We decided to go to the Taipei 101 observatory deck which is located inside the mall.Taipei 101 mall is a mall full of high class branded stuffs. Yeah, everything here is branded ! Unfortunately, because it was 31 December the observatory deck was just too full and the queue was too long.Then, we decided to move our observatory deck plan to the next day and decided to look around the mall, get something to eat and buy some snacks before the fireworks begin. It was 11 p.m, we go outside the mall and go to our hot place to watch the firework.When I go outside, there are already bunch of people around, it was getting a little bit crazy!The street was so crowded. They were all waiting for the New Year's Eve. It is all worth our time !!!! One of the best firework I ever see in my life! Additional information for you, the height of Taipei101 is 500 meter high, and from what I’ve heard, it is the highest Observation Tower in the world, even The Bund at Shanghai - which is also beautiful as Taipei101, believe me - is lower than Taipei101On the 89 floor, you can look how gorgeous Taipei is through the window. When I look through the window for the first time, I felt a little bit dizzy because it is so incredibly high !
Tamsui Old Street
Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is a scenic spot at the western tip of Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan. Its predecessor was the "Tamsui Second Fishing Port" on the right bank of the Tamsui river estuary, an important fishing harbor in the early history of north Taiwan. The Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf is well known by its beautiful sunset and fresh seafood. While having sightseeing and leisure facilities, it still holds its functionality as a harbor for fishing boats.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
First thing that we need to buy is the MRT Pass.There are many kinds of MRT Pass, but I suggest you to buy the Easy Card.Why? Because Easy Card can be use for MRT, Bus, Bicycle, and so on.The Easy Card can be bought at the nearest MRT Station. (Another info that I got it is also can be bought at 7-eleven or other convenience store)The price is NT 200, which are 100 as your deposit and 100 usable balance.The card is refundable, so it will give you NT 100 plus the rest of your balance minus NT 20 for the handling fee. I also grab some tourist information and also the MRT map so I won’t get lost ;) The first place that we visited the Chiang Kai Sek Memorial Hall. The place is very huge and so beautiful. You can go downstairs inside the Hall and take a look at the museum and learn about the history.
Last but not least how could you forget about visiting cafes? It seems to be in the trend of cafe hopping or visiting theme restaurants with quirky interesting decorations wherever you go regardless of the country you are in. To me one is for a different experience, like an eye opener, second is like a comfort resting corner, enjoying the ambiance and pace with a cuppa and plate of dessert. But it is always an irony – pretty and adorable cafe are usually photogenic, but food are not stomach worthy; whereas those urbane and poised cafe usually serves a good deal of dessert and coffee for enjoyment. There are quite a good variety of different cafe concept you can spot in Taipei such as branded cafe like Agnes B at Taipei 101; Barbie Cafe in Zhongxiao East Road and Pompompurin Cafe in Songshou Road for the cartoon fanatics; Myowa Cafe in Jinhua Street for the Green Tea lovers; Zenique cafe in Yongkang Street for a touch of japanese zen; Topo+ Cafein Zhongshan N Road; there is just simply too much to mention! But do you know, the best places are usually the ones you come across by chance?Bonus Sharing!1.Accomodation – Good 9 Stay at the Heart of Ximending
During the day Taipei has all the hustle and bustle of a modern city. In the evening, the seaside district of Tamsui is a great place to watch the sun set, and has an absolutely stunning beach. The night markets of Taipei are alive and full of color. From street parades celebrating the birth of a deity to betel nut girls (girls in glass booths selling cigarettes and betel nut). And here's the catch, they have to wear skimpy clothes and the skimpier they are the better their business! The food on offer contained many quaint local delicacies, like turtle meat, which was quite good and snake blood, and bile which were, well, indescribable. The markets outside also had some diverse types of foods, snails for example! But apart from this there were a number of delicious seafood options and other foods that wouldn't make a tourist cringe.
