I am seriously regretting not having higher hopes for visiting Taipei because this is one underrated country! I really just thought of Taiwan as a a stopover, an overnight layover really, at the beginning of an almost three week tour around Southeast Asia.
I was so wrong - Taiwan has so much to offer! I can’t wait to go back again to explore more of Taiwan, its food, its culture and venture outside of the city. I’ve heard the nature explorations are amazing here, especially on the coast since Taiwan is an island country.
How much can you really see in just 24 hours in Taipei, Taiwan? I’m here to argue that there are tons of things you can do in such a short period of time. I want to be able to return to explore more of this beautiful country but I am so glad to have been able to scratch the surface a bit.
The first stop on your quick but thorough visit should be to Peace Park. It’s also a great way to start the day because you’ll get a peaceful walk around a beautiful park. This park is filled with everything - a pretty temple, sculptures, a play ground, a stone foot path and is a nice tribute to memorial victims. The stone foot path is more like an area and seemed to be really well used by the locals. We actually saw an older man rolling around on the stones. He sure was taking full advantage of the free massage on the stones!
CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL
We originally ventured over to just see the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial and were pleasantly surprised to find way more than we were expecting. The hall sits in the Memorial Hall Square that include the National Concert Hall and the National Theatre along with the elaborate main gate that sit directly in front of the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.
The square is incredible and seriously giant. I felt so small standing in front of these massive and impressive structures. The buildings are beautiful. Both the National Concert Hall and National Theater look almost identical.
Currently, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is undergoing construction, but Taipei even makes the construction zone look beautiful. I didn’t realize there was scaffolding around the hall until I remembered the building is usually white. Gorgeous still.
Venture a little outside of the city at take a ride on the Maokong Gondola. Have you been on a gondola before? It’s an incredible experience. You soar above the beautiful, green landscape in a cable car. Each cabin fits up to 6 people.
You can choose between a regular fare ticket for the traditional cabin or choose the crystal cabin. The crystal cabin has a full glass bottom floor so when your sailing high above the ground, you can see all there is to see. The only downside to the crystal cabin is that its a big draw meaning there might be a long line. The reason the line takes long (besides more people) is that there are a limited amount of crystal cabins. Only every 4 cabins or so has a glass bottom. We chose the regular cabin and it was just as great!
The Gondola starts at the Taipei Zoo Station and has 5 other stops where you can hop off to see the sights including the Zhinan Temple and Sanxuan Temple. Its about 20 minutes between most stops.
If you take the last stop on the Maokong Gondola, Maokong Station, stop by one of the great tea houses in the area. It’s the perfect spot to sit a while and take in the area. You can also grab some delicious tea ice cream if you’re feeling like a cold treat instead of hot. We stopped by the Guan Ding Tea House just outside of the station.
If you're into a little shopping, the tea houses sell the most adorable tea cups and pots. They are so beautifully hand-painted. I took home two cups and they are gorgeous.
Once you get back from the Gondola ride, you’ll definitely be ready for some delicious food. I’ve heard the food in Taipei is great which is why I want to go back because I did not get to try enough of it. You have to try shrimp fishing in Taipei!
You catch shrimp and then they grill it for you on the spot for you to eat. Pretty fun activity!
Night markets in Asia are the place to go after the sun goes down and always come with an appetite. The street food is delicious. This one is a great one to check out in the Taipei area.
Reason number 129234 I wanna go back to Taiwan: Din Tai Fung originated here. Enough Said.
Yours Truly // Shannon