Must-do's in Taiwan

Only three hours away via plane from Japan, Taiwan has become quite a popular tourism spot these years. Born and raised in Taipei, walking around parks and stores has nearly become my daily routine. Probably some of you have been to Taiwan and are already familiar with certain tourism spots, but from a Taiwanese’ point of view, below are some pieces of advice and spots to go in Taipei from my point of view.

First: restaurant suggestions. When searching online about “what to eat” in Taiwan, what keywords do you use? Probably Chinese cuisine. However, I would like to suggest my personal favorite restaurant in Taipei called Mia Cucina. This restaurant has become quite popular these few years and serves Italian vegetarian cuisine all day. Currently, there are four Mia Cucina branch restaurants in Taipei. Regarding my menu recommendations, I highly recommend banana foster French toast for brunch and tomato and cheese flatbread for lunch.

Neihu branch of Mia Cucina Restaurant (Photo courtesy of Eat with Leemi)

Banana Foster French Toast brunch at Mia Cucina (Photo courtesy of Angela Chung)

Besides eating delicious food, quiet places, such as bookstores, are also great places to go with family or friends any season and any time during the day. These recent years, Taipei has constructed various cultural parks and bookstores, which are also considered by tourists as hot spots worth stopping by. One particular bookstore that I have to go every time I go back to Taipei is the Eslite bookstore, Dun-nan Branch. This Eslite bookstore has been in Taipei for 28 years and there was a spreading rumor of this bookstore closing soon and converting this place into a business hotel. However, the rumors were proved to be faux. The main bookstore is on the second floor with an Eslite cafe located on the same floor for people who would like to chat and have coffee with their friends. 

Eslite bookstore was once named by CNN as the “coolest bookstore in the world”. (Photo courtesy of 誠品敦南店 公式サイト)

So now you’ve had a good meal and bought some good novels to read. The next place I would recommend going to is creative cultural parks. These parks are becoming increasing popular; numerous exhibitions and concerts are held in these cultural parks, and it has definitely become both locals and tourists’ favorite spot to go during the entire day. There are two creative cultural parks located in Taipei: one called Songshan creative cultural park and the other Hua Shan creative cultural park. Be sure to check it out with your friends or S.O. when you have the time!

Snapshot of Songshan Creative Cultural Park during the day (Photo courtesy of vitaminef.jp)

I have arranged a unique schedule for you regarding what to do when you’re in Taipei. Has this aroused anyone’s interest? This is just one little “corner” that I’m suggesting in my hometown; there are lots of more interesting places to go and visit in Taipei and also Taiwan. Oh did I forget to mention night markets? It’s a great place to experience Taiwanese local culture, if you can bear lots of people.

This article was written by HC Waseda Guest Writer, Angela Chung