Taipei Taiwan Travel Guide

Ximending Shopping

If you are into shopping, you can’t go wrong with Ximending. This is the shopping area in the Wanhua district of Taipei and is considered to be the fashion capital of Taiwan. On weekends, Ximending streets are closed to traffic and becomes a pedestrian shopping mall. The area is popular with street performers of all types and, because it is a hotspot, you can catch celebrities hosting small outdoor concerts, album launches, and other events.

Ximending is also famous for its “Theater Street” where there is a concentration of several movie along Wuchang Street. For history buffs, though, the most famous theater in the district is the Red House Theater which was built in 1908 during Japanese occupation and is still an operational theater with regular performances.

Yangmingshan National Park

If beautiful sights are what you look forward to when travelling, then I can’t recommend Yangmingshan enough. It is the largest natural park in Taipei. Yangmingshan is great for hiking and has numerous trails that can last an entire day or just a couple of hours. Popular trails include Seven Stars Peak which will take you to the highest peak in Taipei at 1120 meters (3600 feet) or see the stunning waterfall of the Juansi Waterfall Trail.

Each February through March, Yangmingshan is the site of the Yangmingshan Flower Festival when several varieties of flowers such as azaleas, camellias, and especially cherry blossoms reach their peak bloom. Every evening of the festival, cherry blossom trees are illuminated for a particularly romantic sight. Visitors can also have lunch and dinner at one of many restaurants such as The Top or Grass Mountain Chateau for spectacular vistas of Taipei below.

Between the beauty of the cherry blossoms and the views of the city, Yangmingshan is a well-known romantic spot for lovers all over Taipei. From April to May, when calla lilies reach full bloom, you can pick your own lily flowers for only a few dollars at one of several flower farms.

Lastly, don’t miss out on Yangming Shuwu, also known as Yangming Villa, the beautiful summer retreat of the late president Chiang Kai-shek. Yangming Villa house and gardens are maintained as they were when occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Chiang. The house is a two-story traditional Chinese home, with reception rooms and offices on the first floor and the Chiang’s personal residence on the second floor where their paintings and personal photographs are still displayed. The gardens are especially beautiful in the Spring when the flowers are in bloom. As a bit of trivia, it’s been noted that several bushes are planted in bunches of five – to symbolize the “5-star” rank of General Chiang.

National Palace Museum

Next, we find ourselves at the National Palace Museum which opened in 1965. If you love history, this is the place to be! National Palace Museum has a humongous collection of 700,000 permanent exhibits of Chinese Imperial history and artwork that spans over 2000 years plus prehistoric Chinese artifacts and artwork that dates to the Neolithic era, or better known as the “Stone Age”.

The most popular item in its collection is the Jadeite Cabbage. Carved during the 19th century, it is a piece of jadeite that has been shaped to resemble a head of Chinese cabbage and has a locust and a grasshopper camouflaged in its leaves. Legend says the sculpture is a metaphor for female fertility, with the white cabbage stalk representing purity, the green leaves of the cabbage representing fertility, and the insects representing children.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Another historically significant landmark on our trek to learn about the history of Taiwan is the Chiang Kia-shek Memorial Hall. This is a national monument that was built in honor of former Republic of China President Chiang Kia-shek. The memorial marks the geographic and cultural center of Taipei. It is the most visited attraction by foreign tourists. The pagoda style memorial hall has a presidential library and museum on the ground level.

The main hall features a large, seated statue of Chiang Kai-shek, much like the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial hall and its surrounding Liberty Square plaza encompasses 60 acres and includes many ponds and garden spaces. The plaza also houses two of Taipei’s performance art buildings, the National Theater and the National Concert Hall.

Be A Good Tourist On Your Next Trip

Learn about the Rules of the Place

It’s not necessary that what is legal in your country will be legal in another one too. For instance, chewing gum in Singapore is a punishable offence. And not just foreign countries, rules can be different from one place to another in your own country too. So, the best way to make sure that you are not fined, or worst arrested, is to learn about the basic laws of the land you will be travelling to. This information can be accessed from the web easily.

Be At Your Best Behaviour

Remember that when you are travelling to a new place, you are representing the place you are coming from. You don’t want to give a bad impression about your homeland. So, try and be polite and smile at people you meet at cafes or public places. Talk to your hotel staff and try to learn about their culture a little more. Once you strike a friendly conversation, you will notice that people will open up to you. They will be willing to help you get around the place. Who knows someone might treat you to a nice homemade meal too!

