This year we chose the hottest, muggiest season to visit Taiwan. This past June we went to visit my grandmother who couldn't make it to our wedding. We made our way through Taichung 台中, Kaohsiung 高雄, Cijin Island 旗津, Tainan 台南, and of course Taipei 台北.
Jon's grandmother spends most of her time in her home city of Taichung. Known for amazing nightlife, night markets, and world class dining, Taichung seems sleepy on the surface but is full of personality and rich culture.
For anybody spending a few days there, we spent a few days at the Calligraphy Greenway Hotel 草悟道. Modern, well appointed, and totally affordable, it was fairly easy for us to get around Taichung from this hotel.
When you're there definitely visit the 臺中國家歌劇院 National Taichung Theater, They have regular tours that show off architectural conception and design choices. Super interesting and worth the visit in Taichung.
Of course while in Taichung, you must visit the Fengjia Night Market 逢甲夜市. Widely considered one of the largest night markets in all of Taiwan, Fengjia Night Market makes what's otherwise a sleepy town into a vibrant mecca.
Kaohsiung, Cijin Island, & Tainan
We spent some time with family in southern Taiwan, and discovered a part of Taiwan that we could only explore with any confidence through locals.
First stop was 月世界 Moon World, essentially a badlands caused by strong erosion creating a moon-like surface. It's kind of a fun experience, as they rarely see people from the states in that part of town, let alone people who live in New York, and we were treated to some local snacks!
Following Highway 28 east we stop at the historic Qishan District, etjaejs;lfjal;fja;,
From here we made the hour drive down to Cijin Island, an island off the coast of Kaohsiung proper. Only a 15 minute ferry ride in the famous Kaohsiung Harbor (great trip in its own right!), Cijin Island is tourist friendly with amazing seafood.
We recommend taking a covered Surrey Bike and bike along the coast on the many bike routes, especially during sunset. There's something idyllic to the Taiwan coastline..
We spend some time in Tainan, a city who likes to identify as the birthplace of modern Taiwanese culture. There's certainly a sense of pride in the city, and we make a stop at 阿美飯店 serving authentic, Tainan style cuisine. We also make a stop off at this strange structure called the Anping Tree House, an abandoned warehouse that eventually taken over by the roots of a banyan tree.
We only have a few days in Taipei, so we make the most of it. First off, we stay in the incredible Design Hotel, Hotel Proverbs, a SPG hotel right off the Fuxing Station. The hotel had beautiful, unique and quirky design while still providing luxury. It just so happens that some of the best cocktails we had on this whole trip was in the hotel bar called East End. We highly recommend trying to stay here if your budget affords (we splurged to treat my grandmother and mother!).
We hit as many food spots as possible, determined to enjoy Taiwan as grown adults. Most impressive was definitely the Addiction Aquatic Development 上引水產, really a collection of quick eats and surrounded by seafood restaurants. We ate in the standing only sushi restaurant in the middle of the market for some of the freshest sushi we've ever had, rivaling Jon's experience in Japan.
We also one of the highest rated Beef Noodle Soups in Taipei, Yong Kang Beef Noodle 永康牛肉麵. Great beef noodle soup, but we recommend only getting the soups as Jon later had some issues with the dim sum.