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New Year's Destinations in Taipei

By Josie Wu Translated by Sho Huang Photos by Andy Lin


Taipei Department of Information and Tourism

The Taipei Department of Information and Tourism was established to promote the development of tourism in Taipei. Those who are interested in exploring Taipei's dining scene or natural attractions are encouraged to check out the website and see what's going on around the city. In this issue, the department's commissioner, Yang Xiao-dong, will introduce a few choice destinations for Chinese New Year.


觀光傳播局局長 羊曉東 觀光傳播局局長 羊曉東
Left: Commissioner Yang enjoys going for a bike ride with his family on weekends; he also highly recommends that citizens to participate outdoor activities.
Right: Commissioner Yang used to be a journalist; he shows great interest in Taiwan Fun.


New Beitou Hot Springs

New Beitou Hot Springs
Established about 100 years ago, Beitou Hot Springs is famous for its rare mineral-laced water. Rows of five-star hotels and long-standing guest houses color the area near the Xin Beitou MRT stop. If you visit the springs, you can hop into a private hot springs room or the public outdoor spa. The surrounding area has a lot of tasty food and impressive flora, as well. If you follow Beitou River, you'll end up in the Ketagalan Cultural Center, which is focused on aboriginal history. A bit farther down the bank you'll encounter Di Re Gu ("hot ground valley"). If you are not into long walks, just visit Taipei City Library's Beitou Branch, which is also surrounded with greenery. Sitting on a wooden bench while listening to the Beitou River is definitely a good start the new year.

Commissioner Yang also noted that his department is setting up health check-ups in ShiLin and Beitou to help everyone start the new year off on a healthy note.


Chinese New Year Shopping Streets

Chinese New Year Shopping Streets
Five shopping malls will set up Chinese New Year shopping streets, so that browsing customers can pick up everything they need in one go. If you want to know more about what is available at which shopping mall, you can also visit the website: www.2008tpe-bigstreet.tw.

Commissioner Yang wants to express that the website was also designed with busy people in mind; its online store is easy to use and enables people to shop from home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Taipei Lantern Festival

Taipei Lantern Festival
For a long time now, the Taipei city government has hosted a large, annual Lantern Festival that features giant animal-of-the-year lanterns. This year is no different. This year, just like in previous years, the government will also give away thousands of miniature lanterns to festival goers. To welcome in the Year of the Rat, colorful lanterns will brighten up RenAi Road and form a tunnel of lights. The festival, which is a symbol of peace that helps preserve traditional culture, will surely be an activity that you won't want to miss.

Commissioner Yang would like to remind everyone to take advantage of Taipei's MRT and bus system when attending the festival.

Dates: Feb. 15 to Feb. 24.
Location: The tunnel of lights starts from RenAi Road and goes to DunHua S Road and the Renai roundabout; the main stage is at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and around Taipei City Hall.


Cable car tour in MaoKong

Cable car tour in MaoKong
Famous for its tea plantations, MaoKong boasts a cable car tour from which tourists can take in a grand view of the area. The whole tour route is about four kilometers long and 300 meters above the ground. The cable car tour starts from the zoo and goes over the valley. From the cable car, passengers get a great view of the mountain and, as the seasons change, the scenery changes as well. Once you reach ZhiNan Temple, the route gets steeper; at one point, the car goes up at an 80 degree angle!

Commissioner Yang suggests that visitors should visit on a weekday, in order to avoid the crowds.


Yangmingshan Flower Watching


Yangmingshan Flower Watching
Besides eating a big meal and visiting relatives, exploring the flower gardens at Yangmingshan might not be a bad idea. To avoid traffic jams and parking headaches, the department specially designed a one-day tour that includes a stroll through Yangmingshan flower beds, views of JuZhi Lake Cella, and Beitou Hot Springs. What's more, a tour guide will show you around and be there to answer your questions.

Commissioner Yang wants to especially welcome visitors from central and southern Taiwan to join the one-day tour. Tour bus' departure times coincide with arrivals from the High Speed Rail; that way everyone around the island can participate.

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