Don’t Make Racist Comments

Often, while travelling, tourists can get microaggressive in certain situations. This will leave a bad taste in not just your mouth but to the other person too. Stay away from judging their culture or making comments on the way they look. People shouldn’t get the impression that you don’t appreciate their country or culture. So, be cautious about how you behave in public places.

Adventurous Motorcycle Tour

In fact, motorbikes these days are gaining a soaring popularity, especially among the youngsters. In the present scenario, motorcycles are seen all over the place and there are different kinds of motorcycles that can offer you a thrilling and memorable expedition. It is a single tracked two-wheeler, which is supported by an engine. The type of bike you want to go for depends on the task for which they are being used such as for long distance travel, sport, and racing or for off-road traveling conditions.

Riding is a fun activity and there are many motorcycle tours that are being organized. It has become a big thing in today’s world since a majority of people like to travel on a motorbike and especially among them is bike lovers. The thrill and fantastic view that comes up with a riding tour are one of the most elating experiences that you can get in your life.

But, before this go through some of the salient features that prompt you to opt for a tour on a motorcycle:

  • Easy To move: Traveling on a bike is much easy and convenient in comparison to a car. It is very useful especially in areas that are hugely congested. Moreover, with a bike you can have the ultimate riding experience with a scenic view.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Bikes have the potential to let you reach your destination as quickly as possible guaranteeing you with tangible fuel efficiency.
  • High speed & power: – If you are a rider and have a passion for remarkable speed, then a bike designed with a powerful engine and large capacities is considered ideal for you.

So, keep these points in mind and get ready for your next road trip.

Tools to keep while going for a Motorbike Tour

Riding a motorcycle is a lot of fun, but along with this, it is quite risky if proper precautions and accessories are not carried along. So be careful and carry along some of the best motorcycle adventure tools. Some of the necessary ones are:

  • Helmet: If you have the passion for riding on the open road, you certainly need adequate head protection that will protect your head in the event of an accident. There is a variety of helmets available. Buy the one that suits you the most.
  • Motorcycle Saddlebags: These saddlebags look great and fit on most motorcycles. Moreover, it is one of the most convenient ways to carry necessary equipment whilst riding.
  • Gloves: You are recommended to wear gloves while riding as this will protect your hands from any kind of dust or debris that can come on your way.

Pack for a Summer Vacation

Pack Cotton and Lightweight Clothes

During the summer season, it’s advisable that you wear cotton clothes so that your skin can breathe. Wearing synthetic clothes may cause irritation and you might end up feeling hot and suffocated. So, when you are packing for your vacation, make sure you put in light clothes that will help your body stay calm. When it comes to shoes, carry open-toed ones or flip flops so that your feet can get as much air as possible.

Choose the Correct Accessories

Since you will be travelling during peak summer, carry a straw hat, a pair of sunglasses, and a scarf, just in case the heat becomes unbearable. These accessories will keep you protected from the heat when you are out, visiting different places. If you are going to be spending a lot of time on the beach, carry a beach bag and towels with you too. It’s also preferable that you carry a change of clothes so that you don’t have to stay in your sweat-soaked clothes for a long period of time.

Take Necessary Medication with You

Some places can have heat waves during the summer. In such a case, you should be prepared for it. Additionally, if you have diseases that can be triggered due to the heat, take the prescribed medicines with you. You might also want to take vaccinations that will protect you from falling sick from insect bites or mosquitoes.

Reasons To Go To France

Cultural Discovery

A trip to France is endlessly entertaining and fascinating. France is proud of its heritage and celebrates its history. Everywhere you go you will find atmosphere and old-world charm and historic buildings with stories to tell. You will constantly be reminded that you are walking in the footsteps of kings and artists, conquerors and queens. Every day will be filled with discoveries.

A trip around the Loire Valley to visit Châteaux will take you along the travel route of the extravagant 16th century King Françoise I, who mounted up astonishing national debts in order to live large and well. His castle in Amboise, perched high above the river, is a source of many stories. There are the large round turrets, with wide spiral roadways inside to allow horse-drawn carriages to ride up into the castle grounds to deliver its passengers-especially handy when one of the queens was pregnant. Here on the expansive lawns, firework and festival displays were performed, designed for Françoise by his cherished friend Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci himself lived out the final years of his life across the street from the king, in a fascinating mansion that is now filled with models of his many ground-breaking inventions. A secret tunnel connects the abodes of these two close friends, used for late-night visits between the king and his brilliant buddy.

