Taipei Itinerary • Taipei’s Hidden Gems (October 2019)

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Taipei, the magnificent capital city of Taiwan, offers all the magic and wonder that we’ve come to expect from the cities of Southeast Asia and the far east! This city is a modern metropolis mixing Wetsern, Chinese & Japanese influences.

The city is known for its numerous street-markets including some famous street-foods that we’ve all come to love. The heart of this thriving city is, of course, its people! Getting to know the people behind the culture will go a long way while visiting this incredible destination!

If the bustling city is not your thing, there’s plenty more to Taipei than just its metropolis! Just outside of Taipei you’ll find thriving, luscious jungle terrain that seems untouched by the human hand.

Whatever it is you’re looking for on your travels, Taipei is bound to provide! Here’s the latest and greatest, as well as the most ancient of relics, that Taipei has to offer:

 

Best time to visit Taipei

when to visit Taipei

These are the best times to visit Taipei!

Taipei doesn’t experience a huge swing in their temperature and climate during the year, that would create 4 definitive seasons. But the weather should play a major role in what time of year you plan your trip to Taipei!

The rainfall difference between seasons is quite significant and could be the difference between staying inside your hotel room or roaming and exploring the streets of Taipei throughout your trip! Not everyone minds the rain, but it’s important to take note of when planning your trip!

Winters in Taipei are usually the busiest time because of the many festivals. While these are also the coldest months in Taipei, it never really gets “cold” here except during the dead of night.

Spring in Taipei is a good time to visit as the rain hasn’t started yet and the crowds are taking a break. Taipei’s rainy season is on the horizon though so watch out.

Taipei summers are hot, humid, and very wet. This is prime cyclone season, which means that storms come frequently. Visitor numbers are a lot lower during this period.

Autumn in Taipei is hands-down the best time to visit. The weather is great, the crowds are minimal, and the prices are excellent.

 Average TemperaturesChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
January19°C / 66°FLowBusy/Chinese New Year🙂
February20°C / 68°FAverageBusy/Chinese New Year😐
March22°C / 71°FAverageMedium🙂
April26°C / 78°FAverageMedium🙂
May29°C / 84°FHighMedium🙂
June32°C / 89°FHighBusy😐
July34°C / 93°FHighBusy😐
August33°C / 92°FHighMedium🙂
September31°C / 87°FHighCalm🙂
October27°C / 81°FAverageCalm😀
November24°C / 75°FAverageCalm😀
December21°C / 69°FLowCalm😀

 

Where to stay in Taipei

where to stay in Taipei

These are the best places to stay in Taipei!

Taipei offers a diverse range of accommodation for every type of traveler! Our best hostels in Taipei guide is a good place to start.

Taipei itself is very budget-friendly, especially when it comes to accommodation choices, but don’t let that fool you! If you’re looking for something a little fancier, Taipei offers plenty of luxury accommodation too!

Taipei is divided into twelve districts. Xinyi is Taipei’s financial district and is a bustling hub of activity 24 hours a day. If you’re into the city-that-never-sleeps kind of vibe, then Xinyi is the district for you! The shopping and restaurant options are limitless!

Wenshan is a district of Taipei, but is nestled in between the mountain ranges and feels far removed from the bustling city. This is the best district for you if you’re looking for some great views of the natural surroundings!

It’s also great if you’re looking for some good ol’ peace and quiet! Wenshan is not very popular with tourists, it’s visited mainly by locals looking for a break from the city, but they do welcome the occasional tourist with open arms!

Find the perfect neighborhood for your Taiwanese adventure by using our comprehensive guide on where to stay in Taipei!

 

Best Hostel in Taipei – Meander Taipei

Taipei Itinerary

Meander Taipei is our pick for the best hostel in Taipei!

The Meander Taipei Hostel is arguably the best hostel in the city! Great interior design gives the inside of the hostel a very modern feel. Large, open communal areas encourage visitors to bond and make friends. This makes it a great place to stay, especially for solo-travelers!

Their rooftop terrace is a great place for socials and mingling if you decide to spend the night staying in! Sleeping areas are very private for a hostel setting and give you the ability to spend some time by yourself.

Check for Best Price

 

Best Budget Hotel in Taipei – Kae Lin Hotel

Taipei Itinerary

Kae Lin Hotel is our pick for the best budget hotel in Taipei!

