Posts for Asia Category

Taipei Travel Guide

China - Ross French - May 7, 2020

Taiwan is divided into several major provinces. For most of the tourists, you will want to pick one of the following two places as your first destination: Taipei and Xinbei, which is commonly known as the northern part of Taiwan; or Kaohsiung and Tainan, which is known as the Southern part.

While many other options exist, you would want to stay within Taipei for their first trip to Taiwan. This is, therefore, a detailed guide showing your way around Taipei.

Traveling and Accommodations

After getting off the plane at Taoyuan Airport, you would have four options: Take the Taoyuan High-Speed Railway, the Taoyuan MRT, Airport bus or Taxi. You will most likely arrive at the Taipei MRT Station if you intend to take any of the public mass transport.

The Taxi is fairly priced – assuming that you are dropping off at Taipei Station, the taxi fare would roughly be 600NT. If you would like to get to your hotel directly, taxis are usually the way to go.

The High-Speed Rail is the fastest (probably even faster than taxi) but also the costliest out of the rest three. MRT and the bus take the same time, so it would depend on your preference. One thing’s for sure: There are so many English signs in the airport to guide your way. You are very unlikely to get lost.

Once you are in the city, you should primarily use the MRT (the local Metro system) to travel around. Most of the city’s attractions are easily accessible using the MRT, but note that the metro system is complex and is considered quite confusing for many first-time visitors, so be prepared to get lost a few times. You can keep on using Taxi or calling Uber, or hop on a bus to experience the city. Also, Taipei is a very walkable city, and you should be able to walk from places to places if you know your way around. It’s your choice!

One last thing: The rate of hotel rooms caters to all markets and rooms are available every time of the year. If you don’t know where to look, hotels near Ximending and Taipei Station, possibly Wanhua and Zhongxiao Dunhua districts are your safest bets.

Attractions

Many of the biggest and most important landmarks in Taiwan, such as the Taipei 101, National Palace Museum and The National Taiwan University are within the city.

Taipei 101 is the tallest building of Taiwan. It is 101 floors high—hence the name—and the top floors comprise two observation decks. This is one of the sleekest buildings of the city, and the best place to have a bird’s-eye view of the city. After you’ve enjoyed the view from above, you should also have a look at the lower floors—it is a mall with a huge food stall serving international food.

The National Palace Museum is not the same as the one in Beijing. They share the same Chinese name (Gu-Gong—literally translated as ‘the old palace’) and have a similar focus: Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks dated back to the Ming and Ching dynasty. While the scale of collection in Taipei is much smaller than the one in Beijing, this is still one of the biggest collections of Chinese artwork out of the world. If you are into art and Chinese culture, check it out.

Lastly, there is the National Taiwan University, which is known as NTU. NTU is the Harvard of Taiwan. While you may not enter campus’ building (Unless you have been invited by someone from the campus), you may take photos on the outskirts of this historical campus. CD shops, book stores and eateries are scattered around here, so even if you are not going inside the campus, there’s no harm in walking around.

Shopping

When compared with other parts of Taiwan, Taipei is well known for being a shopper’s Heaven. SOGO, atre, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi are just some upscale big malls in The Shinyi commercial circle. In there, you should be able to find all the international big brands you know and love.

Taipei is also known for its underground shopping malls. The Taipei Underground Shopping Mall hosts shops that sell tourist goods and souvenirs. It is also famous for selling Japanese Comics, novels, video games and related goods.

One place you should definitely visit would be Ximending, which is a pedestrian walkway a-la ‘night market’. While the business here usually starts in the afternoon, in the evening, Ximending kicks into another gear. You will most likely find people queuing for bubble tea and restaurants, while the shops sell an array of souvenirs and clothing items. Wallets, bags, accessories, clothes, Taiwanese snacks, and many traditionally related goods that can furnish your rooms, can easily be found here.

As for your souvenir wish list, Food is usually your safest bet. Pineapple Cakes, Tea leafs, ‘pork papers’ (pork jerkies which are thin as a piece of paper—this is super crunchy) are some most sought after items that will satisfy even your pickiest friends.

One thing you might not have expected would be books—Taiwan has quite the literature scene. If you know a friend who can read Chinese, why not buy him a book of Yang Mu, one of the greatest modern poets in Taiwan?

With so much to buy and enjoy in Taipei, why not book your tickets now? Fly to Taipei now with Cathay Pacific.

Food

Even without mentioning, you should have heard about bubble tea by now, which is a variant of milk tea with tapioca balls added on, served cold. You will see people drinking this popular drink once you’ve touched down, as bubble tea shops can be found literally everywhere—including the Taoyuan airport.