In Blois, Françoise added an elegant wing to the already impressive palace, accessed via an exquisite external stone staircase. Here you will see the study of Catherine de Medici, wife to Françoise’s son and successor, Henri. The wood paneled walls provided her with secret hiding places for her acclaimed collection of poisons, the political “solutions” of those perilous times.

Then there is the stunning Chenonceau, with its glorious gardens and the vast ballrooms that extend out over the river. Initially this gem was home to King Henri’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers. But when Henri was killed by a large splinter in the eye during a joust, his wife, Catherine de Medici, threw Diane out of her Château and took it over for herself. Not to be outdone by the mistress, Catherine then proceeded to construct an even more splendid garden on the opposite side of the chateau from Diane’s, and an even grander balcony than Diane’s to overlook it. She placed a huge, glaring portrait of herself, looming over the bed in what had once been Diane’s bedroom. And she had the initials on the tiles reengraved, replacing the “D” for “Diane,” intertwined with an “H” for “Henri,” with a “C” for “Catherine.” This was a woman determined to make her point. As you enter these lives from long ago, and experience their luxurious surroundings, you will gain a true and immediate sense of the culture and the history.

And on it goes. The people, the history, the passion, and the humanity… All of these surround you on a trip to France. You will be intrigued and awed, captivated and enthralled. Every day of your visit will be intensely interesting, as well as surrounded by carefully orchestrated beauty.

A Feast for the Senses

Your senses will be stunned for the entire time you are in France. The sights are beautiful beyond description. The Eiffel Tower in Paris rises up like a giant erector set, with an elevator to take you to the top for views out over the Seine and the city. At night the tower is set aglow, best to be viewed from a boat as it drifts along the Seine, passing under one lovely bridge after another.

The Orsay, once an elegant turn-of-the-century train station that was built to welcome guests to the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, now houses a startling collection of impressionist art – Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Dégas, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat – within a building that is itself an historic, architectural treasure. Here you will be able to lunch in the grand ballroom of the former grand hotel attached to the train station, and look through the glass of the giant clock that faces the river and makes this building distinctively easy to spot.

There is more and more to come… The glories of Notre Dame. The remarkable stained-glass windows of Saint Chapelle Chapel… The beautiful flowers and statuary of Tuileries Gardens… The onslaught of visual sensations of the Champs-Élysées… The towering Arch de Triomphe, facing the smaller Arch in front of the Louvre at the other end of the five-mile grand boulevard where Napoleon pictured himself leading a march of his victorious armies.

There will be the glorious tastes of the food and wine. You will hear marvelous music of all sorts, from the Vivaldi at Saint Chapelle, to the lively piano bars and boat bars along the left bank of the Seine in Paris and atop Mont St. Michel, to the mighty organ of Notre Dame. You will walk through flower markets, vivid with colors and scents, and shop at weekly markets, alive with people and all manner of tempting offerings.

This assault to the senses will remain with you in memory long after your travels are over.

Intro to the Good Life

The last, but certainly not the least, reason to visit France is that it will introduce you to another, and a better, way of life. You will experience a different manner of interpersonal interaction in France – more engaged, curious, outgoing, and animated. The French truly recognize the importance of enjoying the best of life.

Here dining is a delightful experience, not just a stop to refuel. Food is an art form, combined always with the ideal wines to enhance the meal. Waiters take pride in their work, striving to make dining a memorable occasion by offering up their expertise, and carefully guarding your right to take all the time you need to enjoy your meal without feeling rushed.

People in France are carefully polite with each other, and will be with you. You always will be addressed as ma’am or sir, and asked with a please, followed by a thank you. Cordiality is not only suggested in France, it is expected and omnipresent. You will quickly grow to anticipate and appreciate this.

From the first moment you walk down a street passing all the umbrella-shielded outdoor tables of the cafés, you will notice that this is a culture where people gather together to enjoy each other’s company. Old, young, families, singles, rich, modest, fashionable, artistic, intellectual – everyone is out in the squares and along the avenues, drinking in cafés and eating in restaurants. It becomes easy to join in and be stimulated by the lively, friendly atmosphere. Musicians wander the streets, from old men playing accordions outside the restaurants, to full jazz bands playing in city squares. And because the house wine is so inexpensive, stopping off for a glass or a carafe is a customary, not an exceptional, occurrence.

