A weekend is just enough to get a taste of Taiwan and realize you want to go back again before you’ve even left. Taipei has an excellent public transit system, free wifi and lots of cultural & crazy experiences. Here’s a quick preview of Ronda and my trip as we met my college buddy Andrew (who flew in from Japan with a few other friends).
If there’s one thing that Taiwan is known for its certainly the diversity of its night markets. We stopped by at least 3 different markets and although some were “the biggest” or “best” according to a guidebook we found them all to be wonderful. They sported an assortment of sights and smells including the infamous “stinky tofu” and all the parts of animals that you may not have wanted to sample. I highly recommend just about anything on a stick and if you can handle the smell, stinky tofu is a delicacy!
Night markets are easy to find and almost every subway station has *insert Taiwanese name here* Market listed on the exit signs. We always felt safe but I advise anyone going to a public place like these market be careful with your valuables!
Wulai is a mountain village boasting the largest waterfall in Taiwan, an abundance of natural hot springs and the opportunity for a jungle adventure. Luckily its only a 45 minute bus ride from Xiandan station at the end of the Green Subway line. You can take a taxi for about $600NTD ($20USD) or ride the bus like we did for $15 NTD ($.50 USD). Once there I recommend taking the cable car over the river to see the waterfall. It was stunning and I can’t wait to share more; enjoy these photos for now.
Longshan temple is famous for a multitude of reasons but the coolest part about it is that its still widely used by the locals. I’ve visteid a handful of Buddhist temples & shrines during my time in Asia and never seen one with so many devotees. Especially intriguing were all the offerings being presented. More info coming soon, I did say this was a quick preview 😉
National Palace Museum
If you have time then definitely stop by the National Palace on the other end of the Green line. You get to see an awesome view with royal architecture and can check out the museum for about $250NTD ($8USD). Don’t forget to check out the gardens! They are free if you go into the museum or $20NTD ($.70USD) if ancient art isn’t your thing.
The food in Taiwan is largely Chinese. Not the Chinese food you grew up with in America but actual Chinese food. Stir fry, dumpling or mystery meat on a stick you can find it on the side of road. When you visit Taiwan I cannot stress enough how delicious the street food is. Eat it. Eat it all. Don’t ask what it is just look for what the locals are eating or what looks fresh and your mouth will have a blast!
If you aren’t as adventurous then you can always settle for xiaolongbao aka soup dumplings. These delicacies look like traditional dumplings but fool the laymen by packing a few spoons of soup in between the dough. Our favorite meals were either hole in the wall restaurants or tiny food carts teeming with aromas. This was the one item we splurged on. Xiaolongbao are famous in Taipei so we couldn’t help but order a ton of these scrumptious appetizers. Add pork, chicken or if you’re lucky truffles coupled with the aforementioned meats and your mouth will be dancing with delight.
Hope you enjoyed this teaser! I’ll get out more photos and reviews of our whirlwind trip in between classes.
What was your trip in Taiwan like? Haven’t’ been? What are you looking forward to most?