30 Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan Travel Guide

Today we’re going to take you around a city
that completely won us over: Taipei (臺北市 – 台北市). As two self-proclaimed foodies who are always
on the hunt for the next meal, we loved the amazing mix of restaurants and street markets
the city had to offer. On top of that, there were plenty of temples,
museums, and nature escapes to keep us busy throughout the day, so we actually managed
to pack quite a bit into our trip. With this video, we’re going to show you
30 things to do in Taipei, Taiwan (中華民國), and you can count on a few foodie recommendations
to be sprinkled throughout. Now let’s get started. Let’s start with the city’s most iconic
landmark: Taipei 101 (臺北101 / 台北101). Well good morning. Today the skies have finally parted. It has stopped raining. So we’re going to visit the attraction we’ve
been waiting for. We’re heading to Taipei 101 (臺北101 – 台北101). This was the tallest building in the world
at one point. It no longer is so yeah it should be fun and
we should be able to get some great views of the city. So we have the tickets. You paid. You do the math. So it is 600 Taiwan dollars each. So you’re basically looking at just under
twenty US bucks. About nineteen dollars. So not cheap but I think it is going to be
worth it. So we made it to the top. Yeah, that was crazy. So it took thirty seven seconds. When we both got off we thought man that felt
like it was only like five or ten seconds. I know. And to get up that high it didn’t feel like
it is as powerful as you would think. It was still really smooth. It was very smooth but my ears did pop. Once you finish visiting Taipei 101, you’ll
exit inside the Taipei 101 mall which is also worth the visit. This is a mall with high end brands and designer
labels, and it’s probably the most luxurious mall we’ve ever set foot in. So if you’re looking for panoramic views of
Taipei that also include Taipei 101 you’ll want to climb Elephant Hill (象山). We’re currently struggling here. They call it a hike but really it is just
hundreds of stairs and you’re just climbing stairs the whole time. But we’re starting to get nice views. Just catching our breath now. So I think the hardest part was probably the
humidity not even the steps. Yeah. Sam, what did you think? I’m sweating profusely. I think I see some little drips there on your
forehead. Little? I’m like totally drenched in my shirt. I’m so glad we brought water because we weren’t
initially planning to do this one today. Yeah. Good idea to put some water in my backpack. Next, we visited Liberty Square which is flanked
by the National Theater to the north, the National Concert Hall to the south, and the
Freedom Square Memorial Arch to the west. These structures are impressive enough on
their own, but the main reason you come here is to see Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂)
which was erected in memory of the former president of the Republic of China. You can also watch a changing of the guard
ceremony at the memorial, but try to get there early, otherwise you’ll be several rows
of people deep. Another place to visit in Taipei (臺北市
– 台北市) is the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine (國民革命忠烈祠),
which was built to honour the soldiers who died during the War of Resistance against
Japan, the Civil War between Nationalist and Communist China, and the First and Second
Taiwan Strait Crises. You can also watch the changing of the guard
here. So we have just arrived at the Shilin Night
Market (士林夜市) and it is still quite early. It is 4:30 PM. Most of the stalls start opening closer to
five o’clock and things will only continue to get busier as the night goes on. And apparently this market can run until like
one or two in the morning. So yeah, still very early. We were hungry so we couldn’t wait any longer. If you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely
enjoy Shilin Night Market. There are food options galore and there’s
enough variety that you can turn all the snacking into a full meal. If your taste buds are feeling adventurous,
be sure to track down stinky tofu! So Sam is leading the way with this one. What are we having next? Alright moment of truth. We’ve been playing it kind of tame. Playing it kind of safe so far. We’re going right in to the classic Taiwanese
