Savor the Tea and Enjoy the Pleasant Aroma in the City on a Springtime Day

In Taipei, you are never far from a century-old tea shop. Blessed with frequent international exchanges over the centuries, the city is the confluence of tea houses from different cultures. No matter where you roam, there is no way you can miss the elegant smell of tea among Taipei’s streets and alleys.

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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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Headin’ East – Into Greater Taipei’s Tea Country

In the great jumbled mass of high hills and low mountains between the city of Taipei and the northeast coast are the quaint, timeless towns of Pinglin (坪林) and Shiding (石碇). The word “towns” is now officially a misnomer – each is at the center of what is termed a “district” of the same name in sprawling New Taipei City, inaugurated in 2010, which encircles Taipei. The waters of the small, twisting, shallow rivers that meander through the towns run down into the Taipei Basin, where the urban cores of Taipei/New Taipei City are found, then off to sea at Tamsui port on the north coast.

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The Old Taipei – Introducing the City’s Dadaocheng Area

If you want to know more in general about a foreign place, you want to ask a local. If you want to know more about the culture and history of a foreign place, you want to ask a local expert. Travel in Taiwan recently did just this, paying local historian Zhuang Yong-ming a visit to learn more about one of Taipei City’s oldest districts, Dadaocheng, before going on an exploration tour of the area.

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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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