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1 week in Taiwan - Nomadic Travel

1 Week in Taiwan

By | Destinations, Nomadic-Adventures, Taiwan, Uncategorized | No Comments

1 Week in Taiwan

Taipei Itinerary

After spending 1 week in Taiwan I felt like I visited a more tropical and cultural cross between China and Japan. In Taiwan, the semi-tropical climate and environment provide beautiful beaches as well as breathtaking mountain ranges in Taroko National Park. There are literally so many things to do and see I was a little disappointed I wasn’t able to circumnavigate the entire island but the week I spent in Taipei, Keelung, Jiufen, and Hualien was incredible.

Taipei: Days 1-3

I naturally started my 1 week in Taiwan by traveling around the countries capital city of Taipei. This modern city is filled with many cultural wonders and many excellent places to eat like the night markets Shiling and Raohe. I spent two full days exploring the city before heading to Keelung and Jiufen. I would recommend staying for 3 days or more even I was able to see many of the recommended places to visit in Taipei but was a little rushed.

Taipei 101 Tower

I spent 3 days in Taipei total and started by visiting the famous Taipei 101 tower. The Taipei 101 tower was actually the tallest building in the world until the Burj Kalifa was built, and then subsequent others.

1 week in Taiwan - Nomadic Travel

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

This blue and white octagonal temple was probably one of the coolest places I went to in Taipei. The memorial hall was created to commemorate the former president Chiang Kai-Shek and is definitely worth visiting.

1 week in taiwan - Nomadic Travel

With a huge courtyard connecting it to the local opera and art museum adjacent to the memorial hall.

Sun-Yat Sen Memorial

To commemorate the national founding father Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s and his unparalleled morality, and revolutionary conducts they erected this Memorial with beautiful flowers and cultural decorations and regular performances.

1 week in taiwan - Nomadic Travel

Elephant Hill

After visiting the temples and tower I made my way back across town to the famous elephant hill viewpoint which is the best place to view the city skyline and sunsets. I was told by locals that this place usually has a long line all the way down the hill so it’s recommended to show up early. Fortunately for the weather forecast called for rain and I was also visiting during the week which resulted in much smaller crowds so I was able to get a great spot for Sunset.

1 week in taiwan - Nomadic Travel

Roahe and Shiling Night Markets

1 week in taiwan - Nomadic Travel

I spent my evenings at the famous Taipei night markets eating incredible exotic foods and other local fares. See my post here about Taipei street food.

Keelung: Day 4

Keelung is a historically rich city which is known for its Ghost Festival which is put on not only to honor their dead ancestors but also those who died during years of war and invasions.

Zhupu Altar

1 week in taiwan - nomadic travel

This impressive hilltop alter has a small but cool museum inside with figurines and other information about these ancient Chinese traditions.

1 week in taiwan - nomadic travel

I highly recommend hiking up the hill to this place and enjoying the classic architecture and panoramic views.

1 week in taiwan - nomadic travel

Keelung Miaoku Night Market

The Keelung Night Market was one of my favorites for the sheer variety of food available. After exploring the town and hiking up the hill head down to the pedestrian-only Miaoku Night Market. For more about Taiwanese food, check out this post, Taipei Food 101.

1 weekin taiwan - nomadic travel

There were definitely some different food options available here that I don’t remember seeing elsewhere. So if you don’t mind walking and eating then head down here and grab some snacks!

Jiufen: Day 5

Jiufen was on the top of my Taiwan Bucketlist and is also super popular with the Japanese. This place is teeming with character and unique charm. The views from this mountainside destination are also breathtaking, to say the least.

jiufen taiwan - nomadic travel

When you arrive it’s like practically going down the rabbit hole when you enter the narrow and crowded cobblestone alleyways of Jiufen Old Town and Shuqi Road. jiufen taiwan - nomadic travel 1

You’ll find that there’s a lot to take, I was literally looking left and right almost every step as new foods and souvenirs presented themselves. Many shops offer similarly good but when it comes to food there are things you must try like their specialty Taro Ball and Bean Dessert. Served either hot or cold, this is a must try the experience, plus the views aren’t bad either!

For more on planning your visit to Jiufen, check out my post Jiufen Day Trip.

Hualien/Taroko National Park: Days 6-8

I ended up heading east to visit Hualien and the incredible Taroko National Park. While there are nice beaches in Hualien and down south, having lived on an island in Thailand for so long I was yearning for some mountains and forests.

