Fun things to do in Taipei: The ultimate Taipei bucket list!

Fun things to do in Taipei: The ultimate Taipei bucket list!

Taiwan is a country which is only just starting to get noticed on the tourist trail. A legacy of the Chinese anti-communist movement (the Kuomintan government under Chang Kai-Shek escaped here when Mao Tse-Tung took over on the mainland) and a lengthy period of Japanese occupation, not to mention a Taiwanese heritage all its own, the country was seen as less advanced than some of its Asian neighbours until all that changed with the advent of the technology industry. These days, Taipei is a busy, modern capital city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage whilst remaining refreshingly free of mass Western tourism. For a safe, modern, yet fascinating place to visit, it is hard to beat.

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Taipei, check out these 7 highlights for the ultimate Taipei bucket list!

Admire the views from Taipei 101

Taipei 101, the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2010, is hard to miss in Taipei. Standing 449 metres tall (508 metres to its tip), the formerly record-breaking tower is built to resemble a piece of bamboo, and has become the icon of the city.

High-speed lifts take visitors to the 91st floor, where you will have a sweeping view across the city to the mountains beyond. And check out the huge damper ball and the technology that protects the tower from high winds and earthquakes!

Photography from the tower is challenging due to the city haze and the plate glass windows, but the experience is not to be missed. Plan your Taipei 101 visit by booking a timed slot on the official website to guarantee admission and avoid the worst of the queues!

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Climb Elephant Mountain

Just behind Taipei 101 is Elephant Mountain. A popular hiking spot for families, this green and wooded hillside gives one of the best views of Taipei 101 and the city beyond.

Climbing the steps to the top is hard work, particularly in the subtropical humidity, but the views are well worth the effort!

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Check out the street food at Shilin Night Market

Night markets are an institution in Taiwan, and nowhere more so than in Taipei. There are a number of them all over the city (including the infamous Snake Alley), but arguably the best night market in Taipei is the Shilin Night Market to the north of the city centre. Easily accessible by metro, head here after dark and join the crowds thronging the neon-lit streets in search of clothes, souvenirs or electrical bargains. Then head into the food court or track down a street vendor for a taste of Taiwan’s heritage, including traditional oyster omelettes or the surprisingly popular stinky tofu!

The Taipei night markets are a dream for street photography, with neon signs, street vendors and traditional foods everywhere you look. Be prepared for a lot of night shooting, but don’t attempt a tripod or you will be mown down by the crowd!

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Get geothermal at Beitou Hot Springs

Taiwan sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which means volcanos. And where there are volcanos, there are hot springs. Much like the Japanese onsen, Taiwan’s hot springs are incredibly popular for their health benefits, as well as a great way to while away an afternoon!

Beitou Thermal Valley, on the metro line north of Taipei (it has its own branch line), is the best place to experience Taipei’s geothermal activity close to the city. Walking up the gorge from the metro station, you will pass babbling brooks which look innocent enough, but beware – signs warn you that the water is hotter than you think! Halfway up the valley there is a public bathing house, but if soaking in public isn’t your thing, there is still plenty to discover. Hiking paths start from here to take you into the national park, or check out the steaming pools, where water bubbles at a naturally-occurring boiling point. You can even try a hard-boiled egg cooked in the spring water!

Beitou Thermal Valley is incredibly photogenic, with its trees, river and turquoise pools. Just watch the steam on your equipment!

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Explore the mangroves at Tamsui

Tamsui (also spelt Danshui), a seaside town to the north of Taipei, is a less common day out from the capital but can make for a fascinating change of perspective. The last stop on the metro line, it is easy and cheap to reach. Once there, admire the fishing boats that line the quayside, and check out Old Street with its shops, souvenirs and food stalls. A 20-minute walk (or quick metro ride) south of Tamsui is the world’s most northerly mangrove forest, where you can cross boardwalks through the mangroves as you marvel at the plants up close.

Situated on the northwest coast, Tamsui is great for shooting city skylines and picturesque harbour views. It’s also a spectacular place to watch the sun set over the ocean.

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Soar above the trees at the Maokong Gondola

In the southeast of the city, the Maokong Gondola rises above the treetops. Officially part of the city metro network (although a separate ticket is required), the gondola is a cable car which carries you over the mountains that ring the city. Giving spectacular views of the city itself and the treetops below you, the gondola will carry you beyond the city limits to check out hidden temples and walking trails in the hillsides.