At the tables that surround you at these cafés, you will notice couples engaged in animated conversation, looking intently into each other’s eyes. France is a culture of philosophy and art, science and technology, style and literature, and of love. As you take all this in, you may begin to find it has an impact on you and how you yourself relate to others. You’ll notice yourself listening more actively, expressing yourself more earnestly and clearly, paying closer attention, acting more considerately, showing more curiosity and interest.

The luxury of time for all this gathering together is in part thanks to the French commitment to keeping an optimal balance between work and life. Shops close for lunch so workers can focus their attention on enjoying a good meal and the company of friends and colleagues. Employees who work 39 or more hours a week must receive more than the legally-required five weeks of vacation per year.

While you are traveling in France, you will come to enjoy and to expect this higher level of connection, this enhanced appreciation of food and wine, this better balance between work and life. You will never forget what you have learned about a different, and better, way of living life.

Planning The Best Yacht Vacations

Check the references of previous travelers who were satisfied with a chartered yacht trip. In this way, you can narrow your choices for a great charter company. Your entire trip depends on having a good boat and someone who has the knowledge to operate it. The experienced captain is always the greatest choice for being safe out on the sea.

Making the plans for a great chartered adventure means selecting the right time of year for an area you want to visit. Timing is important to the weather and to making sure you have the best chances for good weather. If you know about where you would like to sail, calling and discussing this area with a professional captain is a great way to make the right choices.

Choosing the area you want to visit can help determine the charter crew you select as well. In most areas, you can find reliable tour captains. Several different kinds of trips are generally available with one company. Once you have a destination worked out, talking over the details with the captain is always best.

The kind of experience you are after is determined by the type of boat you select. Some trips are better suited for motor yachts while others offer optimum sailing. The boat you need for adventuring with the waves is completely different than the one you need for slow cruising. Consider the number of people going along with you also when thinking about the best boat for the trip.

Planning ahead is vital to securing the charter company you prefer. This is especially true around popular holidays. Call ahead of time for making your reservations as early as possible. By doing so, you have more time to prepare for your vacation. You also have more time to work with in the event there are unexpected changes in your plans.

Travel to New Zealand

If you are wishing to know how to fly to New Zealand, then there are a number of ways to do that. If you are departing from Europe, then you can fly via Dubai, or if you are departing from northern Asian countries, then you can travel via Bangkok or Singapore. The travel time to New Zealand by direct flight is between 14 hours (Los Angeles) and 22 hours from most Northern Hemisphere departure points. If you are travelling from the UK or Europe, then you are wise to allow an over-night stopover at such cities as Dubai, Bangkok or Singapore.

If you are ‘over airports’, and don’t have a tight deadline and are looking to take your time and make the most of you holiday, then you may want to look at travelling to New Zealand by ship, which is a great way to take a relaxing holiday. Cruises are becoming very popular because they offer a stress-free way to get you your destination.

The other advantage is that when you do get to New Zealand, cruising is a great way to see the country. There are around seven ports where cruise liners berth, including the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Tauranga, Gisborne, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin as well as Milford and Doubtful Sounds (scenic cruising), and so day excursions are available for those who like to go on-shore to enjoy a close up experience of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery.

Cruising offers the benefit of not having to pack and unpack your suitcases every day compared to travelling by coach or car and staying in hotels. The meals are fabulous, and of course you get to sleep in the same bed each night. You always have the company of other travellers if you so wish, or you can retire to your own lounge area or cabin if you are looking for some solitude.

Cruises are a fun way to travel, with on-board entertainment provided, fabulous meals – in summary, fun, food and friends, and of course these days they are a great way to experience a whole family holiday. Cruises have ‘something for everyone’, no matter what the age.

Cruises leave from a number of Northern Hemisphere ports including Southampton in the UK, Fort Lauderdale (near Miami), Los Angeles and San Francisco in the US and Cape Town in South Africa. If you are travelling from Asia to New Zealand by ship, then the departure ports are Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Bangkok, Ho Chi Ming City, Singapore and Bali.

