Things to do in Taipei
If you ever run out of food options, there’s one more truly unique offering in Taipei. May we introduce the toilet-themed restaurant. That’s right, at Modern Toilet you’ll sit upon the porcelain throne (fashion over function, thank goodness) and food is served in mini toilet bowls – strange but true facts about Taipei #1! You can also dine at prison, Barbie and hospital-themed restaurants - if you’re into that kind of thing.
This may also seem strange, but getting your hair washed in Taipei is a favourite local pastime. The whole process takes about an hour and includes a scalp massage and movie star-style blow-dry. Like the whole pampering scene? Taipei has a couple of natural hot springs just outside the city to soak in after you’ve pounded the pavement.
Like to shop for vintage? Yongkang Street is a great place to get your Asian retro-chic on with plenty of vintage and antiques on show. Ximending is another shopping district and a good area to shop for souvenirs and designer clothes. Eslite Dunnan is the world’s only 24-hour bookstore and on a Saturday night it’s not unusual to see young Taiwanese hanging out and sobering up. It’s a great place to people watch and catch up on the latest in the literary world.
Also worth checking out is Taipei Zoo - home to hundreds of animals including giant pandas. From the zoo, take the Maokong Gondola to the Maokong highlands where tea enthusiasts are in for a treat – the area is home to many tea shops and street stalls that offer traditional Chinese tea and food. To top it off, there’s an amazing view of Taipei City on offer.
For our top places to go in Taipei, read on.
Shop 'til your drop and snack your little heart out at Shilin Night Market, considered the premier spot in a city flush with marketplaces. Sample local delicacies, purchase that souvenir and finish up with karaoke in a bar.
Taipei 101 was the world's tallest tower until surpassed by the Burj Khalifa. Those with a head for heights can get their kicks and a panoramic view of the capital from the outdoor observatory deck on the 91st floor.
To stop and smell the fresh mountain air, do like the locals do and make tracks to Yangmingshan National Park. Take time out from Taipei with mountain walks, hot springs and teahouses in natural surrounds.
The number one landmark and monument in Taipei, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is tops of most visitors' itineraries. For politics and propraganda, see the polished view of the Generalissimo's life.
One of the largest depositories of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks in the world, the Taiwanese National Palace Museum is a showcase of pieces collected over the centuries by China's dynastic emperors.