48 HOURS IN TAIPEI


Day 1

Yummy Taiwanese Breakfast!

Start off your morning right and pop down to your neighborhood breakfast joint for a nice local breakfast. Or if you’re feeling lazy, pick up a traditional Lunch Box (Bian Dang) for a quick and easy meal from one of many convenience stores.

Now that you’re fueled up, it’s time to get familiar with Taiwan’s history and culture; check out the National Palace Museum or the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, both of which are conveniently located and provide a great quick snapshot of Taiwan. Look out for the tour groups though, these places can get pretty packed with tourists!

After that, head over to Wu Fen Pu to reward yourself with some of the cheapest shopping you can get in Taipei – it’s a well known wholesale district so if you’re looking to buy in bulk, this is the place to be at! Take a break from all that bargaining and fill your tummy at Hu Xu Zhang, a great minced meat rice (lu rou fan) store in the vicinity; Look out for the bearded man logo!

Spend the late afternoon taking the train to Rui Fang and then hopping on the bus up to Jiu Fen, a quaint old area where you can indulge in an entire street’s worth of fabulous Taiwanese street food, or enjoy the hill top and sea view while sipping tea. It rains more often than not up here due to its position in the hills, so be prepared for the wet weather.

Hilltop View at Jiu Fen

And when night has fallen, head back down to the city centre to Taipei 101 for more upscale dining and branded shopping options in the mall area, as well as to gaze upon the twinkling lights of the cityscape at night from 101 floors up. When you’re done with admiring the city, grab a cab and head out to party in some of Taipei’s most happening clubs like Luxy or Club 18till the wee hours of the morning.

Day 2

Take a slow start to your morning to recover from last night’s partying, but when you’re finally up and about, head on over toXi Men Ding for some serious shopping. When you do get hungry, pop into any of the restaurants there, or eat the famous Ah Zhong Mian Xian like the locals do, standing in the street with a bowl in hand and a spoon in the other. And then go shop somemore!

Ximending's Ah Zhong Mian Xian

Hell's Valley in Taiwan

After traipsing around with your many bags of goodies, take the MRT down to Xin Bei Tou, where you can soak those tired limbs in the hot springs area of Taipei. There are lots of reasonable private hot spring hotel options, but the cheapest and easiest one is the Millenium Hot Spring Public Bath right next to the Hot Spring Museum. Bring your swimsuit and check to make sure you don’t go when they’re cleaning the pools! But if they are, do take the time to pop into the Hot Springs Museum to learn more about the development of hot springs in the Bei Tou area, or head further down to the geothermal pool better known as Hells Valley for a look-see.

 

You’re bound to be ravenous after a good bath, so take the MRT a few more stops down to Dan Shui. Take a boat out to Fisherman’s Wharf to catch the sun setting at Lovers Bridge, or just enjoy the street food in the old town area by the sea.

Boats at Dan Shui

And if you’re still hungry, head on over to Shilin Night Market for an array of even more great Taiwanese street food, or do some shopping next door at City Jungle and the outdoor night markets to work up those hunger pangs.

Still raring for some night life? Head over to Karaoke joints like Party World and book a private room where you can belt out your favourite tunes into the wee hours of the night!

Check out my Taiwan Adventures and more at The Occasional Traveller.

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