Unwind at Taipei’s Parks

“Stressed city produces stressed residents”

This mantra seems embedded into Taipei city’s government mind when they manage and govern the city. A cosmopolitan city, Taipei provides spaces scattered across the entire city for its residents to unwind, get connected with others or appreciate nature. With good access from public transportation and adequate, if not excellent, facilities in the parks, there is no reason not to come and love the parks.

Look at some of the parks I visited while I was there. I am envious!

228 Memorial Park. A park to commemorate 228 incidents. Located close to Presidential Building and walking distance from Taipei Main Station. MRT NTU Hospital is right at the park.

228 Memorial Park
228 Memorial Park
228 memorial park
228 memorial park

Daan Forest Park. An oasis in the city. This vast park is located next to Taipei Grand Mosque.

Daan Forest Park
Daan Forest Park
Daan Forest Park
Daan Forest Park

Shilin Residence Gardens. This is the former residence of late Republic of China President Chiang Kai-shek located on Zhongshan North Road in Shilin District. Chinese and Western style gardens are open for public.

Shilin Residence
Shilin Residence
One of the parks at Shilin Residence
One of the parks at Shilin Residence
At Shilin Residence
At Shilin Residence
At Shilin Residence
At Shilin Residence
Shilin Residence
Shilin Residence
Shilin Residence
Shilin Residence

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)-designed linear park near Zhongshan MRT Station

A park near Zhongshan MRT Station
A park near Zhongshan MRT Station

When pedestrian is a park in itself

People enjoy walking on the shade
People enjoy walking on the shade

Treasure Hill Artivist. According to Wikipedia:

Treasure Hill is originally an illegal settlement, was founded by the Kuomintang military veterans at the end of 1940’s and served originally as an anti-aircraft position.

After cooperating with non-governmental organization Global Artivists Participation Project, the Taipei City Government developed the area into an example of environmentally sustainable urban community.With the policy of preservation and revitalization, the old settlement unfolded a new vision of an artivist compound which would respect the existing fabric of the community while fulfilling the regeneration concept of “symbiosis” to incorporate production and ecology in communal living and ushering in the program of an international youth hostel and creative ideas of art to further cultural exchanges with broader international communities.

Commissioned by the municipal government to propose an ecological masterplan for the area, Finnish architect Marco Casagrande found that that this settlement, perhaps because of its illegal and marginal status, has evolved organically to operate according to an ecological model: recycling and filtering grey water, using minimal amounts of electricity (“stolen” from the city grid), composting organic waste, and repurposing Taipei’s waste. Casagrande relates his experiences of working on the site: For the ecological urban laboratory I had to do nothing, it was already there. What I did was to construct wooden stairways and connections between the destroyed houses and some shelters for the old residents to play mah-jong and ping-pong. 

The community has been featured in The New York Times as one of Taiwan’s must-see destinations.

Treasure Hill is the attic of Taipei carrying the memories, stories and traditions of the past generations. In some way it is a reflection of the Taipei mind that the industrial city is not able to reflect. For the stories to surface the industrial city must be turned over: the city must be a compost. —Marco Casagrande

Police closed the area in 2007 in order to guarantee safety for restoration work.The restored Treasure Hill reopened as an artist village in 2010 with only 22 original families managing to move back to the settlement.The restoration process has been criticized to have caused the neighbourhood to be stripped of its prior residents and turned into a space which celebrates individual expression and artistic creativity at the expense of housing lower income families

Treasure Hill Artivist
Treasure Hill Artivist
Treasure Hill Artivist
Treasure Hill Artivist
Artistic house at Treasure Hill Artivisit
Artistic house at Treasure Hill Artivisit
Treasure Hill Artivist
Treasure Hill Artivist

Cycling or Taichi? We have a space for you

People seen biking on dedicated bicycle lane at Gongguan riverside
People seen biking on dedicated bicycle lane at Gongguan riverside
Elderly practicing a slow-motion Taichi exercise at CKS Memorial Hall Park
Elderly practicing a slow-motion Taichi exercise at CKS Memorial Hall Park
Love it! Biking in the middle of greeneries. Biking lane at Guting Riverside Park
Love it! Biking in the middle of greeneries. Biking lane at Guting Riverside Park

Taipei Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden covers an area of about 15 hectares and includes over 1,500 plant species, in 17 districts. In any given day you may find Tai-chi practitioners, photographers club, elderly with their nanny, plant enthusiast, or families enjoying a walk. Best visited with combination visit to National Museum of History nearby. The garden is 5-min walk from Xiaonanmen MRT station.

