I flew to Taiwan a few weeks ago and it was my second time visiting this country I’ve grown to love. I traveled with a group organized by Jeron Travel and Tours. The weather was cool (16°-23°C) so eating, shopping and experiencing Taiwan’s culture for me was perfect. You know what they say, love is sweeter the second time around!
What made this trip even more amazing was that I got to travel with my daughter Aryanna. She’s an excellent travel partner because she’s easygoing, ready for adventure, super fun to be with and we had each other to take our photos for Instagram and our blogs, haha!
Check out our #FunTaiwan adventure and find out why you should book your flights now:
1. Home Hotel, Da-An – We checked-in this new chic MIT hotel that is centrally located in Taipei, the hotel is minutes from Breeze Center and Jianguo Flower and Jade Market.
2. Addiction Aquatic Development – if you like fresh-off-the-ocean seafood, produce and libations, visit the Addiction Aquatic Development. It’s modeled after Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market, there is no end to the maritime harvest that arrives fresh here everyday. The place is divided to different floors catering to different customers and budget.
The top floor is where we had our first meal. The restaurant is chic and service was good. You can also eat-and-go on the ground floor area, it’s where the cool kids hangout, standing up while chowing down on everything from fresh lobster, prawns, crabs, sashimi, sake and more! The food and the selection are topnotch.
3. See-Join Puppet Theater Restaurant – This was established in 1992 as the first theme restaurant that combines Taiwanese cuisine and the traditional theater. You can enjoy the food and watch the performance of the hand puppet at the same time. I suggest you go with a group and have a few drinks. The puppet show is quirky and the host is quite funny. I was pleasantly surprised how much fun I had in this place, so much so that I was ugly laughing! I blame Aryanna and Rovilson!
4. Shilin Night Market – Hands down, Shi Lin Night Market is one of the most famous night markets in Taipei! It’s the favorite shopping area of residents and tourists, locals and foreigners. The night market is located in the Shi Lin (Shihlin) area, it surrounds Yang Ming Theater, extending in all directions as far as Wen Lin, Ji He, Da Dong and Da Nan roads.
It’s a huge market, almost any product imaginable, not to mention any kind of food, can be found there at affordable prices.
5. Yangmingshan National Park – It’s Calla Lily season in Zhuzihu Scenic Spot located at the intersection of Zhuzi Lake and Yangjin Highway. It is well known for its field of white calla lily flowers, which are at full bloom from March to May.
6. Fujin St., Shongshan District – This is a must-visit area in Taipei! In my opinion, it’s the hippest place in the city. Think Brooklyn in New York—the street is lined with cool cafes, charming boutiques, record stores and other shops. This place is where you can score some of the coolest sneakers and Taiwanese-designed clothes.
7. Solar Kitchen, Fujin St. – When in Fujin St., be sure to try this resto. It’s dubbed as one of the Best Restaurants in Shingshan District. Aryanna and I were all over the Carbonara pasta with cream, veggies (weird but tastes good!) and torched cheese!
8. National Center for Traditional Arts – This place is full of activities for kids, clean, well kept and lots of photo taking opportunity. The place looks like the olden days of Taiwan complete with a variety show. Learn about Taiwan’s history of traditional arts and toys and various performances.
8. Huashan 1914 Cultural Park – Originally a winery, the Huashan 1914 Creative Park is now an important events venue. As a new cultural events platform, many large-scale exhibitions, installations, theater productions and performances now take place here.
There are also cute cafes, charming booths selling fashion, home and beauty products.
You can also find the famous Upside-down House is a tourist attraction. It features three stories of rooms decorated in the American Country style with all furniture and décor treating the ceiling as the floor.
9. Yangmingshan National Park – a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offers a varied natural landscape about 45 minutes’ drive from Taipei City. Visitors can go hiking and bike trail winding past unique flora and fauna into grassy fields and through volcanic landscapes that offer panoramic views.
Aryanna and I took advantage of the photogenic spots in the park by taking lots of photos for out Instagram, haha!
10. Taipei 101 – Rocket to the top of one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers for incredible views of Taipei and beyond. Even at night, the building looks amazing!
10. Ding Tai Fung – The world-famous Taiwanese dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung boasts of Michelin starred restaurant that’s easy on the pocket!
When in Taiwan, Xiao Long Bao!
11. Ximending Shopping District – Experience the Taiwanese pop culture in this place! It’s the “Harajuku” of Taipei and this shopping haven is one of the city’s culture centers, hosting a variety of clothing shops, eclectic restaurants, clubs, and bars.
Aryanna’s no. 1 agenda when traveling is to eat ice cream! Check out her #AryannasTravelingIceCream posts here.
12. Yilan Taiwanese Organic Mushroom Hotpot – Travel to Taiwan’s countryside and experience authentic Taiwanese hotpot! This place serves farm-to-table goodness.
We also got to cook traditional Taiwanese popped puff rice.
13. Toucheng Leisure Farm – Drive to the mountains and get some fresh air! This fun, recreational farm is worth the trip! It is located on a hillside in Yilan County Taiwan. It is an ecological farm stay with a refreshing and beautiful farm life scenery.
Toucheng Leisure Farm encompasses over 100 hectares. This verdant beauty has assorted trees, bamboo groves alongside a great variety of flowers and indigenous fruits. This is the perfect place to escape the city, and just relax.
There’s a barbecue area where you can grill your own food. We all enjoyed cooking (and burning, haha) our meal!
14. DIY Sky Lantern – Never miss the opportunity to create your own sky lantern and make a wish! Toucheng Leisure Farms offers lantern-making tutorials for individuals or groups.
15. Cang Jiu Winery – A wine cellar where you can sample wine, see how they are stored and have a chance to do some DIY using kumquats.
It is located right within Toucheng Leisure Farm and managed by Mr. Jack Cho, the eldest brother of the Cho Family. It is also the first private winery in Yilan.
Sample kumquat wine, kumquat soup, kumquat cookies, basta lahat KUMQUAAAAT! LOL
16. Convenience store haven -Taiwan is known to have the highest density of convenience stores in Asia Pacific. Aryanna and I had fun shopping for milk, chocolates and chips—they have the quirkiest variety!
17. Sneakers heaven – ATTENTION: SHOPPINGERO/SHOPPINGERA! If you want to buy the latest and some limited edition sneakers, Taiwan is the place to go! Not only are the styles readily available, they are 20-50% cheaper than other places. I am not going to divulge our sneakers purchase but let’s just say, we’re good for the year.
18. Spend time with family and friends – The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been and the memories we’ve made along the way.
I love Taiwan and the people I traveled with! I don’t know how much I teared up laughing and had such a great time. The “Kumquat Krew” was tight.
Thank you Jeron Travel and Tours for this Tai-wonderful trip!
Bye Taiwan! Looking forward to visiting you soon!
Check out Aryanna’s blog post on Taiwan, www.AryannaEpperson.com
This post is in partnership with Jeron Travel and Tours and Taiwan Tourism Board. Start your Taiwanese adventure today by booking your trip at www.jerontravel.com and getting a taste of Taiwan’s flavors, sights and culture.