This quaint hotel is the perfect place to stay if you’re on a budget, but still enjoy your own privacy. Neat, clean and modern looking room designs make for a lovely dwelling while you’re staying in Taipei!

The hotel offers 24-hour service, so you’ll never feel neglected or alone! The location of the Kae Lin Hotel is a great plus. Within a 3 kilometer radius, you’ll have access to 2 temples popular with tourists and you’ll be just a 1.9-kilometer walk from the famous night market. With so much action happening all around you, you’ll cut your travel costs during your stay in half by choosing this conveniently-placed dwelling!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined    Check on Agoda

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Taipei – Mandarin Oriental Taipei

Taipei Itinerary

Mandarin Oriental Taipei is our pick for the best luxury hotel in Taipei!

This luxury hotel leaves nothing left for you to desire! If you decide to stay at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei you may just never leave the hotel. This gorgeous hotel boasts of great service and the facilities lack nothing!

A full fitness center, equipped with a sauna and yoga classes, is available if you feel the desire to workout while staying in Taipei. The location is just a 5-minute drive from the airport and a mere 10-minute drive from the shopping district!

Check on Booking.com    Check on HotelsCombined    Check on Agoda

 

Taipei Itinerary

Taipei itinerary

Welcome to our EPIC Taipei itinerary

The gorgeous city has something for everyone. A bustling nightlife, juxtaposed with a rich cultural history and plenty of great shopping spots. In fact there is so much going on and so many places to visit in Taipei that you may be unsure where to begin! Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered!

 

Day 1 Itinerary in Taipei

Visit Bopiliao Old Street | Reboot at The Cat Coffee Garden | Visit Taipei 101 | Sunset at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf | Admire Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

 

Stop 1 – Visit Bopiliao Old Street

  • Why it’s awesome: The traditonal architecture of these buildings remains untouched by the rapid development of the surrounding city.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Ji Yuan Vegetarian is a great little spot just a 2-minute drive from Bopiliao old street! It serves all vegetarian food, as is tradition in Taiwan, but it’s incredibly tasty and can be enjoyed by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

Feel like you’re stepping back in time as you visit this ancient portion of Taipei city. The houses on Bopiliao Old Street were built during the Qing dynasty – between 1600 and 1900. If you love learning about other cultures, this is a great place to start as this area has strong links to Taiwan’s cultural history!

Visit Bopiliao Old Street

Visit Bopiliao Old Street, Taipei (photo credits:Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

This block is also a great place to take some photos, so enter the scene, camera ready! You’ll get the chance to explore the streets by yourself and chat with the people that live there. This is often the best way to add value to your experience of a city!

 

Day 1 / Stop 2 – Reboot at The Cat Coffee Garden

  • Why it’s awesome: Hang out with dozens of felines while sipping your morning cup of coffee at the Kitten Coffee Garden.
  • Cost: Free, but be sure to buy a coffee or a snack while you’re there.
  • Food nearby: Food is available at the Kitten Coffee Garden, so be sure to try one of their many delicious Japanese meals. Make sure you order a coffee at the Kitten Coffee Garden, just like everything else there, it’s cat themed. Be sure to snap a pic for the ‘gram.

Studies show that spending time with cats can lower your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure So if you’re looking for an excuse to visit the incredible Kitten Coffee Garden, we’ve just given you one – your general health and well being.

As you may well know, cats are known for their volatile behavior. Luckily for everyone involved, these cats are very playful and enjoy a lot of attention. So don’t be afraid to approach them with an open heart, and open hands.

Reboot at The Cat Coffee Garden

Reboot at The Cat Coffee Garden, Taipei (photo credits:Taipei Expat)

If you’re more of a dog person, we totally understand, and we’re happy to let you know that you’re in for a treat too. There just so happens to be two very friendly dogs that live amongst the cats in the Kitten Coffee Garden.

Insider Tip: if you’re wanting to go on a family trip, note that children aren’t allowed in the Kitten Coffee Garden. They don’t advertise this fact so it’s important to note before adding it to your itinerary.

 

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Visit Taipei 101

  • Why it’s awesome: Once the tallest building in the world, this skyscraper has plenty of entertainment to offer including a shop-till-you-drop experience.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Talk about close and convenient. With plenty of restaurants choices in Taipei 101, there’s no need to even leave the building. Shin Yeh Dining offers traditional Taiwanese food in generous portions. After a long day of shopping, it’s likely you’ll need to carbo load.