Lotus Pond at Taipei Botanical Garden
Lotus Pond at Taipei Botanical Garden
Floating lotus leaves
Floating lotus leaves
Lotus flower
Lotus flower
Lotus Pond and National Museum of History on the background
Lotus Pond and National Museum of History on the background
At Taipei Botanical Garden
At Taipei Botanical Garden
Elderly enjoys Taipei Botanical Garden
Elderly enjoys Taipei Botanical Garden
Taipei Botanical Garden
Taipei Botanical Garden
Plant enthusiasts have an educational tour to Taipei Botanical Garden
Plant enthusiasts have an educational tour to Taipei Botanical Garden
Whereas photographers patiently wait for a perfect moment in birdwatching
Whereas photographers patiently wait for a perfect moment in birdwatching
Green house at Taipei Botanical Garden
Green house at Taipei Botanical Garden
Strolling this vast garden is enjoyable
Strolling this vast garden is enjoyable

Taipei Expo Park. The park was the venue for the Taipei International Flora Exposition in 2010-2011. Currently this large park consists of many park elements such as Taipei’s Children recreation Center, Taiwan Excellence Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei Story House, Expo Dome, Pavilion of Flowers, Rose Garden, etc. The park is accessible within walking distance East from Yuanshan Station of the Taipei Metro

Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park & Taipei Fine Arts Museum on the background
Taipei Expo Park & Taipei Fine Arts Museum on the background
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park and majestic Grand Hotel on the background
Taipei Expo Park and majestic Grand Hotel on the background
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park
Taipei Expo Park

Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park is a multifunctional park in Xinyi District (MRT SYS Memorial Hall).

The park was initially constructed in 1937 as a tobacco factory under the name Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Monopoly Bureau of the Taiwan Governor’s Office under the Japanese government. After the handover of Taiwan to China in 1945, the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau took over the factory and renamed it as the Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Taiwan Provincial Monopoly Bureau. In 1947, the plant was renamed again as Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Bureau.

The factory ceased to produce cigarettes in 1998 for concern over urban planning, tobacco and liquor marketing regulatory changes and the decline in tobacco demand.

In 2001, the Taipei City Government designed the defunct tobacco factory as Taipei’s 99th historic site and converted it into a park comprising city-designated historic sites, historical structures and architectural highlights. Together with Taipei Dome, the site is known as Taipei Cultural and Sporting Complex.

For more efficient reuse of space, in 2011 the former factory was turned into a creative park by its current name to provide venues for diverse cultural and creative exhibitions and performances.

Points of interest in the park include: Red Dot Design Museum, Taiwan Design Museum, Eslite Spectrum (design-themed mall), array of design stores. A nice fountain with backdrop of Taipei 101 is also worth a visit.

Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park. If Shongshan was a site for Tobacco Factory, Huashan was a winery that produced sake and ginseng wines, and bred moth orchids. This multi-purpose park showcases creative talents from theater groups, painters, wood sculptors, writers, movie producers and directors from Taiwan and abroad. The park is also a good place to browse design stores or nice restaurants. The park is accessible within walking distance West from Zhongxiao Xinsheng Station of the Taipei Metro

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Shongshan Cultural and Creative Park
Huashan 1914 Creative Park

Taipei Hakka Cultural Park. The 4 hectare Hakka Culture Park,  in the Gongguan area of Taipei City (MRT Taipower Building), features a central plaza, delonix plaza, tung flower trail, bike station, farming experience area and eco-pond. Hakka are Han Chinese who speak Hakka Chinese and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China. In Taiwan, Hakka people comprise about 15 to 20% of the population and are descended largely from Guangdong immigrants: they form the second-largest ethnic group on the island. Best visited with a combined trip to Shida Night Market (MRT Taipower Building, Exit 3) on Shida Road.

Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park
Taipei Hakka Culture Park

Dahu Park. I visited this park intrigued by a picture of the park’s moon bridge on Dailymail. Though I can’t reproduce the same picture 🙂 I found this was an interesting visit in itself. The park has its own Dahu Park MRT station.

Dahu Park and its moon bridge
Dahu Park and its moon bridge
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
Dahu Park
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Museums Hopping in Taipei

National Taiwan Museum
National Taiwan Museum

There are at least 47 museums in Taipei and 14 in New Taipei. Most charge free admission or if they do only minimal fee (NTD30 or NTD50), making museums hopping is very affordable. Also, most museums have provided dual language exhibitions, understanding is not an issue. I can’t visit a place without understanding a context of the place and therefore visiting a museum is at the top of the list. National Palace Museum, National Museum of History and National Taiwan Museum provides adequate contexts for Taiwan whereas “Discovery Center” for Taipei. Besides these, there are several unique museums with unique positioning such as Miniature Museum of Taiwan, Gold Museum, Hot Spring Museum or Museum of Drinking Water. See?

Looking at museums below I realized how far I have travelled.

National Palace Museum

It is probably the most recommended museum to visit to understand the context of Taiwan and China. The only thing consequentially is that it can be crowded (with tour-herded Mainland China tourist) you may not be able to enjoy it. Among more than 690,000 collections (90% of which rare books/archival documents), the crowd pulles are Jadeite Cabbage and Meat Shaped Stone.

Check Wikipedia and its official website to understand it better.

Red 30 Bus from Shilin MRT Station or Brown 20 from Jiannan MRT Station will take you to outside of the Museum’s B1. Admission NTD160. Free daily tours in English at 10:00 and 15:00. No photography allowed.

 

Jade Cabbage, one of the 'must see' collections in National Palace Museum
Jade Cabbage, one of the ‘must see’ collections in National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum complex
National Palace Museum complex

 

National Taiwan Museum

Established in 1908, this is the oldest museum in Taiwan. The museum is located at 228 Peace Park (accessed through NTU (National Taiwan University) Hospital MRT Station, Exit 4). It provides a good context for native Taiwanese and geological history and mineral as well as biodiversity of Taiwan. Best visited along with Land Bank Exhibition Hall of NTM, just across diagonally the street.

http://formosa.ntm.gov.tw/web/en/exhibition.aspx

National Taiwan Museum
National Taiwan Museum
Aboriginal boat in National Taiwan Museum
Aboriginal boat in National Taiwan Museum
Land Bank Exhibition Hall across National Taiwan Museum (building on left)
Land Bank Exhibition Hall across National Taiwan Museum
Dinosaurs at Land Bank Exhibition Hall
Dinosaurs at Land Bank Exhibition Hall
Oviraptor Egg Nest at Land Bank Exhibition Hall
Oviraptor Egg Nest at Land Bank Exhibition Hall

Miniatures Museum of Taiwan (MMOT)

Can you believe true whiskey in a tiny 1cm bottle? A TV smaller than a postage stamp actually works? A chandelier with 40 bulbs the size of grain of rice ina one twelfth scale in Buckingham Palace?

MMOT is the first and only one of the kind in East Asia. I was amazed by its huge collections and fine details of miniatures, the patience when creating them. I wish I could shrink and go inside them.

Practicalities:

B1, No. 96 Jianguo North Road Sec 1, Taipei. http://www.mmot.com.tw . MRT Station: SongJiang NanJian, Exit 4.

Open: Tue – Sun, 10:00 – 18:00. Closed on Mon.

Admissions: Adult NTD180 Children NTD100

Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Miniature Museum of Taiwan

 

Museums of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)

MOCA is the first art institution in Taiwan dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. The museum building was originally the Jan Cheng Elementary School, established during the Japanese colonial period. Spanning across two floors, the exhibitions and performance spaces, MOCA connects cultural history with contemporary arts. Whereas public art on an area between the museum plaza and Zhongshan MRT Station transforms the linear park into an art trail and improve the visual aesthetics of the local environment.

