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Old 10-11-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Son there for a week's conference by himself. Would you recommend some nice places he should visit. this trip came up kind of suddenly and he didn't have much time to research. he is couch surfing and this makes me nervous but he lives in Singapore and has hosted couch surfers for over a year with no problems. Singapore is so safe and I'm wondering about safety in Taipei.

Many thanks.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Taipei is totally safe. The Taiwanese get nervous about walking through the old town where there is some residual gang activity and prostitution from the bad old days, but this is not Krips and Bloods-type gang activity, nobody owns a gun, a stabbing would be something so rare it would dominate the national news for weeks, and those who have committed actual crimes have an average age of about 70 nowadays. Oh, and you have to really try hard to find this part of town, anyway.

As for sights. He should ask his Taiwanese couchsurf host. But not to be missed:
1. Shilin night market, Jiantan Station on the Red line. Go between 6PM-midnight.
2. Danshui night market, Danshui stop at the northern end of the red line.
3. The Taipei 101. Go see the observation deck and have tea up top.
4. Tea Houses in the mountains up the Maokong Gondola. Taipei Zoo Station, end of the brown line, then ride the gondola to the top and walk around.
5. Sun Yat-Sen memorial. Somewhere near the new downtown.
6. Chang Kai-Shek memorial and national opera houses. On the Red Line. Go at 5PM when they have the flag lowering ceremony if you want to see lots of Chinese tourists looking confused.

Those are the easy ones. Danshui is pretty far, so it can be skipped.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I'm actually going in a few days myself! Another thing we're definitely going to see is the Palace Museum, largest collection of Chinese art/artifacts in the world I think.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Yeah, I wasn't really all that thrilled by the Palace Museum, but musems aren't really my thing. Enjoy seeing the jade cabbage or whatever it's called.

Oh, you HAVE to KTV (Kareoke) while you're there. Preferably in a big group. Yes, there are (some) English songs with really bizarre visuals. Order beer and food.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Taipei is totally safe. The Taiwanese get nervous about walking through the old town where there is some residual gang activity and prostitution from the bad old days, but this is not Krips and Bloods-type gang activity, nobody owns a gun, a stabbing would be something so rare it would dominate the national news for weeks, and those who have committed actual crimes have an average age of about 70 nowadays. Oh, and you have to really try hard to find this part of town, anyway.

As for sights. He should ask his Taiwanese couchsurf host. But not to be missed:
1. Shilin night market, Jiantan Station on the Red line. Go between 6PM-midnight.
2. Danshui night market, Danshui stop at the northern end of the red line.
3. The Taipei 101. Go see the observation deck and have tea up top.
4. Tea Houses in the mountains up the Maokong Gondola. Taipei Zoo Station, end of the brown line, then ride the gondola to the top and walk around.
5. Sun Yat-Sen memorial. Somewhere near the new downtown.
6. Chang Kai-Shek memorial and national opera houses. On the Red Line. Go at 5PM when they have the flag lowering ceremony if you want to see lots of Chinese tourists looking confused.
That is good specific recommendations for activities in Taipei. Your observations for the entire country of Taiwan does make it seem like a high quality and fun place to experience.

However, I would also mention more of the prominent nightlife clubs/bars scene Taipei has that I read about:

Taipei Nightclubs, Clubbing and Nightlife Reviews in Taipei | NileGuide

Taiwan, one of Asia's must-see destinations!

I also read about Taipei’s amazing, large, and impressive Luxy nightclub and it reminds me of the Trinity nightclub in the Pacific Northwest.

Here is a description for the must see Luxy nightclub in Taipei: “Luxy is a happening and luxurious club, frequented by locals and foreigners alike. It is often viewed as the go-to club in Taipei for exciting atmosphere. It has three main areas, an electronic/trance room, and a more lounge-type room. It takes up two floors (the 5th and the 6th), three bars, and has an abundance of booths. Decorated with laser lights, and luxurious furniture, it creates a rich and modern feel.” http://www.taiwannights.com/en/club/luxy-taipei-137

Other than Luxy, there is Plush, Room 18, Club Wax, Opus Bar, Brown Sugar Live, Roxy 99, and Spark Club that appear equally excellent for nightlife.


Is there any reasons why you forgot to mention more nightlife clubs/bars, restaurants, museums, festivals, music concerts, and movie/film events etc. in Taipei and other Taiwanese cities?

Last edited by Thepastpresentandfuture; 10-16-2012 at 12:14 AM..
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thepastpresentandfuture View Post
Is there any reasons why you forgot to mention more nightlife clubs/bars, restaurants, museums, festivals, music concerts, and movie/film events etc. in Taipei and other Taiwanese cities?
Didn't forget, but you don't go to Moscow to eat Sushi. You go to drink Vodtka and eat Borscht! Likewise, I wouldn't go to Taipei to go clubbing or eat fancy French food. I would go to visit night markets and eat street food!