A gondola ride will give you a great opportunity to shoot those city skylines and pretty mountain views – not to mention the odd sneaky temple shot in between!

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Get spiritual at a local temple

Taiwan’s religious heritage combines Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist practices, but all 3 religions have something in common: spectacular temples. Often hidden down side streets, the temples are well worth tracking down. Ornately carve roofs and extravagant decorations make for some stunning close-up architectural shots, and the temples’ dark wood and colourful decoration mean it’s hard to know what to photograph next.

Add in the local life (the temples are still a popular place to pray, burn incense and make offerings), and you could happily spend all day soaking up the atmosphere. Temples such as Longshan and Baoan are some of the top places to visit in Taipei – just remember to be sensitive to local worshippers while you do so.

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

How do I get to Taipei?

Taiwan is situated just off the southeast coast of China, and has a busy modern international airport (Taipei Taoyuan International Airport) which is the most common place to enter the country. The airport lies around a 45 minute journey by bus from the city centre.

Many nationalities can enter Taiwan without a visa, but check with your local embassy.

Is Taipei expensive to visit?

For western visitors, Taipei is a relatively affordable destination, with prices similar to North America and a little cheaper than Europe. Whilst not a budget destination like some countries in Asia, it won’t break your budget!

When is the best time to visit Taipei?

The Tropic of Cancer runs through Taiwan, with Taipei sitting just outside the tropical zone. But that still means it is hot and muggy for much of the year. For almost-guaranteed good weather and comfortable temperatures, late autumn (October-November) is a great time to visit; springtime (March-April) is similar, although there can be more rainy days. The country does suffer from typhoons and heavy rainfall from June to September. Winters are mild and dry, rarely dropping below 10C(50F).

Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

While you’re visiting Taipei 101, check out this mirror-and-glass floor for some heart-stopping sensations!


Inspired by these fun things to do in Taipei? Why not explore further afield!

Check out my other posts on Taiwan, including some of the top places to visit outside Taipei!
Taroko Gorge: Discovering Taiwan’s marble mountains
The coffee seller of Tainan
5 Reasons you will love Taiwan…



Want to save “7 fun things to do in Taipei” for later? Pin it!Taiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipeiTaiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipeiTaiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipeiTaiwan's capital is a busy, modern city which still retains much of its Chinese heritage. Check out these 7 fun things to do in Taipei for the ultimate Taipei bucket list! | Taipei | Taiwan | Longshan Temple Taipei | Visit Taipei 101 | Visit Taiwan | Visit Taipei | #taipei #taiwan #longshantemple #taipei101 #visittaiwan #visittaipei

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

Taipei to Taroko Gorge: Taiwan’s marble mountains

Taipei to Taroko Gorge: Taiwan’s marble mountains

I set out from Taipei early in the morning. My base in Taiwan’s capital city was in the far north of the country, but Taiwan is absurdly easy to get around. An extensive rail network takes you all over the country, but I had a specific destination in mind that morning: I was going on a day trip from Taipei to Taroko Gorge.

Taroko Gorge is one of Taiwan’s highlights, and with just cause. Located close to the city of Hualien, a couple of hours south of Taipei by train and close to the east coast of the country, the gorge slices through the mountains in a series of breathtaking valleys lined by lush sub-tropical vegetation and beautifully patterned rock faces. The mountains are made of marble, and their swirling colours line the sides of the gorge.

But my day started on the coast. Joining a tour group at the Hualien train station, we set out first towards the Qingshui cliffs. On a bend in the highway, a side road heads out to a viewpoint where there is a stunning panorama, as marble cliffs drop vertically into a bright turquoise sea. Further ahead, the main road winds its way along the coast and disappears into a tunnel. Running parallel to it, perilously close to the cliff edge, is the old main road, which shows how hazardous it was to travel up this coast until comparatively recently.

Qingshui Cliffs are a regular morning stopoff, as it is at this time of day that the easterly sun bathes the cliffs in light and makes the sea sparkle in many shades of blue. As the clouds began to roll in, however, we set off again for the main destination of the day: Taroko National Park.

Navigating the park itself is pretty easy. There is really only one road, which runs from Hualien to Taroko Gorge, and then along the gorge itself in a series of bends and spectacular bridges. We stopped first at the Shakadang Trail, where a footpath runs along the edge of the gorge for about 30 minutes. The walk is spectacular, taking you past rocky overhangs and through lush trees and foliage. The Liwu River runs along the bottom of the gorge it created in a sparkling thread of silver among the marble and subtropical greenery. The walk is gentle, and provides a wonderful opportunity to examine the gorge up close.

