I spent approximately a week’s time in Taipei back in the summer of 2002 looking for work as an English Language Teacher in a private school. Needless to say it was not the right market for me, but I got to spend time visiting the sights and sounds of Taipei, Taiwan. Prior to my arrival there I had read online how friendly the people were in Taiwan. One of my closets friends from way back is from Taiwan. I wanted to visit her homeland and there I was. Of all the Asian cities I had visited Taipei has been by far the most friendliest and helpful of them all. Some of them may not speak English or speak very little of it, but they are very resourceful and helpful when you need them.
Here is an example. I told the cab driver I wanted to go to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Unfortunately I did not speak any Mandarin Chinese, the dialect spoken in Taiwan, so I kept saying “Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Kai-shek” while trying to make the shape of a huge building with my hands. He simply wasn’t getting it, so he stopped the cab, pulled out his cell phone, called someone, handed me his phone and then I spoke to someone who spoke English. I told him where I needed to go to, handed the phone back to the driver as he said “Ok” and was then driven right to the memorial hall. He was cordial, polite, and calm the entire time, in addition to being helpful.
If you are going to Taipei, Taiwan whether for business, which is mostly the case for a lot of Western travelers, or happen to be in that part of Asia, and want to take the quick flight from Hong Kong to Taipei, here are some extremely helpful information that will make your trip to this friendly city and country all the more worthwhile.
There are plenty of attractions in Taipei ranging from notable buildings, museums, and parks. The most famous building of all is the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall which reminds me of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. This one in Taipei is a famous monument in memory of the former President of Taiwan, or the Republic of China, Chiang Kai-shek. A visit is not complete until you go to the world’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, or the Taipei Financial Center, to their indoor and outdoor observatories where they offer 360 degree views. Another must see attraction is the National Palace Museum which has a permanent collection of over 650,000 pieces of Chinese artworks and artifacts. That collection is considered one of the largest in the world. The Taipei Zoo is a favorite amongst the Taiwanese that features a Penguin House. It is hard to get near the glass enclosure to see the penguins up close, because there are so many children who love standing there for a long period of time.
According to Trip Advisor.com they have rated the top hotels in Taipei based on customer reviews that is worth taking a look at:
1. Riveria Hotel
2. San Want Residences
3. Les Suites Taipei (Ching Cheng)
4. Tango Nanshi Taipei
5. Sheraton Taipei Hotel
Nights markets, street markets or night bazaars, are nightly occurrences beginning at four in the afternoon throughout Taipei and in other parts of Taiwan. These markets are more informal than the daytime businesses, because you can stroll along, eat outside in public, as well as shop. They are immensely crowded, but a lot of fun. This a must-do on your list of entertainment attractions while in Taipei. The most famous night market of all is Shilin Night Market. Taipei doesn’t have any shortage of shopping and entertainment complexes to choose from. There is Core Pacific City or the Living Mall that is open 24/7. The famous Xinyi District where the Taipei 101 is located at has numerous department stores, malls, and American chain restaurants. You can find live performances from Taiwan and throughout the rest of the world at the National Theater and Concert Hall.
Other Unique Features
There are numerous Buddhist and Taoist temples that are beautifully ornate all over Taipei. In Danshui Taipei it’s a seaside resort that is popular in watching the sunset into the Taiwan Straits. Bitan is another tourist spot which features a lake. You will also find many ocean beaches in and around Taipei. This city is also known for having a significant amount of nature preserves and green spaces, unlike other Asian countries.
When you are out and about in Taipei there is a friendly feeling and pleasant vibe that will make you feel at ease at all times. Those pesky motor scooters are certainly an annoyance in traffic, but the people of Taipei more than make up for any other shortcomings you might experience