Taipei bleg

I haven’t been in ages, so please tell me what to do.  I will be there soon.  I thank you all in advance for the usual wisdom and sage counsel.


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Asking questions are actually fastidious thing if you are not understanding anything completely,
except this piece of writing provides nice
understanding even.

I believe it's where bubble tea was invented in the 1980s and is still a growing global product - would love to hear your thoughts on boba tea and if you try any in Taiwan.

Excellent video and sound-track on bubble tea supplies:

The Taiwanese love baseball. There is a baseball team in New Taipei City. I think they are called the Brother Elephants. They have cheerleaders and a band that beats a drum and plays whenever the home team is at bat and all the fans have noisemakers. The home team fans sit on one side of the stadium and the away fans sit on the other side. More fun than American baseball.

for the record, it is not really all that fun to sit in the stands and watch other people play a game. in any country, Taiwan, America, any other country.
no matter how much "fun" the people who get paid try to generate.

Go out and play golf or croquet or badminton or something like that.

And don't make fun of Americans again unless you know what you are talking about I get so tired of people making fun of Americans.

For the record, you little anti-American bigot, sitting in the stands for an American baseball game is NOT ABOUT WATCHING THE GAME it is about hanging out with friends

or just keep on saying Taiwan is surprisingly superior to America

don't be a bigot

What an odd and unnecessary response.

@Ron I enjoy Taiwanese baseball games more than American ones too, a lot of energy from the audience. Of course the American players are better, but hell I can't really tell anyway.

Visit Kinmen. It's eerie being that close to the mainland but technically not in PRC. Weird vibe too, and definitely related to that fact.

Pick up a knife made from Chinese artillery shells while you're at it, but don't have it visible if you're entertaining PRC guests.

Is this the best time to be visiting Taipei? Anyway, the linked article quotes the attendees at Sunday's demonstration criticizing corporations (especially media corporations) in Taiwan for being "money-centered" and promoting the CCP's (Chinese Communist Party) propaganda rather than promoting freedom and democracy. It struck me as ironic that private corporations would be conflated with the communist party (the allegation is that they take subsidies from the CCP, which compromise the corporations).

I'd recommend taking the see through gondola up elephant mountain to see the tea plantations.

I second this one. The gondola goes on for miles with station stops in the mountains. Tea plantations have great views from which to savor unique Taiwan teas and local cuisine.

Not too difficult to walk to the Yinhe Cave Temple from there too, set behind a waterfall.

Din Tai Fung, of course
Try to find hujaobing at one of the night markets; one of the labor-intensive street foods that is becoming harder to find.
Shidong market in Tianmu, one of the former market stalls that's been converted to an indoor, hygenic marketplace. Product of high human capital staff and discerning customers. Especially good for fresh fruit.
While you're in the area, get scallion pancakes at Shandong Scallion Pancake, a venerable institution featured on local TV.
The National Museum of course rewards repeat visits.
Taroko National Park and Hualien in general is well worth the visit if you have the time. Find a seaside fishing town and eat the best sashimi you'll ever find.

We lived in Taiwan for a year. These are good suggestions. Obviously Din Tai Fung, the National Museum, and night markets. Tyler, are you ready for stinky tofu?
I think Taroko is beautiful and it is the easiest way to learn about some of the native peoples of Taiwan. Could Tyler really river trace? The area around Hualien is great for that.

And don't forget that the Eslite bookstore in Dunnan area of Taipei is open 24 hours. If you happen to have jetlag, a 24 hour bookstore is pretty cool. If that doesn't help don't forget that Taiwanese take 7-11 and its competitor FamilyMart very seriously in a way that's hard to explain.

The 24hr 敦化 Eslite will be closing down in 2020 when their lease ends, so now’s a good time to visit. The Eslite group did promise to set up another 24hr branch in the future though.

The indoor and outdoor observatories near the top of Taipei 101, which was the world's tallest building between 2004 and 2010. If you have time for a day-trip out of Taipei, Taroko Gorge is spectacular.

What to do in Taipei? Watch out for incoming Chinese missiles?

Two things you have probably seen before, but if not, do. One is the Imperial Art Museum, which you should see again even if you have been there before. They got the best stuff out of the Forbidden City.

The other is the park downtown and memorial honoring Chiang Kai-Shek. If seen before, not worth a return, but if not, weirdly imitating the Lincoln Memorial and also weird because almost nobody there. Neither political party likes him now, the KMT because he was anti-PRC and the Popular Party because he was anti-Taiwan independence (and killed his opponents, them).

You probably already know that cuisine from all parts of China can be found there as when the Nationalists came in 1949, well, they originally came from all over China, and they brought their cuisines.

