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Where to Shop, Eat, and Stay in Taipei

Skip the usual routes and delve into its best-kept secrets.
Where to Shop, Eat, and Stay in Taipei
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tgosingtian
Skip the usual routes and delve into its best-kept secrets.

Chal Chang Lontoc-del Rosario knows Taipei like her own backyard. Besides being half-Taiwanese, her travel agency, Jeron Travel, specializes in tours of the city that skip the usual routes and delve into its best-kept secrets.

How to Get There: China Airlines flies directly to Taipei twice daily.

Where to Stay: Home Hotel Da'An

"I love that it's an all-MIT hotel: Everything is 'Made in Taiwan'—the tea,in the room, mugs, lighting, artisanal shower toiletries, even the TV is from a Taiwanese brand. The boutique hotel is filled with art by local modern artists. It's just the right size in the right area."

What to Bring: A point and shoot camera that's easy to use and takes sharp, pro-quality photos. 

Where to Eat: 

Voted as CNN's best food destinations in the world in 2015, Taipei primes you for a feast. Chai advises, "Drop the restaurant reservation, wear your waistband loose, and enjoy dinner with their world-renowned xiao cher (small eats). Try some oyster rice noodles, [traditional] breakfast, sausage, fried chicken, candied strawberries, and local fruits. Their sugar apple is divine—sweet, with [fewer] seeds than our little atis, and comes with plenty of meat."

Shilin Night Market

"It's always a must-visit. I've been to this place more than a hundred times and I still come back to see what's new. Head down to their underground food court for an authentic foodie experience or just stroll along while shopping (and eating)," Chal shares. We recommend stinky tofu, torched wagyu, and pepper pork buns.

Addiction Aquatic

"It's your sosyal dampa. It's seafood fresh out of the wharf, delivered in style, and best paired with sake. Imagine picking out king crabs, fresh scallops, and large lobsters."

Cang Jiu Winery + High Tea

"Taiwanese people love nature so much they have leisure farms to cater to weekend travelers. Fruits and vegetables harvested from their farm are used to produce the wines and fresh dishes are served on the menu."

Where to See Art:

Songshan Creative and Cultural Park

What was once a home to a modernized tobacco factory is now Taiwan's creative hub.

Huashuan 1914 Creative Park

Get lost around the park and find small cafes, quaint restaurants, and unique shops.

Where to Shop: Fujin Street

Shop for indie Taiwanese designers at Fujin Tree, sneakers at Perfit, Japanese streetwear at Beams, accessories at Beauty and Youth, or decor at Fun Fun Town. If you're into vinyls, Beans and Beats coffee shop has an underground store where you can ask to sample the records while lounging. Then Chal recommends lunching at Sonnetor Cafe. "They adhere to the slow-food movement. They also have well-curated Taiwanese art displayed around the cafe."

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*This article originally appeared in Preview Magazine's June 2016 issue.

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