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Northern Taipei

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15 suggestions for a day in Dadaocheng

If strolling through scenic history-drenched streets filled with cultural attractions, unique shopping venues and an abundance of great food is your thing, Taipei’s Dadaocheng neighborhood is well worth a visit. The neighborhood just north of Taipei’s Bei Men , or north gate station become increasingly popular with travelers over the past few years (much to the bemusement of locals, who’ve been hanging out here since the late Qing dynasty). While we haven’t been coming here that long, we do remember the days when the sight of a western tourist was enough to turn a head or two, which gives us an interesting perspective on the area. Here then is a 15-point primer designed to help you make the most of your own experience in Dadaocheng: 1. Do your sightseeing from North to South The further south you go in the neighborhood, the more crowded things get, with the epicenter of…

Waterfalls and Sky Lanterns: A day tour to Shifen and Pingxi

Today’s excursion brings us to the charming towns of Pingxi (平溪) and Shifen (十份). Located in Taiwan’s Northeast about an hour from Taipei, both are former Japanese era coal mining towns that today offer rich histories, quaint streets offering a good feel for old Taiwan, and of course, great street food.  We start our journey in Shifen, a pretty little town surrounded by mountains and bisected by train tracks. Like Pingxi, Shifen is known for lanterns, and souvenir shops selling lanterns of all varieties abound among buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Shifen’s most famous attraction (outside of the town itself) is the Shifen Waterfall (十份大瀑布). It’s an easy and lovely hike from the town to the falls on a well-trodden path passing over an old bridge and past train tracks dating back to the days when trains were used to transport coal in the…

Visiting Taipei with Children (Summertime Edition)

Taipei is a year-round kid-friendly city, and finding places that will keep the little ones cool and entertained isn’t difficult. The trick, of course, is finding a few kid friendly spots that the grownups will enjoy – or at least be able to endure without too much difficulty.   MyTaiwanTour offers six spots for your summertime fun: 1. Taipei Zoo (臺北市立動物園) Kids love zoos, and there’s a lot to love about the Taipei Zoo. It’s big, built over 165 hectares sprawling up the side of a hill, there are plenty of animals to look at and interact with from every corner of the globe, including indigenous residents like Formosan Sika Deer, Rock Macaques and Black Bears to obvious transplants like Chinese Pandas and Antarctic Penguins. There’s a great reptile and amphibian house, a petting zoo, an aquarium, an insectarium, a butterfly house and more. The zoo is well-laid out…

Around the Northern Tip

Text: Joe Henley Photos: Betty Fan The north coast of Taiwan is a place of rugged yet easily reached natural wonders – a condensed version of the splendors of the east coast, if you will. With its abundant geological formations, evidence of the island’s fiery volcanic past, and bike trails delivering you to one interesting spot after another, it’s a great area for a day-trip out of Taipei, and easy to get to. Here are some destinations worth checking out via rail, bus, and bike on your journey. For this trip of the north coast we started in Keelung and made our way westward to Tamsui (淡水). Yeliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) Located on the coast west of Keelung, Yeliu Geopark sits on a spit of land jutting out into the East China Sea that resembles the badlands regions of North America, or perhaps an alien landscape in a science fiction movie.…

Pedaling Along -The Green, Smart Way to Move About and Get to Know Taiwan

Text: Nick Kembel Photos: Betty Fan Bicycling has become one of the most popular leisure activities in Taiwan over the past decade or so, and because of this popularity, riding has become increasingly convenient for both local residents and foreign visitors. From about 2005 to 2009, Taiwan was rife with bike fever. What had once been a niche recreational activity suddenly exploded into the mainstream. Developing in parallel to the burgeoning popularity of cycling was a proliferation of bike paths and dedicated bike lanes. And just when the trend seemed to be subsiding, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung, and even smaller centers such as Changhua introduced public bike-rental systems, spawning a new generation of urban cycling enthusiasts. Below we will explore the rise of Taiwan’s love for cycling, give visitors the necessary info to tap into it, and lastly step into an up-and-coming bicycle shop to see what’s out there for cyclists…