A layover in long-distance air travel can be a significant pain, especially for stops that would span 12 to 24 hours. Taking this period and turning it into an enriching short travel opportunity is possible with the right amount of curiosity and research.
Rather than sit in the hustle and bustle of Taoyuan Airport in Taiwan, under artificial lighting and left with no choice but to consume sustenance from the food court, it is better to spend your hours elsewhere.
Taoyuan Airport showcases comfortable lounges with showers and safe lockers. Similar to hotels with amenities like fitted wardrobes and walk-in showers, this airport also offers sanctuary to air travellers on flights with long layovers. The airport encourages passengers to leave bags and valuables behind and take that leap and book a layover tour.
A layover tour is the most innovative way to travel in a short time. It prevents you from spending time navigating and wasting energy on impossible itineraries. In this way, the travel plan plucks you out of the airport, and follow a foolproof itinerary of significant city sites and whisks you back to the airport to catch your next flight.
Here is a guide to Taipei’s major city highlights to burn time but still a time well-spent.
The streets of Taipei features different food stalls that define the culinary landscape of Taipei. The scene is your typical local food market in Asia, busy yet filling. Showcased in modular kiosks are simple, straightforward dishes that ooze with umami. A must-try is the larger than your face chicken cutlet, oyster soup and scallion bread – a perfect lunch combo.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The memorial hall sits in the heart of Liberty Square. Key areas of interest are the library and museum.
The museum houses the presidential limousine and artefacts from the rule of Chiang Kai Shek. It takes 89 steps to match each year of Chiang Kai Shek’s existence to get into the memorial hall. The highlight is the changing of the guards that occur at 9 am. They demonstrate their proficiency in rifle choreography.
Taipei 101 was hailed as the tallest building in the world from 2004-2010. Today it ranks 9th and is home to the world’s fastest elevator. It takes a sweeping 25 seconds to get from the ground floor up to the observation deck. It is one of the engineering feats Taiwan is proud of. The view from the top rivals the most picturesque scenery in the world. Aside from this view, the structural integrity of Taipei 101 is top-notch. Taiwan is home to frequent earthquakes and tsunamis, right smack at the heart of a geologically active area. The building can withstand the devastating effects of earthquakes with its heavy counterweight feature. The weight dampens the movement brought about by shakes, quakes and aftershocks.
Din Tai Fung
A perfect cap to a blissful tour is the world-famous Din Tai Fung restaurant. It’s located on the ground floor of Taipei 101; this restaurant embodies the rich culinary background of Taiwan, from the delicate soup dumplings to savoury wonton and noodle dishes. It also boasts impeccable and warm service.
Should you wish to explore Taipei more, this trip would seem like a whirlwind of scenes of delicious food, rich and diverse culture and tradition, grandeur and warm locals. It is a time well spent experiencing something out of the box that is worthwhile and enriching.