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Taipei Travel

TAIPEI Winter 2023 Vol.34

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Taipei in Holiday Mood 

In winter, Taipei comes alive with festive energy, spanning from Christmas and New Year's Eve all the way to the Lunar New Year holiday. The joyful atmosphere and celebratory rituals persist for over two months, bringing warmth to the chilly season.

Notably, Ximending stands out as one of Taipei's most representative and lively areas. Once selected by Time Out as one of the "51 Coolest Neighborhoods in the World," it's a must-visit for every tourist. While exuding a youthful and trendy vibe, Ximending also encapsulates a fusion of tradition and modernity, contrasting historical sites with current fashions. Our cover story delves into this dynamic mix, where 2024 Taipei Lantern Festival is set to unfold.

In terms of coziness, soaking in Beitou's hot springs is a winter ritual for locals and tourists alike. Just half an hour from the city center, Beitou offers hot springs of different styles and prices, surrounded by lush greenery and historical sites, making it an ideal place for a relaxing stroll.

Another form of warmth is the Lunar New Year's Eve dinner, where families gather together from near and far. Taiwan's history and culinary essence come to life on the New Year's Eve dining table, with flavors and interpretations integral to understanding Taiwan's culinary culture.

Exploring local markets provides a glimpse into the daily life of Taipei residents. Whether buying fresh ingredients or enjoying a simple lunch, our recommended indoor markets — Nanmen Market, Shi-Dong Market, Xinfu Market — are excellent places for delicious treats and intriguing merchandise.

Taipei also boasts a diverse array of international cuisines, including delectable halal options from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East, China, and India. This issue features recommendations for several mouthwatering Muslim-friendly restaurants.

During the Lunar New Year, Taiwanese people visit temples to pray for a smooth and prosperous year, too, with "wealth seeking" being a crucial folk belief. The various temples dedicated to many kinds of Wealth Gods offers a chance to deepen your understanding of Taiwan.

As for literary traditions, the richness of Taipei as a capital of bookstores is evident in the concepts and book selections of the four arthouse bookstores we introduce.

Taipei, a city respecting animal rights, is showcased in the story of ACT for Animals, revealing the joint efforts of the government and NGOs in animal protection. Meanwhile, through the eyes of 33-year Taiwanese glove puppetry expert Dr. Robin Ruizendaal, we gain insight and a unique perspective on this traditional art form from a Dutchman's viewpoint.

The winter issue is filled with local wisdom, history, and an inspirational source for your winter holidays. Wishing you a happy New Year in advance!

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