot pot experiences in Have Hot Pot, Taipei. Unlike eat-all-you-can hot pot places like Tian Wai Tian, Have Hot Pot has an a la carte and well-curated yummy menu.
The signages and the menu are all written in Chinese, providing that authentic Taiwanese feel.
Here's a photo essay of our Taiwan Fam Trip Group's visit to Have Hot Pot...
Related Blog Post: HAVE HOT POT: Memorable Yummy Hot Pot Experience in Taipei!
4. SHILIN MARKET
One of the inspirations for Mercato is the street food night market scene in Taiwan's Shilin Market. We love the Xiao Tze (which means "small eats") from the different food stalls in Shilin.
Here are the top food picks you should try when you visit Taiwan...
Related Blog Post: SHILIN MARKET Taiwan: Xiao Tze (Small Eats) Food Trip Guide!
5. MODERN TOILET
MODERN TOILET started out as Marton resto in 2004. It was rebranded as Modern Toilet in 2006.
If your kids are all boys, you probably know how fond they are of poo-poo, pee-pee, and fart jokes. So just imagine our boys' surprise when we brought them to this restroom-themed resto in Taiwan.
Here's a photo essay of our Modern Toilet experience with the boys...
WHERE TO SHOP:
1. XIMENDING MARKET
Here is what you can see in Ximending Night Market: XIMENDING MARKET: 9 Things Not to Miss in Ximending Market in Taipei :)
2. SHILIN MARKET
SHILIN MARKET is the premier night market in Taiwan for bargain goods, clothes, accessories and yummy street food. It's our favorite night market and one of the reasons why we fell in love with Taiwan.
Here's a photo essay on what to expect in Taiwan's #1 Shopping Attraction: SHILIN MARKET: #1 Shopping Attraction in Taiwan!
WHERE TO GO:
1. CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
CHIANG KAI-SHEK Memorial Hall is a tribute to the founder of Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek. It opened in 1980, 4 years after his death in 1975.
A visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a must for any tourist to understand the culture and colorful history of Taiwan. I've visited the hall twice now: the first with the family and our friend Meg Kho, and the second with the Taiwan Fam Trip Group via Jeron Travel.
Here's a guide to having an awesome experience when visiting Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall...
I've fallen in love with Jiufen, an old mining town in the Northeast Mountains of New Taipei City that is now home to artist shops, authentic tea houses, and yummy artisan stalls.
The 100-year old A-Mei Tea House in Jiufen inspired the Japanese anime Spirited Away, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, and is regarded as one of the greatest animated films of all time.
Jiufen is now my favorite place in Taiwan and I can't wait to go back...
Related Blog Post: JIUFEN 九份: Spirited Away in a Gentrified Old Mining Town in Taiwan!
3. TAIPEI 101
Taipei 101 observatory is a touristy stop and a showcase of Taiwanese excellence.
I usually don't get enticed by the promise of a 360-degree view of the city, because the experience is a bit passive and there's no cultural or entertainment value. But sometimes I surrender to the urge of checking out tourist places to see when I'm in a place for the first time.
I would like to share with you our experience for you to decide to go or not to go to Taipei 101 observatory...
Related Blog Post: TAIPEI 101: On Top of the Tallest Building in Taiwan :)
4. JINGUASHI GOLD ECOLOGICAL PARK
JINGUASHI GOLD ECOLOGICAL PARK is a Gold Mine-themed Park that highlights the gold mining culture and lifestyle of the people of Jinguashi, New Taipei City.
Here are the things I liked about the park, and a guide to having an awesome experience...
Pingxi 平溪 or Pingshi is the Sky Lantern capital of Taiwan. The Pingshi Sky Lantern Festival -- held every January 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar -- is an event where hundreds of sky lanterns carrying prayers and wishes are released to the heavens.
You can go to Pingxi (about an hour away from Taipei) to see the scenic countryside, and to experience making your own lantern and releasing it to the sky with your wishes and prayers.
Related Blog Post: A Pingxi 平溪 Sky Lantern Wish in Taipei!
6. FULONG SAND SCULPTURE FESTIVAL
We had the pleasure of visiting the International Sand Sculpture Art Festival, which runs for the whole of May and June at Fulong Beach, Northeast Taiwan.
There are 4 sections of the sand sculpture display -- Incredible Golden Sand Legends, Taiwan World Sculpting Championship, Domestic Sand Sculpture Competition, and Astrology Exhibit.
