Introduction: This is where my list really starts to bunch up. The countries #2-6 could really be in almost any order, and it is almost impossible to choose. Any of these next six countries I would love to return to; if you have never been to any of them, I suggest you make them very high priorities to visit next.
Local Cuisine (how good the cities local cuisine/food was): 10/10
I love Taiwanese food. In case you have never had it before, some of my favorite dishes are Taiwanese beef noodle soup, scallion pancakes (same as Shanghai), xiaolongbao (again same as Shanghai). Just as an example, Din Tai Fung was started in Taiwan; if you like Din Tai Fung, you will love the food in Taipei. Also, if you are a sweets person, Taiwan has some of the best boba in the world. There is something for everyone regardless of whether you like main dishes, snacks, or desserts.
Scenery/Beauty (how pretty/cool the sites and nature were to look at): 9/10
I did not even get to see some of the most of the beautiful natural sites in Taiwan, such as Sun Moon Lake, because these are far outside of the city. Still, with buildings such as Taipei 101, there is still plenty to see within the city. Also, there is Jiufen, which is a place you should definitely take a day trip too. It is considered to be the inspiration for the downtown area in Spirited Away, which makes it popular amongst tourists.
History Monuments (how the city’s historical monuments are): 8/10
Taipei also has some great historic monuments like the National Palace Museum and National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. These are both located within the city, so they are both extremely easy to see. If you are a big fan of Chinese history and figures such as Chiang Kai-Shek and Sun Yat-Sen, these are both places you should visit.
Price (how expensive it was to visit the city, not including airfare (lower score means more expensive, higher score means good value)): 9/10
One of the big pluses about Taipei compared to many other countries on this list is the price. Taipei is very affordable; food, transportation, and accommodations are significantly below other major cities. If you are on a budget or are just looking for somewhere cheap to visit, Taipei should be very high on your list.
Non-Local Food (how good food from other places was): 8/10
The non-local food in Taipei is good, but if you go all the way there, I would recommend sticking with Taiwanese food (unless you get tired of eating it). By comparison, the non-local food just won’t taste as good as the local food.
Public Transportation (whether they had trains, subways, buses, etc. and how accessible they were): 9/10
The public transportation in Taipei is very strong, although I would not say it is among the best in Asia. The subway system seemed to be slightly behind Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. It was always punctual and the cars are clean, but I just wish it could have more stops.
Safety (how safe I feel the city is): 10/10
Taipei is a super safe city. I never really went outside the main parts of the city (except to go to Jioufen), but inside the city it is very orderly and secure.
Cleanliness (how clean the city was in general): 9/10
Taipei is a very clean city. Although there are some older areas that seem a little run-down and dirty, the city as a whole is well maintained.
Tourist Friendly (how accessible and accommodating the city is for tourists (mainly English speakers)): 8/10
Taiwanese people are very nice! The only problem is that many restaurants in Taipei are hole-in-the-wall, smaller restaurants. This means that the local owners/shopkeepers oftentimes do not speak the best English. It is a lot easier to get around and find the best places in Taiwan if you can speak either Mandarin or Taiwanese. It is still a great place to visit if you cannot speak either, but it will make your experience even better if you can.
Walkability (how easy it is to walk around the city): 8/10
Taipei has a lot of its major sites concentrated in the city, which makes it easy to walk to places. However, there are a lot of small streets that can make it tougher to navigate. Also, some of the major attractions in Taiwan are located outside of Taipei.
Conclusion: Unfortunately, I have only been to Taipei once, and it was for 3 days. I wish I could have had longer to eat more of the food and to explore more of the city. Still, it was a great place to visit, and it is also a good place for me to practice my Mandarin. I personally find Taiwanese accents the easiest to understand. Overall, Taipei seems like both a great place to live and visit, although be ready for some hot weather!
Total Score (Combined Score of all the categories): 89/100
This is a blog for myself (and hopefully others) to keep track of all of the places, restaurants, books, movies, etc. that I do not want to forget. I am a college student who has lived in the US, Asia, and Europe for extended periods of time; I am very lucky to have had these experiences, and I want to share my recommendations with people interested in any of these locations.
NONE of these posts are advertisements. I do not have any discount codes or promotions for anything I write about; however, this should be considered a positive because it means that everything I write about reflects my true feelings. In order to keep this blog positive, my posts will only be recommendations for the things I enjoy the most in life. The topics will vary between whatever subjects I am interested in at a certain time, and I will have 1-2 new posts per day.
I wish I could have started this project earlier while some of my memories were fresher in my mind, but it is better late than never. I hope that other people will have the chance to visit or experience things that I write about, and I hope that people will have a similar taste in life to myself!