At the end of the trail, we doubled back and returned to our starting point on one of the bridges that criss-cross the park. Soaring high above the gorge, the bridges themselves are a work of art, with each one lined with statues of lions and other motifs that give you no doubt of the Chinese heritage of the country. Moving on, however, we set off to explore more of the park. After lunch in a local restaurant, the next stop was Swallow Grotto.

Take a day trip from Taipei to Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan's most stunning sights. Find out how to get there, and what makes it special! | Taroko Gorge National Park | Taroko National Park | Taroko Gorge Taiwan | Taroko Hualien | Taroko Gorge day trip | #tarokogorge #tarokonationalpark #hualiencity #tarokotaiwan

Taipei to Taroko Gorge: In my happy place, exploring the Shakadang trail

Swallow Grotto is another footpath along the river’s edge, but very different from the Shakadang Trail. Running mainly parallel to the road which has been carved into the rock, the trail follows a section of the gorge which is high above the river below, taking you below rocky overhangs and natural archways. Hard hats are required to negotiate the trail, which adds a dose of humour to the occasion. But the real draw is the tiny natural caves that litter the rock face along this section of the gorge, and which are used by swallows for nesting each spring. The swirls of marble are also particularly spectacular along this section of the gorge.

Our final stop was to check out one of the temples that also dot the national park. Perched high above the river below, they are impossibly picturesque, hidden amongst the trees. We visited Changuang Sih temple for a look around, where we were one small group of foreign tourists among the many Taiwanese day trippers who had come to pay their respects. Not far away, a rope bridge crossed this section of the gorge, another popular draw, and another photogenic moment. Solid and well-secured, a trip across one of Taroko’s rope bridges is a must-do if you are not too afraid of heights.

Take a day trip from Taipei to Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan's most stunning sights. Find out how to get there, and what makes it special! | Taroko Gorge National Park | Taroko National Park | Taroko Gorge Taiwan | Taroko Hualien | Taroko Gorge day trip | #tarokogorge #tarokonationalpark #hualiencity #tarokotaiwan

Taipei to Taroko Gorge: Changuang Sih temple, Taroko Gorge

All too soon, it was time to return to Hualien for the train back to Taipei. While Taroko Gorge could easily keep you occupied for a couple of days, Taiwan has so much to see that schedules can be tight, but as a day trip, you can certainly get a good feel for the area. It makes for a spectacular day out, in the Taiwanese nature that makes the country so special.


How to make your own day trip to Taroko Gorge from Taipei

As I mentioned, I chose to join a tour group to visit the gorge. For me, this was a practical way of ensuring I saw the best sights, had someone else take responsibility for getting me back to my train on time, and had a local guide to explain the history and geology of the area as we went. Travelling solo, it also gave me a group of people to share my day with. Taipei to Taroko Gorge by train takes approximately 2 hours, plus the driving time to Taroko Gorge National Park itself. Group tours set off from Hualien City and can cater to visitors staying overnight in Hualien as well as those arriving from Taipei. If your budget runs to it, private tours are also easy to find.

If you prefer to travel independently, you have two options. Firstly, you could rent a car and drive yourself (to be approached with caution: the roads are winding, narrow, and busy with other cars and tour buses). Or, secondly, you could take the local shuttle bus from Hualien station up to the park. Be aware that this bus runs once an hour and can be busy; if you are catching a train later in the day, take care to make sure you are back at the station in plenty of time. Timetables are available from the Taroko Visitor’s Centre or at http://old.taroko.gov.tw/.


Enjoyed reading about Taroko Gorge?

Check out my other posts on Taiwan!
The coffee seller of Tainan
5 Reasons you will love Taiwan…

Or take a look at these great posts from Viola at The Blessing Bucket:
Exploring Jiufen, Taiwan – What to Do and Eat
Alishan Mountain: Best Sunrise and Hiking Spot in Taiwan!



