S’poreans share their favourite, lesser-known spots to visit in Taiwan

No more gatekeeping.

| Gawain Pek | Sponsored | June 06, 2024, 05:55 PM

Night markets in Taipei, sky lanterns in Shifen, or Sun Moon Lake in Central Taiwan.

These are the usual tourist haunts that often pop up on my Instagram feed or stories whenever someone I follow goes to Taiwan.

If you’re a returning Taiwan traveller looking for somewhere new to visit or a first-timer trying to plan an itinerary, good news.

I spoke to several Singaporeans and got them to un-gatekeep their best-kept Taiwan travel secrets.

Here’s what they shared.

Shopping at Shen Ji Village, Taichung

Timothy, 27, was recently in Taiwan in April 2024 with his partner.

The duo spent time in Taichung.

One of the places they went to was Shen Ji Village.

“There’s a lot of handmade and artisanal crafts there. Not something you can get in night markets or shopping malls,” the duo shared.

Photo courtesy of Timothy.

If you are curious about a maker’s market with cute and unique trinkets on offer, Shen Ji Village in Taichung is the place to go.

The duo recommends visiting during the weekends as more booths will be open for business then.

There are also art cafes and other shops nearby if you need to duck indoors for a quick break.

Favourites in Wanhua, Taipei

The most popular spot in Wanhua, Taipei, is definitely Ximending Night market.

However, Josh, 26, offered some alternative spots in the district to check out.

Tofu as crispy as it is stinky

If trying smelly tofu is on your bucket list of things to do in Taiwan, it’ll be worth visiting this stall that’s away from the main night market area.

With its crispy tofu skin, the deliciousness of the dish speaks for itself, according to Josh.

Photo courtesy of Josh.

Cabbage-topped stinky tofu. Photo courtesy of Josh.

“I don’t know what to say, it’s just good,” Josh said.

Josh is a self-proclaimed “stinky tofu connoisseur”, so honestly I’d take his word for it and add this spot to my Taipei bucket list.

Ah Pa Cui Pi Chou Dou Fu Xi Men Dian (smelly tofu spot)

  • Address: 108, Taiwan, Taipei City, Wanhua District, Kangding Rd, 83號一樓 (Google Maps)

Retro cafe to shelter from the weather

If the weather becomes a bit too much for you to handle like it did for Josh, you can duck into heartspot café.

“The cafe’s really retro, and there’s a museum downstairs as well,” Josh shared.

“The owner’s really friendly too and has a cute dog,” he added.

Photo courtesy of Josh.

Photo courtesy of Josh.

For vintage enthusiasts or anyone curious, the café also has a collection of vinyls and cassette tapes.

heartspot cafe

  • Address: No. 94號, Longchang St, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108 (Google Maps)

Good views and vibes at Yanping Riverside Park, Taipei

If you’re thinking of taking a casual stroll after stuffing yourself with food, you can head to Yanping Riverside Park.

It was what Chester, 27, and his group of friends did.

Aside from soaking in the riverside views, the group also caught a dance performance when they were there.

The riverside also has eateries if you feel like getting a cheeky snack.

Riverside views. Gif courtesy of Chester.

Gif courtesy of Chester.

Gif courtesy of Chester.

If you’re looking for a nice place outdoors to chill and catch a breath of fresh air when in Taipei, consider Yanping Riverside Park.

Yanping Riverside Park

  • Address: Diwai Rd, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103 (Google Maps)

One for the outdoor lovers in Taichung

While Singaporeans are frequent visitors to Taiwan, locals would know best.

I reached out to Eva, 23, who is Taiwanese but has been studying and working in Singapore for the past six years.

For nature and outdoor lovers, she’s got a great recommendation.

“The Dakeng trails are nice and it’s accessible to literally everyone,” Eva shared.

Photo courtesy of Eva.

“When you climb up, you can see all of Taichung,” she added.

Photo courtesy of Eva.

Photo courtesy of Eva.

After you finish the hike, Eva recommends heading to enjoy taro dessert (see below for the address).

For food, she suggests visiting Zhongxiao Road Night Market.

“What’s special about this night market is that there are so many vegetarian options,” Eva noted.

Vegetarian barbeque, vegetarian fried chicken, and lots of vegetarian noodle joints — plenty to choose from for those with dietary needs.

Some vegetarian dishes at Zhongxia. Photo courtesy of Eva.

A very famous barley milk and green bean milk stall at Zhongxiao, according to Eva. Photo courtesy of Eva.

Eva pointed out that Zhongxia Road Night Market is open till midnight every night.

Dakeng hiking trail

  • Address: Lane 503, Section 1, Dongshan Rd, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 406 (Google Maps)

Lao Yu Zai Yu Yuan (taro dessert spot)

  • Address: 406, Taiwan, Taichung City, Beitun District, 東山路一段408-2號 (Google Maps)

Zhongxiao Road Night Market

  • Address: Zhongxiao Rd, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan 402 (Google Maps)

Win travel incentives worth NT5000 (~S$208)

From now until June 30, 2024, free-and-easy travellers to Taiwan stand to win prizes such as travel passes or hotel vouchers worth up to NT5000 (~S$208).

All you have to do is register on the promotion website at least one day and within seven days before your arrival.

On arrival, simply head to ‘Taiwan — The Lucky Island’ counters found in the arrivals hall and try your luck.

The prize will be sent to your registered email, after which you can head off to enjoy your travels along with your winnings.

For those who’d rather go on group trips and have everything planned out for you, check out these itineraries that will take you through the less-explored spots in Taiwan.

If you’re planning to take a trip this June holidays or the next time you have work leaves to clear, consider going to Taiwan and exploring beyond the usual haunts.

This sponsored article made the writer curious about smelly tofu.

Top image courtesy of Timothy and Eva