Taiwan || Guide to Chill (but fun) Travel

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

One thing I've learned from being an avid traveler is the importance of balancing a chill and adventure filled holiday.

So it doesn't matter if this is your first, second or millionth time in Taiwan. Here's list of Places to Go and Food to eat + Cafes to Visit in this post:

Places to Go

1. The Romantic Road

This place was the highlight of our tour around the Ruifang district. It's called the Romantic Road. It has an amazing undisrupted view of the ocean and valley around Ruifang. The best part about it is that not a lot of tourists know about it. The best time to arrive for cool weather is around 5pm-6pm. That’s when the sun doesn’t glare too much and the ocean glistens.

2. Rocks near Yeh Liu GeoPark

As you can already see from this post, I’m highlight places from my trip that aren’t common to the regular tourist. 

That’s also because the hoards of 人山人海 situation at Yeh Liu Geopark almost gave me a panic attack. Don't get me wrong, Yehliu Geopark is a pretty cool place. But the driver we engaged found us this really cool spot a stone throw away from it and the view was to die for. I can give you an exact location for this but if you’re driving up from Taipei city, you won’t miss it! It looks like a canyon with rocks flanked on both sides.

If I were you, I’d pick this spot over the Geopark any day.

Ps- if anybody needs someone to tour you around all the hidden spots to explore, hit me up for the driver we got and I’ll pass you his contact.

3. Creative Park

Creative buffs, this is for you. The Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a multi-purpose park in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. Tons of exhibits that are everchanging. The best time to visit is on a weekday during off-peak hours. The area is really pleasant! It's a 30 mins walk from Xi Men Ding... or you could just uber.

No. 1, Section 1, Bade Road, 
Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Places NOT to Visit

(view photos clockwise with points below)

#TRUTH: If you end up taking more selfies than photos of a place, that means you're prettier than the destination itself.

  1.  Elephant Mountain was the lamest thing ever (top left photo). Beware - the climb is not for the unfit. We went for a Sunset trail just 'cause the reviews told us so. There were hoards of tourists flanking the stairway up. When we finally got to the top, all I could see were bobbing heads of people blocking my view. Nup, wouldn't recommend it at all.
  2. Taipei 101 is the most commercialized thing ever. Guys, it's just a really tall building. People say that you should visit the Starbucks situated on one of the highest levels in Taipei 101. I say, don't waste your time booking and queuing. There are better views of the city elsewhere.
  3. Shifen Waterfall was underwhelming af. Because it's so underwhelming, here's a touristy selfie of my sister and I because we were the prettiest things there. Lol kidding. But yea really it's just a waterfall with a lot of tourists and mosquitos.

Places to Eat (Mainly Cafes lol)

Let's be honest, if you're going to Taiwan, you're probably readying your list of places to eat good stuff. Yes, for sure - Food will be a huge contributing factor to your trip. Here's a list of food you have to try in Taiwan:

  1. The Famous Shi Lin Chicken
  2. * Down a shot of Bittergourd juice right after that 'cause you're gonna be so heaty. It's an acquired taste but it gets the job done.
  3. Peanut / Sesame Riceballs Rou He Market
  4. Pork Mee sua from Ximending
  5. BUBBLE TEA (with extra pearls)
  6. 燒餅油條 (you tiao) and soya bean
  7. 滷肉飯 (Minced pork/beef rice)

Taiwan is an amazing place to fill up on street food, no doubt. But did you know their coffee scene is totally rad too? In my 6 days there, my fam bam and I visited an embarrassing total of 6 cafes. (Gosh are we hipster or are we hipster). Here are some of our recommendations:

Tamed Fox is by far my favourite cafe. Their vibes are exceptionally chill, and if you're (almost) chinese illiteral such as moi, they have English menus too, to cushion your data usage on google translate. To top it off, they have an adorable toy poodle called Rae too that lives in a teepee! (no photo sorry)

No. 56, Lane 122, Section 4, Ren'ai Road,
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

*Do note that they're closed on Wednesdays

Swell co. cafe has tons of surfer vibes. One thing I realised about the cafes in Taiwan is that people would sit in the whole day and they won't get chased out? Super cool. Drop by for their acai bowl!

No. 23, Siwei Road, 
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

This place was a pity. It has this Mulberry Au Lat milk thing I realllyyy wanted to try but it was out of stock on that particular day. Check out their Instagram for it - it looks SO YUM. Please let me know if it's good if you've tried it! They use milk from Yakult! They open really early too so it's good for a morning pick me up.

No. 125, Section 1, Da'an Road, 
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

This is my favourite coffee joint. The owner (left photo using his laptop) opened this store 3 years ago. His beans are from Costa Rica so they're EXTRA chocolatey. If you're there, try their cold brew. You won't regret it. I've never tasted such a unique brew. They ONLY sell coffee but there's a market right next to it to get your morning breakfast.

No. 3-1, Lane 208, Siwei Road, 
Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Hope this has been helpful for you! Feel free to drop me a comment below or email me if you have any questions!

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