From vibrant night markets to cultural monuments and stunning natural wonders, Taipei invites you to eat and play at all hours of the day
There’s no end to the smorgasbord of street food in Taipei. The city is full of night markets, perfect for sampling everything from glutinous rice-stuffed chicken wings to fermented fried tofu, a local speciality. One of the oldest and largest of these is Raohe Night Market, which opens in the late afternoon near Songshan station. Head in after 5pm, when most stalls open for business.
Hot springs are the perfect way to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Head north on the metro to the Beitou area where steam rises from the streams and rock crevices. Dip your toes in the public springs for free, or check out elegant establishments like The Gaia Hotel, which boasts indoor and outdoor hot spring facilities, a spa, three restaurants and a library. For day-trippers, the hotel offers a half-day package where guests can soak in a private room.
Spend a day at the National Palace Museum and get lost in a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artefacts and artwork, impressively spanning 8,000 years of history. From October till Christmas, check out Gallery 208 at the Northern Branch, where masterpieces from seven Taiwan-based calligraphers and painters are on display.
Located in the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, the Eslite Spectrum Mall goes beyond the national book retailer’s usual offerings, and includes unique Taiwanese products including handicrafts as well as high-end fashion. The third floor features a bookstore and café, while in the basement there is a concert hall, arthouse cinema and various activities like glass-blowing and silversmithing.
Taiwan’s general manager Oliver Li on three easy-to-reach destinations outside busy Taipei
Yangmingshan National Park
Come for cherry blossoms in spring, and golden-red leaves in the fall. The area is perfect for a hike and a visit to the hot springs.
This seaside town is a charming mix of colonial, Japanese, Fujian and indigenous Taiwanese cultures and is best known for its gorgeous sunsets.
Have a wander through well-preserved architecture and scenic laneways in this old gold-mining town built during the Qing dynasty.