Why Dadaocheng should be your first stop in Taipei

Why Dadaocheng should be your first stop in Taipei? This charming neighborhood, sometimes referred to as Old Taipei, is smaller, quieter, and way more manageable. Filled with tea shops, traditional apothecaries, artist’s boutiques, temples big and small, and of course, the area’s most pronounced feature of Japanese colonial-era buildings (and a few homes and shops dating back to the Qing dynasty), you’ll find no more charming a neighborhood in which to base yourself in Taipei than the Dadaocheng neighborhood.
Though there are plenty of hotels in the Dadaocheng neighborhood, if it’s history and local charm you’re after, you can’t do better than the DG, a quirky boutique hotel on the northern end of Dihua Street in a restored Japanese-era Colonial building.
What’s more, there are no shortage of places to eat, drink and be merry in Dadaocheng, with the majority of these being along the main drag (Dihua Street). From traditional Taiwanese noodle and rice dishes to fried chicken and thick squid soup, Dadaocheng is definitely a spot where locals come for comfort food.

Read More

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).

Read More

The Living History of Dadaocheng

Modern Taipei is a massive city overlaid by a spider web of intercrossing metro lines on which you can spend 90 minutes getting from one end of town to the other. But Old Taipei, which sprang alongside the eastern bank of the Danshui river, was a smaller place, and much of it fit neatly inside the confines of a city wall, among the last built in the waning days of the Qing dynasty.

Read More

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. 

Read More

Jiufen and Jinguashi: Taiwan’s Golden Getaways

The story of Jiufen is in many ways a riches to rags (and back to riches, but of a different sort) tale. The small town about an hour away north of Taipei was built just outside of an active gold mine during the Japanese occupation, and it’s said that gold was plentiful during the good days. But the town is also remembered for a darker history during the later days of occupation when it was the site of a POW camp whose prisoners were made to labor under hard conditions.

Read More

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.  

Read More

A Hidden Tea Paradise in Southern Taipei

When you think of the great destinations for tea lovers, Taiwan might not always be the first country that comes to your mind. Places like China and Japan might have more international renown, but any true lover of good tea sipped while relaxing and gazing at magnificent views of nature hasn’t really lived until they’ve visited the Bagua tea plantations in southern Taipei.

Read More

The Hot Springs of Beitou – A Place of Warmth, History, and Mist-ery

The Beitou (北投) hot-spring district, now long enclosed within the borders of Taipei City, was voted one of Taiwan’s “Top 10 Tourist Towns” in a nationwide poll and expert survey concluded in 2012. Travel in Taiwan recently spent an afternoon with Yang Yeh, well-known Taiwan mapmaker, resident of Beitou since childhood, and expert on its history and culture.

Read More

Around the Northern Tip

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).

Read More