Saturday, November 9, 2013

How to go running in Taipei

Here is the short answer: Don't! The traffic is terrible in town and there isn't much pavement to speak of.

Also, I didn't have much time so I couldn't afford to get lost. I ended up doing most of my running in the hotel gym.
Source: this is a pretty good interview about motorbikes in Taipei.
I was there on a press trip with an international group of environment/ business journalists from the US, Australia, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Poland, Turkey, Greece, Guam, Paraguay, Honduras, Spain, Portugal, Germany...have I forgotten anyone?

On the Saturday of the weekend I was there, I met up with my publication's correspondent in Taiwan, who asked me what I thought of the country. I think Singapore and Taiwan can learn a lot from each other, I said. Taiwan's pretty good at getting people to manage waste and recycle, and is very strong on environmental education... but their traffic is... '比较乱一点' ('a little messy'), I trailed off diplomatically. She roared.

So don't run. Maybe get on a bike instead.
And eat a lot.

Shilin Night Market, probably the most touristy night market of them all; I had stinky tofu, oyster omelette, dumplings, a papaya milkshake, and shaved ice with red beans and peanuts. Not all at the same time, that'd be weird.

aforementioned stinky tofu - none of us died of it

Walk a lot. (Also: The subway system is great.)
we also got to go out to this reforested area called Dongyuanshan

Wear a hard hat. (Any day in which I get to wear a hard hat or be on a boat is an excellent workday. There was one time I was on a boat - okay, a very big ship - wearing a hard hat. Double win! Except for the time I was horribly seasick.)
Well, wear a hard hat and a quizzical expression, anyway.
Experience a real earthquake. (There was one in southeast Taiwan, which we felt a wee bit up north in Taipei.)

And take a lot of photos.


  1. Noted. I shall bear in mind should I ever find myself in Taipei.

    Also, by your definition, construction workers have the AWESOME JOBS EVER!

    1. Haha. I suppose if one had to wear a hard hat as a matter of routine it wouldn't be so novel!

  2. I'll take all this on board because I really might travel to Taiwan one day. My #2 son's girlfriend is from Taiwan and the day may come when I have to visit (can't think why but some reason might pop up).

    1. Well, it's a pretty great place to visit! Lots of interesting history, good food, and plenty of trails - just beware of the earthquakes and typhoons...

  3. Omg stinky tofu! I have been really curious to try it but reviews have ranged from good to extremely negative. What does it actually taste like?

    1. It was all right - basically a fried tofu puff (tau pok) that tasted slightly more...sour? fermented? I'll eat them if they're there, but they're not my favourite thing either.