For nightlife, go to LA, NYC, Berlin, or London. Clubs in Shanghai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, are imitations of western-style clubbing. They have lasers and music and bartenders with flaming drinks (Luxy) but they don't have the clubbng subculture of Los Angeles or London. The Nightlife is too bright and clean for my tastes. Like Las Vegas; lots of clean-cut midwesterners "cutting loose" in a sort of adult disneyland. Without the smoke, drugs, sweat, and crazyness, it's just not the same.

Resturants? I can't think of any great ones that are worth the money, and I've been to more than a few. Better to go get fresh fish at a dockside eatery or all-you-can-eat hotpot and lots of Taiwan beer at a no-name place that's packed to the gills.

Museums show mostly either Chinese or aboriginal artefacts which don't do much for someone who didn't get the 5000 years of Chinese history in grades K-12. I've been to many, it's almost as fun to decipher the Engrish translations as it is to see the displays.

I don't know when he's going. Festivals are great if you are around for them. Dragon Boat, Sky Lantern, etc. Skip CNY unless you have family there.

Music? Concerts? Haven't been to many. Went to the music festival in Fulong once. It was hot and kinda unremarkable.

I go to the movies when I'm there for long stays, but I don't think a tourist should waste their time. Theaters are nice, but not remarkably so. Sure, go to whatever convention/expo is occuring if there's something special going on.

Four tourism, if you're only around for a few weeks, you've gotta hit the highlights and do things that are different from what you get back home. That's why I skipped most of what you mentioned.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:12 PM
JL
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Son there for a week's conference by himself. Would you recommend some nice places he should visit. this trip came up kind of suddenly and he didn't have much time to research. he is couch surfing and this makes me nervous but he lives in Singapore and has hosted couch surfers for over a year with no problems. Singapore is so safe and I'm wondering about safety in Taipei.

Many thanks.
Can you do me a favor and take some pics of the Yamingshan and Tien Mou areas? I want to see how much it has changed over the years. Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:33 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I disagree that Asia is second-class in terms of clubbing, especially when you're talking about US vs Europe. Aside from Miami, US clubbing scene is probably fourth after Europe, Latin America and Asia, I mean many clubs close at 2-3am for goodness sake. Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, even Singapore, have some rocking dance/electronica scenes. I'm not clubbing freak, but clubbing and nightlife in general in Asia probably beats the US hands down unless live music is your thing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:38 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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My third day in Taipei and so far I've done (as far as specific sights), the Palace Museum, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, Old Quarter, Longshan Temple...Palace Museum was pretty cool, not as vast as you might expect and VERY crowded with mainly Chinese tour groups. CKS Memorial is undergoing renovations, but the gardens/surrounds are cool and the theatre/exhibition hall are very impressive. Plan to do Taipei 101 and the Sun Yat Sen Memorial. Parents went to the Lin Family Mansion and Gardens and said it was quite nice. Also will go to Wulai, for hot springs, hiking in the jungle and aboriginal culture, the Maoking gondola ride to the tea plantations, and maybe Pingxia the 'lantern town.' I think Taipei itself is such an experience, the food, the shopping, the energy, nightlife and just the excitement of the place. The network of underground malls is really awesome, you have to check it out. It feels like a less claustrophobic Hong Kong, less crammed and more crowded but with just as much energy.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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Glad you're having a good time, Trimac! Are you going to try to get down to Hua'Lien and the Rift Valley, out to Yilan or up north to the beaches, or down to Kenting? I hope you have a clear day for your 101 visit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I disagree that Asia is second-class in terms of clubbing, especially when you're talking about US vs Europe. Aside from Miami, US clubbing scene is probably fourth after Europe, Latin America and Asia, I mean many clubs close at 2-3am for goodness sake. Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, even Singapore, have some rocking dance/electronica scenes. I'm not clubbing freak, but clubbing and nightlife in general in Asia probably beats the US hands down unless live music is your thing.
Not in LA or NYC. The clubs don't really get going until 0100 and I've never seen one close before 0400 except maybe on a Tuesday. LA and NYC have a clubbing subculture that is absent in Asia. Most of the people you see in Luxy, and the like, are nicely dressed people with respectable day jobs. In LA, on the other hand, there's an entire ecosystem of go-go/cage/suspension dancers, body modification, and then just the drugged-out wasters who are experts in dance styles with no name and live on the club circuit 24/7. Lookie-loos, casual clubbers, and day jobbers just fill in the cracks. This subculture is missing from the clubs in the East, which makes the scene too clean, nice, and dull for my taste. I haven't been in London long enough to decide who wins between USA/Europe, but they're at the top with Asia a distant 3rd, if that. No experience with Latin America.
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