Quick Travel Guide to Taipei for busy professionals or people who are transiting in less than 48 hours

For travellers who are in Taipei for no more than 48 hours, you will definitely be thinking where and what shall I spend my time in the city?

I share some ideas how I spend my weekends in less than 48 hours in Taipei.

The usual hotel check-in time is at 3pm. If you are arriving early in the morning, you may consider the following tourist sights.

(1) National Palace Museum
Visit the Jadeite Cabbage with Insects, is a Chinese sculpture. It is a piece of jadeite carved into the shape of a Chinese cabbagehead. It also has a locust and a katydid hiding in the leaves. Advice: Visit the museum at the opening hours.

(2) Chiang Kia-Shek Memorial Hall

Watch the change of guards ceremony that happens hourly. It will be best to watch the first hour to avoid a huge influx of tourists.

After the visit, you may head to the city for lunch. Ximending is one of the good places to stay as there is a vibrant location and yet offers lots of food in the Wanhua district.

Zheng's Pork Knuckle (鄭記豬腳飯) (read more...)
Address: No. 22, Yánpíng South Rd, Zhongzheng District Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Price: $
Rating: 4/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5
Recommended dishes: Braised Pork Belly, Braised Pork Knuckle, Braised Pork Intestines and Milkfish

I found out about Zheng Ji's Pork Knuckle when I searched in the website. Mainly patronised by locals, it is an simple shop offering only three dishes, pork knuckles, pork belly and milk fish. This shop closes on Sundays.

By the time you complete your lunch, how about exploring Ximending before checking into the hotel?

Chengdu Carambola (or Star fruit) Ice (成都楊桃冰) (read more...)
Address: No. 3 Chengdu Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Price: $
Rating: 3/5 

We had a large cup of Starfruit drink from one of the oldest stall in Ximending. Opened in 1966, the stall continues to sell the taste quenching star fruit drinks, made from no preservatives and chemicals. It is refreshing indeed.
Have a quick nap before you head for the Night Markets. Taipei is well known for its night markets that you will be spoil for choice.

Shihlin Night Market (read more...)
This is a very popular night market amongst tourists. There are a lot of food and things to eat and shop.

Raohe Night Market (read more...)

There are many good food at Raohe Night Market, which is also one of the furthest night market from Ximending. Do try the Black Pepper Meat Bun baked in the brick oven. Prepared similar to the oven-baked naan or flatbread, the black pepper meat buns (福州世祖胡椒饼) were fantastic.

There are other night markets such as Ningxia Night Market, Tonghua Night Market, etc. According to the taxi drivers, Raohe and Shilin Night Markets are very touristy places that charges more expensive than the smaller ones.
After a long night, head back to the hotel to rest.

Join the locals and tourists alike for breakfast.

Try Fu Hang Dou Jiang (read more...)
Address: Hua Shan Market, No. 108, Section 1, Zhongxiao East Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Price: $
Rating: 2.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 5/5
Recommended dishes: Flatbread with egg, Soy drink (normal) and Soy drink (salty)

The queue in front of us
The queue behind us

Opens as early at 5.30am, Fu Hang Dou Jiang (阜杭豆漿) is a one and only dou jiang brand in Taipei, unlike its competitor, Yong He Dou Hua. A word of advice, you must be there before 7am. I arrived at 7.20am and got to order around 8.30am. The queue was long but the time to finish the meal was quick.
Finally, after a hearty meal, check out from the hotel.

Some lunch ideas...

Kingwueng Pork  金園排骨 (read more...)
Address: No. 70 Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Wan Nian Da Sha, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan 108
Price: $
Rating: 4/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4/5
Recommended dishes: Fried Chicken Thigh, Fried Pork Ribs and Deep Fried Tofu.

The pork ribs (排骨) were very tender and nicely marinated. Although the ribs were deep fried, the ribs were very well drained. Came together with the ribs was the pickled Japanese cucumbers. They were small but extremely refreshing. It removed the queasiness when you eat something fried. I highly recommend this place as it is mostly patronised by the locals.  

Fu Hong Beef Noodles (read more...)
Address: Luoyang St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Price: $
Rating: 4.5/5
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 4.5/5


Highlighted in a popular Taiwanese Variety Show, I hunted down the restaurant and found it near Ximending area. Located about 10 minutes' away from Ximending, the restaurant was a humble stall with simple furniture. The beef noodles are extraordinary and the shop is always patronised by locals. 

Before going to Taoyuan International Airport, head to the Taipei Main Station.

There is a huge underground mall beneath Taipei Main Station that may kill some time before heading to the airport.

Near M2 Exit, you may try the Taiwanese dessert from Xiaonanmen (小南门传统豆花).

The dessert is one of the best ones I have ever eaten and I enjoyed this immensely. There are other outlets around like at Taipei 101, etc. It is easily accessible.

If your stomach can still hold more food, why not drop by the 7-Eleven in Taipei City. I loved their fish cakes in spicy broth. It is addictive.

Finally, take the Taipei Airport Line to Taoyuan International Airport. The taxis takes approximately 60mins and costs TWD1,200. The train/ subway ride took about 35 minutes' journey time. It has reduced the travelling time significantly. The express coach bus, Kuo Kuang, has ceased its operations recently to welcome the new subway line, which officially opens on 3 March 2017.

At Taoyuan International Airport, go to Homee for a meal before you board the plane. There was only one or two restaurants in the restricted area and the food is not bad.