A weird fact about Taipei is that the local dialectsof Chinese spoken on opposite sides of the river are quite different, so much so that this is one of those places where one can sometimes see locals making diagrams in their hands when talking to somebody else. They are making images of Chinese words as the alphabet is the same even as the sounded language is different.

Oh, another thing, which you are less likely to have done is to get some of the food of the aboriginal population. Sorry I do not have a restaurant name, and when I had it it was outside of Taipei in a rural area. But this is something quite different and good.

I always figured Tyler to be a Taipei personality.

I giggled!!

Find out how much of that sweet, sweet export money is being shifted from China into Taipei and which sectors if any are experiencing a windfall.

Look at the sea and check if the Chinese fleet is steaming in. If you wait long enough you ll see them.

Spend a night in Jiufen. Stay up late, then get up early and go for a walk in the mountains when the crowds are thick. Follow a cat wherever it takes you. Yes, it's a tourist trap but it's oh so very worth it.

Maybe, for once in your life, try visiting somewhere in the USA outside of a major city.

What the hell for?


He has done so frequently and has asked for advice often when doing so. This is yet another example of the usual abysmally low and stupid quality of your comments here.


How about Papillon, Nebraska? You can't get much more exotic than that if you live and work in the ivory tower.

Tried to write something compressive but realized it came off like any standard tour book, and that any good advice I could give would be outdated (since it’s been a while), and be something like - “pick the third stand around the corner from...” - and wouldn’t be helpful. So instead a couple of general tips

1) get up early for breakfast on the street. Fantuan (rice burrito) is generally a favorite for me, though options abound.

2) Ouajen (oyster omelette) are an unusual, but very good specialty around lunch.

3) Night markets - if only because the locals love them so much. Shilin is the biggest but others are equally interesting.

4) wax apples (lian Wu), though they may not be in season

5) like much of coastal east Asia, the seafood is both better and better-integrated into the cuisine than anything you’ll find here.

Most tourist attractions in Taipei are of the type that are somewhat interesting once. Better to spend time with more ordinary daily pursuits like riding scooters or walking through the markets. The exception is that if you get a chance for a mountain or east-coast excursion, you should take it.

One additional thing is to note what events are in town. The artisans - including things like banzai and the flower show - are pretty remarkable.

Are you brave enough to try stinky tofu? I could barely walk past the stands. If you try it, I'd love to read your description of it.

Not a destination but a way to get to destinations: the Taipei subway system is remarkable--the thought that went into making it user friendly exceeds anything I have seen in the West. Use it to go anywhere it will take you. It's also amazingly inexpensive.

We were happy the Hotel concierge talked us out of renting a car and gave us the subway map instead. Almost everything worth seeing in Taipei turned out to be right next to a subway station.

Try one of the breakfast buffets at the big hotels. They will have Taiwanese, Japanese, and western stations. Taiwanese section will include rice porridge (congee, or "moi" in Taiwanese) with your choice of toppings. I would recommend pickled vegetables, preserved egg (called "pidan", century egg, or thousand-year egg), and pork "floss" (dried stringy pork). You could also have beef noodle soup. The Japanese sections are also good.

In the street markets, I would recommend "gua bao", pork belly and vegetables stuffed in a bun wrapper, sometimes called a "Taiwanese hamburger" (but not really a hamburger).

Try some shaved ice, topped with boba bubbles and red beans. Alternative: tofu in warm syrup ("tofu fa" or "dou hua") topped with boba bubbles and red beans. I'm not sure where exactly one can find this, but sometimes in the same places where they sell bubble tea.

I know Tyler asked what to "do", but the thing to do in Taiwan is to eat!

Btw, I know eating in a hotel restaurant may seem "inauthentic" or "touristy" to Americans. However, hotel restaurants in Taiwan are legit restaurants, i.e., locals go there to eat even though they are not staying in the hotel. Admittedly, they can be expensive, especially by Taiwanese standards, but the breakfast buffets are well worth it just because they are so expansive.

Second the gondola, subways, any and all night markets. The zoo is fantastic and about $2 iirc.

For something completely different: there are many tea shops, but I can highly recommend 太平製茶行-板橋 (@tpteashop on facebook, with map etc). My fiance Matt has spent many day-long layovers in Taipei and stumbled into this tea shop randomly at first, but ended up spending a long time there with the owners who continually pour different varieties of oolong from their high-mountain tea farm to sip on as long as you're sitting there. The family is lovely and most of them don't speak a lot of English, but between their broken English and Matt's broken Mandarin they've ended up friends who stay in touch. I'm not there as often but it's a highlight every time. Strange world :)

Cooking class with the inimitable Ivy (as seen on UK TV). She's a gem and we learned more about Taiwan and the Taiwanese than we did cooking (which was a lot). Wonderful to visit a Taiwanese family home as well.

