Begin your day in Taipei with a hike up the Xiangshan or Elephant Mountain trail, for stunning sunrise views of the city and the Taipei 101. Be warned though, the trail is full of stairs. If you’re fit, the entire 1450 metres hike should take less than an hour. If you’re not, be prepared for lots and lots of stairs. Wear comfortable shoes, and bring your camera. The trail is peppered with spots to take breaks and enjoy the views.
To get there: Take the red line on the MRT to the last stop, Xiangshan station. Get out at Exit 2 and follow the signs. It’s a couple of minutes walk.
After that hike, you deserve to have breakfast with the King. Head to Yong He Soy Milk King in Zhongshan district for a traditional Taiwanese breakfast that is impossible to find outside of Taiwan. There are long strings of fried dough (you tiao), turnip or radish rice cakes, fluffy steamed buns with sweet or savory fillings, flaky pancakes with toasted sesame sprinkled on top, an omelet nestled in between, and to round it all off, a hearty drink of fresh and sweet soy milk, served hot or iced.
How to get there: Take the brown or red line MRT to the Daan Station, Yong He is located about 450m from the Da’an station; Address: No. 102, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City.
The Taipei 101 is an icon of modern Taiwan and a must visit. Before being upstaged by the Burj Khalifa in 2010, the 101 was the tallest building in the world and is a feat of engineering. Find out how the building is designed to withstand earthquakes and tropical storms. For lunch, head to another Taiwanese institution, Din Tai Fung, for the legendary xiao long bao, a delightfully delicate dumpling filled with meat and soup.
How to get there: Take the red line MRT to the Taipei 101 Station and step out at Exit 4. You can’t miss it!
Tea Ceremonies are an important part of Taiwanese local culture for over 400 years. Brewing and tasting the tea is a very intricate process and is best explained by experts in one of the many teahouses in Taipei. Partake in a traditional tea ceremony at the Taipei Tea Promotion Center or the Yao Yue Tea House in Wenshan district and pick up some local teas to bring back home. There are many tea shops in this area so you can pick once with the best view.
How to get there: Take the MRT to the Maokong station, Taipei Tea Promotion Center (Opening Hours: 9am – 4.30pm; Tues – Sun), Address: 8-2, Lane 40, Zhinan Road, Sec. 3, Wenshan District, Taipei City 116
A trip to Taipei is not complete without a visit to one of its night markets. Head to Raohe night market and eat your way through a maze of delectable delights like pepper pork buns, Taiwanese dumplings, oyster omelettes, stinky tofu, sweet potato fritters, herbal pork bone soup, and a variety of seafood. Don’t forget to try some Boba or Bubble tea in the country of its origin.
How to get there: Take the green line MRT to the Songshan station, and get out and Exit 5.