Traveling to Taipei, the capital and the most visited metropolitan in Taiwan can be a little perplexing if you don’t know what you are dealing with. Well, worry not, Like It Formosa here has a quick guide for you. In this article, we introduce you to the Twelve districts of Taipei city: each with its famous site and notable feature, and its own reason to shine during your visit!
The Twelve Districts of Taipei City
1. Zhongzheng District
Now, as a traveler coming to Taipei, the first district you need to know is the Zhongzheng District. Whether you arrive in Taipei by plane or by train, you might find yourself ending up here. In other words, Zhongzheng District can be considered the Gate of Taipei city, where both Taipei Main Station and the Airport MRT are located in. Other than that, Zhongzheng district is also the political center of Taiwan, where many of our governmental buildings -- including the Presidential Office of Taiwan -- are situated. Last but not least, you might want to avoid this area at night, not because of personal safety, but because you would run into many exhausted students just getting off Cram Schools and commuters traveling from work-- and there is nothing else they want more besides getting home on time!
2. Wanhua District
Just next to Zhongzheng District and along the Tamsui River is Wanhua District. This district is what we call the Westside Taipei, which is the area of historic Taipei covering Manka - the first settlement of Taipei built by 17-18 century immigrants. Here you will be able to find many older buildings and cultural heritage hidden in the streets. In fact, many of the travelers today might be most familiar with this district, which is known for its high density of cheap hostels, special massages and temples.
3. Datong District
A bit to the north of Wanhua District is the area of Datong District. Datong District covers the historic settlement known as Dadaocheng, where immigrants originally banished from Manka built their community, often dubbed “Loser’s Pit”. Yet in later development, Dadaocheng came to prosperity due to its liberal trading policy and the decline of Manka. Today, you will still be able to see its old-time glory since the 1920s from the diverse style archways on Dihua Street. If you’d like to experience traditional Taiwan, stop by during the Lunar New Year Festival -- you’d understand what we mean by the expression, People Mountain People Sea!
4. Xinyi District
After historic Taipei, many of you might want to see the more modern and flashy side of this city. Next, we take you a bit more East to Xinyi District, the commercial center of Taipei where the city light never dies. In Xinyi District, you will find yourself surrounded by skyscrapers, such as the internationally recognized Taipei 101 and Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, the currently most expensive apartment in Taiwan. Along with headquarter offices of multiple international and domestic industries, this is where many business graduates work for a living by day. At night, however, Xinyi District turns into a more relaxed vibe with its blocks of shopping malls and nightclubs. If you are a fan of Ko-P, our current mayor of Taipei, you would also be able to catch a glimpse of him here near his office at Taipei City Hall!
5. Da'an District
After the shopping and partying scene at Xinyi, you can come to Da’an District for something fresher. Here you will be able to relax in Da’an Park, often dubbed the Lung and the Central Park of Taipei. On the other hand, Da’an District is also home to many of the international students and expats in Taipei, so you are likely to meet up with some of your friends from back home here as well.
In our next blog post, we take you away from the center of Taipei city to districts such as Shilin, Beitou, Wenshan, Zhongshan, Songshan, Nangang and Neihu for more of a vacation getaway. Stay tuned and subscribe!
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