Besides bubble tea, you would most likely want to taste some local snacks and food. Some of the stuffs you should definitely try include:

1. Xiaolongbao/Meat dumplings

The term literally translated as ‘small cage buns’. It is, however, not a bun, but meat dumplings with soups inside, wrapped in a very thin layer of skin that’s almost translucent. This item does not originate from Taiwan, but it is very popular there.

2. Beef Noodles

While the Beef served with the noodles is nice, what makes a bowl of beef noodles shines is the soup, which could have taken over 24 hours to prepare. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for 24 hours for your bowl, as Beef Noodles can be found in most of the places in Taiwan.

3. Oyster vermicelli

While the name might trick you into thinking this is a noodle dish, this is more like a soup or a snack. Small pebbles of oysters and vermicelli are the main ingredients. Pig intestines are often added. If you think this is some odd Asian flavor, wait until you taste the Umami flavor on the soup, which is usually based on fish stocks or bonito flakes. You will be pleasantly surprised.

4. Fried Chicken cutlet

We are not referring to the American style Wings or the Korean style chicken nuggets, or any of the stuff you have in KFC. Taiwanese like their chicken cutlet fried and sprinkled with spiced salt, sometimes with paprika. It is spicy, crispy and juicy. In short: It’s finger licking good.

You can find many of the food listed here in any of the ‘night markets’ in Taipei. Shilin night market, Shi-Da Night Market and Raohe Street Night Market are some places where you can start looking.

In Conclusion

There is really nothing stopping you from visiting Taiwan. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets to Taipei now.

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The Top Most Attractions of Metropolis Taipei

China - Eric Anderson - March 16, 2018

Taipei is known to be the capital city of Taiwan. This is a contemporary metropolis land with innumerable Japanese colonial lanes is popular holiday destination ideas. In Taipei, you get to see the busy shopping districts and contemporary edifices. Make a list of Taipei attractions and start your journey today. There is the skyline and it is crowned by 509 meters tall Taipei shaped in bamboo.

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The List of the Impressive Seoul Attractions

Asia - Eric Anderson - March 12, 2018

Here you can know about the list of the Seoul attractions. This is the capital city of South Korea. Seoul is a Metropolis, and here you can see the contemporary skyscrapers. You can even see the high tech subways, and the pop culture is sure to best describe the Buddhist temples.

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Things to do in Shanghai

China - Eric Anderson - February 10, 2018

Shanghai attraction

Shanghai is the most developed city in mainland China. It has a population of 23 million people. Shanghai attraction is called Hu for short and a famous international metropolis which is fast becoming the financial capital of the world.

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How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip in India

Asia, Travel Tips - Ross French - February 7, 2018

India is a land of diversity, both culturally and geographically. Backpacking in India, either solo or with friends, is a sure ticket to life and adventure.

But, like any other trip, planning ahead saves you a lot of hassle, money, and time. Planning starts with an itinerary first: places you wish to visit, sights you always longed to see. And that would depend on what kind of trip you’re looking for. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips to make sure you enjoy your first backpacking trip through this wonderful country.

How to Get Around?

India is home to a diverse population. And people from all classes of society have their own ways of functioning. So, you may choose to travel in luxury or you have the option to travel in the most frugal ways one can imagine. You can travel across the country in an extremely cost-effective way if you plan well.
The entire country is crisscrossed by an extensive railway network. If you have time, then traveling by train has its own charm. You get to see different places all day long, meet different people, or chit-chat over a cup of tea.

High-end trains have AC compartments, which are comfortable and cool, but there are also non-AC compartments that are cheaper. But don’t expect train rides to be as quiet as back home. The hustle and bustle of Indian trains might throw you off at first, but they do have their charm.

Domestic flights are the best option if you are in a time crunch. All the major cities are connected internally. Spicejet flights operate on an extensive network of domestic routes, which are reasonably priced. Book your tickets online or visit the nearest travel agent.

When traveling around locally within a city, always agree to a price before you board a rickshaw or taxi. Local guides and transport drivers can take advantage if you don’t negotiate well.

Where and what to eat?

When it comes to food, research beforehand on what particular spots are famous for. Every part of India has its own traditional flavors. Not only should you visit famous restaurants in tourist hotspots, but also hang around the local joints to sample more authentic flavors. However, it’s always better to watch the drinking water and consider carrying bottles with you as much as you can.

Where to Stay?

There are a lot of options when it comes to lodging. Once again, you can choose to spend the night at a high-end hotel or choose from low-cost options like guesthouses or hostels. There are also plenty of ‘Dharamshalas’ (rest houses for travelers) if you don’t mind sharing a dormitory you’re your fellow travelers. It would be wise to check for reviews online or from fellow travelers before the trip if you can.

Have fun!

Keep these short tips up your sleeves, and you’ll have a memorable backpacking trip in India. India is a wonderful place to backpack and is full of natural beauty and bustling city life, making it the perfect country for any adventure lover.

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