Taipei Uncovered is a mobile travel guide to Taipei. I am the author of the guide, and it was created in conjunction with Sutro Media.
Inside the guide you will find over 200 entries listing the best places to visit, eat and drink in and around the city.
This blog is a font of information on the best food in Taipei. Use it to find the best night markets for traditional street snacks, the pizza you are craving so badly or simply to whet your appetite with the myriad of choice in this food-tastic city.
Kiwi Gourmet Burger is pretty similar to GBK in London and New Zealand, offering a wide range of gourmet-influenced burgers. I recommend the delicious (and very meaty) veggie burgers, and the Rooibos iced tea, which always cured my homesickness for South Africa.
Near Taipower MRT station, towards the Shida night market. Come out of the station going towards the market and turn left down a small alley - you'll see the restaurant from the main street.
The running of the bulls in Pamplona always makes the news as the craziest and most dangerous festival in the world. However, the Yenshui Firework Festival in Taiwan has to run it close. In short, fireworks are packed into lorries and then fired into the crowd who have to stand and face them until finished. The crowd simply protects themselves with hats and thick coats while being hit at point blank range for several minutes by a non-stop barrage of fireworks.
I am still a little deaf.
Dan chapman blogs about living in Taiwan at
A small island off the east coast of Taiwan where you can enjoy some really remarkable diving and snorkeling in waters that are unbelievably clear. I've lived in Taiwan and it is amazing that you can go diving on Green Island just about all year round.
www.greenislandadventures.com has information about trips to Green Island and other parts of Taiwan.
Borough Market hasn’t got a patch on Shilin Night Market in Taipei. Instead of going to bars and pubs, the Taiwanese congregate at night markets, so it’s also a great place to get a feel for local life. Shilin was one of the best I went to and it’s great for sampling Taiwan’s delicacies from stinky tofu and pearl tea to oyster omelette and Shilin sausages. The market extends down rabbit warrens of streets and is also great for picking up cheap Converse trainers, clothes and gifts.
Taipower Building MRT station
If there's one attraction that is a must see in Taipei it's the National Palace Museum. It houses some of the most magnificent examples of Chinese paintings, jade, caligraphy, tapestry and books.
When Chiang Kai Shek's KMT fled to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war he somehow managed to bring with him the most important items of art and culture. These were set up in the National Palace Museum in the Shi Lin district of Taipei, close to Chiang's old residence.
There simply isn't a better collection anywhere. While tours in English are a regular part of the day it's just as rewarding to take yourself off and get lost among the artifacts.
The National Palace Museum's existance probably rankles with mainland China more than the existance of Chen Shiu Bien. And rightly so.
221 Chih Shan Rd sec 2, Shi Lin, Taipei. Take a cab from the city centre or take the red line MRT to ShiLin then a bus East.
Many non-Chinese restaurants in Taipei are either run or conceived by foreign expats, but not the Bistro. Instead it is run and head chef-ed by Maggie, a Francophile Taiwanese who cooks like she was born in a Paris brasserie.
This is good old bistro fare. If you want high end Provencale go to Le Jardin in TienMu. Yes you can have foie gras perfectly seared at Bistro L'Olivier, but this is the place for your down to earth French fix. Escargots followed by Cassoulet, Confit De Canard or table mixed Steak Tartare with crispy frites, for example.
If you've got room after that the warm chocolate cake is Maggie's speciality with chocolate sauce oozing from the sides.
OK, it's not very Chinese but then it's hardly TGI Fridays or the Outback Steakhouse either.
145 An Ho Road, section 2, (opposite Carnegies);
tel: 02 8732 3726;
open: 11:30 am-11:30 pm
Geothermal activity abounds in Taiwan, and it's clearly evident around the suburb of Beitou.
I tried the more expensive, private hot springs experience, but preferred the public option. As well as being much cheaper, I felt more comfortable at the outdoor public baths.
While the private baths are segregated according to gender to allow for "uninhibited" nudity, the unisex public baths, where patrons wear swimming costumes, seemed a lot more laid-back and I felt there was a much more genuinely local vibe. Get down and relax with the people, I say.
Zhongshan Road, near Xin Beitou MRT train station
Quite simply a Taipei institution and recommended by Ken Hom himself, Din Tai Fong is the king of dumpling restaurants. Popular with Taiwanese and westerners alike, the speciality are small soup dumplings which melt in your mouth. The chicken soup is also a wonder, a simple chicken and ginger broth with seemingly half a tender wild chicken. There's a bowl on nearly every table.
However it's the dumplings you go for. While the older Xin Yi branch is stuffed in to 4 narrow floors the newer Zhongxiao branch is on one level with the tables arranged in a horse-shoe around the dumpling makers. Take some time to watch: the hands never stop moving as dumpling making is turned into an Olympic sport.
They have a numbered English menu and a line up system which means at busy times (you can wait up to 30 mins for a table), but it's worth it.
218 Zhong Xiao (Chung Hsiao) East Rd, section 4 (enter via lane 216 with the Orange ATT on the corner);
tel: 02 2721 7890;
open 11 am-2 pm and 4 pm-10 pm;
Also at Xin Yi Road, just west of Da-An Park
If you're interested in the pre-Chinese history of Taipei and you're in the Beitou district, this indigenous museum is well worth a visit. Along with photographs showing how indigenous people traditionally looked, dressed and lived, you get a sense of the old aesthetic through art and craft displays. A warning that signage is in Mandarin Chinese, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment.
Zhongshan Road, near Xin Beitou MRT train station
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