Uncovering Taipei: A Virtual City Tour

by Digital Nomad Life, Wandra, Asian Wander Women and NARU

When you hear the word Taipei, what comes to mind?

For me, it’s cherry blossoms in bloom and the towering Taipei 101.

Haha can’t get this out of your head now, can you?

Ever since I watched my friend Emily explore Taiwan during cherry blossom season I have always wanted to go to Taipei.

That dream is finally becoming a reality next month. Yey! And of course that’s thanks to the AWW Travel Conference happening in Taipei.

For now, join me on this virtual tour of Taipei, as we uncover the beauty, history, and wonders of this captivating city from the comfort of our screens.

Have fun exploring ✨

Table of Contents

What do you need to know about Taiwan visa before entering the country?

First things first!

Courtesy of our partner; Wandra.io, we have put together an article covering everything you need to know before entering Taiwan.

Please keep in mind that specific details can vary depending on your country of origin and purpose of travel.

And always check the official website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs of Taiwan or the nearest Taiwanese diplomatic mission for the most current visa information and entry requirements.

Now we have entered the country, What’s next?

2 things I do whenever I enter a country are;

  1. Getting a SIM.

  2. Exchanging money/Withdrawing cash from the ATM.

Get a SIM Card

If you have signed up for Wandra.io with the discounted code we provided, you can easily buy your Taiwan e-SIM through the platform. If not here’s an article that explains how and where to buy a Taiwan SIM Card.

Payment Options

I did a bit of research about payment options in Taiwan and I have compiled an article for you if you need more information.

Rule of thumb is that you need to keep some cash on hand for small purchases, local eateries, and places where digital payments are not accepted.

How to get to Taipei City?

Since we are on a city tour in Taipei, let’s find our way to Taipei City from the aiport. I found this incredibly useful article about how to get to Taipei City Center using different modes of transport.

Now we have got all the boring stuff out of the way, let’s explore the city. 😊

10 must-visit places in Taipei

According to the recommendations from our speaker Darice Chang at our virtual tour, I have compiled a list of places to visit in Taipei.

  1. Taipei 101: This was once the world's tallest building. It is an architectural marvel and a symbol of the city. You can visit the observation deck for panoramic views of Taipei. If you are planning to visit, check the ticket prices and deals on Klook.

  2. National Palace Museum: Home to one of the largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks in the world, this museum offers a deep dive into Chinese history and culture.

    According to Darice, the branch in Tainan (Southern Taiwan) holds exhibition of artifacts like the iconic jade cabbage and braised meat jade through spring of this year. This might be your opportunity to get out of Taipei, and if you are looking for a specific piece from the permanent collection of artifacts it may be down south.

  3. Jingmei Human Rights Museum: is known for its role in preserving and educating the public about Taiwan's period of martial law, known as the White Terror era. This era, which lasted from 1949 to 1987, was a time of political suppression, during which the government carried out a campaign against perceived communists and political dissidents. It’s a must-visit place to learn about an important part of the political history of Taiwan.

    Photo by Chris van Laak, Lai liang ming

  4. Bangka Lungshan Temple: One of Taipei's oldest and most important temples, Bangka Lungshan Temple is a beautiful example of Taiwanese religious architecture and a center for Buddhist and Taoist religious practices. Just looking at the picture itself can make you feel at peace.

  5. Ximending Walking District: Often compared to Tokyo's Shibuya, Ximending is a bustling shopping district known for its youthful vibe, street performances, fashion stores, and a wide array of dining options. A photo worthy spot to explore!

  6. Shilin Night Market: No visit to Taipei is complete without experiencing its night markets. Shilin is the largest and most famous, offering endless food options, entertainment, and shopping. Darice recommended Ningxia night market which has the most number of Michelin star restaurants.

  7. Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan): For the best view of Taipei's skyline, hike up Elephant Mountain. It's a relatively easy trail that rewards you with stunning views of the City, especially at sunset. The trail is marked with direction boards, making it easy to follow!