Chiufen (Jiufen Old Street)
Jiufen-Shifen is a must go area if it is your first time to Taiwan or have not visited the area before. It’s a bustling winding streets that houses truckloads of local specialties and souvenirs. It is also renown for their Peanut Ice Cream, Ah Ma Taro Balls and their handmade Meatballs. Once you’re done with the food and souvenirs shopping, you can head down to the -
Yeh Liu Geo Park
From the bus stop, you need to walk about 15 minutes until you can find the Yeliou Geo park. Yeliou is located near the sea, and you can look around and enjoy the street view while walking to the Geo Park. No need to be bored ! Before entering the Yeliou Geopark, you need to pay for the entrance fee, only for NT 50 per person.Let me tell you a bit about Yeliou Geopark. Yeliou is basically an amazing stone Park where you can find Princess Head, and so on in the area. You’ll find lots of interesting things here. Plus, it is located near the sea, so the place is really beautiful. You can hear the waves flow through your ears ! It is formed by the sea eruption, you can easily feel it by touching the stone.
Taroko National Park
Suspension bridges take you across these streams and the lush green forests in Taroko National Park (home to Taroko Gorge) make for an amazing sight. Moreover, because of the geology of the place, there are natural hot springs and volcanic mud baths that you can get into and relax and refresh yourself. Really works!
Shifen Waterfall Walk Area
Shifen waterfall is a scenic waterfall located in Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan, on the upper reaches of the Keelung River. The falls' total height is 20 meters (66 feet) and 40 meters in width, making it the broadest waterfall in Taiwan. It is a cascade waterfall in which the water flows in one direction and the rock is sloped in the opposite.Shifen is also popular for releasing sky lantern. Every year, on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, thousands of people will gather at Pingxi for the annual Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. People write their wishes on these lanterns, which will then carry their prayers to the sky. Luckily, one need not wait for the annual Lantern Festival to release sky lanterns - it is now a commercialized activity that you can also do it anytime.
Sun Moon Lake
A bus to central Taiwan takes you to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake. Surrounded by rolling mountains, vast sailing curtains of mist, the lake is shaped like the sun and a crescent moon with cherry blossom trees lining the shore. The cobbled streets in the town on the edge of the lake and the views from there of turquoise waters make it seem like a picture from a piece of Chinese tapestry.TRIVIA The lake is separated by Lalu Island, a place where aboriginal tribes talk to their ancestral spirits.Arrow bamboo found in surplus at the Yangmingshan National Park is used by aboriginal tribes to make weapons for hunting. Shop for arrow bamboo writing materials, and traditional musical instruments and mah-jong tiles made of bamboo, and follow the arrow bamboo trail at the park running through a thicket of canes on either side.Taiwan is a popular holiday destination with the Japanese and the Koreans. The Yangmingshan National Park has sulphur springs known to have medicinal qualities, and a lot of resorts have water from the hot springs flowing into their pools for guests to take a dip in.
Yangmingshan National Park
As you enter the season of Spring, Yangmingshan National Park welcomes you with their captivating pretty cherry blossom bloom. There are a few different pit stops in the whole National Park area. You can start off with Hsiao You Keng (with steaming fogs smelling of rotten eggs due to the presence of sulphur in the area, sulphur crystals deposits and boiling water from the ground);
Sun Moon Lake
No trip to Taiwan is complete without a visit to the mystical Sun Moon Lake, the country’s largest freshwater body. The lake is considered sacred by the local aboriginal people and its name is derived from its distinctive shape, with a rounded main section similar to the sun and a narrow western border comparable to a crescent moon. Sun Moon Lake’s emerald green waters reflect the striking mountainous scenery that surrounds them, creating some of the island’s most enthralling landscapes. Also encircling the lake are numerous temples and picturesque pavilions, gardens and pagodas, each offering a unique perspective on the waters below.
Our next destination for today is Maokong Gondola. To get here : MRT Taipei Zoo, about 10 minutes walk. The queue is very very long, it’s about 2km long!But don’t worry, Maokong provide lots of Gondola so we only need to wait for about 1 hour to get inside the Gondola. While waiting at the queue, if you’re lucky enough - like me, haha - , you can watch the Dancing Water show just beside the Maokong Gondola. It is very beautiful, especially at the Twilight here are two cabin types on Maokong. The first one is the ordinary cabin, and the other one is the crystal cabin.The cost of the two cabin is just the same, and the difference is that on crystal cabin, your foot will step on a see-through window ! We choose the ordinary cabin since I am 100% sure that I can’t sit calmly for 20 minutes with a see through window underneath my foot ! I just can’t imagine how scary it is ! The view from Maokong Gondola is just beautiful. Even Taipei101 can be seen from the Gondola.
