Recently, Taipei, a city based in China’s province, Taiwan, has been seeing an increasing number of foreign tourists and that too, each and every year. Keep in note that even though Taipei is not an extremely budget destination in China, it is still a whole lot of cheaper than its neighbour country, Japan.
If by any chance, you are a budget traveller and are thinking of visiting, then not to worry; you will have plenty of things to do in Taipei, which is not only cheap but are also free.
Now, all you need to do is to pack in your shoes and your travelling gear. Why, you ask?? Cause it’s high time that you should go and explore all those lush and green mountains waiting for you!! Relax in the hot springs that are known to make Taipei one of the best places to visit amongst the cities of China.
Hiking the Elephant Mountain
Ask anyone who lives in Taipei, China, about their favourite weekend activity and you are more than probably going to hear the answer as this – why, it’s hiking the Elephant Mountain that is my best favourite weekend activity. Not only the residents, but you are also going to find more than half of the travellers for the Elephant Mountain. Getting up early in the dawn or before the sunset and hiking up the Elephant Mountain and looking over the beauty of a city that is Taipei, has been a favourite amongst many.
Mark my word for it, you are going to fall in love with the city of Taipei. Besides that, the skyline of the town of Taipei is also one of its kind – the reason – as the towers of Taipei 101 is known to tower over the rest of the buildings.
Wondering about how to get to the Elephant Mountain – here’s what you can do. First, you will be required to head to Xiangshan on the MRT and then follow the signs. However, to reach the lookout point, it will take you at least 20 minutes from the bottom and of course, after that, hiking the trail will only be a few hours.
Visiting the Night Market
It’s not an unknown fact that the night markets in China are one of the most traditional features, and amongst them, the city of Taipei stands out the most.
When you are going to visit Taipei, do take time out for yourself to visit the night market and only then, you are going to realise that food takes quite a prominent place in the Taiwanese culture and socialisation and are heavily influenced by it.
That being said, you should try to go out for a drink in the bars, but on Friday – that’s because the bars remains mostly empty because all of the human population are seen to enjoy the snacks in the night market, and oh yes – playing arcade games too.
Go for the Shilin Night Market as it is considered to be one of the oldest as well as the largest night market. But yes, do look out for those non-licensed stalls on wheels and you are recommended to stay out of their way.
Visiting the Beitou Hot Springs
If you are planning to visit Taipei, China, don’t forget to visit the Beitou Hot Springs. The MRT will take you to the Beitou Hot Springs, and then, you can happily immerse yourself in the hot springs.
When you are going to join the locals in the hot spring, they will look at curiously, and they are going to laugh at you if you get it wrong, but don’t worry – it is pretty much a part of your experience and is all in good spirits.
That perhaps is one of the best things that could happen to you in Taipei, China. Besides that, you can also visit the thermal valley which is a little down the road, and one of the good things is that it has free admission.
Temples, temples and more temples
Of course, if you are visiting China, you are going to see a whole lot of temples everywhere, and Taipei is no exception. There are more than 10,000 temples in Taipei alone, and such is the case that you are going to get used to the scent of the incense sticks on each and every street that you are going to walk past the temples.
None of the structures of the temples is same because they vary depending on the three religions – Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist. If you are wondering, how to make out one from the other, then, you can do so like this – while the Buddhist temples are reserved, the Confucian temples are walled, the Taoist temples are loud regarding celebration and decoration.
Most of the temples are free to visit but no matter what, you must visit the famous and not to mention, the largest, Longshan temple, as it is said to be the home to the generation of Gods and backed by centuries of history and surrounded by Chinese medicine vendors.
Hanging out at the 24-hour bookstore
If you are looking to kill a bit of time, why not head out to the 24-hour bookstore? Yes, the Eslite Dunnan in Taipei, China was the world’s first 24-hour bookstore.
This store is perfect for book lovers if you are a late night insomniac and you want to read your book elsewhere other than your bedroom.
What’s great is that the bookstore has more than a decent selection of English-language books and if by any chance, you end up hanging at the bookstore during the daytime, you will find them open – food court, stationery store as well as the artisan halls.
Strolling in the Da’an forest park
If you happen to visit Taipei in the summers, don’t forget to take a stroll at the Da’an forest park. This forest park is in the middle of the city, and when you enter the park, you will feel as if you have entered a tropical oasis. In fact, there is so much greenery around that you are likely going to forget that you are in the middle of a city.
Taipei is known to have parks with vast and open green spaces, and that’s why, for many, this park is something special.
Where you can stay in Taipei, China
If you are planning to visit Taipei, China, do know that the Xinyi and the Da’an districts are not only central but they are also enjoyable to stay.
If you opt for Xinyi, then the Humble House Taipei by Taipei 101 is a great option, and you are planning to go the Da’an way, you will find that it is not only lively, but it also has a student feel.
Getting around Taipei, China
Want to get around Taipei, China, then go for the Taipei Metro. Not only it is cheap and regular, but it practically goes everywhere. Wait up for the month of October as it is the best month to visit and that too, with the right temperature!!
So, what are you waiting for?? Pack up your travelling gear, load up your bags and start on your way to Taipei, China.