Come with me on a step-by-step journey through the streets of Taipei, Taiwan. I had never been to Taiwan, so it was new to me. My journey in the city started at the airport around 8:35 am and ended around 6 pm. I was out and about all day exploring the city. In this article, I will tell you how I went about exploring a foreign city with a stranger that I picked up along the way. Yikes!
A stopover is a long layover. A stopover is general a connection of 24 hours or more, and you leave the airport. On my returning flight from Bali to Chicago, I opted for a 24-hour stopover in Taipei, Taiwan. I arrived on a Monday night around 11:45 pm and spent the night in the airport lounge.
This was not any old lounge. In this lounge, I had my own room, which included a bathroom. It was basically like a mini-hotel. I was also able to eat and relax with a glass of white wine.
The next day started at around 7:00 am. I got dressed and headed to the tourist center in the airport. First, I decided where I wanted to go and marked the destinations on my map. I knew that I wanted to go to Lungshan Temple, to eat, shop, and head to Taipei 101 to see one of the tallest buildings in the world from the very top. I marked the two main locations on a map that I got from the tourist center in the airport.
Next, I got money out of the ATM, went to the currency counter to break down my banknotes, and bought a train ticket, which is a small token.
I met a cool girl named Lisa. She walked up to me and stated that she was there on a mission trip, and her flight was not until later in the day. She thought that I looked like a nice person, and wanted to know if we could hang out. I thought it was a great idea. I took her to the ATM, currency counter, and finally got her a train ticket. Then we were off!
Our first stop was Wanhua. Wanhua is Taipei’s most historic neighborhood, and if you want to see old Taipei, this neighborhood is the best place to visit. Our first attraction was the Lungshan Temple. Lungshan Temple is a Chinese religious temple. This temple was built in 1728 by settlers of the Qing dynasty. This temple has a rich history and many stories to tell. The temple was over three hundred years old, but it also survived a bombing raid in 1945. Three thousand eight hundred bombs were dropped in Taipei during World Was II. Sadly, many people died, and the temple was destroyed, but it was later rebuilt. Many religions worship at the temple Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist. The temple is always busy due to a mix of tourist visits, and worshipers.
Next, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We walked a few blocks to Taipei buffet. I had chicken, vegetables, and rice. The food was ok- nothing to rave about, but I did not starve.
Then we went headed back to the train to begin the journey to Taipei 101 shopping mall. The mall was enormous, and it had every store that you could dream of. It had six floors of shopping and an impressive list of luxury brands. I was in Chanel heaven! We stopped at a tea store and had afternoon tea and macaroons.
One of my life goals is to visit the top 10 tallest buildings in the world. Taipei 101 was designed by CY Lee & Partners, an architectural firm in Taiwan. The skyscraper has 101 floors and is 1667 feet high. When it initially opened in 2004, it was the world’s tallest building. We bought tickets so that we could see Taipei from the top of the skyscraper, and it did not disappoint.
We grabbed a drink, and sadly I had to head back to the airport. It’s so hard to say goodbye. We opted to catch the bus back to the airport, and I caught my flight back to Chicago.
Overall, I would say that my journey with a stranger in a foreign country was a success. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
Please note that the airport in Taipei offers free half-day tours. It may be worth it to inquire about it. I opted to explore on my own.
Check out my Youtube video of my visit to Taiwan here:
Have you been to Taiwan? What was your favorite thing to do?