Where to have a casual day in Taipei

When you open a traveling book about Taipei, you will probably find the places like National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, and Taipei Zoo. Even though these places are indeed having their own characteristics, which are worth visiting, they are not all the elements that have formed the City of Taipei. If you want to know the real Taipei, you might as well treat yourself as locals, walking into the streets and alleys and have a close look at the local lives. You will find that besides the skyscrapers, ordinary daily lives are what the most worthy scenery to see.

Blended culture of old and new, a different view of each street

Leaving the hotel you are staying and stepping onto the streets; you might suddenly find yourself ending up in the crowded Ximending, watching the flow of people and traffics in the metropolis, which is moving towards the destination in a rush. Office workers in suits move faster while talks on the phone. Students in heavy backpacks walk to the metro station in a group of 3 or 5. In the pedestrian area, neon lights and LED billboards shine, the newly relisted movie posters hang on the tall buildings, fashionable boys and girls carry the newly purchased shoes and bags, holding the bubble milk tea in their hands and walking into the movie theater with a long queue. The endless clamor of people and traffics paints the busy and rush picture of Taipei.

However, once you past the street, a completely different view will be appeared in front of your eye. Walking along the alley of Ximending, there are less and fewer people. The volume of the noises is suddenly turned down. The old streets of Wanhua and Tataocheng are in front of you. The trading at the harbor along the Tamsui River for two and three hundred years injected vitality into the west side of the city. Groceries from both south and north, traditional snacks, customs and believes have drawn a simple and heroic scene. As the sun set, the chants from Longshan Temple are calm and serene. Walking towards the west till the harbor of Tataocheng, looking at the river, the tangerine lights cast on the river and boats, making you feel like you were back to the trading port two hundred years ago.

Turn to another street; the scene changed completely again. The intertwine style of old and new seems conflicting at the first view, which is the most ordinary part of Taipei life. In Taipei, traditional and modern are not adjective, they are the verb. The traditional and old sceneries constantly collide and exchange, which has led to the diverse and complicated view of Taipei today.

What people stand on is hometown – open and diverse atmosphere

What the Taipei locals look like to you? Are they business tycoons that drive million worth luxury cars, or overworked office workers, or designer, musicians who get inspired from lives, or writers, photographers that record the different aspects of life with a sad and soft touch, or passionate young people that flight their lives in the cities with creativity, or conservative prestigious families?

The answer is: all of the above.

Different life value can all find the place to live in this city. So you can find on the street that different people have the same sense of Taipei.

Coming to the Wenzhou Street, Qingtian Street at the South Part of Daan District, the elegant Japanese-styled houses stand quietly together in the alley. The time seems stopped here. Locals gather around the corner laughing, inviting you to have a cup of tea. In the smoke of tea and cigarettes, you see the shadow of trees waving. You feel like you can just seat here for the rest of your life.

When you leave, you walk across the wide East Peace Street. On the way to the Shida Road, you will see food stalls and boutiques coming into your eyes. The street is full of a fashionable passerby, college students with highly personalized styles, carrying guitars on the back and holding bears in the hand. In the evening, they sit on the bench in the park laugh and chat loudly. The music coming from the pub in the alley adds the background into the noises on the street.

Are you saying that they are all Taipei people? Yes, they might have very different lives, but Taipei is formed under such a diverse environment. Like the poet Xiang Yang wrote in “Stand”: What people stand on is hometown. In Taipei, it is hometown to every people in Taipei.

The most beautiful scene is within you reach – beautiful natural places surrounded the city

Taipei has the liveliness of a metropolis, which is not limited to the big concrete jungle. If you’re tired of shopping, jumping onto the metro, you can embrace yourself with nature in 30 minutes.

Starting from the Taipei Train Station, following the red line of Tamsui, to Shilin, Beitou, Guandu, and Tamsui, it will take you less than 30 minutes, you will see the magnificent Datun volcano in the the northwest of Taipei basin. Datun volcano group the most beautiful mountain line in Taipei. It is also where the most famous Beitou hot spring origins. The west section of Datun volcano group is the famous walking places – Guanyin Mountain. Overlook Tamsui, Bali from the footpath on Guanyin Mountain, you can find a magnificent view, putting the whole Taipei basin and the mouth of Tamsui River in front of your eyes.

Walking down the mountain, and looking across the Bali Ferry Port, you can find the mangrove wetland located at the mouth of Tamsui River. This wetland is the rarely seen a purely red-tree forest, comprising rich wetland ecosystem for fiddler crabs, mudskippers, and water birds. It purifies the souls of travelers and the northern land of Taipei as the kidney of the earth.

If you travel south to the Taipei Train Station, following the green line of Xindiian to Jingmei and Xindian, you will find yourself at Xindian Creek in a short while. The creek converges with Keelung River and Dahan Creek, which form into the Tamsui River that is across Taipei. Equipped with bike lanes, the green creek is suitable for cycling and traveling for friends and families. With the companion of green mountain and tree, besides build your body up, you can pull yourself away from the busy soul in the metropolis.

The convenience public transportation has made it easier for people in Taipei to embrace the happiness of nature during the holiday. When you come to Taipei, while you’re tired of shopping, you might as well take the metro to see the vigor and vitality of nature.

Walking out of the hotel – write your own vitality in Taipei

Next time when you come to Taipei, besides follow the crowd to the famous attractions, you should save half the day, visit the ordinary street in Taipei, and experience varied daily life. That is the most beautiful scene in Taipei.

Next step, come to Taipei. Let’s go anywhere!

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