All month long we celebrate Ireland. From the music, to the festivals, to its famous coastlines and castles. Book our sweeping castle tour and spend an afternoon at falconry school. To get you ready, our travel experts share some of their best packing essentials. We also welcome three new advisors to the team.
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
This month, corporate and leisure Asia specialist Kathy Chou takes us to one of her favorite destinations, her native Taiwan. A frequent visitor, she understands why interest in this magnificent island and its capital Taipei is heating up.
Why should people visit Taiwan?
Taiwan is still an under-the-radar, undervalued gem, with a rich cultural and spiritual heritage, gorgeous natural resources, and incredible hospitality. Taipei is a vibrant capital, making it the perfect gateway to an unforgettable Asia adventure. For photographers and nature lovers who want to explore the island, it’s a dream come true, boasting Northeast Asia’s tallest peak, stunning gorges and rock formations, coral reefs, and the world-famous Sun Moon Lake. Taipei also gives the U.S. dollar an extra boost compared to nearby Hong Kong and Tokyo.
What top things are on your Taipei ‘must do’ list?
- Go to historic Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf for the freshest seafood and famous river views.
– Soak in the world class hot springs. They are considered a widely practiced healing art.
– Visit an organic tofu farm to see how the silken soybean staple is made.
– Check out the stunning views of the city from the observation deck of Taipei 101.
– Marvel at the masterpieces in the famous National Palace Museum.
– Hop on the subway for a clean, safe ride, with award-winning architecture and art installations.
Taiwan is a culinary paradise. What dishes should visitors definitely try?
Eating is heaven here! Start the day with traditional sesame flat bread and a cup of fresh soybean milk. Dive into a night market for rows of mouthwatering Taiwanese street food. From famous soup dumplings to fish cakes simmered with daikon, fresh oyster omelet, roast pork steam buns, and even a plate of stinky tofu. Also, the coffee bars and artisan tea houses have amazing deserts.
What is the best time of year to go?
It’s a year-round destination with diverse geographic and temperate zones. Summertime can be very hot and humid.
Where should you stay?
High end favorites in Taipei include the Shangri-la Far Eastern, with amazing buffet breakfasts and stunning views. The new W hotel is sexy and chic. The Mandarin Oriental opens this spring, keeping Taipei on its fast http://www.medicineid.com track to becoming a leading luxury destination.
Any tips for first timers to Taiwan?
Taipei is a city that never sleeps, so don’t worry about jetlag too much. Choose accommodations near a park by day, and night market after dark. Learn a few phrases in the Taiwanese dialects. It will earn you more than a few smiles.