Pedal Taiwan’s Ultimate Guide to: Taipei – part 2
We continue our exploration of Taiwan’s exuberant capital, Taipei, in the second part of our mini series. In case you missed part 1, make sure to check out the first post in which the experts here at Pedal Taiwan gave you their insider tips into the highlights of Taipei. We left off last time at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, and that is where we will resume our journey.
After a little sightseeing at Longshan Temple and CKS Memorial Hall, it’s possible that you may have worked up an appetite. Luckily for you, Taipei is world renowned for its delicious and affordable food options. We’ve covered before what the Pedal Taiwan team believe are some of the best things to eat in Taiwan, but at CKS we know exactly what you should be feasting on.
Just a few moments walk south of the monument, is Jin Feng restaurant, widely regarded as serving the best lu ro fan (braised pork and rice) in the state. An unimposing building (as all the best taiwanese restaurants are!), it would be possible to walk straight past it without a second glance….that is if there weren’t always a queue of people outside.
Whilst there is always a crowd, waiting for a seat never takes more than 5 or 10 minutes, and the reward once inside is mind-blowing. The small paper menus are only in chinese, so unless you have a handle on the language, the best way to order is to simply ask the waitress for lu ro fan, and perhaps a qing tsai (green vegetables) or two.
After 30 years of preparing this staple dish every day, the chef at this local eatery has the recipe down to an art form. The pork is both soft and succulent, and the traditional sauce that it has cooked in for up to 8 hours is rich, earthy and full of those salty and umami flavours that make it so loved across the island. What’s more, at just 40NT (approx £1) this is the sort of place that makes you want to come back again and again and again!
For now though, we ride on. Ride on the MRT to be precise. Taipei’s metro system (known as the MRT) is among the cleanest and most convenient in the world. From our previous stop at Longshan Temple, we can journey all the way to Xiangshan station, or as it translates in english – Elephant mountain.
With sunset approaching, there’s nowhere better to be than taking a short 20 minute hike up this mountain set in the heart of the city. Within minutes it is difficult to believe that we are not miles from civilisation, such is the peacefulness of the surrounding nature. What’s more, the views from the top are simply breathtaking. Looking out over the city, with Taipei 101 in the foreground (more on that in a minute!), it’s the best way to view the city.
The Pedal Taiwan top tip for this part of the adventure however, is mosquito repellent! Mosquito’s in Taiwan are not nearly as much of a problem as they are in most other parts of south east asia, however, for whatever reason one of the Pedal Taiwan team always seems to get bitten alive at the top of Xiangshan…so her advice, bring the spray!
With the setting sun, and at least an hour since we last ate, we think it might be time for dinner. There’s hundreds of options available in the city, but there’s two in particular we’d recommend….in part 3 of our Pedal Taiwan’s Ultimate Guide to Taipei!
For more information on Taiwan, and how you can explore this magical country by bike, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our tour dates here
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