JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CHAD ROOT FROM TAIPEI !
Chad moved to Taipei nearly 5 years ago from his home in California. He has spent this time getting to know his new home while exploring Asia, Australia, and Europe with his wife. If he isn’t outdoors, because of the humidity, you can expect to find him kicking back in a local cafe.
WHICH IS THE BEST MONTH TO VISIT TAIPEI AND WHY?
I’d have to say that April and May are the best months to visit Taipei. These months are when you will find the best weather of the year. It’s in the sweet spot between the cloudy, rainy winter and the scorching heat of summer. This is also before school lets out for the summer so expect to experience less crowded sights – although Taipei is always a bit crowded.
WHICH IS THE MOST CONVENIENT AND FAVOURED TRANSPORT IN TAIPEI?
This is an easy one! Taipei is famous for it’s convenient and reliable transport system. The preferred method of transportation is the MRT (subway) system is clean, punctual, and affordable. Fares start at $0.50 and can take you to most parts of the city!
Another good choice is to make use of Taipei’s extensive bus network. Buses typically run every 15 minutes and will take you anywhere the MRT can’t.
WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 MUST VISIT PLACES OF TAIPEI?
You must visit a night market while in Taipei! The largest and most popular is the Shilin Night Market. This massive night market is a great place to head for street food, clothes, and souvenirs. It’s open daily from late afternoon until 1 am.
The Taipei 101, which was once the tallest building in the world, is worth a visit when you’re in Taipei. It’s located in the heart of the upscale Xinyi District and has tons of great restaurants, shopping centres, and movie theaters nearby. you can easily spend a full day and night here without getting bored! And at night the popular Rauhe Night Market is only a short drive away! I would recommend avoiding the ride up to the Taipei 101 Observation Deck, however. It’s expensive at $15-20, and there won’t be much of a view if it’s a cloudy day.
XiangShan/Elephant Mountain – Head here for a bit of fresh air and a break away from the city. Elephant Mountain is a popular spot on the weekend as many people head here for a bit of exercise. To get here head to the XiangShan MRT station and walk about 5-minutes to the start of the trail. How convenient is that!
WHICH IS THE MOST CELEBRATED HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR IN TAIPEI?
Chinese New Year! This is a huge holiday in Taiwan and most employees enjoy a week off from work. The holiday is traditionally celebrated by having a large, home-cooked meal with your family, and giving red envelopes (envelopes stuffed with money) to family members.
This is not really a good time to visit Taiwan as many, many shops close during CNY to allow workers some time off.
For a better celebration come for the December 31st New Year’s Celebration. The Taipei hosts a spectacular firework and LED show that is truly a sight to see!
WHICH IS THE MOST HAPPENING AREA IN TAIPEI AND WHY?
The Xinyi district is certainly the most upscale area of Taipei. This area will have some of the best eateries in Taipei, although this will surely be debated fiercely! There are also a large number of nightclubs and bars in the area which makes it one of the best places for nightlife in Taipei. And of course, the Taipei 101 will always be in sight which makes for a great photo!
WHERE CAN ONE FIND AMAZING STREET FOOD IN TAIPEI?
Taipei is the place to be if you’re looking for street food! No matter where you are, there will always be a night market nearby! My favourite place to head for street food is Ningxia Night Market. This night market is smaller than others in the city, but every stall markets delicious food. It has become quite famous recently as the place to go for those looking to taste Taiwan’s culinary treasures.
WHERE TO HEAD FOR AFFORDABLE SHOPPING?
If you’re looking for cheaper-priced goods then I would recommend heading to Taipei Main Station. This area may not be the nicest, but it does have good prices on clothes, shoes, and accessories. Head to the Taipei main Station Underground Mall for the best deals!
WHICH IS THE MOST LOVED LOCAL FOOD IN TAIPEI?
The one thing you must try in Taipei is Beef Noodle Soup. This dish combines a hearty bowl of noodle soup with tender, savoury beef. You can find beef noodle soup at restaurants all over Taiwan.
Of course, you must try some of Taiwan’s bubble milk tea. Milk tea is incredibly popular in Taipei with shops scattered along every street in the city! There are many varieties to try, and as most menus have English translations, you can choose the one that interests you the most!
WHICH SIDE OF THE ROAD DOES TAIPEI DRIVE ON AND IS IT CYCLE FRIENDLY?
Taiwan drives on the right side of the road. It is one of the most organized cities in Asia when it comes to driving as Taiwanese stick firmly to the laws of the road. This makes Taipei a safe and cycle-friendly city. Tourists who want to bike around Taipei should check out the Ubike stations located in popular areas. These bikes are available for rent and you will be charged based on the time you check them out for. Do note that you will need to register an EasyCard (which can be bought at any convenience store or MRT station) at the Ubike kiosk. English instructions are available at the kiosks which make it easy!
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND ANY POPULAR APPS TO READERS?
There are a lot of local apps for food and bus timings – but sadly they are all in Traditional Chinese!
I would recommend checking out Google Maps or Trip Advisor and checking out the reviews for restaurants near you. Google reviews in Taipei are pretty reliable and comprehensive and are my go-to when choosing a new place to eat!