I was flying from London to Sydney and thought I’d do a layover in Taiwan. I had around 28 hours here and even though you need more days to explore Taiwan itself, I was able to jam pack my day in Taipei and explore the city and surrounding area, culture and culinary scene.
I arrived to Taoyuan International Airport around 7pm and caught the MRT to Taipei Main Station. I got a deal on klook so I pre-bought a return airport ticket for £7 (a return costs more than this at the airport). Use the link to pre-buy your tickets and receive £2.50 reward when you sign up!
I dropped my bags at the hotel and headed straight for dinner. I went to Fuhong Beef Noodles which was a hole in the wall place but I had the most delicious beef noodles. It cost only $NT90 (approx. £2.30) for a bowl.
Afterwards, I went to get the famous bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang. This was actually my first time having the pearl milk tea!
Elephant Mountain Hike
The next morning, I headed off early to do the Elephant Mountain hike. You get off at Xiangshang and follow signs to Xiangshan Park to go up Elephant Hill.
I would suggest getting a day pass MRT which costs $NT150 (approx. £3.83) which is worth it if you are jumping on and off the MRT and going longer distances.
There are a fair amount of stairs and I was doing it fast so only took me less than 10 minutes to the first viewing point. The views from up here are amazing. You can see across the whole city and especially the impressive Taipei 101 building.
There are various different viewpoints so I kept climbing up. You are definitely rewarded with great views!
I spent around 45 minutes there exploring the different trails and just enjoying the views.
After the hike, I caught the MRT to Dongmen.
I came here to specifically try the famous scallion pancake at Tian Jin Onion Pancake stall. You can find them on the corner of Lane 6 and Yong Kang Street. The most basic one costs $NT25 (approx. £0.63) and it was delicious!
I also saw a small dumpling cart so bought a couple of fresh dumplings for the road. They cost $NT9 each (approx £0.23).
I got back to the hotel to freshen up before heading back out again. I walked to 2/28 Peace Park and then towards the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
After strolling and exploring the area, I walked to Dongmen again to go have lunch. When in Taiwan, you must go to the original Din Tai Fung. I enjoyed having the 10 xiao long bao. It was so delicious and satisfying! Afterwards, I went to Coco for their milk tea. It is only $NT40 (£1) here for a large which is so cheap!
Afterwards, I caught the MRT to Beitou. I went to Beitou Park, the Beitou Hot Spring Museum (free entry) and then checked out Thermal Valley.
Afterwards, I caught the MRT to Tamsui and explored this area. It’s definitely worth combining Beitou and Tamsui as a little day trip as they are on the red MRT line and to get away from the hustle and bustle of main areas of Taipei.
Tamsui is located on the coast and the waterfront and riverside park as well as the markets and street food appeal to tourists.
Tamsui Old Street has many different shops and stalls (mainly food) and is interesting to walk around.
I had the best pepper pork bun from a small restaurant further up on the old street. The location is here. This cost $NT 40 (approx. £1) and was delicious! The pastry was flakey and the pork had lots of flavour!
After walking around Tamsui, I headed to Ximen which had a very different pace. The Ximen area is compared to the Shinjuku in Japan and it was hustling and bustling.
I walked around taking in the area and then went to get myself a massage to relax after a long day of walking.
Shilin Night Market
In the evening, I headed to Shilin Night Market. It is bustling with many food stalls and it is where both locals and tourist go visit.
I wasn’t that hungry so I tried the pork tofu skewer and the quail eggs.
I’d love to come back with an empty stomach to try all the local delicacies!
I came back to the Main Station area to get my bags and of course, get my last bubble tea!
I really enjoyed my time in Taipei especially the food scene and I will 100% be back for a longer time to explore this beautiful country!