As a kid, we would stay with my family in Taiwan every other summer. And though I spent some summer breaks here in the U.S., MOST of my childhood memories are from our trips overseas.
My childhood was different from most of my friends. Most of my family is in Taiwan. (My dad was an only child, and I have two brothers here in the states. But my mom is one of seven kids, so I have a handful of aunts and uncles and LOTS of cousins in Taiwan.) When summer break came, we would leave in the first few days and stay overseas until there was less than a week until school.
It was wonderful. We played with our cousins, rode bicycles in the country, tubed streams, walked to the street markets, ate from delicious food carts, rode scooters everywhere (family cars in Taiwan were rare back then), stopped in bakeries ALL the time, and the list could just keep going on and on. I remember the garbage trucks played music like ice cream trucks, my brother and I ate pork floss on ALL our rice and playing hopscotch with candy tins. Looking back, I loved it all. But one of my absolute favorite things to do was the night markets.
There were parts of town where vendors of all sorts (clothes, toys, electronics, shoes, etc.) would pull their wares out to the street on racks, stands, and even blankets on the ground. Food carts lined the streets with anything and everything you could want, and I always wanted the sweet ice dessert. There were games galore like my favorites: pachinko (homemade with nails on wood)and minnow fishing with tissue paper (but my paper always broke).
Night markets are more commercialized now, with some located in large buildings with stalls lining the aisles, food courts, and with more mechanical or electronic games than the old ones I enjoyed. And though I missed my childhood night markets, Little D still had a blast in the modern versions.
This was Little D and Trevor’s’ first trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong, so we did ALL the sightseeing and hiking we could almost every day of the trip (except the day it rained). We primarily took the subway, sometimes the buses, and walked EVERYWHERE. My Fitbit was VERY happy with my step counts. Lol!
We would wake to have breakfast with my family, packed lots of snacks and water, and then left to explore. Some days we would be back for dinner, and some days we enjoyed a meal or two with my cousins, Anne or Stella.
Every day was jam packed with either family to see or places to go, and I absolutely loved the entire trip. Though we were tired when we left, I still felt like I didn’t have enough time. The only thing to do is go back!
This video covers a LOT of sightseeing spots. Have you been? Would you want to go??
✪ Juansi Waterfall Trail – Yangmingshan National Park
✪ Shilin Night Market & Food Court
•great option to try different styles of local cuisine and shop
✪ 228 Peace Memorial Park – 3 Ketagalan Boulevard, Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan
•beautiful architecture and playground for kiddos
✪ Ximending Walking District – No. 9, Lane 50, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
•stocked with restaurants/bars and shops galore – we recommend visiting at night with all the lights
✪ Beitou Hot Springs
•Fantastic hot springs area to walk around and take pictures. If you want to soak in the springs, there is an open to the public location. However you must wear or purchase a speedo from them.
✪ Taipei Public Library > Beitou Branch – No. 251, Guangming Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112
✪ Maokong Gondola – Boarding station at Taipei Zoo Station
✪ Maokong Healthy Trail
•It should probably be called the “Healthy Staircase.” We think it’s called the “Healthy Trail” because you have to be healthy to make it all the way back up the stairs.
✪ Tamsui Waterfront
•Shopping, food, games, and attractions along a beautiful waterfront near a fishing harbor.
✪ Da’an Forest Park – No. 1, Section 2, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan
•giant playground and garden space