activities in taiwan

The last part about my travels in Taiwan – where I went!

Every time Stef and I told people that we were staying in Taiwan for 6 days, people would always be surprised and tell us that we would have too much time on our hands. Of course, we didn’t believe them as we had (actually) stacked our schedule full of things to do and places to go in Taipei.

Of course, those people ended being (half) right – we got kind of lazy and axed a few of the places off our list. But the places we went to, I feel are definitely worth going to!

Taipei Main Station 臺北車站


Why would you want to go to a train station? It’s called Taipei Main Station for a reason, plus you can get the delicious egg pudding here. You can get on the MRT Blue and Red lines here, as well as the HSR and the TRA too. Just make sure you don’t come on Sundays, because it will be extremely crowded.

Eslite Bookstores  誠品書店

Eslite is one of the largest bookstore chains in all of Taiwan. They even have stores in Hong Kong and other countries! Even if you don’t want to buy books, you should still go inside and take a look at the things they have to offer.


I have no pictures of Eslite bookstores so here’s a picture of a new word that we learned while in Taipei – phubbering (which is a real word that means to ignore people in favour of a mobile phone).

Taipei 101 臺北101


You haven’t really been to Taipei if you haven’t been to Taipei 101. It’s home to the highest Starbucks in the entire world! But don’t expect to buy anything here unless you’re looking for brand name things; even the souvenirs are more expensive.

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Night Markets 


Taiwan is known for their night markets and their street food. It’s great because (unlike the ones in Richmond) these ones are open all year round instead of only during the summer! I went to the Raohe St. Night Market as well as the Shilin Night Market (the largest and most famous one, but also the most crowded), but there are a lot of other ones such as the Keelung Night Market and the Ningxia Night Market.

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall 國立台灣民主紀念館

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Chiang Kai Shek (蔣介石), also known as Chiang Chung Cheng (蔣中正) was an important part of Chinese history, and at one point he ruled Taiwan. The hall is composed of a few buildings, like a theatre and an arch, to honour him and to pay respect to him.

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Chunghwa Postal Museum 郵政博物館


This museum about the postal history of Taiwan and the rest of the world is quite interesting and worth a look if you have the time. Not many places have postal museums like this! Plus, you get a cute postcard as your ‘ticket’ to entry, and there’s a guy who stamps it for you too.

National Taiwan Museum 國立台灣博物館 


Don’t get this museum mixed up with the National Palace Museum! That one is near the Shilin Night Market, whereas this one is in the Zhongzheng District. This one has an entry fee of 30NTD (which is cheap) and if you’re a student, and you show them your student ID, it’s half off (15NTD – even cheaper). Even if you don’t like museums, it’s totally worth it to go since museums are usually $10 a go! PLUS, it’s a two in one – after you visit one building, you can cross the street and visit the Land Bank Exhibition Hall, which contains exhibits about animals as well as banks (like it says in its name).

 Yong Kang Street 永康街


Kind of like Richmond’s Alexandra Street, this street is known for good food. And I’m not kidding when the food is good; I ate a lot of things here! Plus, the original Din Tai Fung is here as well.

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文創園區

Originally a tobacco factory, it was converted into a multifunctional space that hosts different types of cultural and creative aspects.

Ximending 西門町

Ximending is a pedestrian-only shopping district. It’s super lively at night, and there really isn’t anything like it back home. But in Korea, you could probably compare this to Dongdaemun, Myungdong, and other shopping districts. I have no pictures for this because (obviously) I was too busy walking around and looking at things…

Fruit Market 水果市場

I’m not too sure which fruit market this is but you can take the bus from Taipei Main Station to get here. And there are a lot of fruits here that they sell for cheap (cheaper than at the night market), especially if you get a large amount of them! We bought some fruits to try from here as well.

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I’m just super impressed and surprised that we managed to take the bus and not get lost; I haven’t even had the chance to take the bus in Seoul yet..

Taipei Expo Park 花博公園

We decided to get off at the stop near the park to go to the Taipei Story House when we discovered that there was a huge lantern festival going on here. So obviously we ditched the story house and went to see the lanterns instead.

Plus inside there was Maji Maji which we had wanted to go to anyways!

I think we were really lucky that we somehow managed to go to the park the first day the festival started, and stayed until it was dark so we could see the lanterns shining as well.

Jiufen Old Street九份老街

As its name suggested, it’s an old street. But there are quite a few things to see here – lots of cute stores, and lots of food to eat. Plus the view is great too – no wonder it’s called the Santorini of Taiwan!

You need to take the TRA to Ruifang Station, and then take a bus here. You can book a seat or you can just get on a random train (Stef and I are lazy people so we obviously prebooked seats). The tickets aren’t even that expensive either for an hour-long ride!

Houtong Cat Village (猴硐貓村)

Who wouldn’t like a village full of cats???

Houtong Cat Village is on the same train line as Pingxi and Shifen – you need to buy another train ticket at Ruifang Station in order to ride the train. It’s a one-day pass for $80NTD, and you just get off and on as you wish.

Pingxi 平溪

There are some old streets as well. Not much to say about here, but it is a cute little place to visit, especially if you’re planning to visit Shifen.

You can release a sky lantern here, or you can wait until you get to Shifen (a lot more people do it at Shifen). Make sure you transfer trains at Shifen or else you’ll be like us and waste time (but since we did that by accident we got to go see the cats at Houtong…)

Shifen 十分

The last destination – and probably the most amazing one as well. There are old streets full of things to see here as well.

Not only did we release our own sky lantern, but Stef timed it so that we would be able to see the Sky Lantern Festival, in which hundreds of people release sky lanterns at night together. I’m glad I stayed for it (I was worried about getting home and just wanted to go) because it was absolutely beautiful, and no words can describe what it looks like and pictures don’t do it justice at all.

If you’re attending the lantern festival and are worried about taking the train back (like me), don’t be – they have free shuttle busses from Shifen all the way back to the Taipei Zoo station on the MRT. I asked the people there a couple of times but didn’t realize that Muzha was a station on the MRT.. my Mandarin still needs improvement ==”

Tips for travelling in Taiwan:

Get an Easycard (like a Compass card, or an Octopus Card, or a T-Money card; you pay $500NTD for it, with $100NTD as the deposit and then $400NTD is loaded into your card. When you’re done with the card, you can refund it and get all the money on the card back plus $80NTD of the deposit, and $20NTD is charged as the service fee. You can also use the card to buy things at 7-11 and other places!)

If you like stamps, bring a notebook around so you can stamp everything; Taiwan seems to be obsessed with stamps

Dress in layers – pro travel tip wherever you go. Also check the weather before you head out anywhere.

Wear walking shoes because you feet will be super sore

So that’s it for my Taiwan adventures! We actually had a lot more places on our list but we couldn’t go to all of them since we got really tired on the first day (we walked a lot).I’m really glad that I got a chance to go on vacation to somewhere that I’d never gone before – Taiwan is a place that I’m comfortable with since I can speak Mandarin (and sound like a Taiwanese person) and get around easily. It was still a big step out of my comfort zone to go travel with my friend though – here’s to hoping that this exchange experience will help me grow a lot as an individual, and help me learn to take care of myself without always relying on other people!

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