Villa 32 Hot Spring - car or train to Beitou. Great for jetlag

Wistaria tea house - historic, great ambience, and excellent way to sample local teas of high quality. Most importantly the meeting place of pro-democracy intellectuals in the 80s, and others well before.

Maokong tea plantations. You can take a car or the tram. The oldest and higher up are better quality, but they are all fun. I believe we enjoyed Liujixiang. Try to get some of the "fresh" tea which they keep frozen immediately after picking and is not processed - a total revelation.

Huashan 1914 art/design space has lots of interesting galleries, traveling exhibits, and is a great way to observe Taipei's hip youth in action.

Kaifun - Sichuanese, 3-4 locations, fabulous

Lu Sang - Yilin province specialties

Yundish - Yunnanese, excellent

Hanji Tiger Noodle House 韓記老虎麵食館 Sichuan noodles

Loved the Proverbs Hotel, unique, great neighborhood, excellent service

Da'an district main drag is the best for a scenic stroll. Much nicer atmosphere than most of the newer neighborhoods

Yehliu Geopark is outside of Taipei but still in northern Taiwan. One can see natural rock formations, including one shaped like a queen's head.

Also, Shifen Old Street in New Taipei City. One can decorate and release a sky lantern.

Food recs:

1) Ben T was right about Taiwanese breakfast! You can find mom and pops if you explore a bit, but if in doubt Yong He Dou Jiang (the big breakfast chain) is great. Get the roasted soy milk (hot or cold. Sweet is normal but salty is great too). Dip the fried dough stick. The omelettes (dan bing) are good. The big pork buns (different from soup dumplings) as well. All for 6 bucks.

2) The original DinTaiFung is on Xinyi Rd. The others have a more corporate vibe, but the quality of the xiao long bao are great across the board. Break your Asian dessert rule and try their taro and red bean dumplings as well! Expect a bit of a wait, especially if you go with others.

3) Tonghua is a more local night market if you want to escape tourist throngs.

4) Try oyster vermicelli (get it with pork intestines for the real deal). Great flavors/textures. ("Oamisoir")

5) The food courts of the big department stores spread across Taipei (usually in the basement levels). A lot of variety and a fun atmosphere.

6) You can find a lot of gems walking around the web of alleyways in big districts like Da'an, and not just Taiwanese food. Great yakiniku (I like Da-wan) and hot pot shops spread around.

Go look for small shop variants on Beef Noodle soup. The Taiwanese niu rou mian is highly prized and can be quite different from place to place albeit the best places are all in southern Taiwan. Even the mainland PRC values the few places that sell Taiwanese style beef noodle soup in China.

Try one of the two major Culture & Creative Parks, Songshan or Huashan 1914. Always something interesting going on, nice restaurants/shops, etc. Every major Taiwanese city has a few of these, usually on the premises of a former factory/processing plant for one of the old government monopolies (tobacco, alcohol, or sugar). They do a great job of keeping the place looking dilapidated (good vibe, some history) and yet nice/clean - I'm not sure how to describe it.

Village 44 or Four Four South Village is nice too, but much smaller. Old military housing near 101 that has been turned into some nice public space, a small market, cafes, etc. The lawn is laid on top of the triangular rooftops of rows of barracks.

Also leave some time for the airport - each gate is set up like a mini museum with a theme, some artifacts, plaques, reading materials, etc. Taiwanese cinema, Hakka culture, postal history of the ROC, etc. I always find it such a delight just to wander around the gate area.

National 228 Memorial Museum

Second. Also the Jing Mei white terror memorial park. If you go to the south, the Kaohsiung Museum of History touches upon local experiences and events during the 228 as well.

So much easier to go south with the high speed rail (a Japanese shinkansen, though adapted for the Taiwanese hotter weather, something that should come into handy if and when the design is used for the Texas High Speed rail, as planned.)

When you go to the national museum make sure you see the curio boxes and contemplate Joseph Cornell

小器食堂, aka Perfect Place
No. 27, Chifeng St, Datong District, Taipei City, 103
A stellar spot for Japanese set lunch and then a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood. The same people run a coffeeshop down the street, Nichi Nichi, which is an ideal place to bring your computer to get work done. You should pair a trip to these two with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zhongshan. There's a lot of fun public art in the neighborhood.

I presume that Tyler has been to some of the Din Tai Fungs in the US; I hope he will report to us how they compare to the original one in Taiwan.

I met a woman of Taiwanese ancestry who said that though her relatives had no great fondness of the Japanese (due to the island being occupied by the Japanese for several decades until the end of WW II), they hated the KMT even more, for being even more oppressive and violent to the populace. I don't know if Tyler will be able to detect this, but I wonder what his sense of the attitudes of the Taiwanese is.

