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.

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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.

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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).

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Keelung: Seaport City of Deep Character

Keelung (基隆; pronounced “jee-long”), Taiwan’s second-busiest seaport after Kaohsiung, combines frenetic energy, distinctive local color, and great seafood with a long and fascinating history.

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Maokong – A Location for Tea-for-Two

The Taiwanese are fond of their tea and love to climb hills overlooking their hometowns to take in a “night view.” Put these two together, stipulate that you do not want to drive more than one hour, and Taipei residents still have a large number of choices. One of the most popular is the historic tea-growing area around Maokong in the southwestern part of the city.

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Jiufen, Jinguashi, & Shuinandong- Exploring the History and Scenery of Three Attractive Tourist Towns in Northeast Taiwan

While Jiufen, sitting high on a hillside, has perhaps the best setting and the most popular teahouses, Jinguashi (金瓜石), in a valley on the south side of Mt. Keelung is the best place to find out what got the whole gold and copper mining era here started, well over a century ago.

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Guandu, Bali, Tamsui – An Arcadia for the City Folk of Taipei

In the early days of Taipei, the river provided the industry and access to international trade that facilitated the rapid development of what are today inner-city districts such as Wanhua and Dadaocheng, which could have led it to a polluted present sandwiched between gray high-rises and factories

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