1. Taipei: An Urban Haven
As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a blend of modernity and rich cultural heritage. From towering skyscrapers to tranquil temples, Taipei has something for everyone.
1.1. The City’s Iconic Landmarks
Taipei 101, once the tallest building in the world, is a must-visit attraction that provides breathtaking views of the city skyline. The National Palace Museum houses a vast collection of Chinese artifacts and treasures. The Longshan Temple, with its intricate architecture and serene atmosphere, is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
1.2. Indulge in Culinary Delights
Taipei is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of culinary experiences. Explore the vibrant night markets where you can feast on delicious street food such as stinky tofu and bubble tea. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor xiao long bao, a type of steamed dumplings filled with flavorful broth. For a taste of traditional Taiwanese cuisine, visit the famous Din Tai Fung restaurant.
1.3. Immerse Yourself in Cultural Experiences
Immerse yourself in Taipei’s cultural scene by visiting the Taipei Fine Arts Museum or catching a performance at the National Theater and Concert Hall. Take a stroll through the historic neighborhood of Dadaocheng, known for its well-preserved traditional architecture and charming shops. Experience the vibrant local arts and crafts scene at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
Jiufen: A Charming Mountain Village
Jiufen is a picturesque mountain village located just an hour’s drive from Taipei. Known for its narrow streets, traditional teahouses, and stunning views, Jiufen is a charming destination that offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich history and culture.
2.1. Exploring Jiufen’s Old Street
One of the main attractions in Jiufen is its famous Old Street. This lively street is lined with vendors selling a wide array of local snacks, souvenirs, and handicrafts. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and flavors of Jiufen. Don’t miss out on trying some of the local specialties like Taro Balls, Peanut Ice Cream Rolls, and Aiyu Jelly.
2.2. Visiting Jiufen’s Tea Houses
Jiufen is renowned for its traditional teahouses, which offer a serene and relaxing atmosphere amidst the hustle and bustle of the village. These teahouses not only serve a variety of high-quality teas but also provide a unique cultural experience. Take a break from exploring and indulge in a cup of tea while enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
2.3. Discovering Jiufen’s Golden Waterfall
A must-visit attraction in Jiufen is the Golden Waterfall. This natural wonder gets its name from the golden hue created by the combination of sunlight and the minerals in the water. The sight of the cascading golden water against the lush green backdrop is truly mesmerizing. It’s a great spot to relax, take photos, and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Exploring Taipei’s Bustling Night Markets
3.1 Shilin Night Market
One of the most famous and largest night markets in Taipei is the Shilin Night Market. This vibrant market is a must-visit for food lovers and shopaholics. You can indulge in a wide variety of local delicacies such as stinky tofu, oyster omelets, and bubble tea. The market also offers a range of clothing, accessories, and electronics for bargain hunters. With its lively atmosphere and countless stalls, Shilin Night Market provides a true taste of Taiwan’s street food culture.
3.2 Raohe Street Night Market
Raohe Street Night Market is another popular destination for food enthusiasts. Located near Songshan Station, this market is known for its delicious snacks and unique culinary experiences. Here, you can savor mouth-watering dishes like pepper buns, fried squid, and beef noodles. The vibrant and bustling environment adds to the overall charm of the market. Don’t forget to explore the various stalls selling clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. Raohe Street Night Market guarantees a memorable night filled with delectable treats and a lively atmosphere.
LGBT-Friendly Accommodations in Taipei
4.1 LGBT Travelers’ Guide to Taipei
If you are an LGBTQ traveler looking for a welcoming and inclusive experience in Taipei, you are in luck. Taipei has been recognized as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in Asia, with a vibrant and thriving queer community. In this section, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the best LGBT-friendly accommodations in the city.
4.2 Finding LGBTQ-Friendly Hotels
When it comes to finding accommodations that cater to the LGBTQ community, Taipei offers a wide range of options. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, there is something for every traveler. Many hotels in Taipei proudly display LGBTQ-friendly symbols, such as the rainbow flag, to indicate their support and inclusivity. In addition to these symbols, you can also look for hotels that actively promote LGBTQ events and have staff trained in LGBTQ sensitivity and cultural competency. In this subsection, we will highlight some of the top LGBT-friendly hotels in Taipei and provide tips on how to find accommodations that suit your needs as an LGBTQ traveler.
Jiufen’s Historical Trails and Stunning Views
5.1 Historical Trails in Jiufen
Jiufen, a charming mountain village in Taiwan, is not only known for its nostalgic atmosphere and bustling streets but also for its historical trails that offer a glimpse into its rich past. The most popular trail in Jiufen is the Jiufen Old Street, a narrow alley lined with traditional tea houses, food stalls, and souvenir shops. As you explore this historic path, you can immerse yourself in the architectural beauty of the old buildings, which date back to the early 20th century. Don’t forget to try some local delicacies such as taro balls and herbal tea along the way. Another noteworthy trail in Jiufen is the Shengping Theater Trail, which leads you to an abandoned movie theater that was once the center of entertainment in the village. This trail takes you through a lush forest and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.
5.2 Stunning Views of Jiufen
Aside from its historical significance, Jiufen is also renowned for its stunning views that attract visitors from all over the world. One of the best spots to admire the picturesque scenery is from the Jiufen Old Street itself. As you walk along the narrow alleys, you can catch glimpses of the beautiful mountains and the azure blue sea in the distance. For a more panoramic view, head to the top of Keelung Mountain, where you can enjoy a breathtaking vista of Jiufen and its surrounding landscapes. The view is particularly mesmerizing during sunset, as the golden hues blanket the village and create a magical ambiance. Another must-visit viewpoint is the A-Mei Tea House, located at the highest point of Jiufen. From here, you can savor a cup of tea while marveling at the panoramic vistas of the village nestled amidst the verdant mountains.
6. Unique LGBTQ Experiences in Taipei and Jiufen
6.1 LGBTQ-Friendly establishments in Taipei
LGBTQ travelers visiting Taipei will be delighted to find a city that is inclusive and welcoming. Taipei is home to a vibrant LGBTQ community, and there are numerous establishments that cater to this demographic. From bars and clubs to cafes and restaurants, there is something for everyone.
One popular LGBTQ-friendly establishment in Taipei is the Red House, located in the heart of the city’s Ximending district. This historic building houses a variety of shops, galleries, and performance venues, many of which are LGBTQ-focused. The Red House is also home to the city’s annual LGBTQ Pride parade, a colorful and energetic event that draws thousands of participants each year.
6.2 LGBTQ-Friendly establishments in Jiufen
While Jiufen may be a small mountain village, it is not lacking in LGBTQ-friendly establishments. Travelers will find a handful of charming cafes and boutique shops that are welcoming to all visitors, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Jiufen’s relaxed and laid-back atmosphere provides a perfect backdrop for LGBTQ travelers to unwind and enjoy their stay. Whether sipping a coffee at a cozy cafe or browsing through unique handicrafts at a local shop, there are plenty of opportunities to feel accepted and comfortable in Jiufen.