Lee Tung-Hui, the first elected Taiwanese president, seems to look upon the Japanese fondly []. His older brother died serving in the Imperial Japanese Navy in WW2 and is listed in the Yasukuni Shrine. Many Taiwanese, if they were born before WW2, still refer to family and friends using their Japanese names from that era.

Palace museum, Din Tai Fung dumpling, and Eslite bookstore are three things you should never miss in Taipei!

1. Passion fruit green tea from an outdoor stand
2. Scallion pancakes from a street vendor
3. Visit the Jade market
4. Taiepei 101 observatory tower
5. Taiwanese fried chicken
6. Night markets, shida and shilin
7. Follow the stray dogs into a 7-11
8. Rent a moped
9. Visit turtle Beach
10. Din Tai Fung is great, but equally great baozi can be found at street shops.
Bonus- the MRT (metro) is amazing. just don't try to eat on it, or you'll get yelled at.

Lived in Taipei for close to three years. A lot of this is just +1 on what has already been said above. Don't miss:
1) Street food on Yongkang Street. Shallot pancakes, bubble tea, shaved noodles, oyster omelettes, shaved ice, beef noodle soup. Spend as much time as you can and hit as many spots as you can. Then of course end the trip at Ding Tai Feng.
2) Breakfast at a chain such as Yonghe Doujiang. Grab the fried doughsticks, hot soymilk, and danbing (like a fried egg tortilla)
3) If you have time, head north to Jilong (Keelung), where you'll find the recommendations above for Jiufen and Yeliu Park
4) Stay in the Grand Hotel for at least one night. It's silly and dated but the architecture is worth seeing and if you've seen Ang Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman" you'll have some nostalgia for the setting of parts of the movie. Views are great, too, and you're close to the Shilin Night Market (also worth spending an evening there snacking your way through it)
5) Quick history hits at the Chiang Kai Shek and Sun Yat Sen memorial parks, then the National Palace Museum
6) Beitou hot springs
7) Hualien is a bit of a hike down the east coast but +1 on the Taroko Gorge reco. It's fantastic
8) Area around Taipei 101 worth hanging out in for a bit, but feels like any other cosmopolitan shopping area imo
9) Ximending looks and feels like you're in Tokyo. Worth a quick stop
10) Be sure to hop into one of the large temples and burn an incense stick. Many are a mix of Daoist, Buddhist, and folk religious icons. Longshan Temple is probably the most famous / easiest to find

Taking the MRT around is so easy. You'll find a stop near most of these spots above, except for the stuff around Jilong

I would rather recommend mango snowflake ice to you in the hot Summer. It's available on Yongkang street as recommended by MF. see also

- Have some Taiwanese breakfast (from a small shop in the street). The egg and cheese wraps are awesome. Try all the sauces.
- Visit a doctor or hospital. Report back.
- Take your trash out. (Wait for the truck.)
- Check out the local English-language stand-up comedy scene.
- Take the MRT. Use the toilet at any of the larger stations. (Marvel at how functional it all is.)
- Get some tea eggs at 7-11. For a sweet fix, try the custard bread. Also, try the asparagus juice (not because it's good, but because it's there).
- Skip a meal and have a big tsua bing (shaved ice) instead. Add all the unknown chunky bits (taro chunks, tapioca pearls, coconut jelly, grass jelly, palm nut, coix seed, red bean, green bean, rice flour balls, etc.) and a generous dose of sweetened condense milk. Do so on a very hot day.
- Buy skincare products at a drugstore. (If you are into that, as really anyone with skin should be.) Naruko is an excellent Taiwanese brand. The night gellies are so nice. Also, Asian sunscreen is awesome.
- Cama coffee (It's pretty nice.)
- "Wheel" cakes from a street vendor, try black sesame or rum raisin.
- Stroll the red light district around Wanhua (there might still be snakes).
- Push through crowds in Ximending on a weekend night, get a piercing.
- Ask ANYONE for directions or help.
- Ask people about the brain drain. Ask young people about their work study trips abroad. Ask them about work and study in China. Ask about starting salaries. Ask about the work culture.
- Ask about feminine ideals. Ask someone what sajiao means.
- Ask about betel nut girls.
- Go visit the offices of the Taiwanese animators at Next Media. (They do the news cartoons.)

MRT + Taxi to Wuhe (half day trip).

A bit touristy, but wonderful nature and pleasant vibe. Take the gondola to the decrepit entertainment park and enjoy the views.

Wander around the non-touristy residential part of the town, for example by walking or driving up to the public hot springs. There you have normal non-touristy Atayal people, restaurants, shops.

Did you mean Wulai?

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