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Your guide to Taipei
All About Taipei
Taipei is a city that excites the senses — take in the sounds of rushing traffic and vendors hawking their wares at markets, the smells and tastes of delectable street food on every corner, and the sight of ornate temples alongside modern skyscrapers. Taiwan’s capital is famous for its vibrant night markets found all over the city, where you’ll be able to try delicacies like grilled squid, fried chicken, and oyster omelets. The most famous street food is probably stinky tofu — fried and fermented tofu on a stick with chili. Taiwan’s national dish is pickled vegetable beef noodle soup, which is celebrated with an annual festival and can be found in almost any local restaurant.
Taipei is a mix of the modern and the historical, and you’ll find one of the tallest buildings in the world alongside traditional temples. The Longshan Temple is one of the city’s oldest, while the impressive Bao’an Temple is the most lavish. At the National Palace Museum you’ll find the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Taipei
Spring is a great time to secure a vacation rental in Taipei as it brings warm, sunny days, and the colorful cherry blossoms are in full bloom in the city’s parks. Summers are sweltering and humid and coincide with typhoon season, so the likelihood of storms is high. The Dragon Boat Festival takes place in June and is one of the city’s biggest annual events, with dragon boat races held all over the city, accompanied by festivities. The rain starts to peter out in the fall when you can expect warm days for exploring the city. The Moon Festival falls around late September or early October, during which it is tradition to enjoy a moonlight barbeque and moon cakes, which are made from red bean and egg. Winter is the driest season in Taipei, and temperatures do cool down, but it’s still mild enough to be outdoors. Lunar New Year falls between late January and early February, and the city comes alive with parades, costumes, and festivities.
Top things to do in Taipei
The Shilin Night Market
Wander around Taipei’s largest night market, with endless stalls packed into a maze of winding alleys selling clothes, jewelry, and local souvenirs. You’ll find vendors cooking up dishes with a dizzying array of goodies to try. Or you can head underground to the Market Food Court, considered to be one of the best places to eat in the city. Try the fried buns, dim sum, and the infamous stinky tofu.
National Palace Museum
Visit the city’s most important museum, where you’ll find nearly 700,000 ancient pieces from multiple dynasties, including treasured paintings, calligraphy, bronze statues, ceramics, and possibly the most famous piece — Jadeite Cabbage, a small statuette shaped like a bok choy cabbage carved from a single piece of delicate green and white jade.
Taipei 101 has only recently been surpassed as the world’s tallest building, and its elevator is one of the fastest you’ll step foot in. The ride up to the 89th-floor viewing deck takes just 37 seconds, and once the lift doors open, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the city. The building stands high above any other in the city, so you can see for miles in any direction.