Top 5 Experiences and Eats: Taipei

Road To Here Blogs’s Top 5 Taipei Experiences

We weren’t sure about Taipei at first (50’s + rainy after sunny Thailand), but ended up really enjoying the city and finding all the hole in the wall places. Here are our favorite, not-to-be-missed experiences:

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1. Flower Market: A refreshing, bright escape from the rain.
2. Taipei Zoo: See the majestic, the cuddly, the silly all in one place.
3. Maokong Gondola: Where the world looks like broccoli below you.
4. Treasure Hill: Local art + home to larger than life fortune cookies.
5. Underground subway walk: We haven’t written about this adventure, but it’s one of our favorites in Taipei. Escape the rain and walk from the Shuanglian MRT station underground towards Taipei Main Station. Here, you’ll find bookstores, a MOCA gallery + store, and artwork displayed along the walls (we saw paintings about existentialism and photographs of swallows) to explore. Stop to admire the hip hop dancers practicing with their friends in the hallway-turned-dance-studio and the glitzy MOCA bathroom signs. Get lost underneath the busy city and stay dry while you do it.

Top 5 Eats: Taipei

We are a pair of hungry hippos. Foodie hippos, you could say. We appreciate food and go out of our way (12 blocks in the cold rain, for example) to seek it out.

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1. Vegetable kofta + cucumber raita at Balle Balle. So deicious and refreshing, this makes us want to go to India and try it all.
2. Cinnamon rolls at Bread Societe. World’s best. Yes, world’s. (Don’t worry Cinnabon – you’re still delicious.)
3. MaryJane’s pizza + bruschetta at MaryJane Pizza. First place in Asia to satisfy our NY-style pizza and real cheese craving.
4. Vegetarian falafel + pumpkin pie at Grandma Nitti’s Kitchen. Pumpkin pie that’s not overly sweet & tastes like your own momma made it. And then some.
5. Tasty waffles + lattes at Mr. Brown Coffee. Fluffy waffles, a huge mug, free wifi, ample seating, and outlets, all at a budget price?! This place is a godsend and a keeper.

Other helpful tips:

  • Bring a raincoat or umbrella – it mists. Like, a lot.
  • Bring layers. Getting misted on constantly gets a bit chilly.
  • Buy an EasyCard at any metro station booth for 200NTD/$6USD (100 for the card and 100 to spend). You can reload it with money and it saves time making subway rides even smoother.
  • Bring a smartphone if you can, even if it’s only for using google maps. We picked up a micro sim with voice and 1GB data (this was the ‘unlimited month of data’ option that lasted us about 2 weeks) at myfone, Taiwan Mobile.
  • Try milk tea with bubbles. Then, try it again. And again. 50 is a popular milk tea chain in the city – look for blue + yellow.
  • If you like eating tasty things (especially if you’re vegetarian), try the ‘chinese pancake’ from a street vendor – flat, circular pastry that gets fluffy. If you’re not vegetarian, try all the street stalls we couldn’t!
  • Stop by at least one night market and leave enough time to make your way through crowds slowly – it’ll be less hectic and you’ll get to people watch locals shopping.
  • Now put away that smart phone and walk through the city turning left at one corner, then right at the next, and keep alternating. It’s amazing what hole in the wall places you’ll find that you wouldn’t if you just took the subway or taxi everywhere!

What’s your favorite city to visit? AND What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
xx. Jillian

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