Practicalities:

No. 39 ChangAn West Road, Taipei, Taiwan 103. http://www.mocataipei.org.tw MRT Tamsui Line, Zhongshan Station Exit R4. Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm. Monday Closed. Themed Exhibitions: NTD50, general admissions: NTD45. No flash while photographing.

Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)
Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)
Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)
Museum of Contemporary Arts (MOCA)
MOCA Outdoor Installation near Zhongshan MRT Station
MOCA Outdoor Installation near Zhongshan MRT Station

Taiwan Design Museum and Red Dot Museum

Both museum are located at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, 700m from CKS Memorial Hall MRT Station. Also visit Eslite Spectrum, a multi purpose building with floors dedicated for design-themed stores.

Taiwan Design Museum: http://www.tdm.org.tw/

Taipei Red Dot Museum: http://en.red-dot.org/5127.html

Taiwan Design Museum
Taiwan Design Museum

Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM)

A minimalist bone-whote facade juxtaposed by transversal beams define the singular and dignified edifice that is the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. TFAM focuses on the procurement of outstanding works by Taiwanese artists from the 20th century to the present, producing a chronology of fine art as it developed in Taiwan.

When visiting TFAM don’t forget to visit Taiwan Excellence (connected to TFAM by a bridge) that displays “made in Taiwan” quality products. Also opposite the museum is Taipei Story House and nearby Taipei Expo Park.

TFAM

181 Zhongshan North Road Section 3, Taipei 10461. http://www.TFAM.com . Tue – Sun, 9:30am – 5:30pm. Mon Closed. Entrance fee NTD30 (excluding special exhibition). MRT: Tamsui Line, Yuanshan Station, Exit 1 in the direction of Zhongshan North Road. 10-min walk. No photography allowed.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei Story House
Taipei Story House
Taipei Story House
Taipei Story House

National Museum of History (NMH)

NMH exhibits Chinese historical items. The museum is established in a Japanese style building near Taipei Botanical Garden (there is a shortcut from the garden near Lotus Pond). Don’t miss a great view from the 3rd floor of the museum: Lotus Pond.

NMH

No. 49 Nánhǎi Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100. Taipei Botanical Garden can be accessed within 5-min walk from Xiaonanmen MRT Station. The museum can also be accessed from CKS Memorial Hall MRT Station (10-12min walk). Admission: NTD30

National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History
National Museum of History

Museum of Drinking Water

What museum?

Here what you will see: old pumps, old MCC (motor control center), pipe fittings, tanks, a Baroque style building and a bit of history, Access via MRT Gongguan Station Exit 4. Best visited along with Taipei Water Park or Gongguan Riverside (bike lane)

 

Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water
Museum of Drinking Water

Discovery Center of Taipei

This place is a good educational center to get your bearings on the city and its history. The center is housed within Taipei City Hall (within walking distance from Taipei City Hall MRT Station, Free Admission). Quoting its website, Taipei City Government designated it as a modern stage for “citizens,” “cities,” “interactive dialogue with visitors,” and “presenting achievements of city construction. “It is responsible for social education, the promulgation of civil politics, and the promotion of the city. This center exhibits the city’s technology, history, humanity, art, and ecology. Through various perceptive and interactive displays, visitors are introduced to the development of Taipei City”.

Discovery Center of Taipei
Discovery Center of Taipei
Discovery Center of Taipei
Discovery Center of Taipei
The remains of Taipei City walls  - Discovery Center of Taipei
The remains of Taipei City walls – Discovery Center of Taipei

Gold Museum

The museum looks generic with its nice display of gold mining industry in Jinguashi, miniature of underground tunnels, until I came to the end of visit, when I saw a 220-kg gold brick. Yes, it’s real!

Surrounding environment, as it is located at Gold Ecological Park, also makes this museum worth a visit. Don’t miss an opportunity to go inside the Tunnel (NTD50), or panning gold (NTD100). Gold Museum and areas are free anyway. Other attractions include abandoned rail tracks, Four Joined Japanese Houses, Environment Building, Shinto Shrines, The Crown Prince Chalet. All set high above the village in green, quiet hillsides.

