Taipei is a city known for its friendliness. These days, in place of the go-getting attitudes of Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong is an embrace of a relatively modest lifestyle, where nature and a decent croissant trumps having the latest Rolex. It is the ultimate showcase. It’s a place full of contrast. It’s got quiet parks encircled by hectic streets and traditional markets right next to the trendiest boutiques. It’s old enough so you can feel its past yet modern enough to get Wi-Fi coverage all over the city.
The Tropic of Cancer runs straight through the middle of Taiwan bringing with it tropical and subtropical weather. It typically presents an average temperature of 22C (71.6F) all year round. There is no severe cold in winter and no brutal summer heat. Taiwan always welcomes you with its pleasant seasons.
The annual average temperature of Taipei is around 21.7C (71F). The coldest months are from January to March with the lowest temperature to about 10C (50F). The hottest months are from June to August with the highest temperature up to around 38C (100F). The average temperature of the rest of the months is around 25C (77F).
Taiwan is a humid region. The northern part, middle mountain area and western plain are abundant with rainfalls in different periods. June to October is the typhoon season in Taiwan, with July to September offering the most activities to experience. The months with the most rainy days are in plum rain season in May and June while thundershower mostly came in the afternoons in summer.
Once the tallest building in the world, the Taipei 101 offers some pretty vertigo-inducing views from its top floor. The indoor observatory is on the 89th floor, and the outdoor one is on the 91st. Apart from the insane views, the ride up in the lift is also a highlight of a visit to the building. All other lifts in the world pale in inferiority to this super-fast space age one.
Urban hiking is one of the joys of living in Taipei. There literally hundreds of great day hikes on the edge of downtown Taipei with each one offering more breath-taking views than the next. Within a very short time, you can be surrounded by lush forest or enjoying a waterfall spa and the beauty of it nearly all of them can be easily reached by Taipei Metro, bus or taxi.
The beach can be reached from Taipei within 45 minutes and it is a popular weekend activity. The range of beaches in Taiwan varies from fine golden and white silky sand beaches to sparkling coral beaches. Most visitors to Taiwan are pleasantly surprised to learn that beaches in Taiwan not only provide excellent insight into local culture, but they also boast stunning scenery and have an excellent range of activities for people of all ages.
The Taiwanese are avid sports fans and have a particular love for baseball. Their devotion to the New York Yankees is borderline unhealthy. Taiwan has its own major league baseball teams, which can be fun to watch and a good cultural experience. Next to baseball, basketball is probably the next most popular sport among Taiwanese.
Taipei has a couple of natural hot springs where all segments of Taiwanese society seem to hang out on the weekends. There are public hot springs with changing rooms and various pools. The method is to move from pool to pool of increasing heat until you get into the hottest one, which feels as hot as a pot of just-brewed tea. It is a pretty relaxing experience, and Taiwanese people believe has a lot of health benefits.
Taipei is home to one of the healthiest party and clubbing scenes in Asia. In fact nightlife in Taipei rivals that of just about any other international city, except that it’s far cheaper than any of those other places. Nightclubs are bumpin, bars are lively, and there’s always Karaoke TV to change it up a bit.
What makes Maokong such a great place to visit is the fact, that you can see beautiful temples, enjoy breath-taking views and try some of the best teas in all of Taipei in just one afternoon. That’s all possible, because the top of Maokong is since 2007 connected with a gondola, which is well integrated into the Taipei Metro system.
The hall has become a landmark of the city, with its grand, imposing architecture and historic symbolism (Chiang Kai-shek was the former president of Taiwan). There are often performances taking place in the square by artists and musicians, and groups of teenagers practising their choreographed dance moves. In the landscaped gardens, tai chi and kung fu lessons take place.
Taiwanese people really know how to eat, they simply never stop. As you’d expect then,Taipei has fantastic food – and there’s no better place to try it out – cheaply – than at a night market. Some night markets sell clothes and souvenirs, but there are food-dedicated ones, like Shilin, that offer all of Taiwan’s culinary influences in bite-sized morsels.
Taipei is known for its large number and variety of shopping streets, markets and malls and has is known to some tourists as one of the main “shopping city” in Eastern Asia along with Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo. Shopping venues in the city include department stores, malls, underground transit malls and night markets. It also has dedicated shopping districts, like Guang Hua Digital Plaza, an area focused solely on electronics and gadgets.