Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip

Walking aimlessly – it’s a curative exercise for one’s wandering soul, passionate heart, and restless mind.
It’s a refresher of sorts for the senses, to just see and accept, and to take in all that you can experience.

It’ll be such a pleasure to be able to do just that in Taiwan. Here, we recommend a slow-paced, relaxed, and easy walking trip in going through Taiwan’s mix of iconic and alternative attractions:

DATONG DISTRICT

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy
Oh, what a lovely day to walk in streets that are wide and clean, passing by the locals who are kind and polite. Datong District is a breath of fresh air from the bustling metropolis we’re used to in Manila. It’s where you should go for a walk-through of the local city lifestyle, and you’ll definitely appreciate it for its simplicity.

It’s where you can take advantage of the fresh air and good weather too, as Datong District is a friendly place for bike rides and afternoon strolls. You can go there to find your little nook where you can have some tea, or maybe cross your fingers and hope to walk into an occasional puppet show performance. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Left and right are trades of all sorts, giving the place of known historic significance its bright and new energy.

DIN TAI FUNG

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

Wake up early in the morning to stop by the world-famous xiao long bao restaurant, Din Tai Fung. That way, you can enjoy your steamed dumplings and noodles without having to wait in line for hours.

But that’s not all, as the gem of the place goes way beyond the comforting taste of the food. Another way to experience it is to witness the serious work that goes into its preparation. The well-lit kitchen, their stark white uniforms, the rapid-paced yet precise workmanship, and of course hand-made dumplings, are a marvel altogether.

HUANSHAN 1914 CREATIVE PARK

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

When you walk into any old, historic structure with marvelously airy rooms, high ceilings, large windows, and brick walls, it’s hard not to take advantage of such a well-designed place—especially when you’re an artist in need of space.

Taiwan’s primary arts and creative center has a very hip and industrial look, with many thanks to its well-preserved, Japanese-influenced architecture. Now revived into a performance hub, spaces have been colorfully transformed into a range of themed cafes, pop-up stores, and exhibits.

SONGSHAN CULTURAL AND CREATIVE PARK

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

Taking a walk to stimulate creativity? You’ve probably tried it yourself. And if that works for you, a stroll through the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park might give you an overdose. From the lush greenery that surrounds the site, to the long-standing structures of remarkable make and design, everywhere you look is a source of inspiration.

What draws you to the buildings’ marvelous architectural style are the strong, bold lines and shapes conquering the large open spaces, and at the same time, creating symmetric patterns that make up the structures. And it doesn’t end there, because upon entering the site, you’ll find multi-functional rooms that have been turned brilliantly into exhibits of varying themes.

STAR HOSTEL

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

When you’re after the low-key, authentic experience, hostels are always the right choice for temporary shelter. Star Hostel offers you not just a hip and humble abode, but a very homey one, too. You’re actually welcome to walk and lounge around the place in your pajamas, as you enjoy your free tea and breakfast to your heart’s content.

Other noteworthy elements about the hostel are the low wooden tables and bean bags that seem to be made for cozying up with friends for conversations, or finding your me-time to read, write or draw; the cool bunk beds; the floor-to-ceiling windows that lets just the right amount of natural light in; the industrial ceiling; and the unusually charming posts, which are slightly dilapidated but are painted white for a clean look.

SUHO MEMORIAL PAPER M– USEUM

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

The SuHo Memorial Paper Museum is not the typical place for travelers to visit, but you’ll definitely appreciate it if you’re into arts and crafts, DIY, and ultimately, all things that are made from scratch.

The place was founded by the Su-Ho family, with the earnest intention to preserve the tradition of paper-making. The museum is small and modest, but worth the side trip for the sake of education, and of course, getting to experience making paper on the rooftop!

TAIPEI FINE ARTS

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Immersive and interactive art are featured in this three-story complex, allowing you endless ways to nurture your creative side.

Inside the museum’s fine architecture, wide open spaces, high ceilings, and vast corridors are an impressive mix of quirky installations, modern art pieces, and a chance to engage in activities you’ll remember forever.

JIUFEN

Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy Taiwan, Through a Walking Trip | Design Made Happy

It’s a popular tourist destination, and is definitely worth the walk. Jiufen, after all, is a fascinating place to be. It’s bustling but not chaotic; lively, but not noisy. It’s got rows and rows of food stalls, each lined with a bevy of lights and colorful décor, inviting you for some tea and taro, or perhaps a sip of their local beer—which is remarkably good!

The old town of Jiufen is a great way to see the rural side of Taiwan, and yes, a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean as well.

Photos by Gen Abad and Janina Santos

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