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Shilin Night Market (2 hrs)
More than a hundred years ago, the Chuanchou people came to sell fish in the Shilin area. This place is now Shilin Night Market, the biggest and oldest night market in Taipei.
You can find deals on clothing, shoes and other accessories here, but the market is mostly known for its wide variety of amazingly good food. There are many stalls in the market's heart, which offer delicious dishes, like squid stew dumplings, Taiwanese sausages and oyster omelettes. Remain calm if a stranger hovers over you while you eat. He's just waiting to take your seat when you're done.
This place is busy at every season. Even in winter the place is filled with people fighting their way to get food. Best time to go there is between 6 and 11 pm. Shilling Night Market is in Shilin District and accessible from the MRT Shilin.
Ximending shopping area (2 hrs)
Ximending is the famous shopping street where u can buy just about anything like fashion clothing, shoes, accessories in various styles including Japanese, Chinese and Western and a lot of other interesting stuff. It is often a gathering site for young people and has always been considered the most fashionable and popular shopping place in Taiwan.
Ximending is the first pedestrian area built in Taipei and is the largest in Taiwan. It is located near the Taipei Main Station so it’s very easy to go there by train, MRT (Ximen station) or bus. The opening hours of most shops are from 10 am to 10 pm.
Tamsui area (2-4 hrs)
Tamsui is a smaller city to the north of Taipei that was the centre of shipping and commerce in northern Taiwan in the 19th century. The city is still popular with visitors from Taipei and boasts many historical attractions, and is a popular location for viewing the sunset.
In Tamsui, you can walk around at night and try some local snacks at one of the many food shops and small restaurants in the streets behind the riverfront.
To go there, take the red MRT line to Tamsui, and get off at the last stop. During daytime you can also take a boat across the river. Ferries to the town of Bali and the Fisherman's Wharf depart from the Tamsui Ferry Pier, a few minutes north of the MRT station by foot.
Guang Hua Digital Plaza (1-2 hrs)
If you are looking for electronics, you should go to Guang Hua Digital Plaza. This is a six-story, indoor technological and electronics market.
Guang Hua Digital Plaza is the best mall for those who want to take a look at the latest electronic items developed by Taiwan and buy some cheap gadgets. There are tons of electronics shops concentrated in the same building. If you really want to buy at a good price, forget the international brands and focus on Taiwanese stuff.
The nearest MRT is Zhongxiao Xinsheng. From there you need to walk. If you need to ask for directions, most Taiwanese people understand: IT mall. The opening hours are from 10 am to 9 pm.
Shopping around Taipei 101 (1-3 hrs)
For the real high end shopping you are in the right place around Taipei 101. This area, called Xinyi District (meaning "honesty") is the seat of the Taipei mayor's office and the Taipei City Government. Key buildings including are Taipei 101, Taipei City Council, Taipei International Convention Center, Taipei World Trade Center, and various shopping malls and entertainment venues.
You can go there by MRT, Taipei City Hall. Take exit 3 to Xinyi Shopping District. Upstairs turn right and… well, you’ll see the tower. The shops are open from 11 am to 9:30 pm.
Restaurant Din Tai Fung (1-2 hrs)
If you want to eat the most famous dumplings in Taipei, you have to go to Restaurant Din Tai Fung. Everything is made fresh here and they have the most delicious Chinese specialities. It is a family-run restaurant that’s turned into a global dumpling icon.
There are several locations in Taipei. Easy to find is the one in Sogo Department Store. Take the MRT to station Xhongxiao Fuxing, exit 2 Sogo Department Store (Fuxing Branch). Go to level B2.
You will see people waiting next to the escalator. And that’s the thing, the place is so popular that you always have to wait for a table. And while you’re waiting you can check the menu and decide what to order already. Sometimes you have to wait for more than one hour, but it’s worth waiting for.
If you prefer to go to the original restaurant, where it all started, you have to go to the Xinyi reatsurant at no 194, sec. 2, Xinyi Road. For all other restaurants and the opening hours, go to their website.
Snake Alley (1-2 hrs)
Snake Alley, also known as Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market is the oldest international tourist destination of Taiwan. The market is located near the well-known Longshan Temple.
The distinct feature of Huaxi Street Night Market is the entrance of the market, a Chinese traditional structural gate, with red traditional lanterns hanging to create a distinctive national feature The gates lead to a two-block long roofed indoor market, which further intensifies the sense of local and traditional Taiwan feel.
It once was noted for restaurants that serve many delicacies including snake blood and meat, turtle blood and meat and deer penis wine, which can't normally be found anywhere else. These restaurants gave the street the name ‘Snake Alley’. Nowadays there are not many snake restaurants anymore. But there are still a lot of other food places and massage salons and it’s still worth a visit.
You can go there by MRT, to station Longshan. Take exit 1 and turn right. Before Longshan Temple turn left. Halfway this street you will find the indoor snake alley on your right hand side. It is open in the afternoon and at night.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Taipei.