Taipei 101 houses many offices and restaurants, and is connected to an adjoining mall. Being so big, it could take you all day to explore, but considering everything else Taipei has to offer, we recommend limiting your shopping time to just a few hours!

Visit Taipei 101

Visit Taipei 101, Taipei

If you’d like to spend a whole day here, there are many restaurants and shops to be explored. While you’re at it, be sure to buy an extra bag as you’re sure to be leaving Taipei with more luggage than you arrived with!

This incredible skyscraper was once the world’s tallest building! It held this record from the year it was built, in 2004, until 2010 when a skyscraper in Dubai snatched the title.

What makes this building even more fascinating, is its ability to withstand pacific rim earthquakes!

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

 

Day 1 / Stop 4 – Sunset at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf

  • Why it’s awesome: One of the most famous destinations in all of Taiwan, it’s not to be missed during your trip to Taipei.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: ??????????With no English name provided, you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. Screen shot the webpage on your phone, show it to locals and ask around. But it’s pretty easy to find! Located right on the water’s edge, you can’t miss it. They serve a variety of Taiwanese dishes and plenty of great quality seafood. As you can imagine, it’s straight out of the ocean!

Known for its sunsets, party boats and seafood, the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf is an incredible place to spend your evening! Make an evening of it and sip sundowners near the harbor wall. Watching the sunset from this location is nothing less than epic, as myriads of purples, pinks, and reds fill the sky!

Sunset at Tamsui Fisherman s Wharf

Sunset at Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, Taipei

We only get to experience around 25, 000 sunsets in our lifetime, (if we’re lucky) so be sure to watch at least one of them from this incredible spot! Regret is the biggest killer of happiness, don’t let this one get you down!

 

Day 1 / Stop 5 – Admire Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

  • Why it’s awesome: View this majestic skyscraper at night, lights glinting in the night sky.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: 1010 Hunan Cuisine Eslite Xinyi Restaurant – Serves authentic Hunan Cuisine. This great little nosch spot serves great food, with great service at even better prices. It’s a great place to eat if you’re on a budget, and a great place to eat even if you’re not!

So you’ve heard all about how incredible Taipei 101 is. But going there isn’t the only way to enjoy its incredible beauty. The trail up elephant mountain requires a bit of a climb but the view is well worth it. You’ll get to choose from 3 amazing spots with great views.

If you’re not up for too much of a climb, a short set of stairs leading from the parking lot will lead you to your first spot. This is a great spot for picnics or sundowners, as you won’t have to carry your heavy picnic basket very far.

Admire Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain

Admire Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain, Taipei

This hike is absolutely free! Which means you won’t have to buy a ticket, and hiking at any time is permitted. Night hikes are also becoming increasingly popular because the views of the city that much better!

The best view of all is the one you’ll get of the great Taipei 101. Viewing this great engineering feat from Elephant mountain gives you a great view of the beautiful skyscraper and the twinkling lights of the city below.

If you’re traveling with your better half, this is a must-do romantic evening! It’s not often you get to look down on a bustling lit-up city from a secluded, quiet and tranquil setting!

 

Check Best Price

Meander Taipei
The Meander Taipei Hostel is arguably the best hostel in the city! Great interior design gives the inside of the hostel a very modern feel.
  • $$
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast

 

Day 2 Itinerary in Taipei

Visit the National Palace Museum | Visit the Liberty Square | Visit the Thermal Valley | Visit the Daan Forest Park | Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park | Let a Bird Tell Your Fortune

 

Stop 1 – Visit the National Palace Museum

  • Why it’s awesome: Taipei’s National Palace Museum is the largest museum in the world of its kind!
  • Cost: $1 – $2
  • Food nearby: Just a one minute drive from the National Palace Museum, Silk Palace offers incredible food and amazing service. The food is traditional Taiwanese cuisine and they claim to have the best beef-noodle soup in Taiwan – and they just might be right.

The Taipei National Palace Museum contains 700 000 ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks! Some of these are high-quality artifacts that were collected by Chinese emperors. This collection spans over 8000 years of history!

Visit the National Palace Museum

Visit the National Palace Museum, Taipei

There is nothing more beautiful than experiencing and getting to take in the incredibly delicate cultural history of Taipei. Spend a few hours taking pictures and enjoying the artwork, this is definitely an experience you’ll want to remember!

