If you have been to Taipei and done all the touristy stuff available, what’s next in the city? Perhaps, hang out in the hipster neighbourhoods, chill at a café for brunch or coffee with the company of a good book!
Here are three areas that you could consider when in Taipei for a start:
#1: Di Hua Street (迪化街)
Di Hua Street was historically an important marketplace for Chinese medicinal herbs and tonics, as well as fabric. Many of these shops are still there today. However, in the midst of these traditional herbal shops in the preserved historical buildings, more and more art studios and lifestyle stores have sprouted, exuding an undisputed charm to the area.
- Beimen Station, Exit 3. Walk north across Civic Blvd. along Tacheng St.
- Daqiaotou Station, Exit 1. Cross Minquan West Rd. and west four blocks to the north end of Dihua St.
#2: Yong Kang Street (永康街)
Home to the original Din Tai Fung restaurant, Yong Kang Street is a well-visited area by tourists to explore the lanes and alleys for both cafes and local street food alike.
Besides the food, there were also a number of independent boutiques and homeware stores. We even came across a German bakery there!
Located very near the Dong Men metro station, this is a good place to while some time for a walk and a meal if you do not have anything planned in Taipei. Given its centralised location, it is a good resting point before you proceed to other attractions such as Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall and Shi Da Night Market.
- Dong Men Station, exit 4 or 5.
#3: Fu Jin Street (富錦街)
I visited Fu Jin Street on a weekday morning and concluded that this was a sleepy, quiet residential neighbourhood dotted with hipster shops and cafes.
Located away from the busy city centre, the area exuded a distinctive laid-back and creative atmosphere. The best time to visit Fu Jin Street would be some time in the afternoon, as the retail stores there open at around 11am or 12pm.
If you are used to the concentrated and busy shopping district like Xi Men Ding, Fu Jin Street is a stark contrast where the hipster establishments are sparsely located, allowing you to slow down your pace and enjoy the quiet surroundings. A stroll along the area is reminiscent of a walk at Tanjong Pagar or Tiong Bahru in Singapore!
- 5-10 minutes’ walk from Songshan Airport Station