LIFESTYLE

Trendy Taiwan or Fashionista Formosa – whatever you call it, it's famed for both fashion and food. Strategically positioned at the heart of Asia, Taiwan offers scrumptious delicacies and a culture of upscale cuisine, which has become a major draw for foreign visitors. Taipei is a city that serves up food delicacies in astounding variety- dishes from all the regions of China, Hakka and Taiwanese foods, aboriginal creations, exotic foreign flavors, and local traditional night-market snacks proclaim Taipei’s thrilling diversity and cultural vitality. Five star restaurants, characteristic delis, and innovative food stands satisfy both gourmands and food critics with a never-ending feast of unique taste experience—and you can never get enough of Taipei’s culinary greatness!

The town of Yilan is less than an hour away from Taipei. The level of city bustling drops noticeably as soon as you set foot in Yilan, a suburban tourist destination most frequently visited by residents of Taipei. The hot spring resorts in Jiaoxi are a fantastic place for you to let your hair down. Put on a Japanese-style kimono, and sample the agricultural delicacies grown in farms nurtured by the refreshing spring water. With the wealth of ocean recreation resources and verdant country scenes, Yilan offers a fantastic escape from the urban bustle with the tranquility of rustic B&Bs, and the down-to-earth farmers' hospitality.

A Town of Enchantment and Light Jiufen, a mountain city overlooking the ocean, is perpetually enshrouded in a sense of nostalgia. The antiquated wood and brick structures nestled closely against one another, lining the stone staircase. Tourists speaking different languages navigate the narrow lanes that lead into the Old Street, where the mouthwatering aroma of a wide array of local specialty snacks waft over. The popular glutinous taro balls, fish balls, glutinous rice balls with pork and caozaiguo sold in local stalls have been around for generations. Find an outdoor teahouse after sampling the snacks, and take in the spectacular blue skies and the Pacific Ocean. The evocative feel of the town and the cool night breeze seem to transport one to another time and space.

The local hot springs are a vital natural resource for Taipei. The Xinbeitou area boasts a one-of-a-kind cluster of hot-spring hotels and a wide range of facilities for hot-spring therapy and recreation, notably the Beitou Hot Spring Museum and Taiwan Folk Arts Museum. If you are fatigued from all the wandering, Beitou is a must-visit. The mineral spring water is physically and spiritually refreshing.

Yingge is a pottery community with several hundred pottery plants and equal number of pottery shops, and is also the origin of the local ceramics industry. Today, the chimney of an old coal-fired kiln serves as the town's landmark. There are over 100 stores on the old street. Each shop has its own personality and exquisite pottery works. If you are a "hobby potter," there is plenty of opportunities for creating your signature ceramic art.