Travel by Committee: Help me discover Taipei in 5 days

12 May
Graffiti in Ximending

Graffiti in Ximending

I’m running out of time to figure out what to do with my upcoming time off, and I fear that I’ll end up wasting a perfect opportunity to catch up on things I’ve missed around Taipei. I’m nearing 5 years here, and there are still lots of things I haven’t gotten around to yet.

Here’s what I’m asking:

Help me find 50 cool things to do in Taipei in 5 days

(And before any of you Debbie Downers try to tell me there aren’t enough cool things to do in Taipei, well… it’s probably best to keep your comments to yourself so you won’t be embarrassed when I prove you wrong!)

I’ll take suggestions (via comments on this blog and elsewhere) until Friday, May 21, then post a list here of the 50 things I plan to do. Then I’ll get started. At the end of each day (& throughout each day, thanks to the magic of 3G), I’ll post photos, videos, and sounds of what I’ve discovered. Of course, credit will be given for all ideas, and I’ll be glad to link to your blog or website if you have one.

Suggestions can be as broad as “Visit Taipei 101 & go to the top” or as specific as “Go take a picture of the zebra crossing sculpture at Civil Blvd. & Dunhua” or “get a sausage from a street vendor.” If I get more than 50 suggestions that could feasibly be done in 5 days, I’ll do my best to get to them.

A few guidelines I’d like to stick to:

  1. Places should be within Taipei City only, or at the very least accessible by MRT.
  2. Any costs should be reasonable (think “budget vacation”), but a splurge or two is okay by me.
  3. Activities should be suitable for one person to safely and reasonably do alone.
  4. Please, nothing offensive, dangerous, or impossible.

And some other things to keep in mind:

  • Things I like: good food, modern art, unique urban sounds, graffiti, temples, old stuff, old people.
  • I have a 50cc scooter that can handle travel within the city.
  • A few places where I could take my dog with me would be nice.
  • Opportunities to meet interesting Taipei faces will be appreciated (introductions welcome)
  • My Chinese conversation & reading are not bad (so Chinese-only menus are no problem), but my Taiwanese is infantile.
  • Food suggestions are welcome, but can’t dominate, since it’s only 5 days worth of meals.
  • I’ve seen most of the big touristy places (CKS, 101, Din Tai Fung, etc), but will consider revisiting.
  • Theme restaurants are not out of the question.

Special note for people who’ve never visited Taipei:

You can play, too! This especially goes for my friends and family at home who are curious about Taiwan and wouldn’t mind a vicarious 5-day vacation. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Taipei on Wikipedia, Wikitravel, Lonely Planet, or just plain old Google. If you don’t know what or where something is, you can send me a photo link and I’ll try to find the place.

Please leave your comments below, thanks for your help, and stay tuned!


8 Responses to “Travel by Committee: Help me discover Taipei in 5 days”

  1. graphgetsen May 13, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Visit textile market behind Taipei Main Station, pick a piece of fabric and cut to size for furoshki, have funny little man on 2nd floor sew a hem-stitch for you. Fill with plunder. <40 min.

  2. Todd Alperovitz May 13, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Bopiliao Old Street is nice, I went there earlier this year and there were several props and costumes from the movie Monga on display.

    If you are willing to venture just a little outside of Taipei City, Zhonghe’s Yuantong Temple is very unique.

  3. Michael Cannon May 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    I enjoy hiking the small hill near Jingmei MRT, Green line, for the sights and then eating at the nightmarket afterwards as a very pleasant treat.

    There’s also the public spas of Xinbeitou.

    Rouhou night market a few blocks east of Living Mall is nice.

    Though not in Taipei, taking a main station bus to Keelung or a Capital Bus from Xinyi (city hall mall) MRT to Yilan takes 45-90 minutes and cost upwards of 120 NT.

    • Stefan May 17, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

      When you are in Xinbeitou and are checking out the spas (1) (I like Sweetme the best) you should walk through the little park next to SweetMe (2) have a look at the hot spring museum (3) and the new Beitou library (4) (Craig Ferguson has a good description of it here: From there take the MRT to Guandu station, there is a lovely temple there (5). Also you can rent a bicycle somewhere around there. You could ride a bike along the river to Danshui (6), take a ferry to Fisherman’s wharf (7) come back to Danshui and have a foot massage there (8). There is also a bakery there I like (9) (, the owner enjoys learning languages and speaks English, German, Italian and Japanese if I recall correctly. Maybe you get a chance to chat? Take the bike back to Guando on the MRT and after that maybe Shilin nightmarket (10).

      • Stefan May 18, 2010 at 11:39 am #

        Actually I think a better order would be to start in Guandu – have a look at the temple, rent the cycle, then ride to Danshui visit Fisherman’s Wharf and come back to Danshui for lunch. Then bakery (desert) foot massage and Guandu (return the cycle) after that to Xinbeitou, so you can conclude the day with the spa visit and dinner afterwards.

  4. beibei October 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Hello! I am not sure if you are still in Taipei. If so, I was wondering what you will be doing for Double Tenth Day? Your blog is full of interesting ideas, so this weekend would probably be wonderful too! Thanks!

    • ktvxiaojie November 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

      Oh! I’m not very good about checking comments, unfortunately.This year’s Double Tenth Day was a huge deal with the centennial celebration, though. I wish I’d responded sooner!


  1. Weekly Links – May 13, 2010 « The Daily Bubble Tea - May 13, 2010

    […] Help Holly discover Taipei in 5 days. […]

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