From the day I started to travel, Taiwan never was a destination on my list. I just thought that I wouldn’t like it that much based on the culture influence in Malaysia, TV shows and pop culture. I even thought that there was nothing special about it and I believed I would not go there if I don’t have to. In spite of that, for some reasons I ended up visiting Taipei this year, voluntary.
Skip the stories.
At the end of the trip, I must say that I fell in love with Taipei. It has completely changed the Taipei that was infused in my mind, my self-imagined Taipei was so different from the real Taipei. Again, Aldous Huxley’s saying was proven, ‘to travel is to discover someone is wrong about that country‘, and I WAS that ‘someone’. Therefore, to make up my ignorance of judging before knowing Taipei, I want to tell people how much I love Taipei!
Taipei is divided into 12 districts and every district has its specialty. The most impressive thing I noticed about Taipei was the Japanese influences, they are everywhere from Japanese-inspired Chinese accent to fashion and the way of life. What I love the most is how the buildings are cramped together, each of them has different levels and every shop has its own design and decoration. Ximen is one of my favorite place to be, it’s lively all the time and everywhere you go, there’s always something there.
Endless Night Markets
The one thing everybody must do while visiting Taipei is to check out the night markets. Go to one at least, bunch of tasty street food, a lot of interesting DIY vendors. These night markets aren’t a tourist trap, in fact, locals do go to the night market to hang out, grab food and for entertainment. There are so many night markets just in Taipei itself, among those that I’ve been to were Shihlin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, and Liaoning Night Market.
People loves the clean environment. This is what Taipei has given to me, a clean environment to travel around. Every corner around the city was clean and well maintained. I would feel bad if I drop even a piece of paper at a dark corner. I was impressed and surprised not only about the cleanliness of it, also the awareness of keeping everywhere clean. A lot of people would pick up thrown rubbish on the street, it wiped out the Chinese saying of “sweep the snow from your own doorstep.”
Xinyi district is the home of Taiwan’s symbolic tower: Taipei 101. If you haven’t known, I’m a city boy and this is where I belong to. Renowned restaurants, numbers of commercial centers, luxury hotels, skyscrapers, and nightlife. One could stroll around in this district for the whole day, there are just too many things to check out here.