street food (台湾街头食品) here. We are having Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐). I’m going to go take a bite here. Yeah. I think there is some cabbage. You can see it is on a double skewer here. Yeah, a double skewers and it has got cabbage
in the middle. Somewhat like a sandwich. Oh my. A little overpowering there. That is something else. Oh. It is spicy. Um. Oh man. I’m keeping my distance. It is just you really taste the sourness of
it. And the fermented aspect and woah. That is something that would take a while
to get used to. I don’t think I’m ever going to enjoy this
one to be honest. One of my favourite outings in Taipei was
riding the Maokong Gondola (貓空) up to the hills. The route is 4.3 kilometres long and we rode
in a cabin with glass floors, which was kind of scary but cool at the same time. And of course because this is Taipei (臺北市
– 台北市) it started raining again as soon as we got off the Gondola. So I think we’re going to pop in for some
tea. There are lots of little teahouses around
here. So yeah, we’re going to stay dry and I hope
the rain stops. Sam is stealing my order. He saw that I was ordering something really
tasty and he was like that is what I’m getting. Yeah, well. Copycat! You’re taking the good one. Copycat! I’m copycat-ing. Why not? So we’ve found a teahouse with a view. We’ve got Taipei 101 off in the distance. There she be. And we also have nice lush greenery all around
us. And we feel really far removed away from the
city which is quite a nice feeling. It doesn’t actually take that long to get
away from the city centre and to be out in nature. Which is something I really like. We may have gone a little overboard. We ordered two different kinds of teas. One coffee and lots of Taiwanese desserts. This one is actually Sam’s. I believe it is Taguen if I’m pronouncing
that correctly. Yeah, Taguin or Taguin tea. We asked what was the local tea and they suggested
this one. This is the one. So we have to let it steep for two minutes
and then we can pour it. And then look at the snack plate that we have. We’ve got cookies, we’ve got dried fruit,
we’ve got something that looks like mango. Yeah yeah. Oh man it looks so good Oh my. It looks like is that one with peanuts or
something? Maybe? Wow. I’m going to wait for my tea and then we’ll
dig in to this. Already getting in to the snacks. Yeah, I already had one of these. This is awesome. This is like one of those uh sweet and sour
dried plums. Oh, I love these. Mmmmm. You’re just popping them like candy. Mmmm. They are really good. Um, they have a large pit in the middle but
really sweet inside. Um, just so flavorful. You look like you’re having a moment over
there. I am. Dessert time. What are you trying first? This cookie. I really hope it is peanut butter. Please be peanut butter. Mmmm. What is it? Not peanut butter. Not peanut butter? Is it sweet? Yeah but I can’t identify what it is. But it is not peanut butter. Hahaha. Well why would it be? Hahaha. That is not a thing in Taiwan (中華民國)
is it? I’m going to try this one. I think it is puffed rice. It is light in the hand and sticky. Mmmmm. Yep. Nice and crunchy. Sweet on the outside. Mmmm. I like it. And now there is one more left to try. That little green one. Please be wasabi. Please be wasabi. Haha. It is probably going to be matcha. Mmmmm. That is like a crumbly I don’t know if you’d
call it a cookie it is more like a cake. Is it green tea flavored? No, it is not. Is it wasabi. No, it is not. It is sweet. It is really good though. On the way back from the gondola, you’ll
exit next to the Taipei Zoo (臺北市立動物園), which is a family-friendly attraction in the
city. We are now visiting the Beitou Hot Springs
(北投溫泉) and it smells like rotten eggs. Doesn’t smell very pretty but it does look
pretty cool. So we can’t go swimming in that very spot
because it is over seventy five degrees Celsius and that would kind of cook you up. Hahaha. Um, haha. That would not be fun. So we’re visiting Guandu Nature Park (關渡自然公園)
and it is nice to get out in nature here obviously but we’re hoping to also spot some birds as
well today. So Sam is being way too loud in this park
and all the birds keep flying away before he can spot them. So Sam are you spotting any birds or are you
scaring them away? Probably a bit of both. Like I spotted a few but I didn’t have my
camera ready so it was a bit of a photography fail. But we just started so I still am confident
