How to Spend a Weekend in Taipei, Taiwan
Only have a weekend in Taipei, Taiwan? Then get ready to fly into the clouds, unwind with a knife massage, hit the night markets, and go crazy with modern Ximending; Here's your guide to getting the most out of the city in just 72 hours.
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Source: NIENKE NINA
His 72 hours in Taipei begins when he checks into his hotel, so he'll want something that puts him right in the middle of the action. The European-influenced Palais de Chine is a part luxury hotel and part museum, the ideal place for a weekend of pampering.
Once you've signed up, head out to dinner at Addiction Aquatic Development, a sprawling restaurant complex where you can eat raw sushi and oysters, relax with a hot skillet, or toast with a glass of the best champagne.
After dinner, immerse yourself in the city's nightlife with a stroll through the bars of the Da'an district, a bustling neighborhood where you can hear live jazz at Blue Note, hit the dance floor at Box Nightclub or Omni, and check out the beers and ciders at On Tap, a British-style pub.
Saturday morning means it's time to recharge for the weekend. Bubble tea is the unofficial drink of the country, but if you are looking for something with a little more vigor, head to Simple Kaffa in the basement of Hotel V. It is a modest-looking cafe, but coffee, prepared by a Champion Barista. of the world. It is one of the best in town.
After a caffeine boost, head to the Taipei 101 Observation Deck, one of the tallest buildings in the world. Take an audio tour to get an overview of Taipei, snap some photos of the stunning 360-degree views, and peruse the art displays and displays. Then take a trip back in time with a stroll down Old Bopiliao Street, a preserved boulevard with buildings dating back to the Qing Dynasty, before visiting the 300-year-old Longshan Temple.
Have lunch at one of the street vendors, where you'll find everything from medicinal soups and oyster noodles to crushed ice with crunchy peanuts, coriander, and taro.
Saturday night offers a chance to see the city at its happiest, and there is no more lively place than Ximending, a fashionable neighborhood (like Williamsburg or Shinjuku) that is so fashionable that it has its own tattoo district. Head to Light Project Ximending for a traditional Chinese knife massage, see vibrant street art on Graffiti Lane, and stop at Snow King for wasabi ice cream.
When it's time for dinner, try some Japanese food at Mei Guan Yuan, a casual eatery serving oyokodon shrimp and chawanmushi since 1946. Then start the night by dancing to the tune of one of the popular karaoke rooms, Party World is the most great, but improve your Chinese as you won't find many English songs. After singing "Purple Rain" in Mandarin, exit the stage and enter the theater for a drink at Hanko 60, a glamorous bar hidden behind the facade of a movie theater.
Sunday morning means you only have 24 hours in Taipei, so shake off the Sunday morning blues with tea and scones at Melange Café, then prepare to face the day. Take a train or bus to Jiufen, a former mountainous gold-mining town lined with lantern-lit alleys, quaint teahouses, and traditional food vendors.
Stroll to the Shengping Theater, built during the Japanese occupation, and browse for some souvenirs on Jiufen Old Street, a mountain-side street lined with old-world cafes and shops. Don't miss A Mei Tea House, purportedly the inspiration for the tea house in Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away, where you can relax with an Oolong tea and take in the breathtaking views of the ocean.
For lunch, visit Jiufen street food stalls. Try some traditional fish balls or squid sausage and top with a sweet potato leaf for dessert.
Start your Sunday night in Taipei with a visit to the National Palace Museum (open until 6:30 AM), which showcases Chinese art from the Neolithic to the modern era. The exhibits are always rotating, so check out what's currently on display, but the Song Dynasty Ru Items Museum's collection is the best in the world. Don't go non-stop to the Zhishan Garden and the Chang Dai-chien residence.
After seeing some art, say goodbye to Taipei by taking a train from Taipei Main Station to Shifen Old Street. Go to one of the souvenir shops to pick up a sky lantern; Don't be too quick to pick the right colors as each represents a different wish, then garnish it with a blessing, drop it, and watch your lucky lantern soar high in Taipei at night.
End your weekend in Taipei with dinner at Raw, an acclaimed restaurant serving an excellent tasting menu.
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