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Take a day trip from Taipei to Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan's most stunning sights. Find out how to get there, and what makes it special! | Taroko Gorge National Park | Taroko National Park | Taroko Gorge Taiwan | Taroko Hualien | Taroko Gorge day trip | #tarokogorge #tarokonationalpark #hualiencity #tarokotaiwanTake a day trip from Taipei to Taroko Gorge, one of Taiwan's most stunning sights. Find out how to get there, and what makes it special! | Taroko Gorge National Park | Taroko National Park | Taroko Gorge Taiwan | Taroko Hualien | Taroko Gorge day trip | #tarokogorge #tarokonationalpark #hualiencity #tarokotaiwan

 

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

5 Reasons you will love Taiwan…

5 Reasons you will love Taiwan…

Taiwan is a country I have long been fascinated with the idea of visiting. Independent but not, culturally part of China but not, it doesn’t quite fit neatly anywhere. I finally ticked it off my bucket list in March 2017, and it was almost inevitable – I loved the place. Here are 5 reasons why I love Taiwan.

reasons why i love taiwan 2

The breathtaking scenery of Taroko Gorge, east/central Taiwan

1. The stunning landscape

Let’s start with Taiwan’s biggest selling point: its landscape. A long, reasonably thin teardrop off the south-east corner of China, Taiwan is a largely mountainous country, with rocky gorges and stunning beaches. I would have loved to reach the southern tip in Kenting, or the mountains around Alishan, but I did get the chance to enjoy the beautiful and dramatic Taroko Gorge and the cliffs and marble beaches of the east coast. Even Taipei, the capital, is itself ringed with lush mountains, whilst challenging hikes and lakeside strolls, and even visits to farms and cacao plantations, are all available to adventurous visitors across the country. If you like dramatic scenery and long walks in the fresh air, you can’t go far wrong.

reasons why i love taiwan 3

Gorgeous Longshan Temple, Taipei

2. The rich Chinese culture

Taiwan’s culture can be divided into two main aspects: the aboriginal culture, passed down from the many tribes who were the original inhabitants of the islands, and the Chinese mainland culture which arrived in recent centuries and, in particular, after the arrival of Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang government as they fled Mao and his communist regime in 1949. The country is proud of its background, and the rich culture can be seen everywhere, with beautiful temples and pagodas abounding. The more recent past is also represented, with dramatic memorials to Chiang Kai-Shek and Sun Yat-Sen in Taipei; meanwhile, the National Museum contains many of the treasures removed from mainland China before the Cultural Revolution, and has arguably the finest collection of Chinese artifacts anywhere in the world. If you’re a lover of Chinese culture, Taiwan is a must-see.

reasons why i love taiwan 4

A bullet train pulls into Tainan station, southern Taiwan

3. The bullet trains

When you hear “bullet train”, you tend to think of Japan – or at least, I always did. But Taiwan has followed in Japan’s footsteps, and has a fine high-speed railway line which runs the length of the country, linking Taipei in the far north with its second city of Kaohsiung in the far south, as well as many cities in between. I rode the rails from Taipei down to Tainan and then Kaohsiung itself, and the trains were as immaculate, spacious and space-age as you would imagine – not to mention having a deceptively smooth motion which made it hard to process how fast you were travelling. Not overly expensive by European standards, it’s a fabulous way to travel and a quick way to cross the country. Plus the trains just look so futuristic…

reasons why i love taiwan 5

The hot springs of Beitou Thermal Valley, to the north of Taipei

4. The hot springs

Another thing Taiwan has in common with Japan, due to its location on the Pacific “ring of fire”, is hot springs. The volcanic activity which shaped the island has resulted in pockets of bubbling water which attract visitors from all over Taiwan and beyond who come to soak in the waters. The springs have a variety of mineral deposits which give them different properties, and they are not always channelled into man-made bathing resorts; many can still be found in nature, often at temperatures that could easily boil an egg. If you visit a hot spring, bear in mind that swimming costumes are normally not allowed, although facilities are segregated by gender. I took the coward’s way out and experienced the springs from the sidelines…

5. The night markets

Taiwan is famous for its night markets, and rightly so. They spring up all over the country, selling everything from designer clothing to Hello Kitty socks and every type of food imaginable. And, as a visitor, it’s the food which is the biggest draw. Candied strawberry kebabs, pineapple cake, fried squid on a stick and the Taiwanese favourite, stinky tofu, it is all there in abundance. At the Shilin night market in Taipei I ate in the huge underground food court, trying another local delicacy, oyster omelette, washed down with Taiwan Beer. Taipei’s Snake Alley (Huaxi Street night market) offers exactly what the name suggests, whereas other markets across the country are a little lower key with all manner of fried delicacies on offer, and often games, toys and other attractions for the kids. Busy with crowds of people but always fascinating to observe, it’s worth the long journey to Taiwan for the night markets alone.