we can find some. I think you’re being too loud. That is why the birds keep flying away. So Sam spent so much time in nature that he
just confused a bird call for the sound of a construction truck. Hahaha. What? How is that possible? Hey, the construction trucks sound a little
different over here I guess. I don’t have any excuses. Tamshui (淡水區) is a seaside district
that’s 40 minutes north of Taipei, so we thought we’d include it in this list. The bike path along the waterfront makes it
perfect for a day trip on a sunny day. So this is pretty cool. We just rented bikes outside of the station
and I did math wrong. So I thought it was ten dollars for an hour
which I thought was great but it turns out it is only a little over a dollar and you
get the bicycle for a whole hour and you can just ride along the waterfront so yeah that
is what we’re going to be doing. And it is a beautiful day to be out after
all that rain. So the biking was a lot of fun. I mean we covered quite a bit of territory
in just one hour. Really cool just going out and seeing people
fishing, you see people out shopping doing different things. Just it is nice and quiet out here. Yeah, and there are museums and cultural attractions. We didn’t really visit many of them because
we would have had to get off of our bikes and we didn’t have a lock for that so yeah
we just kind of focussed on the bike ride which was fun though still. If you don’t want to go all the way to Tamshui
(淡水區), you can also explore Taipei (臺北市 – 台北市) by bike with the U-Bike share
system that has kiosks across the city. Today we’re on a bit of a food mission. We’ve been hearing about Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐
– 鼎泰丰). Apparently, they specialize in soup dumplings. So that is what we’re going to try today. We absolutely love dumplings so any excuse
for us to eat dumplings is always a good one and yeah it is another rainy day in Taipei
(臺北市) so we figured let’s plan our day around food. Let’s go eat. Yes, and this place opens at ten in the morning
and we are expecting huge lines. So we’re here early let’s go get in line. Alright so before coming here we were reading
the history of the place and apparently the man who started this Yang he used to run a
shop where he sold cooking oil and like that was his business but apparently when that
industry started to change and people weren’t buying as much cooking oil anymore he had
to come up with a new business idea so he and his wife decided okay we’re going to sell
soup dumplings and like they became such a huge hit that today they have locations not
only across Taipei (臺北市) and Taiwan (中華民國) but also around the world in
places like LA, Hong Kong. So yeah, pretty cool story and now we’re waiting
for the food. This is the look of excitement. So the star of the meal has arrived. The Xiaolongbao (小笼包 – 小籠包) is
here on the table in real life. And this is cool. So you eat it with a special sauce and they
actually give you instructions on how it is done. How to enjoy Xiao long bao (小笼包 – 小籠包). This is how you eat it. Um, and they basically explain how to prepare
the sauce so we’re going to try our hand at this. The waiter actually wanted to make it for
us and we’re like no. We are filming this. Haha. So allow me to demonstrate. Okay so first up we have our little plate
with ginger right here. So it says put some soy sauce and vinegar. So it is one part soy sauce. One part soy sauce. And three parts vinegar. I’d say that is about three parts vinegar. Next up we grab our little Xiaolongbao (小笼包
– 小籠包) and dip it into the sauce. Once it has been dipped we place it on the
spoon. Let us see what is next. Oh, let’s not forget you have to poke a little
hole to let out the soupy broth that is hiding in there. Can you see that. Oh my gosh. Oh wow look at it seeping out. Pouring out. And then then you take some of the ginger
from the plate add it on top and it all goes in in one bite. Is that too big for one bite? Try. Mmmm. Is that tasty? Wow. That is amazing. That is so juicy. Oh man. Is that one of the best dumplings you’ve ever
had? It really is. I’m so glad we came here and stood in line. This is worth it. So next up we’re visiting the National Palace
Museum (國立故宮博物院). It is still drizzling if you can believe that. But at least the sun has also come out. So a little bit warmer. We’ve got some rainbows and yeah we’re just