 

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Visit the Liberty Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Liberty square serves as Taipei cities default meeting area since the time it was built.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: NALA’s Mexican food is a great place to stop off when you’re at Liberty Square. If you need a break from all the Tawainese cuisine, this is the perfect substitute! This restaurant is known for its friendly service and great prices! Not to mention their epic choice of Mexican food.

Explore the rich history hidden within the city of Taipei! Although this city is developing very fast, there are still pieces of history scattered throughout the city! In Liberty Square, you’ll find many historical buildings including the concert hall, the theatre, and the memorial hall.

Visit the Liberty Square

Visit the Liberty Square, Taipei

All of these places have a rich cultural history embedded in them that is so worth taking the time to learn about. The architecture is nothing less than spectacular with very obvious oriental influences!

 

Day 2 / Stop 3 – Visit the Thermal Valley

  • Why it’s awesome: Naturally, the water in this valley reaches a scorching 90 degrees Celsius, which causes a constant stream of steam to rise up out of the valley.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Kahurangi Cafe is a great place to stop off after a very warm visit to the thermal valley! After that experience, you’ll need a refresh! Serving good ol’ American pizza and beer, located just a 3-minute drive from the thermal springs. It’s the perfect place to refresh and refill after a sweaty trip.

The thermal valley is one of the most popular attractions in Taiwan! Minerals in the water, including sulfur, cause the water in the valley to boil. Locals often refer to the thermal valley as hell valley because of the intense heat that is emitted.

Visit the Thermal Valley

Visit the Thermal Valley, Taipei (photo credits:Broke Tourist)

Despite the heat, the steam makes for a beautiful site and the valley is a great place to take photos. If you’re an avid Instagrammer and can brave the heat, this would make an epic backdrop for a killer selfie or two!

 

Day 2 / Stop 4 – Visit the Daan Forest Park

  • Why it’s awesome: The Daan Forest Park is the ‘Central Park’ of Taipei.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Teotihuacan serves great Mexican food, just a 4-minute drive from Daan Forest Park. The portions are generous which will work nicely in your favour after a long walk through the Park, and the prices are decent too.

The Daan Forest Park covers an impressive 26-hectares of land. This park acts as the lung of Taipei city, producing clean air for its inhabitants. Daan forest contains 2 ponds, a walking path, and an amphitheater – it’s the perfect place to take a stroll!

Visit the Daan Forest Park

Visit the Daan Forest Park, Taipei (photo credits:Wikipedia)

Expect to see plenty of squirrels and ducks when you’re out and about, amongst the twisted trees. If you enjoy spending time in nature, take some bread crumbs, sit by the pond and feed the ducks!

The squirrels tend to be rather friendly and may even eat out of your hand. Take some nuts with you, and if you’re lucky, you may experience hand-feeding a squirrel, which would make a very cute little memory to add to your list!

 

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park

  • Why it’s awesome: The Huashan 1914 Creative Park is an incredibly quirky place that you absolutely have to see before leaving Taipei.
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Hello Kitty Kitchen and Dining is a themed restaurant that is just as quirky as the creative park you’re visiting. Themed decor to themed food, everything has something to do with ‘Hello Kitty.’ The food is tasty and the price is not too bad. Be sure to check it out after your stop off at the creative park.

The Huashan 1914 Creative Park is an area in which artists and non-profit organizations can hold events. It has also become a place where theatre groups, sculptors, painters, writers, and movie directors can showcase their work!

Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Visit the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, Taipei (photo credits:Pinterest)

If you’re a creative, this visit will be right up your alley! But if you’re not, it’s still a must see in Taipei! The quirky nature of this park has brought it a lot of attention in recent years. Thanks to the charitable atmosphere, many people enjoy spending a significant amount of time there!

The free display of up-and-coming artists is a great way to showcase all of the cities talent – whether they’re established or not!

 

Day 2 / Stop 6 – Let a Bird Tell Your Fortune

  • Why it’s awesome: A stall in the Langshan station underground mall might hold the secrets to your future. Step inside the small cubicle to find your fortune teller ‘Big Luck Master’ the bird, waiting patiently for you.
  • Cost: $60
  • Food nearby: Because the stall is located inside the underground mall, you’ll have so many food choices to choose from. Mi Jiao Izakaya Restaurant serves amazing Asian food and incredible sushi. Eating in the underground mall is an experience all on its own. Making this your choice of food stop makes the experience that much more unique.

