Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Thu February 04 2016

Opinion Home | A Cruising Couple's Column

  • A Cruising Couple | February 4, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    7 Reasons You Should Visit Taipei, Taiwan

    7 Reasons You Should Visit Taipei, Taiwan

    Photos by A Cruising Couple

    If you’ve been following any of the various lists of “top destinations you need to visit in 2016,” then chances are you’ve seen Taiwan top the list. Having lived in Taiwan for two years, we certainly agree that this island nation provides a bucket-list worthy travel adventure — and that now is an excellent time to visit.

    In particular, Taipei — the capital — is a vibrant city overflowing with things to eat, do and discover. Here are our top reasons why everyone should visit Taipei, Taiwan:


    1. The Food

    Beef Noodle Soup Taiwan

    You don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate mouthwatering Taiwanese cuisine. Street food is where the city truly excels; we recommend the grilled squid, fried chicken and oyster omelets.

    VIDEO: Touring Taipei City

    Stinky tofu is another classic, though not for everyone. Fried and fermented tofu is served on a stick with chili sauce and pickled vegetables — simply follow your nose to find this odiferous delicacy. And of course, no description of Taiwanese food is complete without mentioning Beef Noodle Soup, Taiwan’s national dish found in nearly every local restaurant.

    2. The Night Markets

    Night Market Landscape

    Night markets can be an overwhelming experience if you’re not used to the chaos and crowds that typically accompany them. However, it won’t be long before you’re hooked, savoring cheap street food and shopping for random odds and ends.

    The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest in Taipei, where winding alleys are packed with stalls and vendors of all variety. Grab an oyster omelet and then wash it down with a pearl milk tea. 

    3. The Temples

    Taipei Confucius Temple

    Taiwan is primarily a Buddhist nation, but you’ll find temples to different deities and denominations throughout Taipei. Don’t miss Xingtian Temple, which is dedicated to Guangong, the god of war and martial arts. The Longshan Temple is one of Taipei’s oldest, and is a multi-denominational spiritual center for Buddhist, Taoist and Matsu deities.

    4. The Hot Springs

    Not only do they feel amazing, but hot springs are also believed to raise energy levels while possibly treating chronic fatigue, eczema and arthritis. The neighborhood of Beitou is one of the best spots to enjoy both public and private hot spring baths. They are available in a number of hot spring hotels as well. Just don’t forget your mandatory swim cap and note that if hot springs are separated by gender, most people will opt to bathe nude.

    5. The Memorials and Museums

    Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

    Surprisingly, to view the world’s largest collection of Chinese art, head to Taipei’s National Palace Museum. Some of the museum artifacts date back thousands of years, including Buddhist pieces inherited from the Forbidden City.

    READ MORE: A Taipei Hotel Puts a Unique Spin on Spectator Dining

    Visit the stunning Chiang Kai Shek Memorial to see the National Theater and National Concert Hall, and then climb the steps to the colossal statue and tribute to the late Chiang Kai Shek. Additionally, drop by the Sun Yat Sun Memorial to view the changing of the guard and learn more about the man considered founder of modern China.

    6. The Day Trips

    Golden Waterfall Jinguashi Taiwan

    While there’s plenty to keep you occupied in Taipei itself, it would be a shame to miss out on the stunning natural attractions just outside of the city. Long Dong is world-renowned for its rock climbing on dramatic cliffs that tower above the ocean. Alternatively, head to Teapot Mountain or Yangmingshan National Park for excellent hiking opportunities.

    7. The People

    Market Ladies

    We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the Taiwanese are some of the most kind and generous people we’ve ever met. Taipei is an extremely safe city, and the locals are always more than willing to ensure you have a trip to remember. Don’t be surprised if asking for directions results in someone actually escorting you to your destination, or if making small talk at dinner leads to sharing beers long into the night.

    That’s just the start of all there is to see and do in Taiwan’s vibrant and cosmopolitan capital city. Shopping, climbing Taipei 101 (once the tallest building in the world), sipping tea or experiencing a one-of-a-kind festival are just a few added itinerary items that will have you quickly falling in love with Taipei.

    Now tell us — have you visited Taipei? What did you think?

More Taiwan


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
Finding Your Transportation at the Cancun Airport

Vacation Packages