Go to Taiwan. You won’t regret it.

Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!

The coffee seller of Tainan

The coffee seller of Tainan

I arrived in Tainan on a Wednesday. Dropped off by bus in the city centre, I meandered through exotic local streets on the way to my hotel, absorbing the hustle and bustle of this very Chinese city. Taiwan has its own unique culture, but the vast majority of its inhabitants migrated from the Chinese mainland, and the primary language is Mandarin and the culture a wonderful evolution of Chinese life before communism set in.

Tainan is not like Taipei. Taipei is modern, high-rise and foreigner-friendly, with English signs everywhere and English speakers relatively easy to find. Tainan is pure Taiwan. The streets I walked down were chaotic, with Chinese characters everywhere, mopeds tearing down the streets and pavement life spilling over into the road, so that I gave up using the sidewalks and wound my way around the cars and street-front stalls on the edge of the road itself.

coffee seller of tainan

Life on the streets of Tainan

So it was somewhat of a shock when, opposite my hotel, I found a coffee shop. Taiwan is famous for its traditional teashops, but this was no traditional establishment. Shiny and modern, with coffee displayed in minimalistic coloured bottles on white recessed shelves, it grabbed my attention immediately… and that was before I saw the menu.

Now, I love my coffee. My first introduction to “real” coffee was in France as an 18-year-old, so my education started with strong black brews and I have never been able to work back to the freeze-dried stuff that comes in a jar. No, for me, the stronger and darker the better. So there was no way I was leaving Tainan without tasting what this shiny modern paradise had to offer.

The following morning, bright and early, I made my way across the street to the coffee shop. Now, this is not an easy task in Tainan. The city is full of scooters, taxis and private cars charging hell for leather down the streets, and the pedestrian crossings which were the bane of my life in Taipei were nowhere to be seen. No, in Tainan you have to hang around and wait for the traffic to stop, and even then you are taking your life in your hands as you dodge the cars and mopeds coming round the corner from another direction.

coffee seller of tainan

Safely across the street, however, I finally made it to the Holy Grail of coffee. Of course, when I got there a bigger obstacle than the Tainan traffic suddenly presented itself: communication. I don’t speak Mandarin, bar a polite “ni hao” or xiè-xie” when the occasion arises – and believe me, both are very much appreciated and will often get you a happy smile from Taiwanese, who love that you made the effort. But these two expressions weren’t exactly going to get me through the intricacies of ordering the best brew the country has to offer.

Thankfully, the owner of the coffee shop was one of the sweetest people I met in Taiwan. Happy that I had landed, pink and sweaty, on his doorstep, he stumbled through his best English as we discussed the relative merits of the global coffee industry. (In case you’re wondering, Taiwanese coffee is the best, and English coffee is terrible. Don’t blame me, it was his assessment, not mine, and whether I agree with it is completely immaterial…). Desperate to save face, I then tried to explain about my French coffee education, which just confused the situation until I turned to my trusty translation app. “Oh, you’re French?” No……… But in the end it didn’t matter; by the time I’d explained what I meant, we’d clearly established that Taiwanese coffee is better than French coffee, too.

Our somewhat laboured conversation had an accompaniment. Having understood my enthusiasm for good coffee, it was clearly important that I sample his best products, so I was plied with tiny paper cup after tiny paper cup of different coffees to try. Bear in mind that they were strong. There was a serious risk of caffeine overload before I’d even bought anything. But oh my word, they were wonderful, and like nothing I’d tried before.

In the end I made a lovely man very happy by ordering a cup of his own recommendation, and then asking for it not iced, but cold brew. (For the uninitiated, cold brew is MUCH better, and yes there is a difference…?). And so my cold brew coffee and I set back off into the Tainan traffic with a spring in our step, and only a slight caffeine headache to mar a genuinely memorable encounter.

coffee seller of tainan

Officially my favourite coffee shop in the world. Fun by name, fun by nature… ?

 

 


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Hi! I’m Jill, and I’m a British blogger who has been travelling for more than 15 years, visiting 65 countries on 6 continents. I love to travel both solo and with groups, and to discover the cultures and peoples of the countries I visit. And I love to share a good story or two along the way!