Bus 1062 from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station Exit 1 will take you to the site for a little over an hour through twisty mountain roads.

Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Map of gold distribution across the world. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Map of gold distribution across the world. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Prisoner of War. Gold mining workers. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Prisoner of War. Gold mining workers. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold ore. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold ore. Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold underground mining . Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold underground mining . Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park
Gold Museum, Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park

 

Beitou Hot Spring Museum

The museum was originally the Beitou Public Bathhouse, the largest bathhouse in the East Asia at the time (Japanese colonial period). House in a building resembles English house, the museum recounts Beitou hot spring industry. On display are historical relics and documents which tells stories of the sulfur mining, the hot spring and Taiwanese films. I particularly like the building itself, Japanese interiors and radioactive measurement from sulfur blocks. The museum is located at Beitou, one of the Taiwan hot spring centers, easily accesible by MRT Tamsui Line, Beitou Station, continued with another train to Xinbeitou. Visit to the museum may be combined with visit to Thermal Valley, Ketagalan Cultural Center, hiking or private hot spring bath available at many hotels in the area. A very nice Beitou Public Library building is nearby.

 

Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Used to be ticket counter for public bath. Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Used to be ticket counter for public bath. Beitou Hot Spring Museum
Ketagalan Cultural Center
Ketagalan Cultural Center

Memorial Halls

The halls are to commemorate two persons that have a place in Taiwan history: Chiang Kai Shek and Sun Yat-Sen (first president and founding father of the Republic of China).

 

Ching Kai Sek Memorial Hall
Ching Kai Sek Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

228 Museums

There are two museums associated with 2/28 or 228, referring to a Febaruary 28. 228 incident was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that began on February 27, 1947 which was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Republic of China government and which resulted in the massacre of numerous civilians, beginning on February 28, or 2/28.

228 Memorial Museum is located at 228 Peace Memorial Park whereas National 228 Memorial Park is located at Nanhai Road (5-7 minutes walk from CKS Memorial Hall MRT Station).

National 228 Memorial Museum
National 228 Memorial Museum

Taipei’s Night Markets

I once read that about 75% of visitors to Taipei must have visited a night market. In this city known as ‘food stall city’, for their love to eating outside at street hawker or food stall instead of home cooking , a night market is a heaven for residents. For visitor it provides a perfect place to understand the diversity of cuisines Taipei has to offer. Oyster omellete, stinky tofu, ice shaved mango, beef noodle, Taiwan crepes, grilled squid, milk pearl tea, fried bun?

It is no surprise why night market is loved. Food/snack is available at bargain prices for as low as 30 NTD to 150 NTD (roundup 4 to 18 QAR), one can have a full dinner comprises several selections and satisfy their cravings at minimal cost.

 

SAMSUNG CSC

While every night market has its own charm, food is the strongest magnet. Though, fashion accessories, clothing and gadget accessories are now and more usual merchandises.

Let’s have a look some night markets I have visited during my stay in Taipei:

  • Shilin Night Market. The biggest and most well-known though not necessarily the best. Can be overly crowded during the weekend. MRT Jiantan Exit 1
  • Shida Night Market. Targeting young people or students of National Taiwan University or National Taiwan Normal University. More and more fashion than food stalls. MRT Taipower Building Exit 3 on Shida Road
  • Guangzhou and Huaxi Street Night Markets. Close to Longshan Temple. Huaxi is known for snake-based meal (i.e. snake soup). MRT Longshan Temple
  • Raohe Night Market. Probably the smallest (only 600-m long). Next to magnificent and beautiful Ci You Temple. One halal restaurant located here (Alladin). Shongshan TRA Station.

A list and review of all night markets in Taipei can be read here:

http://mykafkeasquelife.blogspot.tw/2010/01/list-of-night-markets-in-taipei.html

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

 

Ice shaved mango
Ice shaved mango

 

Shilin 'Tourist' Night Market
Shilin ‘Tourist’ Night Market

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

 

Long queue means good food?
Long queue means good food?

 

I love iced tea
I love iced tea

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

 

Bargain price snack at night market
Bargain price snack at night market

 

Grill is almost available in any night market
Grill is almost available in any night market

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

 

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market
Looks yummy?
Looks yummy?