It was inspiring to see and I would like to share our experience with you...
WHERE TO STAY:
1. PALAIS DE CHINE HOTEL
From Taiwan's L'Hotel de Chine Group comes PALAIS DE CHINE, a 5-star hotel inspired by the sophistication of Eastern Palaces with the elegance of their Western counterparts. It's a visual treat to stay here. Best of all, it's located in the heart of the transport hub in Taipei. :)
Here's a photo essay of our stay in Palais De Chine...
PALAIS de CHINE Hotel Taipei
No. 3 Sec. 1 Chengde Road Taipei 103 Taiwan, R.O.C.
Telephone: +886 2 2181-9999
Check out low rates and availability from Agoda: Palais de Chine Hotel (aff link)
2. EASTERN STAR HOTEL
If you are looking for budget accommodations in Taipei, check out Eastern Star Hotel which is near the MRT station and shopping district.
Here's our Eastern Star Hotel Experience in Taipei with the family ...
EASTERN STAR HOTEL
11F, No.209, Sec. 4, Jhongsiao E. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 106
Telephone: +886 2 8773-6638
Check out low rates and availability from Agoda: Eastern Star Hotel (aff link)
Related Blog Post: EASTERN STAR HOTEL: Budget Hotel in a Great Location in Taipei (A Review)
HOW TO APPLY FOR A VISA?
You can easily get a 30-day multiple entry Taiwan visa for FREE if you have a valid visa for the US, CANADA, UK, JAPAN, or SCHENGEN countries.
Otherwise, you have to apply for a FEE via the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office located at the 41F, Tower 1, RCBC Plaza in Makati City.
For a HASSLE-FREE visa application, I highly recommend Jeron Travel.
MANILA - TAIPEI FLIGHT
EVA AIR is the flagship carrier of Taiwan. It is a popular airline for Filipinos going on long haul flights because of its Premium Economy section and the nice food in the lounge.
Consider Eva Air for your next trip to or stopover in Taipei...
Related Blog Posts:
Awesome Taiwan #CometoTaiwan Series (2014):
- MODERN TOILET: Would you eat in this Poo-Poo & Pee-Pee Themed Restaurant in Taiwan?
- HOT-STAR Philippines: Taiwan's Large Fried Chicken Chop in Manila (A Review)
- DIN TAI FUNG: Foodie Guide to an Awesome Xiao Long Bao Experience in Taiwan :)
- CHIANG KAI-SHEK 中正紀念堂: Must Read Guide to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan
- HAVE HOT POT: Memorable Yummy Hot Pot Experience in Taipei!
- SAND SCULPTURE: 2014 Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival (Photo Essay)
- JIUFEN 九份: Spirited Away in a Gentrified Old Mining Town in Taiwan!
- A Pingxi 平溪 Sky Lantern Wish in Taipei!
- PALAIS DE CHINE HOTEL: Chinese Sophistication x French Elegance near Transpo Hub in Taipei!
- EASTERN STAR HOTEL: Budget Hotel in a Great Location in Taipei (A Review)
- EVA AIR Manila to Taipei: Premium Economy & The Infinity Lounge
- TAIWAN VISA: How to Apply for Taiwan Visa in Manila for FREE, a FEE, or HASSLE-FREE? @JeronTravel
Flavors of Taiwan Series (2012):
- DIN TAI FUNG Experience @ Taipei 101!
- TAIPEI 101: On Top of the Tallest Building in Taiwan :)
- TIAN WAI TIAN Hot Pot - The BEST Hot Pot I've Ever Tasted
- The Making of Tea (Nantau, Taiwan)
- CHATIME: What We Can Learn from the Market Leader in International Bubble Tea Industry
- Taiwan's SHILIN MARKET: #1 Shopping Attraction in Taiwan!
- SHILIN MARKET Taiwan: Xiao Tze (Small Eats) Food Trip Guide
- XIMENDING Market (popularly known as the Harajuku of Taipei) :)
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Taiwan Fam Trip last June 2014 was courtesy of the Taiwan Visitor's Bureau, Eva Air, and Jeron Travel. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. I'm planning to personal do a 3D/2N Food Trip of our favorite places in Taiwan on November 21-23, 2014 in partnership with Jeron Travel.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to join or to know more about details of the food tour.