1. Taipei 101. The tallest building in the world from its completion in 2004 until surpassed by Burj Khalifa in 2009. Its remarkable design represents some familiar Chinese beliefs. The architectural structure resembling a pagoda and a stalk of bamboo, the main tower divided into eight segments of eight floors each like stacks of ingots. Bamboo symbolizes growth. The number 8 means abundance and prosperity. Ingots are icons of wealth.
2. Sunset at Elephant Mountain. It takes about half an hour and a thousand steps to hike the trail of Elephant Mountain. But this cardio workout is all worth it as you watch the gorgeous sunset turn the city landscape into stunning gold.
3. Historical Parks and Museums. The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a famous landmark built in memory of Chiang Kai Shek, former President of the Republic of China. The square is guarded by the Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness in the south, and surrounded by National Concert Hall, National Theater and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Library.
228 Peace Memorial Park was formerly known as Taipei New Park. It was renamed to its present name to commemorate the historic February 28 incident in 1947.
The Presidential Office Building might be the only structure in Taipei of Renaissance-baroque architecture. While the building has traditional European colonial elements it was actually designed by Japanese architects during the Japanese occupation.
4. Delicious Bubble Milk Tea. A trip to Taiwan is not complete without indulging in some flavorful pearl milk tea. Stalls abound the streets of Taipei. Comebuy, Happy Lemon, Rabbit Rabbit Tea, Gongcha, 50 Lan and so many more brands to enjoy day and night.
5. Night Markets. When there is no time to squeeze for shopping during daytime, night markets are definitely perfect to end the day. Shilin is a very popular and said to be the largest. Some night markets are open until midnight, some until wee hours of the morning.
6. Tasty Street Snacks. Taipei is known for its delicious street foods – extra large chicken cutlet, stinky tofu, oyster mee sua, beef cubes, grilled squid. Now I’m starving to list them all.
7. Queen’s Head at Yehliu Geological Park. A rock formation shaped by nature. Its neck shrinks by a centimeter every year according to scientists. So better visit soon before the queen heads to the ground.
8. Jiufen. The small town of Jiufen in the mountains is famous for its tight alleys packed with teahouses and stores offering clothes, souvenirs and local street foods.
9. Breathtaking Shifen Waterfalls. Have you been at the end of the rainbow? As the raging waters of Shifen fall down the lake 20 meters below the mist creates beautiful strands of color that we only mostly see after a rain.
10. Romantic Sky Lantern Experience. Pick your colors, write your message and send it up to the heavens. As the sun sets the sky is lit up by hundreds of sky lanterns as tourists flock the old street of Shifen and fly their sky lanterns.