‘So how does this work exactly?’ – you might be asking. Well, no the bird doesn’t speak directly to you.

When you step inside the cubicle, Big Luck Master will fly onto your shoulder so you can whisper in his ear. You need to let him know what fortune you’re addressing. He’ll then choose a tarot card, he deems appropriate to tell your future.

Let a Bird Tell Your Fortune

Let a Bird Tell Your Fortune, Taipei (photo credits:The Sleepy Cheese)

Is it a scam? Who knows, but it’s something every local will tell you that you need to experience while visiting Taipei. Who are we to say whether this bird is a fortune telling genius or just well trained?

Visit Bopiliao Old Street

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.

GET IT HERE

 

Day 3 and Beyond

Pingxi Lantern Release | Spend a night in Ximending | Visit the Wufenpu District | Take your own Temple Tour

If you are planning on staying for more than just a weekend in Taipei, then you’ll need a few more activities to fill up your itinerary. There are plenty of awesome things to get up to in Taipei, so don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here are a few extra things you need to add to your itinerary if you’re planning to spend more than 3 days in Taipei:

 

Pingxi Lantern Release

  • Paying only for your lantern, join in on the festivities of releasing a lantern in a big group of people.
  • Spend precious time with the locals and get to know them on a personal level.
  • Join in on the festival of a lifetime if you’re in Taipei when it’s happening.

The Pingxi lantern releases take place all year round in the Old Street area! A lot of people decide to release lanterns around the train tracks, as it’s a nice open area and you’ll be able to see your lantern for ages as they float up into the atmosphere! If you’re traveling with a group, be sure to all release you lanterns at the same or similar times. Seeing your lanterns drift upward in a group is an extra special sight!

Pingxi Lantern Release

Pingxi Lantern Release, Taipei (photo credits:Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

The Pingxi Lantern festival happens once a year. You can check these dates online, as they change every year. If you happen to be in Taipei over this period of time, it’s worth the time it takes to check out! It’s a very surreal experience and will make for a truly magical evening! Standing in a group of thousands, all releasing lanterns is something you’ll very rarely be able to experience anywhere else so don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

The lanterns are released in batches, the first batch being released at 6:30 pm and the last batch being released at 9:00 pm.

The Shifen Old Street train tracks are the perfect place to buy your lantern at a decent price, release it when the evening light starts to fade and grab a bite to eat from one of the many street vendors that frequent that area! If you’re traveling with your other half then this is the perfect way to spend a romantic evening abroad!

 

Spend a night in Ximending

  • Explore the thriving nightlife in the neighbourhood of Ximending.
  • Spend time at quirky shops and stalls.
  • Ximending is a neighborhood in Taipei. Often thought of as the shopping district, attracting 3 million shoppers per month! But Ximending comes alive to another extent in the night time. If you’re into the party scene, this is an experience you won’t want to miss! This neighborhood is home to a variety of clubs and pubs for everybody’s taste.

Talking about taste, if you’d like to tantalize your taste buds, or shock the hell out of them, visit Snow King for a variety of freaky-deaky flavors! You’ll find everything from Wasabi, pork-floss and sesame-oil chicken flavor to basil and Taiwan beer! If you’re looking for flavors a little more tame on the tongue, don’t worry, they’ve got those too! Every ice-cream craving can be satisfied at this very strange little shop!

Spend a night in Ximending

Spend a night in Ximending, Taipei

The neighbourhood of Ximending is home to theatre street, an street that houses a collection of, erm, theatres. This is a great way to start your night out with some top class entertainment! Before the evening light fades, be sure to check out graffiti street. This street displays the artwork of a variety of street artists some of who are incredibly talented!

Pre-drink at the Driftwood taproom, where you can experience Taiwan’s finest beer! From there, prepare yourself for a night out on the town. Visit one of the many clubs you’ll find in the neighborhood and party-hard. That’s what this neighborhood does best!

 

Visit the Wufenpu District

  • If you’re looking for a new wardrobe, this just might be the place to start!
  • This district is devoted to bringing you affordable clothing! You’ll find alley’s filled with vendors and stalls selling clothing at great prices.
  • Whether you’re looking for quirky clothing or fashionable street style, they’ll have something for you!

