Taipei is one of those rare cities that can immediately feel like home. Despite the language barrier and the unfamiliar scenery, there’s just something about it that can make you drop your guard and do what the locals do. When I was about to board my flight back to Manila after spending 4 days there, I couldn’t help but feel kinda homesick. I missed Taipei already.
What I miss most about it isn’t its beautiful temples or museums with impressive collections. While they are certainly worth seeing, it is the small, every day things that I miss the most.
Efficient Transport System
Seeing Taipei is a breeze because of the MRT. It is so efficient that having a car isn’t necessary to go places. We were able to go to Beitou, home of the Thermal “Hell” Valley and Tamsui in the northern tip of Taiwan in just 30 minutes from Taipei. Going to Maokong at the Wenshan District is not just convenient but scenic as well, thanks to the gondola (cable car) that is accessible from the MRT. Brave souls have the option of riding a crystal bottom cabin that goes all the way up to 299 meters from the main station.
We got a 5-day tourist sim card with unlimited data for NT$300 at the arrival hall of the Taoyuan Airport. LTE speed was at a constant rate of 20mbps. We were streaming videos while commuting at fiber speed levels!
Numbeo.com ranked Taipei as the third safest city in the world (2017) in terms of crime index. It only trailed slightly behind Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Munich, Germany. I enjoyed the fact that it is possible to leave bags on the table while ordering coffee and know that it’ll still be there when you get back and that you can actually wear your backpack correctly and not in front of the body.
Free Hiking Trails Near the City
Hiking can be a weekly activity in Taipei because it won’t break the bank. One can easily hike the Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) for an amazing view of Taipei City. There are also trail options in Beitou and Maokong among many others.
Yummy Street Food
Foodies will totally enjoy Taipei night markets because of its wide selection of street food. Some of our top picks are the grilled squid, black pepper buns and the torched steak cubes. The adventurous ones can head to the Huaxi Street Market near Longshan Temple that sells all sorts of exotic dishes including snake soup.
I loved it that there are sidewalks in every part of town and that crossing the street is safe because pedestrian lanes are respected by both the motorists and the pedestrians. It’s really that kind of disciple that makes walking around the city such a pleasant experience. I was taking an average of 24,000 steps a day and I certainly didn’t mind.
It could just be the areas I visited but I did not see any during the trip. It is such a reassuring thing that the government is truly taking care of the people.
There really is much to miss about Taipei. It’s a great thing that visiting is already visa-free for Filipinos and considering all the seat sales and reasonable BnB rates, I will surely be back sooner rather than later.