going to visit this place. Okay so we had a slight change of plans. It was really crowded to go into the museum
and they actually had lines to visit some of the galleries so we decided to scrapt that. We’re not going in and we’re visiting the
Zhishan Gardens (至善園) instead which are right next door. It is really cheap to get in and yeah it is
so peaceful. Hardly anyone in sight. Another thing to do in Taipei is to visit
the Lungshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺). This is a Buddhist temple that was built by
Chinese settlers from Fujian, in honour of Guanyin, also known as the Goddess of Mercy. Now, it’s been a while since we talked about
food in this video, so let’s hop over to the Raohe Street Night Market (饒河夜市). This market was even more geared towards foodies
than the Shilin Night Market, which we had previously visited. We had baked pork buns, egg tarts, cartoon-shaped
waffles, chicken steak, as well as a few mysterious snacks, however, the most memorable was the
liquid nitrogen ice cream. Please put the whole cookie deep in your mouth
and chew it. So what are you having Audrey? It is smoking. Smoking cookie. I have to put this whole thing in my mouth,
chew with my teeth and not with my tongue. Alright. Woah! It is smoking out of your mouth. Haha. You look like a dragon. Haha. Is it good? It is cold. It is like ice. Oh wow. It kind of gets stuck to your tongue. That is why they tell you to eat it with your
teeth and eat it fast. And while we’re on the topic of food, let
us show you what a typical Taiwanese breakfast looks like. So this is a wheat cake with sesame seeds
on the exterior and it has an omelet inside. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, allow
us to introduce you to Mango Shaved Ice. Alright, so our dessert has arrived. And it is standing room only at this particular
spot. So they’ve got like this little bar outside
where you just bring your dessert, you eat it here but check this out. Yeah, because all of the tables are full. I know it is packed with people and there
is a huge line of people ordering. So this is it. This is the Mango Snowflake Ice (Xue hua bin
– 雪花冰). It is a mountain. Like this is huge. And we went for the classic so it is just
mango and panna cotta on top. But I mean they probably have like ten different
flavors with like strawberries and chocolate and red beans and you can choose anything. Okay, so I’m just going to try and get a bit
of everything. Oh wow. The ice is melting a bit already. I know you have to be fast with this because
it just starts melting on the spot. Okay, I’m going to get some mango. So I’ve got a little bit of everything now. Mmmm. What do you think? Oh yeah, that is really sweet. You taste. You really taste the shaved ice, you really
taste the syrup and the nice big chunks or mango. Fresh mango. It reminds me of something we had in Korea
not too long ago called Sulbing (설빙). Yeah, which is their shaved ice dessert (Bao
Bing – 刨冰 – 礤冰)) and yeah it is really good. Um, I think I would enjoy this even more on
a hot day as opposed to a cool one like this but it is still a lot of fun and still really
enjoying it. We also made sure to try a dish that’s a
local favourite: beef noodle soup. We’re going to be trying beef noodle soup
(牛肉麵 – 牛肉面) and this is a super popular dish. We plotted a whole bunch of places on our
phone and finally settled on one. So let’s go find Jian Hong Beef Noodles (建宏牛肉麵). Let’s go. Alright, so the food is already here. It came out super quickly. We ordered two bowls and this is a small portion
but you know what? I think this is going to be pretty filling
for one person. It is pretty big for a small portion. Yeah. I was kind of worried we wouldn’t be able
to get a table because it is already eleven thirty in the morning. So kind of close to lunch but there is still
plenty of space so that is good. Um, but yeah, anyways let’s have a look. A closer look at the meal. So here you have it. So it is a noodle soup with a beef broth and
these chunks of meat on top. Those are really generous chunks of meat. I know. Yeah, it is a lot thicker than I would have
imagined. Yeah. And the beef it can be tendon, brisket or
shank. And again I was worried this was going to
be all tendon. I’m not a huge fan of tendon so I’m glad to
