It has been a busy week for me and I know that this might be a little bit late for posting but as the old adage says… better late than never! My recent trip to Taiwan is one of my best vacations. I had such fun traveling; navigating the island in an icy cold weather and of course, being with my family. Although I was pretty exhausted when I jumped on board, our trip to Taiwan was worth remembering and a definite mood booster to gear me up for the year 2013.
We visited a lot of museums, plays and tourist spots (some of which I could not even pronounce); learned about their way of living and tasted the best Ni Rou Mian (I prefer calling it ramen, because it tastes like one). Thanks to my sister, who is a natural born planner, she did a great job in researching the minute detail of the places we must visit. Apart from the must-go-spots, she also included the less conventional places in order for us to experience the real Taiwan.
Take a look at what I have been up to…starting with Taiwan’s metropolis –Taipei… below are the list of my favorite spot in the heart of Asia. Enjoy!
- TAIPEI 101– It is one of the tallest buildings in the world with skyrocketing 101 floors (The tallest skyscraper is now the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE). The 508- meter structure is situated at the center of the Shin Yi District and has drawn visitors from all over the world because of its unique design, architecture and latest engineering innovations. Its New Year’s Eve fireworks display is regularly featured in international broadcasts. Things that you might want to do in Taipei 101 include shopping and the famous ‘observatory tour’. The basement of the building is a large mall where you could taste a range of Taiwanese cuisine and shop –til-you drop. Going on top.. is the best view of whole island of Taiwan. For only NT450 per person, you could take the world’s fastest elevator, which would take you 37 seconds from 5th floor to 89th floor, and enjoy a good view of the city at the 89th floor (indoor observatory) and 91st floor (outdoor observatory). You could also see the latest engineering innovation called the damper that is primarily designed to reduce wind movement in high-rises. Tourists, like me, would also enjoy the splendid landscape of the Taipei metropolitan and learn a great deal from their urban planning. Sounds great isn’t?
- CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL (C.K.S MEMORIAL HALL) – is the famous landmark and magnificent tourist attraction built in the memory of the former president, Chiang Kai-shek. The hall is made of white marble and covered with blue glazed tiles. The blue and white color of the building as well as the red color of the flowerbeds symbolizes the flag of the Republic of China. The building stands tall in the middle of National Theater and National Concert Hall of which world class performances are frequently held.
- SHILIN NIGHT MARKET– For shopaholics, Shilin Night Market is the place to be. Although extremely crowded during the evening, it is one worthy spot to check out. It offers fusion of consumer goods, clothing and most of all street snacks!!!!! The night market snacks are so tasty that you wanted to ask for more. Street stall snacks include dim sum, jumbo chicken steaks, mochi, fresh fruits, moon cakes and tai yang bing or popularly known as sun cakes. You could also try the Hauchi Street night Market where Chinese traditional lamps are hung to create a classical ambiance.
- NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM– This museum holds a vast collection of 5,000 years old artifacts and is regarded as the greatest treasure house of Chinese cultural relics in the world. The 4th floor of the museum replicates the traditional Chinese palace. On the same floor, visitors can enjoy tea breaks while savoring the feeling of Chinese Royalty.
- TEMPLES– Taiwan is rich in beautiful and ornate temples. One of it is the LONGSHAN TEMPLE that was built in 1738. It houses more than 100 delicate sculptures that are worshipped by their faithful followers. One should also try the CHIN NAN TEMPLE located at the top of the mountains. It is a good place to visit at night (if it is not chilly) to enjoy tea as there are many teahouses with diversified styles.
- ANCESTRAL HOUSES– The ancestral houses or infrastructures in the DIHUA STREET can be traced back to Ching Dynasty. It is one of the best preserved historical streets in Taipei, drawing hordes of festive shoppers during holidays and festivals.
- MARTYR’S SHRINE– It is located few blocks away from the Grand Hotel. According to history, some 330,00 men sacrificed their lives during the Sino-Japanese war and the Chinese Civil War. A must see-attraction here is the formation ceremony of impeccably uniformed military police that begins at 9:00 in the morning.
- FISHER MAN’S WHARF– It is the scenic spot in Tamsui District and well known for its beautiful sunset and fresh seafood (NOM-NOM!!!!). The place is so peaceful and laid back ….. Visitors can relax and fall in love while watching the sunset in the Lover’s Bridge of Tamsui. It is also a good place to take your photographs as it is so romantic.
- MIRAMAR SHOPPING CENTER– The mall boasts of a Ferris wheel 100 meters high. This actually lights up Taipei’s city line at night with changing colored lights. Because it is so high it will take around 17 minutes to make a full turn. I recommend this ride to anyone who isn’t afraid of heights.. lolz
Hope you enjoy reading it.. Share your thoughts… What trips have you been on recently? Xīwàng néng tīngdào nín de dàolái (hope to hear from you soon) Xièxiè (thank you)
I just fell in love with Taiwan.. until then.
XOXO – GIADRE