  8. Beitou Hot Springs: Located in the northern part of Taipei, Beitou is famous for its hot springs. You can enjoy a relaxing soak in public baths or private resorts, surrounded by lush greenery. Make a trip out of exploring Beitou and visit Beitou Night Market as well!

  9. Taipei Confucius Temple and Baoan Temple: These neighboring temples offer insight into Taiwan's religious practices and architectural beauty. The Confucius Temple is known for its serene and scholarly atmosphere, while Baoan Temple is vibrant and richly decorated.

  10. Huashan 1914 Creative Park: Once a wine factory, this complex has been transformed into a dynamic arts and culture space, hosting exhibitions, markets, theaters, and cafes. It's a great place to see the creative side of Taipei.

Explore food culture in Taiwan

The best way to get to know people is over a drink or food. That’s the same when you want to learn about a culture. Try these 12 different types of food from Taiwan in your trip!

Check out the pictures of the dishes below for a better reading experience 😅

  1. Bubble Tea (珍珠奶茶) is not technically a food. But I can’t start this list without the honorary mention of one of the most sought after drinks in the world! This is originally from Taiwan! So try it out at its homebase. For those who haven’t given a try, it’s a popular beverage made with milk, tea and tapioca bubbles. If you are not up for milk or tea, there are different varieties of bubble tea that you can try with fruit flavours.

  2. Pineapple Cake (鳳梨酥) is a popular Taiwanese pastry with a buttery crust and a sweet, tangy pineapple filling.

  3. Mango Shaved Ice (芒果冰) is polular during summer. It’s made with shaved ice, fresh mango chunks, and sometimes condensed milk or ice cream.

  4. Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐) is a fermented tofu dish. It is a must-try street food when you are in Taiwan. Deep-fried and served with pickled cabbage and a spicy sauce. Staying true its name, it might smell a little.

  5. Oyster Omelette (蚵仔煎) is a savory omelette made with eggs, small oysters, and a starch mixture, topped with a sweet and slightly spicy sauce.

  6. Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵) is considered a national dish. It comes with tender braised beef, chewy noodles, and a rich, flavorful broth.

    Don’t they look delicious?

  7. Lu Rou Fan (滷肉飯) is a simple dish of braised pork over rice accompanied by pickled vegetables.

  8. Gua Bao (割包) is also known as Taiwanese hamburger. It is a steamed bun filled with braised pork belly, pickled mustard greens, coriander, and ground peanuts.

  9. Dumplings (餃子) steamed, boiled, or pan-fried, dumplings filled with various ingredients such as pork, shrimp, or vegetables are a must try staple food in Taiwanese cuisine.

  10. Dan Bing (蛋餅) is a thin, crepe-like pancake with an egg layer. You can customize it with additions like cheese, ham, or basil. It is a popular breakfast item.

    Next two items are must-try food from the 7-11 stores in Taiwan. Just like Thailand, food in 7-11 are known to be super good!

  11. Onigiri (Rice Balls): These are not your average rice balls. You can find them with different types of fillings like tuna mayo, salmon, and even local flavors like braised pork. They're a perfect snack or light meal.

  12. Tea Eggs (茶葉蛋) are eggs slow-cooked in a mixture of tea, soy sauce, and spices. They are known to be a flavorful and healthy snack.

    There is food for everyone!

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan Traveller, here’s a list of restaurant recommendations from Darice ✨

Cultural and Social Norms in Taipei

While you enjoy places and food in Taiwan, don’t forget to be respectable of Taiwanese cultural and social norms. Knowing them can only enhance your experience in Taipei. I have covered all of that on a separate article here.

As all the good things come to an end, we have to conclude this virtual city tour as well. Before we wrap up, I have put down the list of places on a Google Map, so you can find them easily below.

This blog article is written by the Digital Nomad Life with the information shared at the Uncovering Taipei: Virtual city Tour hosted by Wandra, Asian Wonder Women and NARU.

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