Taiwan is the New Japan: Fun Things to Do in Taiwan

March 31, 2017

For once, I want to be selfish! I don’t want people to discover Taiwan and its awesomeness! So if you are reading this, promise me one thing: you’ll just read away and NEVER book a ticket, alright? :P

Before my December last year trip in Taiwan, I had been to Taipei twice already. But during these times, I developed a secret admiration for Taiwan, so secret I would not bombard my friends with fun stories about Taiwan like I always do for Japan. I am so worried people would flock this tiny place just a two hours away from Manila. And flight tickets are so cheap too!

In December of last year, I spent a week in Taiwan celebrating Christmas and New Year. I savored every street food each morning and when coming home from a day’s tour. Ximending is my choice of home base in Taipei simply because there are fun things to do here and so many places to eat and oh well, yes- shopping too! Said to be the Japan’s version of Shibuya, it boasts of youthful vibe, almost hits you to your spine. If you are a more refined (?) traveler though- there are other places to stay but for me, Ximending isn’t a bad place either.

Here are some fun things to do in Taiwan:

1. Outlet Mall Shopping

Taoyuan City is where Gloria Outlets is located. Lots and lots of shops the only downside is, it is about an hour away from Taipei but from the airport, it is super close.

2. Temple Hunting

 It is easy to get lost on Taiwan's number of temples. I personally like to see how people express their faith and though I am Christian, respecting other religion is one thing. Check out Longshan Temple if you have the hots for them or make a side trip to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

3. Go Big on Taiwanese Food

It is so easy to go on food coma when in Taiwan. Just let these photos explain what I mean.

4. Check out Taiwan's countryside

About an hour away from Taipei, I  checked out Jiufen and hoping to see old streets and ultimately experience lighting a lantern and release in the sky. Well, I missed the lantern thingamajigs because of another reason but then Jiufen was really cool.

5. Ride a Gondola to Maokong Station

It is so relaxing once you reached Maokong Station. It was winter in December and so December's temperature were acceptable in the morning but in the evening while in Maokong, oh gosh, it was just too much. Make sure you are well bundled up if you decide to stay until the early evening.

6. Fall in Love with Taipei's Public Parks 

I love visiting parks perhaps because we don't have a lot here in Manila. In other countries, parks are excellent choice to kill time, spend time with family, read a book or simply contemplate on what lies ahead. Check out Daan Forest Park.

These are only some of the fun things you can do in Taiwan but there are still tons. Now, please don't hate me but yeah- Taiwan is the new Japan sans the massive crowd!


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