Here we are at the land of bubble tea and night markets – Taipei!! This city has grown to be a very popular destination for DIY trips amongst the youths in the recent years. With many delicacies, shopping towns and breathtaking sceneries, Taipei offers a balance of hustle-bustle and tranquility.
Before we go into the details of the itinerary, if you are deciding to do a DIY trip of your own, here’s the Taipei Metro website (for navigation within Taipei itself) and the Taiwan Railways Administration website (for navigation to other major cities). You can get their metro card known as EasyCard, from the counter at almost any metro stations. Do check with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Singapore for any promotional events!
To keep your social media updated at any time, check out Changi Recommends’ overseas WIFI router.
Right now, there is a promotion for DBS cards for the Taiwan router rental at SGD $3/day (key in DBSWIFI3 at the checkout page). The promotion ends on 28th February 2017 and validity for travel is until 31st March 2017.
Day 1: Shop, Eat And Repeat
When you have just arrived in Taipei after long hours of travelling, shopping and eating are the best ways to refuel your body!
Shopping at Ximending (西门町)
Do some light shopping and try out Taiwanese street food! (Remember to opt for vegetarian options!)
Credits: Carlos Taco on Facebook
Have a good bowl of beef noodles over at Muslim beef noodle restaurant.
Shop at this underground mall regardless of any adverse weather!
Follow the directions from the streets or from the train station itself!
Credits: Antonio Tajuelo on Flickr
Dinner at Shilin Night Market (士林夜市)
Muster your courage and try their stinky tofu!
Credits: Gavin Anderson on Flickr
Queue for the barbeque corn on cob, deep fried crabs and many more (Just remember to look out for vegetarian sign (素), or check with the owners if they use vegetable oil for seafood). Then, head to their underground food street!
Day 2: Road trip to Houtong Cat Village (猴硐猫村)!
Play with the cats in the village.
Credits: cotaro70s on Flickr
Shop for souvenirs before having lunch at Hide and Seek Café (desserts are vegetarian friendly). Then, play with the cats in the cafe!
Credits: Hide & Seek Café Official Facebook Page
Shop till you drop!
Credit: @gembmanuel on Instagram
Unique bags and shoes can also be found here!
Dinner at Rao He Night Market (饶河夜市):
Just a short 10-minute walk from Wufenpu!
Credits: Jorge Gonzalez on Flickr
Try their peanut ice cream popiah, grilled oysters, grill king oyster mushroom (personal favourite!), stinky tofu and shaved ice!
Credit: @chocolat2xinb on Instagram
Day 3: Day trip out to Hualien (花莲)!
Taroko Gorge National Park:
You can embark on various trails here to see the amazing view offered in this park. If you are looking for a jog with a view, you can do it here too!
Credit: @wandering_stoic on Instagram
Lunch at King of India Halal Restaurant:
This halal restaurant serves all kinds of authentic Indian food. (Psst! You can opt for vegetarian here too!)
Mao Kong (猫空):
Credit: Mid 70’s Concept on Facebook
Board the Maokong gondola towards Maokong to see the sunset over Taipei city. You are also able to see different trees blossoming at different times of the year!
Enjoy a cup of tea at the Maokong Teahouse while watching the day end and Instagram all those night views 😍
Spot Taipei’s iconic building Taipei 101
Dinner at Really Good Seafood:
Indulge in their nine-course Muslim-friendly set meals consisting of assorted sashimi, pan-fried scallops and ending with their homemade dessert!
Enjoy the sweetness of these fresh sashimi
Day 4: Shifen, Sky lanterns and Elephant Mountain
Day trip down to Shifen (十分):
Instagram all the railway photos, and shop for souvenirs along the railway town.
Credit: @gielsarmiento on Instagram
Hurry down the tracks while they’re empty and snap that IG-worthy photo!
You can then release the sky lantern (天灯) with your wishes written on it!
Credit: Wander Twins on Facebook
Write your wishes on the lantern and release it!
Shifen Waterfalls (十分大瀑布):
Credits: David Tul on Flickr
As the waterfall splashes into the lake, try to catch the sight of a rainbow 😍
Dessert Time at Smoothie House:
Credits: The Perpetual Foreigner
Elephant Mountain (象山)
Credit: @adventure.traveler.peter on Instagram
A short hike of 15 to 20 minutes will get you to the top.
#HHWT tip: Try to avoid weekends, as it is fairly crowded!
Credit: Sinchen.Lin on Flickr
#HHWT Tip: If you visit Taipei during the year-end countdown, you can witness the amazing fireworks on the Taipei 101 building from Elephant Mountain!
Dinner at Dingxian 101 (顶鲜101):
Order the Muslim-friendly set meals at Dingxian 101. They serve a variety of main courses such as Taiwan oyster omelette, stir-fried rice with salmon, and steamed king prawns. All meals end with a homemade dessert 😋
#HHWT tip: Make reservations in advance!
Day 5: Last day in Taipei!
Breakfast at Chiba restaurant @ Amba Hotel:
Enjoy their Muslim-friendly buffet spread!
Credits: Amba Hotel
Credits: Amba Hotel
Ximending (西门町) or Taipei Underground shopping mall:
Do some last minute shopping for souvenirs and food products 😊
Lunch at Chang Beef Noodle Soup:
Enjoy a bowl of savoury beef noodles to end the trip!
Credit: @halaltaiwan on Instagram
Taipei is definitely the next place to visit if you are looking for relaxation, indulgence and of course FOOD! We hope that this itinerary helps you to cover the major highlights of this beautiful city.
If you’ve been to Taipei, let us know of any other interesting attractions to visit in the comments below 😄