VISIT (AND RE-VISIT) THE NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
With an incomparable collection of more than 600,000 ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks – of which only 3000 can be viewed at any given time – permanent exhibitions change four times a year. The priceless works were sent to Taiwan from mainland China for safekeeping during a turbulent period after World War II. As integral to the museum as Mona Lisa is to the Louvre, Jadeite Cabbage is a jade carving of the humble vegie with grasshoppers perched in the leaves.
SAVE ON ACCOMMODATION COSTS
According to expedia.com.au, the average daily rate for a hotel room in Taiwan is $148, which is more affordable than many other Asian cities. A night in Hong Kong will set you back $249, on average, while Tokyo hotel rooms are a smidge lower on average, at $221. More Aussies are sitting up and taking notice of what Taiwan has to offer, with searches on expedia.com.au up almost 45 per cent year on year.
DISCOVER THE BACKSTREETS
Join an Intrepid Urban Adventure for a spontaneous, three-hour tour of day-to-day life in the bustling city with a local taxi driver who knows it inside out. Far from a structured group tour with pre-determined photo stops, this is a personalised trip into the entertaining uncertainty of roads more and less travelled. Fasten your seatbelts.
DINE OUT LOCAL-STYLE
The Shilin Night Market is one of the biggest and busiest, attracting locals and visitors with its hundreds of stalls selling inexpensive food, clothing and souvenirs. Woks start firing up from 5pm and the action continues past midnight. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the oyster omelet, fried taro buns and many flavours of bubble tea. Stinky tofu is for the brave. Din Tai Fung, purveyor of everybody’s favourite soup dumplings, started in Taiwan and now has multiple branches throughout the city.
FOLLOW A LOCAL FOODIE
If this is your first time in Taiwan, it’s worth joining a guided tour. On the Urban Adventures two-hour group outing to Ningxia Night Market, a local foodie expertly navigates the stalls to find you the best pork fried rice, herb soup, yam balls and more. Less time lost in translation means more time focused on what’s on your plate.