Explore the Burgundy Canal

Peace and Tranquillity Prevail

The real joy of going on a barge cruise in France on the Burgundy Canal is the peace and tranquillity that you will experience. Burgundy is an especially beautiful region, and you will find yourself passing by rolling hills, stunning countryside and ancient villages.

You can listen to the sound of birdsong, watch the cattle in the fields beside the canals, and enjoy a truly relaxing experience on board. A typical barge cruise will take you about 60 miles along the canal, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the passing scenery.

Travel in a Converted Barge

A barge cruise in France through Burgundy offers many options, but one of the best is travelling in a converted barge. Many of these date back to the early 20th century when they were used to transport goods along the canal, and some of them have now been converted into luxury barges – often referred to as floating hotels. These elegant barges afford you the utmost in comfort and there is often a dining room, bar, sun deck and cabins with en-suite bedrooms, making it the perfect way to travel in style.

What to See

As well as simply watching the beautiful countryside pass by, you may find that you are able to go on various excursions ashore when the barge docks. These may involve a drive out to a nearby town or village of interest, where you can see attractions including cathedrals, châteaux, abbeys and markets. You may also be able to enjoy a wine tasting or a meal in a restaurant.

Why You Should Travel Alone

A Chance To Be Adventurous!

After 18+ years of being told what to and what not to do, travel lets you try new things like skydiving, whitewater rafting, that strange delicacy in Thailand and other things you never tried at home.

Self-Discovery

Seventy-eight percent of young travellers want to learn something when travelling. Uncover your hidden art critic at the Louvre in Paris or find your passion for ancient architecture at the Acropolis in Athens.

Bragging Rights

Fifty-six percent of your friends want to travel as a result of your posts because travel is excellent, not just because you are an expert at selecting the perfect phone filter. The only thing better than seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up at night is how insanely jealous your friends will be when you upload your pictures.

Sharing Common Ground

Two out of three young travellers visit a place that is recommended by friends and family. Don’t be left out. Travelling to places your friends and relatives visited lets you share everyday experiences and stories.

Attainable With Minimal Effort – You Can Do It Now

Remember when you were young and you couldn’t wait to grow up? Well, you’re grown up (not to be confused with old). By taking a tour, it takes the hassle out of travel. When you’ve only got two weeks, you want to make every second count.

Bespoke Family Holidays

The first benefit you will find is that you remain in complete control of your own holiday. You are not just agreeing to what is available, but rather working out what your family wants and what you want to do and then having a holiday that meets all of your holiday needs. This is a great way to go on holiday, as you know that the whole family is going to have the memorable experience that they deserve.

The second benefit of bespoke family holidays is that you can incorporate activities that everyone will enjoy. Depending on where you decide to go and the type of holiday you want (seaside, city or skiing), you will be able to focus on activities around the area so that everyone gets a chance to do something that they enjoy when on holiday, which means the entire family is happy and you all come home relaxed and refreshed, rather than irritated and frustrated.

Then you will find with the bespoke family holidays that you can enjoy your holiday at your own pace. If you choose a specific tour, for example, you will be working to the tour operators pace. When choosing one of these holiday experiences, you remain in control and therefore the holiday you have been dreaming of isn’t a rush, you can visit places, spend the day at the beach or find a nearby day spa, if the resort doesn’t have one. Either way, you are guaranteed a more relaxed pace that you and your family can work to.

The bespoke family holidays are arranged just for you. This is a major benefit. You can approach the specialist travel agency, advise them of the type of holiday you want and what your family wants to do and see and they can put a package together that will meet your unique holiday needs quickly and effectively.

In addition to this, the bespoke family holidays can be arranged within your travel budget. Ensure you have a budget in mind before you start shopping around, as this will help you identify what you can afford for the period you want to be on holiday. Remember look for holidays that are all inclusive or include certain activities, as this can reduce your overall cost in the long run, giving you more spending money and ensuring that your budget goes that little bit further.

The final benefit of the bespoke family holidays is the extensive selection that is available to you. You don’t have to simply accept one deal because it sounds good. You can spend some time, find a choice of deals and then identify the one that is going to meet your family’s unique holiday needs and budget.

Ensure you choose a professional bespoke family holiday specials company that works alongside the resorts and hotels to secure you a deal that is guaranteed to impress you and your family this holiday season. Do your research, identify the company’s strengths and identify what deals that they have that makes them your number one choice.