In 36 hours, you can visit a national park, climb a volcano, discover antiquities from the Ming dynasty, do some high class shopping, take in a night market, observe some religious rites and watch the changing of the guards.
Be sure to visit one of Taiwan's 8 national parks. Due to the country’s subtropical climate and plentiful rainfall the national parks are a thing of wonder to behold, full of a diverse range of flora nestling in the shadows of volcanic mountains and alpine forests. Visit the Alishan park where you can find a forest with a 2,000 year old tree that has stood tall since the Roman Empire.
Climb a volcano
On Taipei’s northern edge you can find Yangmingshan, a dormant volcano sitting in a national park. There are around a dozen well-maintained trails up to the mountain peaks. In the surrounding area there are a variety of hot springs some of which are maintained by the local government and are free of charge.
National palace museum (Taipei)
To experience ancient Chinese culture the National palace museum has the largest (and best) collection of antiquities originating from mainland China. These artifacts were removed from the Forbidden City in Beijing before the Communist takeover in 1948. You will find the largest collection of Chinese art and artifacts - calligraphy, paintings, porcelain - from the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties.
Shopper’s delight (Taipei)
Any shopaholic worth their salt should check out the SOGO department where you can find a great selection of high-end international brands. Expect impeccable service and discover a more formal way of shopping. Check out the food courts on floor B1 and B2.
Visiting a night market is a cheap way to sample a wide variety of Taiwanese food in a fun, bustling environment. Different markets specialise in different delicacies but make sure you look out for noodle soups, bean sprout stew, stewed spare rib, oyster omelette and glutinous rice amongst the array of food on offer.
Longshan temple (Taipei)
To understand more about Taiwanese religious practices, visit the Longshan temple built in 1738. Here you can observe the Taiwanese performing religious rites to Guanyin, the goddess of compassion amongst decorative flowers and swirling incense.
Chiang Kai-shek memorial hall (Taipei)
The memorial hall was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former president of the Republic of China. The building has a striking design with sparkling white walls contrasting with a bright blue octagonal roof. The building is surrounded by some of Taipei’s finest gardens. The memorial hall is a centre for cultural activities within the city. There is a changing of the guard ceremony every hour between 9:00 to 17:00 at the 4th Floor Bronze Statue Hall in front of the large statue of Chiang Kai Shek.