Take your time, or even take a full day, exploring the ins and outs of this massive street market. This market can be described as a shoppers paradise! Make sure that you visit in off-peak hours or risk being bombarded by crowds!

Visit the Wufenpu District

Visit the Wufenpu District, Taipei (photo credits:Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Bargain-hunters scurry from stall to stall, finding the best deals of the day, so visiting early might be a good idea! The market is open from 1 pm – 11 pm every single day, so even if you’re busy during the day, you’ll have the night to explore for some great deals.

You can expect to pay between 100NTD and 500 NTD ($3-$16) for most items, but it’s always fun to challenge yourself to find the best deals. Tuesdays are generally the best days to visit as these are the days the stall holders refresh their stock.

 

Take your own Temple Tour

  • Guided tours are great but sometimes you want to explore by yourself. Take yourself on a tour to explore the many temples in Taipei area!
  • This can be a deeply spiritual experience so it honestly might be better without a guide, this way you have the freedom to choose how long you’d like to stay and which parts of each temple you’d like to spend the most time at!
  • Most temples are free to visit but they may ask for a small donation towards the maintenance costs of the building.

Mengjia Longshan Temple was built in the 1700s by Fujian immigrants! This beautiful temple has been damaged by many fires and earthquakes over the years but has always been well-restored! 

The temple was built to worship the god of mercy, Guanyin, however, you can find 100’s of other statues found throughout the grounds! The temple is fairly big, with 5 main sections, and the temple itself is guarded by statues of mythical creatures like dragons and phoenixes!

The Baoan Temple is located in the Datong district of Taipei. It was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific heritage award! The temple was originally erected in the mid-1700s. And since has been updated multiple times to become the vibrant temple it is now!

In the temple, you’ll find many stone sculptures! In the front hall, you’ll find the most impressive of the stone art collection, dragon columns that stretch up to the ceiling!

Take your own Temple Tour

Take your own Temple Tour, Taipei

A folk art festival is held at the temple every year. Here you’ll find parades, opera performances and surprisingly a free health clinic! Although this may seem out of place, it is actually bang on theme. The temple was created to praise the god of medical knowledge, Baosheng Dadi. Spend some time taking in the many artistic traits of this incredible temple!

The Ciyou Temple is dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of the sea, who is said to watch over all the fisherman and sailors that dock in her harbor!

The temple is near the ocean for that reason. There is a legend that has traveled through Taipei for centuries about how and why the temple was built! A traveling monk is said to have made Taipei his home for a while, he joined up with a group of Mazu followers and they teamed up to raise the money to build the temple.  

This is said to have taken 10 years! The architectural structure of the building is very impressive and its colorful multi-tiered roof sets it apart from the rest!. This elaborate temple draws thousands of visitors every year, after your visit, you’ll understand why!

Don’t forget to pack a good book!

Lonely Planet Taiwan (Travel Guide) This is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

 

Staying Safe in Taipei

Taipei is a lovely little tropical island that forms part of Taiwan! Although both the city and Taiwan are safe it’s important to make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any danger that might arise: natural and manmade. So what are the dangers you should be looking out for?

  • Typhoons – These storms bring plenty of wind and water. As scary as this sounds, it’s important to understand that many of these are not too dangerous! However, some of them could pose a threat to your travel plans in and around Taipei and could bring with them a difficulty to access clean water supplies! Obviously, avoiding Typhoon season (summer) reduces this risk. Check local weather forecasts.

 

  • Take a bottle of clean water with you when leaving your place of accommodation, as Taipei struggles with water-born-diseases, and you never want to be caught dehydrated with no access to clean water!

 

  • Health – Taipei struggles with an abundance of certain diseases! Luckily this doesn’t need to put an end to your travel plans. All you need to do is make sure you’ve been vaccinated before hopping on your flight!

Hepatitis A and B are a huge problem in Taipei. See your GP before visiting Taiwan for advice. Other health issues include typhoid and dysentery – almost always caused by a lack of general hygiene (so pack your hand wipes!)

  • Streets – The driving code in Taipei is pretty sketchy! Drivers believe the rules of the road don’t apply to them. Most people get around on motorbikes and scooters that tend to ramp the pavements to make extra room on the road. As a pedestrian this can be a little daunting – so be aware of your surroundings at all times!
  • Crime – The crime rate in Taipei is very low! Muggings are almost unheard of but pick-pocketing is known to happen from time to time. Just in case – make sure you have a tight grip on your belongings at all times!

