Taipei has a modern feel mixed with a hint of that Southeast Asian vibe. I went with some friends and we made sure to check out the main sights within the few days that we were there.
Here are a few things that we did:
Memorial of Chiang Kai-shek
We started off with the Memorial of Chiang Kai-shek. The hall itself is bigger than you'd probably guess, and there are a lot of historical buildings in the vicinity.
The changing of the guard there is definitely something to see; the discipline and precise movements of the soldiers are borderline mind-blowing. You can snap photos of them all you want and they won't even blink.
Shilin Night Market
The Shilin Night Market has everything from clothing, knick knacks to food and deserts, and it makes for a fun night out. After daring - and it was no easy task for me - to try a bite of stinky tofu, I went to clean everything off with an amazing dessert - shaved ice topped with mango, tapioca balls, mochi, mango syrup and mango ice cream.
One thing's for sure: Taiwan has some of the best desserts.
Just outside of the city in the mountains, there's a town called Jiufen. It's a maze of narrow streets, walking paths and stairs - amazing for photography. They're packed with small shops with people cooking and selling different types of foods to try out. You also get a pretty nice view of the ocean.
After Jiufen, we returned to Taipei.
We made sure we got some nightlife in, so we went to a bar called Barcode, a club called Spark, and my favorite, a bar with an outside terrace area called In House. Taipei was a nice short getaway, perfect for a few days.
Here's some of the food we ate:
Din Tai Fung
I know, this was already on the top of your list of places to go. I'm here to confirm that you need to make it a point to do so. They have staff that speak multiple languages to help you, it's a really well run operation.
This was a random shop that we hopped into. There was no English spoken, so we had fun pointing and gesturing.
MK King was a Taiwanese hotpot restaurant that we went to at the recommendation from my local friend. It's all you can eat, and everything is according to how you want it. You can choose two broths for each bowl, make your own sauce, and pick from a variety of meats and vegetables at the bar.