Solo Travel in Taipei
Many people have dreams of going on an adventure alone but there are a few considerations you should take before deciding to travel solo. I am here to share a few of my favorite experiences that I enjoyed while traveling alone in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. There is plenty to see in the Metropolis city center including shopping, street food, and night markets. Making your way around Taipei is fairly easy with a very accessible train system that will deliver you to all of the main tourist destinations and it is a very safe and clean country.
Tour the City
Plan ahead and book a double Decker Bus Tour to take you around the Main Taipei. The double-decker bus will drop you off at famous landmarks such as the National Palace Museum, Hawker Center, Ximending and the very famous Shilin Night Market. The bus tour is four hours long and you can hop on and off of the bus at different locations. There is an audio tour offered in multiple languages and the bus also includes free Wi-Fi and charging ports. This tour is a great buy that will save you a lot of time, and energy touring around all of these popular places within the city.
Taipei 101 Observatory
Taipei 101 observatory starts on the 5th floor of the Taipei 101 mall. Depending on the weather, you will be able to see the best view of Taiwan, all the way to the mountainous spine of the island. Before your visit, I suggest checking the weather and planning your trip to the observatory on a clear day and before the sun sets.
Elephant Mountain is located at Xinyi District of Taipei. The mountain is about a 20-minute trek, but once you climb the steep stairs you will be welcomed with a stunning view of Taipei. Along the way, there are maps that will lead you to various paths. You can hike the whole trail or you can go directly to the top to see the clear view of Taipei. Once again, you have to consider the weather before deciding on a trek, and it is recommended to visit Elephant Mountain before sunset. The view from Elephant Mountain in the evening is very impressive.
The Pingxi District consists of seven different stations, Santiaoling, Dahua, Shifen, Wanggu, Lingjiao, Pingxi, and Jingtong. The most popular stations are Shifen, Pingxi, and Jingtong. Shifen is the most famous stop in Pingxi District, it is filled with sky lanterns, souvenir shops, and street food. Shifen is the most crowded street where tourists release their lanterns because of the unique trains passing through the rail. Despite its popularity, there is still a nostalgic ambiance in this location. Pingxi is similar to Shifen, where it has a collection of souvenir shops and sky lanterns as well. I chose to light my lantern in Pingxi because I appreciated the privacy and peace while writing my wishes to add to my own lantern. Jingtong is the last station at Pingxi District; it is a small town known for its coal mining history.
Jiufen is a mountain town in Northeast Taiwan, east of Taipei. This old-style town is popular for its narrow alleys, teahouses, street food, and souvenir shops. Here you’ll find coffee shops and nice restaurants while enjoying great views away from the busy, crowded alleys. My favorite coffee shop in the area is Babka, it has a rustic atmosphere with a cozy and homey feel. I enjoyed a delicious latte while people watching.
Try to plan your transportation routes ahead – the train schedules are only offered in Taiwanese. Although many locals do not speak English, don’t hesitate to ask someone for assistance, they will always try to help you the best they can.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Tai Pei and the surrounding towns. Although I was by myself I took time to reflect and explore this new territory. All of the locals I encountered were very helpful even if we did not speak the same language they managed to help me around these incredible towns. Traveling alone can be daunting but it truly is a great learning experience and I encourage everyone to try it.
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