Visiting Taipei: No! Sorry to you guys over there in the far east of Asia. You are indeed friendly life-loving people. But when it comes to spending money for vacation there must be another valid reason apart from friendly people. Taipei does not have any.
We travelled to Taipei on March 25, 2016 and stayed until 31st. Let’s share some of the experiences we made …
1) The Taipei 101 skyscraper – once the tallest building on earth – is overcrowded and the uppermost level no. 91 remains closed most of the time due to wind.
2) Grabbing a coffee at the highest Starbucks on earth – on level 35 in the Taipei 101 – is almost impossible. You will have to book a spot via phone one day in advance. And you will be waiting in the corner of the ground floor of the Taipei 101 for up to 30 minutes until a Starbucks employee comes down to pick you up. The Starbucks stuff will later tell you, not to leave the Coffee shop unsupervised. Simply ignore that when planning your escape. Because if you follow their orders, you will have to wait another 30 minutes before somebody finally guards you to the tower’s exit.
3) With the exception of that Elephant Walk – a 20-minute trail nearby the Taipei 101 – there is nothing relaxing you can experience in this mega city with 10 million+ people running up and down the streets.
4) Visiting any temple in Taipei does not make much sense, because these holy places are all surrounded by tall, ugly residential skyscrapers with appartments of chicken box size. This negatively influences the visitor’s view in dramatic ways.
5) Do NOT visit the so-called ‘Santorini of Taiwan’ at Jiu Fen Old Street! We stumbled into this crap by following some super lame recommendation right here: -> The Smart Local. What a waste of time. This place is not even at 1% comparable with Santorini.
Now let’s imagine it is too late; you did already arrive in Taipei. Or imagine you are a Chinese or a German (because Chinese and Germans go everywhere). What can you do? At these following 3 locations you might at least spend your time reasonably:
- Elephant Mountain | Walk the Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail in Taipei. Jump off the MRT at Xiangshan Station and follow the elephant signs. You will some nice workout climbing up lots of stairs, being rewarded with a nice view of Taipei 101 and fresh air.
- Mt KeeLung | If you were stupid enough to take the bus to Jiu Fen Old Street in Keelung, you still have two choices: (A) you completely blow the entire day by jumping into a mad crowd that slowly squeezes thru dark smelly alleys. Or (B) you save this trip by hiking up 588m above sea level, to the top of Mt KeeLung – a small sleeping volcano. The view from the top of the mountain is kinda oookayish. It will take you approx. 45 min to hike up.
- Taroko Gorge | Not comparable with the Alp Mountains but at least some kind reasonable hiking destination: the Taroko Gorge – an 18 km long trail in the Taroko National Park = 3 hour car drive from Taipei 101.
Visiting Taipei No!. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.