What? Only 24 hours in Taipei? We would say it’s a pity if you fail to have a long-term stay in Taipei. Taipei is a city rich in unique tourist attractions and famous for its cultural diversity. That means you can discover what you expect to explore, from fancy fashion to traditional custom, and everything is here. However, please don’t panic if you just have a short layover without enough time.
Considerate as we are (don’t forget we are Pro Guides), we have listed out some of the must-go areas that you shouldn’t miss out if you only have 24 hours in Taipei. Then, check them out and enjoy Taipei right away.
Area 1: Dadaocheng (大稻埕)
When Taipei locals speak of Dadaocheng, the first image flash through their mind is shopping for Chinese New Year and plenty of traditional food. Dadaocheng used to be a busy trading district due to its great location close to the Tamsui river and harbor. It has now transformed into a district blended with traditional markets, local food stands, handmade craft stores, and historic architectures of both Chinese and Western styles.
Dadaocheng is always a memorable place to visit. Now, follow our recommended spots and have fun in this ancient area.
Read more introduction and stories regarding Dadaocheng:
Taiwan Attraction: Dadaocheng — Roam Around The Old Taipei
Dadaocheng: The Start of Taipei City
(1) Yongle Fabric Market (永樂布業商場)
Yongle Fabric Market, formerly named Yongle Market, is generally known as a significant center for textile industry for hundreds of years. Although Dadaocheng is no longer a booming commercial area, still this place is shopping paradise for all fashion designers and tailors.
The market supplies a variety of latest and fashionable fabric to customers as usual. So, if you have some interest in Taiwan’s textile or fashion-related industry, have a field trip and walk around to see extraordinary fabric and clothing displayed in the market.
(2) Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟)
Xiahai City God Temple was built in 1856 and was dedicated to Xia-hai City God, protecting the prosperity and peace of inhabitants. While nowadays, the younger generation tends to pray for love opportunities and promising career, so you may see many youngsters lining up there to ask for their true love.
If you want to pray for finding your Mr. or Ms. Right as well, consult masters of the temple about the praying procedure. Also, always remember to tell the deity your name, age, and address before asking questions, or the deity might be confused.
(3) Chen-Wey Tea House (臻味茶苑)
Once you come to Taipei, you really shouldn’t miss the chance to smell the aroma of Chinese tea. Chen-Wey Tea House, the store with history of over 150 year, is your suitable option.
The tea house is famous for its rustic style of brewing teas while providing a great deal of tea selection for customers, including Pu’er (普洱) and Oolong (烏龍茶). You will be touched by its passion of bringing the level of savoring tea to the highest and promoting the spirit to every customer.
(4) Ama Museum (阿嬤家-和平與女性人權館)
If you are concerned about human right and Taiwanese history, Ama Museum can be your next destination. The word “Ama” means grandma in Taiwanese Hokkien, and this museum is dedicated to those comfort women, who might be any Taiwan locals’ Ama, suffered in the Japanese rule era. The museum makes use of related documents, pictures and videos to exhibit the issue to the public in the hope of learning from history and also advocating for victims’ justice.
Area 2: Ximending (西門町)
Besides experiencing something old, you may also want to see something fresh. Speaking of fashion and trend, Ximending is absolutely the area shouldn’t be ignored. It’s located in Wanhua District and is considered as a fashion and shopping center of youth.
Many generations have spent their delightful time there during their youth, so once they grow up, their children still visit the district with family and friends, generation by generation. As a result, do as the local Taiwanese do: take a walk on this first built pedestrian shopping zone in Taipei during evening (it’s more like a shopping zone than night market.) You will be amazed at a wide selection of styles of fancy clothing, accessories, 3C devices, anime-related products; all the other things that youngsters are into can be easily found here.
In addition to shopping, there are many sorts of recreation activities for tourists to choose, such as go to a movie, sing in a KTV, get a cute tattoo on hands, or make a wooden craft in a craft store, so, follow our recommended spots as below and have a good time.
(1) Ximen Red House(西門紅樓)
Ximen Red House, the red brick architecture right close to Ximen MRT exit 1, was built in Japanese colonial era. Currently, it is not only a cultural center featuring art, history and craft, but also a home to LGBTQ community.
While enjoying those creative works of talents artists, why not pick up a gay bar to have a drink, enjoying Taipei nightlife. There embrace everyone with sincere heart.
