Though, not as popular as other Asian cities such as Hong Kong and Bangkok, Taipei is an exotic travel destination. Renowned for being the capital city of the sweet potato shaped island of Taiwan. When looking for a cheap vacation destination to visit, consider visiting Taiwan. If eventually you find yourself in this amazing city, and know where to go and what to do, you’ll find out that Taiwan is an exciting destination. Here are the things to do

  1. Night Markets

士林夜市 - Shì Lín Yè Shì (Shi Lin Night Market)

士林夜市 – Shì Lín Yè Shì (Shi Lin Night Market)

Taiwan offers great food – it is an eclectic mix of influences from southern Mainland China, Hunan, Beijing, Shanghai and Sichuan and much more, there is no better place to have a taste of it at an affordable rate than a night market. There are some night markets that focus on fantastic food like Shilin, while others sell clothes and souvenirs. Take a stroll through the narrow stalled-line lanes of one of the many night markets, eating great tasting food as you go including oyster omelettes, tofu, fresh seafood, mango ices, honey glazed cherry tomatoes on a stick, fried chicken and much more.

  1. Karaoke

Party World

Party World

Image Source: Wikimedia

This is one of the best things to do in Taiwan. Plenty of locals enjoy doing karaoke stone-cold sober, as it is considered one of their hobbies. Many karaoke opportunities await visitors in Taipei. Visit the city’s red light district in Wan Hua District to enjoy a lovely karaoke evening. Asides the red light district, there are also other places to enjoy your favorite 80s tunes, including Party World located in Shi-Lin, a tall building with several karaoke rooms from bottom to top. Here you can rent a room, have some local beer and buy food – and then have some karaoke fun by displaying your singing abilities. It will be massive fun.

  1. Taipei 101

台北101 - Tái Běi 101 (Taipei 101)

台北101 – Tái Běi 101 (Taipei 101)

Renowned for being one of the world’s tallest building, the Taipei 101 offers great views from the topmost part of the building. The best time to have a nice view of the city is when the weather is not that smoggy (as Asia is well known to be smoggy at most times) so you can have clearer views. On the 89th floor of the building is the indoor observatory, while the 91st floor houses the outdoor observatory. Asides the incredible views, taking a ride up using the elevator is also one of the fun things to do here. The elevator is considered the fastest in the world. The building also houses an amazing food court, where you’ll find Jason’s, which is a high class grocery store selling great items and products including Rooibos tea.

  1. Themed Restaurants

Hello Kitty Kitchen And Dining

Hello Kitty Kitchen And Dining

Well-known for its Modern Toilet restaurant, which offers food enthusiasts, food cook to look like feaces, Taipei boasts of several themed restaurants. Other themed restaurants found here include a hospital (where alcoholic drinks come in syringes), an airplane, Ximeding and a Hello Kitty palace

  1. Hiking

Hiking in Taiwan

Hiking in Taiwan

Image source: Photoshelter

Despite the fact that Taipei is one of the biggest cities in Taiwan, it has some incredible natural escapes. Remember to pack your hiking shoes when coming to Taipei as lots of hiking opportunities await you. Taipei is renowned for being a haven for adventurous hikers. However, it is possible to hike in Taipei all year round, but you should consider visiting during autumn (August – October), because it offers the best conditions for hiking. Top places to hike in Taipei include Elephant Mountain, WuliaoJian Hiking Trail and Yinghan Peak trail.

  1. Wu Fen Bu Market

五分埔 - Wǔ Fēn Bù (Wu Fen Bu)

五分埔 – Wǔ Fēn Bù (Wu Fen Bu)

Taipei is one of the best place for shopping in Taiwan. The city is home to several shopping areas including Wu Fen Bu Market selling cheap clothes and ridiculous T-shirt and Asian-influenced clothing. Here you’ll find a vast array of stores selling budget gifts and items. Renowned for being a haven for shoppers in Taipei, Wu Feng Bu (literally meaning five pieces of land) Shopping District is home to over 1000 shops and a place to find the latest fashion trends, particularly women’s clothing and kid’s wear, at affordable prices. Remember to sharpen your bargaining skills in order to get the best price while shopping. If you want to get discounts for all purchases, it is advisable to buy in bulk.

  1. Tea Ceremony

貓空 - Māo kōng (Mao Kong)

貓空 – Māo kōng (Mao Kong)

One of the most important ceremonies in Taiwan is the Tea Ceremony. It is part of their culture. Even if you don’t like taking tea, it is highly recommended you try one. There are plenty of tea houses scattered all over the city. This ceremony has been a part of Taiwanese local culture for centuries. Some of the best places to experience this ritual include Mountain Water Inn and Big Teapot Tea Emporium

  1. Hot springs

北投溫泉 - Běi Tóu Wēn Quán (Bei Tou Hot Springs)

北投溫泉 – Běi Tóu Wēn Quán (Bei Tou Hot Springs)

Taipei boasts of several natural hot springs where both locals and tourist alike visit for a weekend getaway. Here, you’ll find a couple of public hot springs with various pools and changing rooms. For a chance to experience remarkable moments when you visit any of the hot springs in the city, move from one pool to another till you get into the hottest one. It is a perfect way to relax and unwind. Locals believe that wallowing in the hot springs offers plenty of health benefits. The area around Beitou boasts one of the world’s finest and largest spas and hot springs.

  1. Sun Yat- sen Memorial Hall

国父紀念館 - Guó Fù Jì Niàn Guǎn (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall)

国父紀念館 – Guó Fù Jì Niàn Guǎn (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall)

Your trip to Taipei will be considered incomplete without engaging with its history. If you’re looking to learn more about the rich historical past of the city, then you should visit Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. This magnificent monument was dedicated to the Dr Sun Yat-sen, known as the father of the Republic of China, (Taiwan). Thousands of tourists visit the hall annually. Highlights include changing of the guards, art exhibitions, library which features more than 300,000 books and the surrounding park in the hall.

  1. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

中正紀念堂 - Zhōng Zhèng Jì Niàn Táng (Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall)

中正紀念堂 – Zhōng Zhèng Jì Niàn Táng (Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall)

Renowned for being one of the city’s landmarks, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a place to enjoy live performances in the squares by artists, musicians as well as other youths choreographing dance moves. Visitors can also learn tai chi and kung fu as well. Built in honor of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China, this magnificent landmark was opened to the public in 1980. If you are looking to learn more about Chiang’s life and career as well as explore the rich historical past and unique cultural heritage of Taiwan, then you should head for the museum located below the hall. Here you will also find the National Theater and National Concert Hall, which played host to several important events in the city.