see like some really nice cuts of meat in here with not a whole lot of fat. So yeah, I’m going to grab some chopsticks
right here. Lots of what appears to be chives. Green onions as well. Yeah, chives on top. So let’s do this. Let’s try this. Putting my noodles on a spoon perhaps. Mmm. That is good. They look thick. Mmmm. They are quite thick yeah. They are nice. A little chewy. They’ve been soaking in the beef broth so
that is nice. Let’s go for some noodles and meat now. Oh my. This is messy. I do not have a talent for noodles and chopsticks. My goodness. Haha. Why don’t you try the meat? Both of them. Noodles and meat. Okay. So you’re getting the noodles on there. Got the noodles. Ooh, okay. You know what? Let’s just go with the meat guys. The chopsticks aren’t helping me today. Mmmm. Oh wow. It is like really salty and savory. Mmm. You like that? Mmmm. It is quite tender as well. Yeah, this has been cooking for a while. This is good. Pleasantly surprised over here. If I had to describe Huashan 1914 Creative
Park (華山1914文化創意產業園區) in 2 words, it would be hipster central. This place was once a winery, but today it’s
a multi-purpose space that draws artists looking to showcase plays, films, art, photography,
and so much more. We also noticed it’s really popular with
Instagrammers – seriously, there were photoshoots happening every few steps! So if you happen to be in Taipei on a rainy
day you can check out the National Taiwan Museum (國立台灣博物館). However, if you’re here on a rainy day and
a Monday like we are you’re out of luck. We’re only going to be able to show you the
exterior and that is about it. Another place to visit is the 228 Peace Memorial
(二二八和平紀念公園 / 二二八和平纪念公园) located in the same park as the National Taiwan
Museum. It commemorates the victims of what is known
as the February 28 Incident, which began on the same date and saw thousands of civilians
killed for taking part in an anti-government uprising. So next up we’re at Hsing Tiang Temple (行天宮)
which you can see right behind me. And this temple has more of a local feel. You don’t see as many tourists here and the
temple is dedicated to the patron Saint of Businessmen. So I’m guessing lots of businessmen are probably
going to be in here praying and getting blessings. So let’s go check it out. We also made time to visit the Taipei Expo
Park (花博公園), which is a multi-purpose park just north of the city centre that hosts
different events and exhibitions. From there, it’s just a skip and a hop to
the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館), which focuses on modern and contemporary art;
and while you’re at it, you can also visit Taipei Story Museum (台北故事館), which
is a house that was built in the English tudor style by a tea merchant, and now holds exhibits
related to tea and local history. The street food adventures continue and we
are going to be eating at the Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市). So this is our third night market here in
Taipei (臺北市) and I feel like there is still a lot of Taiwanese street food we haven’t
tried. So we’re going to be on a mission to try a
whole bunch of new stuff tonight. You may be tired of hearing about night markets
and street food at this point, but indulge us once more for our third and final market
visit in Taipei. In Ningxia Night Market, we sampled a shrimp
stick stuffed with cheese, Chinese Scallion pancakes, flaming beef (yes, they cooked it
with a blow torch!), Papaya Milk Smoothies, Cheese Potato, and coffin bread. Now wrapping up this video, here’s a quick
note on transportation. Travel tip for Taipei. Yeah, so pretty much the easiest way to get
around Taipei is by the MRT (台北捷運) and if you’re going to come here you’ll want
to pick up an EasyCard (悠遊卡). We paid a hundred Taiwanese dollars for this. Which is about three US dollars right now. And then you can load it reload it. It helps you save on fares and the best part
is you don’t have to keep getting single purchase fares every time you go to the station. And that’s it for our visit to Taipei! We hope you enjoyed this video and that you
got a few of idea of things to do, see, and most importantly, eat on your next visit. As always, if you have any other suggestions
of fun things to do around Taipei, we invite you to share them with travellers in the comments
below. Wishing you happy travels and until next time!


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