(2) Taipei Tianhou Temple(台北天后宮)
The ancient Tianhou temple was built in 1746, and has attracted to many believers in the past 260 years. The temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Chinese sea goddess. People also call Mazu as Tianhou, literally means “Heavenly Queen” in Chinese.
Read the most important religious festival : Mazu festival
As mentioned above, the history of Chinese immigrants to Taiwan built up the desire and need of having a mental support for new immigrants, especially during the dangerous period when they left for Taiwan in boats. They might tend to resort to religion, and Mazu, believed to control power of sea, was the guardian deity they often prayed to.
(3) Ximending Cinema Street (西門盯電影街)
Since Japanese colonial era, Ximending has been famous for its quantity and image of movie theaters. There were about 8 theaters in total in the district. In fact, in Wuchang Street, currently exists 4 theaters while other theaters located in other streets nearby.
You may notice various marketing banners, advertisement, or screen displays pop up in sight, informing you the diverse movie genres. From latest commercial movies to art movies, from domestic to foreign production, the theaters there get them all.
(4) Ximending Tattoo Street (西門町刺青街)
Hanzhong Street features many characteristic tattoo shops there so it owns a name called “tatoo street”. It had sometimes been associated with the image of crime, but as time passes by, the human also thinks differently. Currently, many people love to ink pieces of tattoos on body to express their characters, ideas, or creativity. Tattoos are more like art works rather than just icons. So, why not go to Hanzhong Street and talk to an excellent designer? Maybe you should pick up some beautiful Chinese characters and have them inked on your hands as memories.
Area3: Manka (艋舺)
Wanhua, also named as Manka, which was one of the most prosperous commercial areas in the past. Therefore, if you would like to experience traditional culture in Taipei, there are a great deal of stories waiting for you to explore in Wanhua.
(1) Lungshan Temple (龍山寺)
Lungshan Temple is an ancient temple founded in 1738 and dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy (Kuan-in 觀音in Chinese). At that time, many Chinese immigrants from Mainland China became pious followers of Lungshan Temple and viewed their religion as spiritual sustenance to support their desperate time. Lungshan Temple was definitely a warm home to all new inhabitants.
Unlike some of the far tourist spots, Lungshan Temple is super convenient to reach if you take the MRT(Blue line), exit at Exit 1, turn right, and you may find the place. Easy job, right?
First, take some photos and enjoy the splendid architecture of this temple. Multiple roof layers, golden columns, and well decorated appearance are all spotlights that amaze many photographers.
When you enter the building, remember to keep yourselves calm and be respectful to gods. In our tradition, we use incense sticks to worship gods and ancestors, so you may notice that many other prayers buy incense sticks from the temple. Light several ones, hold them in hands, introduce themselves to gods, express what they desire for, and bow to the god they believe in.
It is said that the smoke of the burnt incense can appeal the attention to the heaven. If you are really interested in the standard praying procedure, why not consult masters of the temple. They will be willing to guide you how to do it properly. Besides having some ideas of praying procedure, it’s also important to know which god you want to ask. Actually, it’s believed that different deities have different jurisdictions and specialties, so remember to seek the right god to pray for the right thing.
(2) Fortune Telling Street
As we know, life is not a bed of roses. Ever feel disappointed during your journey or in your current life? No matter which stage you are in, you might find what you need at Fortune Telling Street in Longshan Temple Underground Mall. You’ll find a fortune-telling master to talk about it.
In fact, Taiwan is well-known as fortune telling island because of the popularity and diversity of fortune telling. Not only local citizens but also famous politicians and entrepreneurs come here to find the truth of their questions in life and gain a sense of security. So, if you want to experience this traditional folk, just choose one booth and take a shot. Some masters may ask your birth date or make use of devices to start divination. You may ask a wide range of questions, from career to marriage. No matter you believe in the results, it’s always a good chance to discuss with others and receive some pieces of advice.
(3) Herb Lane(青草巷)
While visiting Longshan Temple, remember to save some time for Xichang Street, generally known as Herb Lane. Many tourists, including foreigners from Japan, Korea, etc., are allured to see how traditional and typical Chinese medicine is made.
When entering the alley, you can see packs of baskets with hundreds of herbs inside, including aloe, artemisias, etc., hung up on walls of these Chinese herb stores. Besides having a glance at these herbs, you should also try some types of drinks made of herbs that can ease your heat and thirsty.
After checking out so many places to visit in Taipei, you should be concerned more about how to seize the time rather than how to kill time. So. action now. Tik tok! Tik tok!