TAIPEI #20 (2020 Summer)
Six Things to Do with Your Parents in Taipei
Words by: Adam Hopkins
Photos by: MyTaiwanTour, Taiwan Scene, Lisanto, Yenping Yang, Gao Zanxian
Whether Taipei is your home, or just somewhere you’re visiting, there is no doubt that it is a great destination to be enjoyed with family. As we get older, time spent with parents becomes more and more cherished, and Taipei is a wonderful place to explore with them, whether it be enjoying the outdoors, visiting the city’s most notable landmarks, or stuffing your faces with exceptional local food. Here are six ways to make the most of a trip to Taipei with your parents.
➊GO TO THE TOP OF TAIPEI 101
This one is a no-brainer. There’s so much to do at Taipei 101, and you’d be foolish not to include a visit to Taiwan’s tallest building in your itinerary. Browse the luxury brands in the shopping mall before taking a trip up the tower to marvel at the panoramic view of the Taipei skyline from the observation deck. If mom and/or dad have a head for heights, book 101’s Skyline 460 experience, which includes a visit to the 101st floor at the very top of the skyscraper, as well as a stop for drinks at the luxe Bar 88. If you’re hungry, you should check out the vast variety of options available at the food court, or even treat yourself to xiaolongbao (小籠包, soup dumplings) and more at the Taipei 101 branch of world-famous Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐).▲(Photo/Lisanto)▲At one time the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is a must-see landmark in Taipei to enjoy with parents.
❷RIDE THE GONDOLA UP TO MAOKONG
Sample the most authentic Taiwanese tea on a trip to Maokong (貓空). Ride the scenic gondola (think a fancy cable car) up into the hills before learning how Taiwan’s tea is grown, harvested and produced, and why Maokong (and Taiwan as a whole) is such a great place to grow tea leaves. Sample some of the best tea Taiwan has to offer for yourself and, if the weather is agreeable, enjoy a leisurely hike on the hillsides that are accessible to hikers of all ages.▲(Photo/Yenping Yang)▲Enjoying a leisurely ride through the hills and sampling some of the best tea grown in Taiwan are must-dos in Maokong.
➌SEE THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT CKS MEMORIAL HALL
Visit one of the most historic sites in the country, built in honor of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正), the first president of the Republic of China, and take in the fantastic changing of the guard ceremony. If you or your parents can’t climb the steep steps, the hall is wheelchair accessible and wheelchairs are also available to be hired onsite. Since you’re in the area, be sure to also pop in to the nearby branch of Chun Shui Tang (春水堂), the Taiwanese tea store that claims to have invented bubble milk tea.▲Visit one of Taiwan’s most famous historic sites and admire the architecture of the three halls at CKS Memorial Hall.
➍VISIT A TAIWANESE TEMPLE
No trip to Taipei is complete without absorbing some local tradition and culture, so a trip to a temple is an absolute must. Head to one of the city’s most iconic sites of worship, such as Longshan Temple (艋舺龍山寺) or the City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟), and immerse yourself in the rituals that local people have practiced for centuries. Pray to Zhusheng Niangniang (註生 娘娘), the fertility god, if you’re hoping to make your parents into grandparents. You can also pray for your parents’ health at Baoan Temple (大龍峒 保安宮), another spiritual spot in Taipei where the faithful worship Baosheng Emperor (保生大帝), the god of medicine and health. Parents can experience local cultures and religion and enjoy the amazing artworks there as well. From the temple’s carvings to its decorative paintings, moms and pops will be enchanted by the traditional tales without a doubt.▲Immerse yourself in the local culture by following customs practiced in temples.
➎EAT LOCAL FOOD
If you don’t try the local food when coming to Taipei, you’ve wasted your visit. From tasty breakfast foods like danbing (蛋餅, egg crepe) served with hot glasses of doujiang (豆漿, soy milk), to delicious bowls of beef noodles, Taipei is a treat for the taste buds. Take your parents for a walk around one of the city’s many fantastic night markets, such as Raohe or Ningxia, where they can sample the best of what Taipei has to offer in one location. Bubble tea, fresh fruit, steamed buns, oyster omelets — Taipei has it all. And, if they’re brave enough, your parents absolutely have to try stinky tofu, an aromatic local delicacy.▲Enjoy a variety of local street foods at night markets where you can literally taste everything.
➏EXPLORE A LOCAL FLOWER MARKET
The capital city of a subtropical island, Taipei is home to a great deal of exotic plant life, in particular many varieties of flowers. Take your parents to peruse one of the city’s several flower markets, such as Jianguo Holiday Flower Market (建國假日花市), Taipei Garden Mall (台北花卉村) and Neihu’s Taipei Flower Market (台北花市). Regardless of the season, there will be flowers on display and available to buy all year round, although it may be difficult to get them in your suitcase back home if you’re visiting from overseas.▲Taipei boasts a great diversity of exotic plant life. Its flower markets are definitely worth visiting if your parents are into horticulture. (Photo/Top: Gao Zanxian, Bottom: Taiwan Scene)
A friendly reminder: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there might be safety/hygiene measures enforced at each destination, such as the mandatory wearing of masks or temperature check.
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