 

Night market can be overly crowded. Best time is half an hour before sunset
Night market can be overly crowded. Best time is half an hour before sunset

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Shida Night Market
Shida Night Market

 

Huaxi Street Night Market
Huaxi Street Night Market

 

Huaxi is known for snake soup
Huaxi is known for snake soup
Huaxi street night market
Huaxi street night market

 

Huaxi Street Night Market
Huaxi Street Night Market

 

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Massage service at Guangzhou Street Night Market
Massage service at Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Ghuangzhou Street Night Market
Ghuangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

Guangzhou Street Night Market
Guangzhou Street Night Market

 

 

 

Ci You Temple near the entrance of Raohe Night Market
Ci You Temple near the entrance of Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Mushroom grill Raohe Night Market
Mushroom grill Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing the highest peak of Taipei

Taipei lies in the Taipei basin. It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north, where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Cising Mountain (七星山), the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park.

I went to this park and climbed up the peak on a cloudy day that unable to hide the beauty of the park. I walked on a stone-paved path to the peak, steep in places, passed through tall clumping silvergrass fields amid smell of sulfur. It’s less than an hour climb from Xiaoyukeng (where you can see fumaroles), yet I felt old enough. Once reached Mt. Cising main peak, I hiked down and up again to Mt. Cising East Peak before continuing my hiking to Lengshuikeng – famous for public hot bath, Milk Pond and a way to the best grassland, Qingtiangang.

A pavilion near Qixing Park , Lengshuikeng
A pavilion near Qixing Park , Lengshuikeng

Other attractions in the park include:

  • Azaleas, cherry blossoms every spring, in Yangming Park (Houshan Park).
  • The panorama of Taipei (especially attractive at night)
  • The fumaroles at Xiaoyoukeng.
  • The best grassland in Taipei, Qingtiangang. This area is popular with picnicking students and families.
  • Yangming Shuwu. 12 Zhongxin Road, also often called Yangming Villa, is an historical building built by former President Chiang Kai-shek for receiving foreign dignitaries.

Check english.ymsnp.gov.tw for practicalities including how to get there, and a map of the area. If you like hiking I suggest that you grab a map (NTD50) in one of the shops in any visitor center. I took a 260 bus from a stand near Exit M2/Y6 of Taipei Main station, a ride lasting 45 minutes to the park. From the park bus station, I took a shuttle bus 108 (easycard is accepted) that drops passengers to multiple stops in the park. Beware that bus frequency is not that often 20-30 minutes.

Let the pictures speak.

A visitor enjoys a scenery of the park near Xiaoyukeng
A visitor enjoys a scenery of the park near Xiaoyukeng
Fumaroles in Xiaoyukeng
Fumaroles in Xiaoyukeng
The start of hiking trail to Mt Cising
The start of hiking trail to Mt Cising
Hiking Trail through tall clumping silvergrass
Hiking Trail through tall clumping silvergrass
Hiking trails can be steep in places
Hiking trails can be steep in places
wind-sheared vegetation areas in Yangmingshan
wind-sheared vegetation areas in Yangmingshan
Hold your breath, the view is magnificent from Mt Cising Main Peak
Hold your breath, the view is magnificent from Mt Cising Main Peak
Hikers enjoys the day on a flat stone. Mt Cising East Peak on the background
Hikers enjoys the day on a flat stone. Mt Cising East Peak on the background
Nothing compares to a reward after an hour hiking
Nothing compares to a reward after an hour hiking
Many peoples enjoy hiking in Mt Cising
Many peoples enjoy hiking in Mt Cising
View to Taipei Basin
View to Taipei Basin
On Mt Cising East Peak
On Mt Cising East Peak
View toward Lengshuikeng
View toward Lengshuikeng
Another view on the way to Lengshuikeng from Mt Cising East Peak
Another view on the way to Lengshuikeng from Mt Cising East Peak
Milk Pond in Lengshuikeng
Milk Pond in Lengshuikeng
Foot-soaking pool in Lengshuikeng
Foot-soaking pool in Lengshuikeng
Juansi waterfall
Juansi waterfall