Taroko did not disappoint! The entire park was filled with massive forest-covered mountains, deep ravines, unique bridges and sketchy narrow mountain roads with falling rocks signs everywhere.toroko gorge itinerary - Nomadic Travel

I ended up renting a scooter for 600 Taiwan Dollars ($20 USD) and riding solo for about 7 hours high up into the mountains from the Eternal Spring Temple to the Swallow Gratto, then to Tanxiang and onto Baiyan Falls, this trip was unforgettable. For more on this, you can check out my Taroko National Park post.

1 Week in Taiwan Video

1 Week in Taiwan

Thanks for reading my “1 Week in Taiwan” blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.

taipei food - nomadic travel

Taipei Food 101

By | Destinations, Nomadic-Adventures, Taiwan, Uncategorized | No Comments

Taipei Food 101

Taipei food is literally the stuff of legends! I spent a few days in Taipei and was thoroughly impressed with the different styles of food and variety of interesting flavors available. I was able to visit two of the best night markets in Taipei as well as a third more low-key one with a couchsurfer that hosted me on my last night. Considering Shilin and Roahe night markets are only 9.5 km away from each other it’s very easy to visit both in one night if you have time.

taipei food - nomadic travel

If you’re into Dim Sum, you can expect to see several food carts offering traditional favorites like steamed shrimp dumplings, siu mai, barbecue pork buns, and various other popular options.

taipei food - nomadic travel

If you like seafood then don’t be surprised to see huge piles of prawns, crabs and other kinds of tasty cooked aquatic creatures.

taipei food - nomadic travel

One super popular style of food in Taiwan is called Oden, which is basically boiled meats and vegetables which you can hand pick and they prepare for you.

taipei food - nomadic travel

Some places even have a delicious gravy that they add to your dish after you make your selections. You can also see two popular options that are not offered at all Oden stands, one is the steamed egg soup on the top and the other is the black pigs blood and rice seen in the bottom right.

taipei food - nomadic travel

Since there is so much Japanese influence in Taiwan you can also expect to find some pretty amazing sushi too!

taipei food - nomadic travel

Whether you want crab, shrimp, clams or snails the seafood options are plentiful.

taipei food - nomadic travel

The semi-tropical beaches on the east side of the island provide a bounty of saltwater snacks to appease your appetite.

taipei food - nomadic travel

If you’re a vegetarian there are many options for you as well! From vegetable springrolls, easy snacks like edamame, boiled vegetables, and even stinky tofu!

taipei food - nomadic travel

Don’t be discouraged as you should have no problem finding something vegetarian as well.

stinky tofu taipeiIf you have a particularly sweet tooth then Taipei Food has you covered there too! One of the most interesting selections I saw and tried were these sweet pancake burrito style ice cream wraps served with ice cream and shaved candied peanuts and cilantro! If you feel like a new flavor sensation then try this, it will confuse your taste buds with the seemingly odd selection of ingredients that result in a rather delicious and unique treat!

taipei food - nomadic travel

These fried sweet potato balls are another excellent option for dessert.

taipei food - nomadic travelIf you’re not feeling super adventurous you can just have some cheesecake or other more normal baked goods.

taipei food - nomadic travel

Not all markets are created equal, Shiping being the most touristic location and Roahe being a little more lowkey, they both offer a first-time traveler many new experiences worth seeing.

roahe night marketOutside of the street markets, I would also recommend trying some Taiwanese hot pot! I was lucky enough to enjoy a traditional hot pot with the friends I made on Couchsurfing who hosted me for one night. This is a great way to spend time with family and friends.

taipei food - nomadic travel

If you want to know what the ingredients look like which they use for the hot pot broth then here it is! It’s an interesting combination of various spices and plants seen below.

taipei food - nomadic travel

One thing I would not recommend trying and is not for the faint of heart is a Century Egg!

taipei food - nomadic travel

This egg is very popular with Chinese and Taiwanese people but had me gagging. It was tough to swallow but I managed, although it is not recommended to eat it whole as I did! If you’re not up to the task but want to try something equally as popular and interesting then I would suggest the Tea Eggs.

taipei food - nomadic travel

I am not exaggerating when I say that Taiwan was probably the most impressive country I’ve eaten food in a while! With most of their food being inspired by the best combinations of Chinese and Japanese favorites, it’s no wonder Taiwan has grown a reputation as a popular food tourist spot. If you plan on visiting, then I would recommend getting out of your comfort zone and trying some new food here!

Taipei Food 101

Thanks for reading my “Taipei Food 101” blog post, please feel free to leave a comment below or on my Youtube. Follow my Instagram to keep up with my travels and subscribe to my blog for more travel tips and adventures.

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