Time zone: UTC+8
Best to visit: October – April
When we think about Taiwan, the image that pops into our heads is the skyline of the capital city, Taipei. And maybe some high-end architecture found in developed Asian countries such as Japan or Singapore.
But what most of us don’t know is that Taiwan has so much more for us to discover. The country is home to some breathtaking natural landscaped, carved by volcanic action, which opens up the possibility to so many adventures, you will surely not get bored weeks on a row!
Visit Taiwan’s Taipei 101
Once the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101 is a wonderful piece of architecture that stands out on Taipei’s skyline even today, and it is going to do so for decades to come. Taipei 101 is also the perfect setting for a late dinner, a high-rise from which you can admire the entire city and start your Taiwan experience.
The Shin Yeh restaurant is set at the 85th floor of the tower draws inspiration from the Taiwanese traditional cuisine and the humble origins of the diner, only to combine them with modern techniques in a high-end equipped kitchen which serves only the best of the best.
A heaven for foodies
Your next delicious meal is not far away from the Taipei 101 tower, in the shopping mall just beneath it to be more precise. Expect to mingle with the locals and tourists alike, and it might take a while to find a seat inside, but the wait will be worth it.
Believe it or not, Din Tai Fung is a Michelin star restaurant, and yes, it is found inside a shopping mall. Because when it comes to cuisine, Asia is one of the most surprising places you can eat. Here, we recommend ordering the steamed pork dumplings, but you are to get a mouthwatering meal no matter the dishes you choose from the menu. And the best part is you can see the chefs preparing your bite-sized goodies through the windows looking into the kitchen.
Get outside the cities when you travel to Taiwan
With so many wonderful natural landscapes, you cannot miss the chance to go outside the cities of Taiwan, especially in the northeastern part of the country. Here, you will be hiking between marble cliffs and oceans of green forests.
One of the first attractions on your list should be the Elephant Mountain. This 500-step climb will take you over the city of Taipei, from where you can watch a wonderful sunset, shedding its light on the city’s skyline.
If you’re a fan of outdoor adventures, Taroko National Park is the place to be, and it is only a few hours drive from Taipei. This hot springs territory is ideal to go hiking through, and even if the fog might be upsetting from time to time, the strong winds from the peaks disperse it and you will have a clear path.
Get all the accommodation perks when travelling to Taiwan
If indulgence is what you are looking for, then Taiwan has something for you too. The stunning Gaia Hotel is going to offer you the benefits of hot springs with the perks of great accommodation. You will get your personal hot pool, as each room comes equipped with such a thing.
After an adventure in the wild outdoors, a hot bath is all you need to recover your strength. And this no ordinary bath, but one on which you can jump from the bedroom straight into a hot pool, with all the benefits of a spa.
Explore adventurous Taiwan
It’s time to get your wetsuit and helmet on and go canyoning or, as known in Taiwan, river tracing. The sceneries are amazing, as they look like out of Tolkein’s novels, like no others in the world. And this sport is definitely worth the try, every time you visit Taiwan.
You can spend hours on the Sa Po Dang river, where you can jump off cliffs, scale waterfalls and even squeeze through tight crevices, and you can do all this just before lunch. You can enjoy your picnic on one of the river banks, on a fresh vegetation carpet. What’s next? Snorkelling in a secluded pool naturally coloured in turquoise.
One of the best adventures you can have is to get right into the heart of nature, not just watch it from afar. And in Taiwan, you can do so, as many times as you want!
When in Taipei…
If all the adventures above did not convince you to travel to Taiwan, maybe some unusual aspects will do so. After you’ve soaked into nature, had an outdoor lunch, snorkelled and enjoyed your own private hot bath, it is time for some quirky business.
Taipei’s toilet cafe is something you must see before you leave Taiwan, only for the fun of it. Modern Toilet Restaurant is an establishment designed to look like a bathroom, and every aspect of it is for the ones with a sense of humour: you can serve your delicacy ice cream, with all its delicious chocolate toppings and biscuits sprinkle from a squat toilet, and what’s more, a porcelain one. Well, if this is not peculiar and funny, we don’t know what is.
And if you enjoy the experience, which we believe you will make sure you don’t leave without a souvenir from their own shop. You will find all sorts of poop-themed items, ideal to buy for your friends back home and have a blast together!