Taipei, the capital of the island, has excellent restaurants, lots of entertainment and a lively nightlife. There are many restaurants serving food from all over China and around the world. The city has many clubs, cinemas, and pubs. Over 15-night markets enjoy enormous popularity and invite you to visit. Taipei is also a great shopping destination, not only because of the many night markets, that also offer food, but also the city’s state of the art shopping malls. There is a lively expat scene in Taipei, with many social activities and events regularly organized by emigrant associations, trade organisations and international schools.
Eating in Taiwan
Taiwan has much more to offer than the great city of Taipei. There is a lot to discover, and the food is a good starting point. Apart from local traditional flavors and spices, the Taiwanese cuisine has received significant influences from mainland China and Japan over the years. One example is the “Xiaochi”, the Taiwanese counterpart to tapas or dim sum, which is an exciting and essential part of the Taiwanese food culture that you have to try. The best places to find and enjoy different types of Xiaochi are the various night markets and food streets in Taiwan.
On the Island
The island of Taiwan hosts many fascinating festivals throughout the year, such as the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, the Moon Festival and many more. In Yenshui, where one of the most ancient festivals in the world is held (during the time of the Lantern Festival), you can see the famous fireworks. Thousands of rockets have been launched into the city’s skyline for over 200 years, and colorful parades accompany the spectacle.
Culture in Taiwan
Taiwan has over 14,500 recorded temples of all shapes and sizes. Generally, one can say that Taoist temples are more magnificent and colorful, while the Confucian temples are rather simple and impress with their factual rigor.
A visit to the Taiwan Opera should also be included in your to-do list. The language used is a stylized combination of the literary language and the vernacular form of the Taiwanese Hokkien. The stories are mainly based on traditional folk tales of the southern Fujian region (mainland), although in recent years, the ancient stories of the island itself are performed as well. The Taiwanese Opera is considered as the embodiment of Taiwanese history and tradition.
Most popular leisure
Some of Taiwan’s most popular pastimes include hiking in the scenic national parks; diving and snorkelling between the coral reefs at the southeast coast; and relaxing in the hot mineral springs found all over the island.
Basketball and baseball are probably the most popular sports in Taiwan, and you will find facilities everywhere. Golf, however, is also becoming more popular as the island offers great Golf courses. Other popular sports, which are also practiced by many of the Taiwanese, are badminton, volleyball, soccer, and tennis.