Points of interest include the Chingshui Cliffs and Taroko Gorge National Park, which I will talk about more in the itinerary. The rocky beaches alongside the Chingshui Cliffs were empty each time I visited, though the towering road above was frequented by large trucks passing through the winding tunnels. This stretch of highway is one of the best places for taking photos, but it also is somewhat dangerous. People should be on alert for gargantuan falling rocks as well as speeding motorists.
Chung Tai Chan Monastery
We spent our time here leisurely sailing around the enchanting lake on a boat tour, making trips to Cih En Pagoda Temple and the Chung-Tai Monastery.Sun Moon Lake is also home to Taiwan’s annual mid-autumn festival, the Sun Moon Lake Swim. Every year in October, around 10,000 people swim from one side of the lake to the other. This is the only time of year that anyone can swim there, as it would be too big for lifeguards to patrol. The annual swim ends with a spectacular fireworks display and party, all set against a stunning backdrop. Well worth making a second trip back for, methinks!
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
To get here : MRT Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. SYS Memorial hall is a very beautiful place. You even can look at the Taipei101 directly. Not only that, it has a lovely garden full of colourful flowers :)Inside the memorial hall, you can find the Honorable Sun Yat Sen statue and you can take a picture there !
After which embark on a uphill trail to Wulai Waterfall via the Lover’s Path. They used to have a Wulai Log Cart which can bring you to the foot of the Wulai waterfall but a portion of it was destroyed in August 2015 typhoon and has yet to be restored. Once you reached the foot of the waterfall, you can choose to take a Gondola up to the head of the Wulai Waterfall and there holds a mini Yunxian Amusement Park with some peddle boats, natural obstacles, natural trails. Alternatively, you can visit any of their Bathing House as Wulai is also a home to natural hot springs. After spending half a day there, when you’re taking the bus back to Xindian, drop by Bitan which is just next to the station. It’s yet another picturesque scenic area with the 200m long Bitan Suspension Bridge over the Xindian River which you will not want to miss. They also have a stretch of cafes overlooking the Xindian River, at times there will be someCarnivals otherwise, photo worthy pictures with colorful vibrant sculptures at the end of the stretch of restaurants. You can hop into a Pedal Boat along Xindian River too.
Shi Men reservoir I am typing this real time on a boat cruise at Shi men reservoir石门水库, where Taipei city gets the water supply from. The reservoir is surrounded by mountains. On this cloudy morning, the silhouette of layers shrouded in mist is like one Chinese ink painting. The captain is a small thin man, tanned by years working here. His teeth are rotten by a beetal chewing habit popular by most boatmen here. Cheeky and flirtatious, he charms the women with his jokes as he steers. Like how he describes these mountains as Double Breasts hill 二奶山, pointing out the valley in between as the career line事业线, a derogatory term used to described women who dressed provocatively to get promoted.
The Red House Market For Artists & Designers
After look around and take some rest, we go to the Red House at Xi Men Ding.To get here : MRT Xi MenAt the afternoon, Xi Men Ding is not that crowded, and it is better to visit the Red House at the afternoon so you can take a beautiful picture infornt of the Red House :)Red House is basically like a little museum for the artists. It got a lot of unique stuff like an old radio, old telephone, CDs, and so on.You should visit it when you have some time.
After we look around and enjoy the view, we got back to our boat and back to Tamsui old street. Then we go to our next destination which is the Modern Toilet Restaurant! :) To get here :MRT Xi Men, it's located near the Kunming street. Some people are having trouble while finding the Modern Toilet Restaurant .Just make sure that you brought a picture of the food (it helps) because Taipei people don't have any idea if you ask them where is the modern toilet restaurant. Modern Toilet Restaurant is a very famous restaurant on the internet.The price of the food is about NT 240, which you already get a main course, beverage, and a dessert.Many tourists come to Taipei to try to eat at this restaurant. The decoration is full about toilets! Very interesting, isn’t it?
Best place for shopping and Local Food This was a memorable place for me. 2 Girls approached me and asked if I could give them a radio interview. They do interviews on foreigners in Taipei. It was nice. I met 2 Expats there from the USA and ending up talking around 1 hour about God. Haha