It’s been nearly a month since my Taiwan trip has ended and I still feel the excitement of exploring New Taipei City. From alluring nature treasures to friendly people and enthralling histories to vibrant gastronomy offerings, New Taipei City is definitely a destination that travelers from all around the world should visit.


Read on, as I will share my experience discovering Taiwan’s most populous city, New Taipei City. Feel free to bookmark this as your reference on where to go or what to do while being in the city.

So, shall we start?


New Taipei City

I bet most of you are aware the presence of Taipei but only some realize the existence of New Taipei, which is located in Northern Taiwan and surrounding the city of Taipei. It is also considered a part of the Taipei Metropolitan Area.

Image via 7-Themes
Formerly known as Taipei County, New Taipei is an extension of Taipei and is the home to more than 3.9 million people. The interesting part about this city is that it has a quite diverse environment, from industrial, coastal regions and mountainous districts.

There are eight main districts in New Taipei which include Banqiao (located in the city centre), Luzhou (residential district), Bali (famous tourist destination), Pingxi (known for Sky Lantern Festivals), Tamsui (historical district), Xindian (located to the south of Taipei), Yingge (known for pottery and ceramic makers), Yonghe and Zhonghe (suburb districts).


One of the city’s gems is the local people. Their politeness is evident when I wandered around most places in the city and I greatly welcomed with warm a smile from them. I have experienced it and pretty much sure that you will get the same too.

This clearly indicates that their local people are still the city’s most beautiful “scenic attraction”. And there are more, I believe.


New Taipei City at A Glance

Currency: Taiwan dollar (NTD)
Credit card: Credit card is widely used mostly at major shops and malls.
Electrical outlet: Two vertical slots (same as Canada and United States).
Language: Taiwanese speaks various languages. Mandarin Chinese is their official language. Meanwhile, English is not widely spoken at less-visited places.
Timezone: Same time zone with Kuala Lumpur, UTC +08:00.
Climate: Climate based on seasons – winter (December to February), spring (March to May), summer (June to August), autumn (September to November).


Internet Package

Getting connected to the Internet seems so important to most of us. I am sure you might ask this question later. 


The Internet package in Taiwan is quite reasonable. I decided to take the 5-day pass package from Chunghwa telco, which offers unlimited data and NTD50 voice call for just NTD300 (approximately RM42).

I am satisfied with the speed and coverage. Not bad.


Getting There

Plane
There are various direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Taipei (Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport) including Air Asia X, China Airlines, Malindo Air, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and EVA Air. This airport is the closest to New Taipei City.

Train
Travelling by train to New Taipei City is possible. Banqiao Railway Station is the major hub in the city, which connects the railways, Taipei MRT and Taiwan High-Speed Rail.

Bus
Inter-city bus services are widely available and mostly arrive and depart from Banqiao Railway Station’s terminal. You could travel to somewhere in the city or nearby regions.

MRT
Among all transportation modes, MRT is the most convenient choice to travel between Taipei and New Taipei City. There are four main lines covering various districts, Danshui, Banan, Zhonghe and Xindian Line. 





My experience taking MRT from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to New Taipei City was smooth and easy. The coach is pretty comfortable where designated space is provided for you to store your luggage and you can enjoy free WiFi connection on the train.


Attractions

Mitsui Outlet Park Linkou (MOP)

When you just landed or about to fly and you feel like spending your cash on some fancy brands, simply head to Mitsui Outlet Park Linkou (you can take MRT from Taoyuan International Airport). 



You can find some international as well as local and normal brand stores here such as Uniqlo, Clarks, Godiva, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Levi’s, Quicksilver, Samsonite, Michael Kors, Adidas, Nike and much more. Prices depend on the offers and promotions. 


On top of that, there are a variety of dining options here. You may choose whatever you feel like eating (from Asian to western cuisine). For a short entertainment, go watch some of the latest movies at the cinema. A perfect way to end your tour at MOP.


Getting here with MRT?

Take the MRT and stop at Linkou Station and MOP is located 5 minutes away from the station. Click here to find out more about transportation to MOP.


Banqiao Nanya Night Market

When traveling to foreign countries, one of the best things I love to discover is anything local be it food or place. When I visited New Taipei City, one thing that pops into my mind was a local market. Taiwan is popular for its vibrant night markets, which is a thing that travelers should not miss. 


In New Taipei City, you can visit BanQiao Night Market or locally known as NanYa Night Market to get a taste of their local ambiance. It is the largest market in the district and one of the most popular markets in New Taipei City along with Shilin Night Market and Feng Chia Night Market. 


This market is dubbed as “Gourmet Paradise” mainly for the tantalizing food offerings such as stinky tofu (maybe you should try this. LOL), fried crabs, oyster dishes, black meatball and more. Though there is nothing much choice for Muslim travelers to eat, you can still wander around and see what the local do and sell. Oh, please try some of their cakes, teas or snacks. Just remember to check on their ingredients first. 


Besides food, you may check out other things like clothes, gadgets and some cool childhood games. Most are reasonably priced, as it is a night market and tourist attraction.


Fullon Hotel Taipei

The first hotel that I stayed while in New Taipei City is Fullon Hotel Shenkeng located at Beishen Road in Shenkeng District. It’s a Muslim-friendly accommodation that offers great services and facilities. 


The hotel is located nearby some popular attractions such as Maokong Cable Carts and Taipei Zoo. Ask for a complimentary shuttle service from the hotel to Taipei 101. 


The room is comfortably equipped with basic essentials including Qibla direction. Guests can enjoy free access to the gym, swimming pool and sauna, which I did not get the chance to explore because I was exhausted exploring the city. LOL. 


One thing that I love about this hotel is that they serve a special dish for Muslim guests (kindly inform them when you book your room). Most of the staffs are able to speak English, which I found pretty accommodating.

Check out their official website to find out the rates and other info.

Taiwan Video


That’s it for the part one. I’ll spill more in part two and three real soon. Click here to read my Taiwan journey.