Recently got back from Taiwan. What an awesome place. What struck me first was how lovely Taiwanese people are – really welcoming and super helpful. Then there is the awesome food, which merits its own paragraph below. Ladies, Taipei is also awesome for shopping. I totally overindulged my partiality for scarves in Ximending and the night markets, preferring Shida to Shilin for clothes. Whenever you need a pit stop, temples abound. And to top it all off, in October the weather was simply…awesome!
Top tip: Skip the NT$400 ticket and crowds at Taipei 101 and head up ‘Elephant Mountain.’ In the morning, it was just me, another photographer and some super fit retirees climbing the steep steps and taking in the stunning views. While only being a 15-minute brisk walk from Taipei 101, it’s a tad off the beaten track. Head down Songren Road and turn left at the McDonalds down Xinyi Road, Section 5, Lane 150. Head up the hill and you should spot the signs taking you to the set of steps up. If you’re in ok shape, it should take 20 minutes to climb.
Food: Street food is cheap and delicious with the highest cleanliness standards I’ve seen in Asia. My favorites were piping hot ‘hujiaobing,’ which are like mini meat pies with a pepper kick. Also oyster vermicelli soup, which is just slurpable wonderfulness. You can also get a fantastic selection of fresh fruit. Then wash it all down with a cup of bubble milk tea.
Accommodation: I crashed at the Triple Tiger hostel, which was available last minute, cheap, clean and you can’t beat the location in the heart of Ximending and a five-minute walk to the nearest MRT station.
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