An alternative tour guide to Taipei

by Laurene Mondet

If you want to avoid the noisy hordes of tourists while visiting Taipei, we have selected the best off the beaten path attractions on your luxury outdoor holiday in Taiwan.

You can also find our alternative tour guide to London.

Butcher Knife Massage

If a man comes at you with butcher’s knives, do not run for your life! He simply wants to offer you a massage on your special city break in Taipei. This unique treatment using special blades, has its roots as an ancient massage technique practised by Chinese Buddhist monks for meditation and therapy more than 2,000 years ago. It is said to release the body’s stored energy, increase blood flow and eliminate harmful toxins. The treatment is very simple as the therapists hold a couple of cleavers and strike you repeatedly with the sharp edge. Don’t worry! They bring down the knives with the right amount of force so you aren’t hurt.

Hello Kitty Sweets Cafe

If you are travelling with kids, this place will make their day! Step inside this unusual restaurant and you will feel as if you are in Hello Kitty’s world. The cute pink theme is evident everywhere, from the décor to the food. The whole restaurant is designed like a dining room in a fairy tale. Taste their signature burger made with a Kitty head shaped bun or one of their delicious cakes on your leading family holiday in Taiwan.

Museum of Drinking Water

The Museum of Drinking Water is one of the smallest in Taipei but is really worth visiting. This quiet refuge tells the story of an important part of Taipei’s development. The main reason for visiting the museum is its superb Baroque building dating back to 1908, one of the finest architectural legacies of the Japanese colonial era. Discover this building which used to be the pump room for a waterworks that was a major feature of the city’s early infrastructure on your luxury heritage break in Taipei.

Maokong Gondola

If you want to escape the busy city for some mountain air, this gondola lift transportation system is what you need. The full ride to reach the top takes about 15 minutes and provides amazing panoramas of Taipei. The best season to go there is spring if you want to enjoy the blossoming flowers and walk through the fields full of fresh and green tea leaves. At the end of the day, unwind in a tea house on your luxury nature break in Taiwan.

Five Cent Driftwood House

The Five Cent Driftwood House is a restaurant designed, built and turned into a sculpture by artist, Li-hsiang Hsieh. The house is made from driftwood, railway ties, brick, stone, glass and other natural materials. The interior is massive and full of natural light and the food beautifully prepared and presented on handmade pottery. Visit this wonderful restaurant and experience a special gastronomy getaway in Taipei.

Su Ho Memorial Paper Museum

This museum was established by Chen Su-ho, a long-time paper industry insider. Paper will never seem the same after a visit to this museum. This exhibition boasts amazing Taiwanese paper artefacts, handmade products and models, as well as demonstrations of the traditional process of paper milling. In addition to paper displays, the museum offers classes on papermaking to experience the best city break in Taiwan.

Modern Toilet Restaurant

The Modern Toilet Restaurant has an odd name but is surprisingly popular. The restaurant has a bathroom theme, with colourful toilet seat chairs throughout the restaurant. It also serves food in plates and bowls shaped like Western toilet seats and Japanese toilets. The food is as good as the décor so visit the Modern Toilet Restaurant and experience a special gastronomy break in Asia.

Villa 32

Relax at Villa 32, a wonderful spa where you can experience hot springs in a private room, thanks to the geothermal energy in the district of Beitou. The naturally soothing hot springs are known to moisturize skin and ease muscle soreness with a blend of sodium, iron, and calcium minerals. The private rooms are only for two people so if you are travelling with your partner, this is the best way to enjoy a special romantic break in Taipei. An experience not to be missed.

Where to stay?

Les Suites Taipei Ching-Cheng offers a peaceful oasis within easy reach of Taipei’s main attractions. Each rooms feature the finest amenities with a unique contemporary look. Unwind in the stylish lounge and enjoy a delicious cocktail on the luxurious terrace garden. This ideal city sanctuary is a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing.

If you are planning a trip to Turkey, have a look at our alternative guide to Istanbul.

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A destination for every age… - by Laurene Mondet