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6 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Taipei

April 15 2015

Taipei is famous for more than just having the world's tallest building once upon a time. Taiwan's capital is characterized by a fusion of Western and East Asian culture, giving rise to activities and food that have an international appeal. Throw a few stunning sights nearby into the mix, and you have a city that is multifarious. An eclectic mix of modern pop culture, traditional delicacies and raw natural beauty make Taipei a must-visit when you venture to the Far East.

Let's Karaoke!

Taiwanese teens enjoying karaoke

Taiwanese teens enjoying karaoke

The people of Taipei take karaoke so seriously that it is often considered a sport. PartyWorld is a 12-storey behemoth solely dedicated to Karaoke! Individual rooms can be rented out where you can test your singing skills behind closed doors. You can munch on Taiwanese delicacies and sip beer in the comfort of your own karaoke lounge. So, warm up your vocal chords and get ready for some intense competition! A wide variety of English options and songs are available for tourists and foreigners.

Coffee Culture

One of the many cafes in Taipei

One of the many cafes in Taipei

Did you know?
The Dutch were the first ones to try and introduce coffee in Taiwan as early as 1624.

Battling Taiwan's long-term love affair with tea is Taipei's rampant and thriving coffee culture. Taipei spoils you with its choice of gourmet coffee shops and chic cafes, where you can try blends not found easily in India. Walking around the city is the best way to discover hidden gems where you can get your fix of Java, Arabica, Robusta and other blends. Coffee beans are handpicked and blended to perfection, maintaining a high standard of hot beverages.

Our pick: Coffee connoisseurs must visit Chamber Cafe, a speakeasy style cafe that has got rave reviews, located in the "coffee zone" of National Taiwan Normal University.

Holy Shrimp!

Eat the freshly grilled shrimp

Shrimp farming is a fascinating part of Taiwanese culture where you can enjoy grilled shrimp after catching it yourself. In a shrimp farm people congregate around a pool and patiently wait for shrimp to bite into their bait. When you catch one, you can enjoy the shrimps of your labor after it is grilled to golden-brown perfection in front of your eyes. Shrimp farms are generally open all day and all night so people can enjoy late night shrimp farming, a fun and enjoyable experience.

Useful tip: If it isn't your lucky day at fishing, the owner is likely to provide you with a few shrimps so your visit doesn't go shrimpless.

Beef Noodle Soup

Comfort food for any time of the day

Comfort food for any time of the day

If Japan is famous for its ramen noodles and China for its Peking Duck, Taiwan is renowned for its Beef Noodle Soup. A dish so deep rooted in Taiwanese culture, that it has its own festival named Beef Noodle Soup! The only way to find your favorite preparation of this soup is to try it across different places in Taipei. The locals swear by their favorites neighboring joints, which serve up an authentic taste as compared to fancier restaurants.

Our suggestion: Visit Tao-Yuan-street Beef Noodle Shop to savor this authentic dish. Don't leave Taipei before trying this culinary marvel!

Night Bites

Shilin night market

Shilin night market: the oldest and largest markt in Taipei

Several East Asian countries have night markets where you can eat and shop, however, Taipei's markets are celebrated for their 'little snacks'. As you stroll through the market, a multitude of bite-sized tidbits that suffuse the night air with their intoxicating aroma would entice you for a quick snack. You can shop for artifacts while you're sampling these flavors and you'll leave the market with not only gifts but also a content tummy.

Our tip: If you're willing to travel a short distance from the downtown area, visit Raohe street night market and don't forget to go with an empty stomach!

Daycations

Shifen waterfall at Pingxi

Shifen waterfall at Pingxi

Taipei's location amidst diverse natural landscapes is a boon, since it allows tourists to embark on short trips to nearby scenic locations. Backpackers and trekkers have several options to choose from, ranging from quaint towns to hot springs. Here is a list of some easy and affordable day trips you can make while visiting Taipei.
- Hot springs at Beitou
- Riverside hot springs at Wulai
- Trekking at Pingxi
- Golden mining towns of Jiufen and Jinguashi

Before You Go

Taipei has diverse options for all; plan your trip wisely so that you can enjoy the charm of the city as well as the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Travelling to a foreign country poses numerous risks like illness, injury and loss of passport or belongings. There are also risks posed due to typhoons that are common in Taiwan during the months of June to October so carry appropriate attire for heavy rain.

Travel insurance covers your loss of belongings and can be a life saver in case of a medical emergency. Avail of cashless medical treatment and insure yourself against unforeseen costs while travelling by opting for travel insurance. Click here in order to get details on travel insurance plans for you and your family.


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