If your idea of a great holiday includes a selfie in front of one of the world’s tallest building, trying out delicious local cuisine, spending a night in a historical building, bargaining at night markets and hiking in a scenic volcanic landscape, then Taipei is the right place for you. The city has long been a popular choice amongst tourists within the region and recently more efforts have been introduced to ensure tourism products in Taipei are Muslim-friendly which enables Muslim visitors to equally enjoy the Fun Taipei experience promoted by the local tourism authorities.
As part of the trip to celebrate Malindo Air’s Inaugural flight to Taipei, the duo behind AzuanZahdi.com (my wife and I) was invited to join a group of Malaysian media professionals to discover what Taipei has to offer to Muslim tourists for 4 days and 3 nights. We were hosted by the local tourism authority but as per the usual AzuanZahdi.com style of writing, our blog posts will be fair and honest insights of our experience.
My #FunAndMuslimFriendlyTaipei stories will be posted based on group of attractions for easy reading instead of the usual chronological order (Day 1, Day 2…). It is only right to start with an attraction not to be missed for Taipei’s first timers like us…
..… the Discovery Centre of Taipei.
This is the right place to get an overview of Taiwan and Taipei including its history, people, economy, development and attractions. The exhibits are mainly interactive which allows visitor to virtually travel across the city and through time in discovering the city in detail.
Oh yes, it is FREE and indoor so a perfect place for taking a short break as well and get some nice air-con or heater depending on which part of the year you’re visiting Taipei.
I love how some of these displays made me felt like I was transported into the old Taipei especially the unique buildings with narrow front but long interior layout.
The modern days of Taipei.
Virtual balloon ride across Zhonghua Road
I particularly like this piece of information. Like KL, Taipei also has a mix of people with different nationality and religions. Tolerance and diversity can be seen at this Xinsheng S Road where a mosque is located next to other places of worships.
A bit of info for the #AvGeeks
As real as a discovery center can be, nothing can beat experiencing an attraction first hand. About 5 minutes’ walk from City Hall is probably the most familiar icon of Taipei….
…..the Taipei 101.
This 509.2metres tall skyscraper is the icon of Taipei and makes a good background for any “I am in Taipei” kind of photos. Getting a photo taken from the base of the building can be quite a challenge so do not forget to take along your ultra-wide angle lens.
Need a better view? Here’s a pro tip: Grab one of this YouBike…
….and cycle your way to the base of Elephant Mountain and hike for about 30-45 minutes to get the best view of Taipei 101 and other skyscrapers. Yes, the kind of view you would usually see on brochures promoting Taipei. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to do that but please go to Elephant Mountain if you can. It is Tripadvisor’s top recommendation for a reason 🙂
After touring the city centre, a good pit-stop would be the Taipei Grand Mosque.
Being the largest mosque in Taiwan, this mosque is the centre of Muslim community in the country and the City. We got the opportunity to perform our prayers as well a meet with one of the Mosque’s representative.
The mosque also serves an important role in advising the various initiatives taken in making restaurants, hotels and facilities provider to be Muslim-friendly.
Another interesting area that we got the chance to visit is the Dadaocheng area.
This “Old Taipei” area is where Dihua Street is located. This is a place that tourists especially photographers would enjoy. Unfortunately it rained and was already dark when we were there hence I did not get a chance to take nicer photos of the more traditional side of Taipei.
Shops along the street selling stuff like dried abalone, herbs and unfortunately something I wasn’t too excited seeing (i could be wrong) – dried Shark Fins.
And of course nice looking tea sets!
If you are a fan of handcraft, drop by at some of the DIY stores to take a look at cute handicrafts that you can take home as souvenirs including the option of taking lessons and creating your own piece of souvenir.
“This is tougher than I expected” 😛
The media gang. Happy faces after a long but fun day.
Definitely a good start for us to get to know Taipei.
This is just the beginning, my stories on the more awesome side of Taipei – the shopping, the great halal food, the awesome hotels and of course the scenic Yangmingshan National Park will be shared in the next few posts 🙂