LIFESTYLE

Other than the world-renowned Taipei Metro, the dazzling array of scrumptious night market treats, and the environmentally-driven paid-per-bag trash disposal policy, the bustling city has something else going for her, something that delights your olfactory sense. While the rest of the world considers Taipei a tea town, an interesting article on SmarterTravel may help you appreciate the city in a new light.

Washes of golden, autumnal sunlight gild the lush mountaintop, dappling the wheels of the cyclists as they glide along the trails that hug the walls of the cliffs overgrown with lush ferns. At times, they pause to take a drink of water and wipe the sweat off their foreheads, feasting their eyes on the portrait-ready panorama. A short break later, the cyclists press on, neither hurried nor slow-moving.

Residents in the Old Town had enjoyed the protection of a divine dragon; they chalked up the peace, the prosperity, and the cultural glory that defined their community to the auspices of the majestic deity. But the boom was short-lived: politicians of the time followed only the dollar sign and in their greed, they sold out to a road-widening project that had promised tremendous profit. The project was to ostensibly open up the Old Town and drive investments in.

Experience Taipei only by day and you get just half of the picture.

Despite the ostensible quiet in the streets, Taipei is electrified with a buzzing network of suave nightclubs, chic bars, and homely street vendors during the afterhours. Couples gyrate to the thumping beat on the dance floor, while others relax into the clinking glasses and laughter, unwinding after a long day at work. Bar-hopping has been a universal language of nine-to-fivers from around the world to let their hair down after the night cloaks the sky.

Everywhere you turn, you are met with cacophonous Chinese orchestra music played by ensembles of plucked and bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and various cymbals, gongs, and drums. There are the sprightly dragon and lion dances. Red-color paper-cuts, couplets, vibrantly decorated paper firecrackers. Traditional markets are awash with shoppers waiting to pick up food items. Revelers literally paint the town red in February.