Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

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Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Thu Jan 31, 2019 23:29

My niece is going to visit me in Taipei for a week. After that, she's going to Yilan for a week to do (legal) volunteer work. She's eighteen, a Springbok touch rugby player, and pretty hip. She wants to check out Taipei, but she's not the nightclub/pub type. Where can I take her?

I've never done touristy things, so I'm seriously clueless. She may want to see a beach, but I've only ever been to one (Fulong) and never actually went onto it (stayed sheltered in the pub).

Sure, night markets, the Muzha zoo, Taipei 101, Ximending, The Fuckhead Memorial, Keelong, National Palace Museum, Maokong gondola, Long Shan, etc., but are there places that I could dump her in the morning, and pick her up later in the day after work? She's very independent, and doesn't need me to hold her hand, but she's going to be a little culture shocked and probably scared a bit by the language stuff.

Any suggestions would be MOST welcome.
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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby cranky laowai » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:13

Huashan is worth checking out; it often has a good vibe. But it's not a whole-day kind of place.

Xin Beitou can be nice to wander. She could fit in a visit to a hot spring, though since she will be in Yilan maybe she could just do that over there (e.g., Jiaoxi). And if she's going to be on the east coast she should try to see Taroko, though that is potentially intimidating for a youngster on her own without language skills. Certainly doable, though.

Lots and lots of bike trails, if she's into that.

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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby SlowRain » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:16

What about Jiufen? Not a place to drop her, but she should be able to make her way there.

Yangming Mountain?

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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:20

Thanks, guys! Yeah I forgot about hot springs. Not my thing at all, but I'm she'd love that. Any one in particular in Xin Beitou that is recommended?

Jiufan, Huashan and Yangming are great suggestions. :orz:

There's also that stupid fishing for prawns thing which does have novelty value, I suppose. Oh, and KTV. They way karaoke is done here is quite unique. :smile:
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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby cranky laowai » Fri Feb 01, 2019 18:03

jimipresley wrote:Thanks, guys! Yeah I forgot about hot springs. Not my thing at all, but I'm she'd love that. Any one in particular in Xin Beitou that is recommended?

The best commercial hot spring I've found in the general Taipei area (not that I've been to all that many) is at Tianlai. It ain't cheap, though; and getting there takes some time (a long bus ride from Jiantan). Also, it doesn't have a young-person vibe.

I sometimes go to Spring, which is up the hill at Xin Beitou. They also have a shuttle bus that runs back and forth between the hotel and the MRT station. Not cheap but not entirely exorbitant. If you've got money to burn, the Japanese set meal there is excellent, or at least it was the last time I tried it (10 years ago?). Back in the old days you could get a really good deal there through a coupon from a 7-Eleven ATM. But I haven't seen those on offer for a long while. :sad:

Then there's the Xin Beitou public hot spring, which is right there in the park by the MRT station. It's cheap and renao. It might be the best choice for a young visitor looking to get a feel for Taipei. You probably need your own towel, etc., there. And there may be restrictions on the types of swimwear allowed (e.g., perhaps no bikinis -- but, really, I don't know). (Which reminds me, you should tell her to bring a swimsuit and swim cap to Taiwan.)

Don't forget to tell hot springs newbies to shower before going in the pool.

Also in the Xin Beitou park area:
  • The public library is worth a look, if only to admire the architecture and the open design.
  • The hot spring museum (free or very cheap, I forget which) is worth walking through.
  • The Beitou Museum (up the hill, past Spring) is nice if she's into traditional Japanese design; but this last one has an admission charge. If you're splurging, it would be a great spot to get tea. But, really, it's expensive to eat or drink there. (I don't remember exactly how much, but I've always balked at the price and so haven't ever dined there.)
  • There's a small Zen temple that not too many people know about.
  • The only time I went into the Ketagalan Culture Center I found it boring.
  • The"thermal valley" (a.k.a., hell valley) is something you might as well see as long as you're in the neighborhood. It's at the far end of the park.

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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Fri Feb 01, 2019 19:28

Thanks, cranky. Great suggestions! :orz:

Any ideas for beaches and seaside stuff that's nearby?
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Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby Just Jennifer » Thu Feb 07, 2019 00:39

When will she get here? My kids like to play tour guide and they take friends on short hikes (Elephant Mountain, Battleship Rock) and on outings to the zoo, CKS, 101, Danshui, Ximen. My older daughter is 18 and spends so much time with kids younger than her that she loves every opportunity to be with people her age. I won’t volunteer her (I don’t do that) but can see if she’d be up for an outing or two.


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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Thu Feb 07, 2019 00:57

Just Jennifer wrote:When will she get here? My kids like to play tour guide and they take friends on short hikes (Elephant Mountain, Battleship Rock) and on outings to the zoo, CKS, 101, Danshui, Ximen. My older daughter is 18 and spends so much time with kids younger than her that she loves every opportunity to be with people her age. I won’t volunteer her (I don’t do that) but can see if she’d be up for an outing or two.

I shall contact you later, Jennifer. Thanks! :heart:
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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby Just Jennifer » Thu Feb 07, 2019 16:38

jimipresley wrote:
Just Jennifer wrote:When will she get here? My kids like to play tour guide and they take friends on short hikes (Elephant Mountain, Battleship Rock) and on outings to the zoo, CKS, 101, Danshui, Ximen. My older daughter is 18 and spends so much time with kids younger than her that she loves every opportunity to be with people her age. I won’t volunteer her (I don’t do that) but can see if she’d be up for an outing or two.

I shall contact you later, Jennifer. Thanks! :heart:


Looking forward to it!


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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Thu Feb 07, 2019 19:13

Just Jennifer wrote:When will she get here?

Jennifer, she will be with me for the first week in July; the next week will be Yilan, planting vegetables and rice and working the fields. She's strong, fit and healthy, but nothing can prepare her for the heat and humidity that she's going to encounter. :smile:
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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby Just Jennifer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 01:41

Oh no, we’re all going to be in Guam at that time! Let me see if I know any other teens/young adults her age who might enjoy showing her around their city. I’ll also ask my girls for some ideas.


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Re: Niece Visiting. Where to Take Her?

Postby jimipresley » Fri Feb 08, 2019 01:48

Just Jennifer wrote: Let me see if I know any other teens/young adults her age who might enjoy showing her around their city. I’ll also ask my girls for some ideas.

That would be wonderful. Thank you so much! :heart:
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