Other crimes rarely happen in Taipei, and if you’re a lone-female traveler you’ll be happy to know that you’re safer in Taipei than most other countries in Europe!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Day Trips From Taipei

Day trips are a great way to spend your time if you’re planning on staying in Taipei for a little longer! These guided tours offer great insight into the history and culture that you wouldn’t have experienced if you decided to go it alone. Here are a few day tours that you should add to your itinerary if you’re staying in Taipei for more than 3 days!

 

Full-Day Tour of Northern Taiwan by Car from Taipei

Full Day Tour of Northern Taiwan by Car from Taipei

This private 8-hour tour allows you to choose your own adventure! The tour guide will give you the option to choose from a few of their planned itinerary items and the choices are to-die-for! Enjoy the gorgeous rock formations along the coast as you make your way through Taiwan to the Northern areas.

If you choose to, you can also explore Taipei and the surrounding areas. This will give you a better feel for the area you’re staying in!

You’ll be able to choose up to a maximum of 5 scenic stop off points where you’ll get a chance to explore and learn the history of the area!

Check Tour Price

 

Full-Day Jiufen and Shifen Tour

Full Day Jiufen and Shifen Tour

This 8-hour tour begins at your very own hotel! Once picked up by your driver and tour guide, you’ll visit Taiwan’s “little Niagra.” The Shifen waterfall is a 40-meter wall of water and is the broadest waterfall in all of Taiwan.

Later on, you’ll get the chance to wander the narrow alleyways and streets of Taiwan for local street-food. This is a cuisine all on its own and is well worth a try!

In the afternoon, you’ll get to decide where in Taiwan you’d like to visit, and the driver will let you know if your request is possible. This is great freedom to experience in a day-tour if you have a few destinations in mind!

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Full-Day Haulian City and Taroko Gorge Tour

Full Day Haulian City and Taroko Gorge Tour

After taking a train from Taipei to Haulian at 5 am in the morning, you’ll begin your tour. Your very first stop will be at the tunnel of nine turns which spans an impressive 2 kilometers!

Taroko Gorge is the most essential stop along the way, this overlooks mountain valleys and river rapids and has the most amazing rock formations!

Later you’ll visit the Eternal Spring Shrine, which is dedicated to the veterans of war, it is also arguably the most picturesque stop along the way. Next, you’ll visit Swallow Grotto to see 500 meters of marble canyon walls and an abundance of small cave and alcoves! 

However, these are just a few of the many great stop-offs you’ll experience during this incredible full-day tour!

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Thousand Island Lake and Pinglin Tea Plantation from Taipei

Thousand Island Lake and Pinglin Tea Plantation from Taipei

This exquisite tour allows you to escape the city and enjoy the tranquil beauty of nature! You’ll visit the incredible Thousand Island Lake, which takes its name from the many tiny islands dotted around the lake!

Take in the views of the luscious landscape on your way to the Pinglin tea plantation and museum. You’ll get the opportunity to do a tea tasting and explore every stage of the production process! From growing and harvesting to brewing the perfect cup of Taiwanese blend! 

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Chiufen Village and Northeast Coast Tour

Chiufen Village and Northeast Coast Tour

Visit the Chiufen village which is an old gold-mining village, famous for its many teahouses. Although the gold is now gone, the village remains. These closely-packed houses cling to the mountainside which makes for interesting scenery and a glimpse into a lifestyle that came before!

During the tour, you’ll be able to experience the mesmerizing rock formations of Nanya. You’ll also see plenty of capes and bays along the way that adds to Taiwan’s picturesque reputation.

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Conclusion

Taipei is an incredibly beautiful city to visit, no matter your taste in travel experiences. Whether you’re a lone-traveler or traveling with your pack, Taipei has different experiences for all situations!

The thriving nightlife in Taipei is one you need to experience, and be sure to put some money aside for a shop-till-you-drop experience – needless to stay, keep some space aside in your travel bag for all the added extras!

The cultural experiences are more than abundant and the natural surrounds make for some great exploratory adventures!

If you’re planning a trip to Taipei, be sure to add some of these activities to your itinerary, you won’t be sorry! Travel safe and enjoy your journey, we’re sure it will be filled with amazing memories and adventures!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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