- Taipei 101 – If you can only can see a few things this should be on your list. Taipei 101 is the worlds second tallest building and it contains the worlds fastest elevator. Word to the wise your ears will pop and it will hurt going to those high elevations so fast. It has crazy good views, permitting it’s not foggy, but even then the views are pretty spectacular.
- Geopark – Although this is something that Asian tourists enjoy more then other tourists I still felt it deserved to be on the list. The Geopark is a bunch of different rock formations that look like things. For example, there were rocks that looked like a sandal and a dragon head. The rocks were created by heavy poundings of ocean water. This would be especially fun for younger kids.
- National Palace Museum – This is another thing that should be at the top of the list if you can only visit a few things in Taiwan, as it is one of the worlds premier museums. The National Palace Museum has many jade pieces (jade is considered as lucky in Taiwan), Chinese scrolls, ceramics, and bronzes with intricate detail. The museums most prized possessions are confusing to me as they are a carved out cabbage and piece of pork. Apparently the Chinese really love their food. If you go to see the “main attractions” expect to wait in line a long time. After you’re done with the museum I’d recommend visiting the gardens as a little reprieve from the massive crowds you mostly likely encountered in the museum.
- Night Market – The night market was probably one of my favorite things to visit… well, at least the one that had clothes as opposed to snakes. I was able to buy a few nice shirts, a pair of shorts, and a couple pairs of socks for around $30 U.S. If you want a deal, a night market is where you need to go. Night markets are also a great place to go to sample the local cuisine. I got to try guava, custard apples, dates, dragon fruit (my new favorite fruit), mango ice, and fried mushrooms. There are many night markets to choose from in Taiwan and they all offer something a little bit different. Some night markets you may really REALLY want to avoid so do your research and go to the one that tickles your fancy. I say avoid because one of the night markets is called “Snake Alley” need I say more? Note: To learn what to try while in Taiwan read my “Taiwan Eat’s” post that will be coming up.
- Maokong Gondola – The Maokong Gondola is near the Teipei zoo and it’s basically a scenic cable car. If this is on your to-do list, then do do it early or you may miss your chance as the Maokong Gondola does not run when it’s raining. The gondola ride takes four stops and you don’t need to stop at them all, but I recommend stopping at the Zhinan temple. This temple is impressive because it is so big and so far away from everything else. You can tell they have many patrons by the amount of lights they have in the temple. Note: Patrons buy lights in temples to honor past loved ones. Another stop worth making is at the top where one the oldest tea houses is. Get some traditional tea by walking through stepping stones over a coy pond and sit in a booth that is also over the coy pond.
- 2-28 Peace Park – This is a park that was dedicated as a memorial for al the people that died on the February 28th massacre, where approximately 2000 innocent people were killed. Around the park there is also a quaint National Taiwan Museum, picturesque Pagoda, and of course an innovative sculptural monument. The monument was interesting because it was said that’s it’s design came about because the metaphorical cubes could not stay up without being able to lean on each other. Same with the structure inside, you cannon put your hands in the hand holds without leaning into the structure. Pretty nifty right?
- National Park – Now I know this is not technically in Teipei, Taiwan but there shouldn’t be a National Park too far away. Especially since you can drive from one end of Taiwan to the other in approximtely four hours…and that’s the long way. Take a drive through one of Taiwan’s beautiful parks and relax and enjoy the scenery.