My first day in Taipei was truly amazing, exploring a new city really excites me. I arrived in Taipei at 1:00 am, to save money I decided to sleep at the airport and wait for the MRT to open at 6:30 am to buy an EasyCard. Using the card is a convenient way to ride the bus and MRT. The Easycard can also be used in different convenience store. I ate my breakfast at the airport before going to the city. I actually rode the bus to Taipei main station as it is cheaper and I was not really in a rush.
I checked in at Bear Capsule Hotel which is located in New Taipei and accessible via MRT. I left my things at the hostel since the actual check-in time is at 3:00 pm.
Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
it is one of the most important landmark in Taiwan. CKS Memorial Hall opened in 1980 and was built in honor of Chiang Kai-shek, a former President of the Republic of China. Don’t miss the changing of the guards which is scheduled every hour. Within the complex you can also find Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Park, the National Concert Hall, and the National Theater.
How to get there: Take MRT Red Line 2 or Green Line 3 to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Longshan Temple & Bopiliao Historical Block
It is one of the famous temples in Taiwan. I walked around the neighborhood and saw a lot of interesting buildings and a night market (it was still early, so nothing to see). A few blocks from the temple is the Bopilao historic block. The street is full of preserved buildings from different time periods in Taiwans history. Some buildings are a fusion of ultra modern architecture and the traditional buildings. It feels weird at times but the fusion created a different vibe. The area is a good example in preserving the old buildings and introducing modern architectural designs in the area.
How to get there: Take the Blue Line 5 to Longshan Temple.
National Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
Thhe National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall was built in memory of the founder of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. the Hall contains exhibitions on the life and of accomplishments of Sun. There are also different cultural exhibitions and other cultural activities.
How to get there: Take the Blue Line 5 to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station
From Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall I walked towards the Taipei 101 building. I decided not to go to the observatory deck. I planned to eat at Dai tai fung, unfortunately there was a long queue at the restaurant so I decided to eat at the food court. If you wish to buy tickets for the observatory just head up to the 5TH floor . Taipei 101 is considered as the tallest “green building” the world.
How to get there: Take the Red Line 2 (Xiangshan train) to Taipei 101 station
Well the shape of the mountain does look like an elephant. The trail is also know as Nangang District Hiking Trail or Xiangshan Hiking Trail. My day was full of activities so it was a challenge hiking, it was very exhausting. Make sure to bring drinking water and wear appropriate clothing. I hiked in the afternoon to watch the sunset and see the city light up in the evening. Hiking was challenging but totally worth it!
How to get there: From the base of Taipei 101 walk towards MRT Xiangshan Station. It is 15 min walk for about two blocks. Continue walking along the park until you see the entrance of the Xiangshan Hiking Trail .
My first day in Taipei, Taiwan was a blast, make sure to check my Taiwan series for more travel guides.