THINGS TO SEE IN AND AROUND TAIPEI
Taiwan remains relatively unknown as a destination by western tourists. Recently voted the best place to live in the world for expats, now is the time to explore this country’s incredible and enchanting capital city.
You can’t come to Taiwan and not see Taipei 101, quite literally. The 508m building, towers over the city like a giant bamboo stalk, which incidentally is what it is meant to resemble. You would be hard pressed to spend more than a few hours in Taipei without, at some point or another, catching a glimpse of this iconic structure, which at one time, stood as the tallest building in the world.
Whizz to the 89th floor in just 40 seconds to enjoy a truly spectacular view of the whole city, or avoid the heights and make the most of the food court in the ground floor of the building, famous among locals for the best dim sum to be found in Taipei, at Din Tai Fung 101.
Perhaps the best way to get to grips with the scale of the structure though, is to cycle up Elephant mountain for sunset, and soak in the city before pedalling back into town.
Tamsui Old Street
A wonderful contrast to the hustle and bustle of Taipei city, Tamsui is just a short bike ride along the river, and is well worth the pedal.
The winding narrow streets are full of local food vendors, whos families have held plots along this strip for generations.
Anything your heart could desire can be found in these tiny alleyways, but it is perhaps most famous for the incredible oolong ice creams. Sweet and refreshing, they’ll cool you down and give you just the energy boost you need before a climb away from the coast.
Yangminshan National Park
Only a few miles to the north of Taipei city, sits a vast expanse of forested mountains, hots springs and flowering meadows that make up Yangminshan National Park. Perfect for bike rides and hiking, the park offers a sense of untouched nature just a short ride away from the centre of Taipei.
Particularly special are the natural hot springs the flow from ground, where you can take the chance to soak and relax in-between climbs.
Described as the Niagara Falls of Taiwan, Shifen Waterfall immediately evokes memories of ancient Chinese watercolour paintings. Whilst not the tallest of the many falls in Taiwan, it is certainly one of the prettiest.
A short cycle away from Keelung, it provides an excellent rest point to recuperate with the sounds of the river cascading around you.
Best known as the mystical setting for the film ‘Spirited Away’, it’s easy to see why Juifen was used as a template. The mountain villiage, often enshrouded in mist, has something spiritual flowing through its quiet winding streets. Built by the Japanese just before the turn of the 20th century as a part of the Taiwanese gold rush, it then doubled as a POW camp holding British soldiers captured during the fall of Singapore.
Now a popular tourist sight, Juifen still retains a sense of past thanks to strict building regulations, ensuring that this quaint mountain village remains just that.
For more information on Taiwan, and how you can explore this magical country by bike, drop us a line at email@example.com or download our brochure here