A Local’s Guide to Taipei for WordCamp Asia 2024

As we gear up for WordCamp Asia 2024, we reached out to a Taipei local for their tips, tricks, and must-dos for Taiwan's vibrant capital.

If you’re anything like us, you’re eagerly anticipating WordCamp Asia 2024. We’re excited for an in-person weekend of learning, sharing, and fun this March—and we can’t wait to see you all in the vibrant city of Taipei!

At XWP, WordCamps hold a special significance. Despite our team being all across the globe, many of us make the journey to meet in person for WordCamp events, with numerous XWPeople contributing and volunteering throughout the weekend.

With that in mind, we’ve begun crafting our plans for the event, gathering insider tips from a local guide. Taipei is a city ripe for exploration, offering a blend of iconic landmarks and hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered.

Things to do in Taipei (and beyond!)

A view of the Taipei skyline, with Taipei 101 visible above them all.
Photo by Jimmy Liao on Pexels.

1. Take in the view of downtown from Taipei 101: 

Towering over the city skyline, Taipei 101 is one of the best places to get a panoramic view of Taipei City. The observatory, located on the 89th floor, provides incredible vistas of downtown and its surrounding mountains, which help you get a sense of the huge scale of this ultra-modern metropolis. Insider tip: Head up to the top floor just before sunset to witness Taipei’s skyline transform into a sea of dazzling lights.

The best part? Taipei 101 is right next door to the Taipei International Convention Center, the venue for WordCamp Asia! 

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 All Week
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The front gate of the Raohoe St. Night Market in Taipei.
Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Pexels.

2. Hit up the night markets for some local eats 

Taipei’s night markets are the heartbeat of the city’s culinary scene, offering a tantalizing array of street food, local delicacies, and a vibrant atmosphere. While each night market has its own charm, here are some must-visit options:

  • Shilin Night Market: Taiwan’s largest, renowned for its giant chicken cutlets and oyster omelets. Save on Google Maps.
  • Raohe Night Market: A historic gem, famous for its pepper buns and beef noodle soup. Save on Google Maps.
  • Ningxia Night Market: Intimate and authentic, known for its oyster vermicelli and braised pork rice. Save on Google Maps.
  • Tonghua Night Market: Upscale options and international flavors close to the WordCamp Asia Venue. Save on Google Maps.

Each night market has its own unique offerings and ambiance, providing visitors with a taste of Taipei’s vibrant street food culture and lively night scene— so try and check out as many as you can!

Opening Hours: 17:00 – 00:00 All Week
Accessibility: The night markets can get very busy, especially on weekends. If you’re sensitive to crowded places or are a wheelchair user, we recommend going close to opening time, before the crowds amass

A cold boba tea with sugar
Photo by Ngoc Binh Ha on Pexels.

3. Cool off with an ice-cold boba

Boba tea, also known as bubble tea, is a beloved beverage that has captured the hearts of people around the globe—but did you know that it comes from Taiwan?

In the early 1980s, Taipei local Liu Han-Chieh sought to innovate the traditional tea-drinking experience. Inspired by both traditional Taiwanese desserts and the rising popularity of cold tea beverages, Liu began experimenting with adding chewy tapioca pearls to his teas. The result was a unique concoction that combined the familiar flavors of tea and milk with the delightful texture of the tapioca pearls.

The Best Bubble Tea in Taipei

  • Chun Shui Tang — widely believed to be the original boba tea. Add on Google Maps
  • 50 Lan   A hugely popular chain that serves up modern takes on boba, right alongside the classics Add on Google Maps
  • KQTEA — The closest bubble tea store to the WordCamp Asia venue! Add on Google Maps
An indoor pool of hot water for bathing.
Photo by Cloris Ying on Unsplash.

4. Relax in Nature at the Beitou Hot Springs and Thermal Valley

All that time running around the conference center got your muscles feeling sore? Escape the urban hustle and soak in the healing waters of Beitou Hot Springs, located around an hour from the WordCamp Asia conference center.

Relax in the public bathhouses or indulge in private hot spring resorts, offering a range of treatments and spa services. Nearby, explore the otherworldly landscape of Thermal Valley, where steam vents and sulfuric fumaroles create a dramatic natural spectacle.

Helpful info for the Beitou and hot springs:

  • If you don’t want to bathe, you can still check out the Thermal Valley walk
  • All hot springs and the Thermal Valley are closed on Mondays, and on Wednesday the LongNice hot spring (the most famous one) is closed.
  • To use the single-gender indoor public hot springs, you have to go naked. If you would prefer to avoid the skinny dip, you can use the mixed-gender outdoor springs. Just make sure to bring a conservative bathing suit.
  • Even though there is a Beitou MRT Station on the Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line), don’t get off there. Transfer at Beitou Station by hopping on another subway on the Xinbeitou Line and taking one stop to Xinbeitou MRT Station.

Read a Complete Beginner Guide to the Beitou Hot Springs from MsSoloTravel
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 All Week
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The Maokong Gondola ascending into the hills surrounding Taipei.
Photo by _pourya_ on Unsplash

5. Take the Maokong Gondola to traditional mountain-top tea houses

Soar above the treetops and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of Maokong Mountain aboard the Maokong Gondola. This picturesque cable car ride offers breathtaking views of Taipei City’s skyline, verdant forests, and tea plantations below. Opt for a standard cabin or crystal cabin with glass floors for an added thrill, providing a unique perspective of the landscape below. 

Upon reaching the mountain’s summit, discover the charming village of Maokong, renowned for its tea culture and traditional teahouses. Sample locally grown oolong tea, stroll along scenic hiking trails, or simply unwind amidst the tranquil ambiance of this idyllic mountain retreat.

What’s more, the Maokong Gondola is located right next door to the world-famous Taipei Zoo, making it the perfect place to tick off two Taipei institutions in one go!

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:00 All Week (subject to change in bad weather)
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The winding streets of Jifuen, one of the inspirations for the setting of Spirited Away, a popular Studio Ghibli film.
Photo by JK Reitza on Unplash.

6. Get Spirited Away in Jifuen:

Here’s one for all the Studio Ghibli fans! Did you know that one of the inspirations for the bathhouses and town from Spirited Away is just an hour away from Taipei? In the small town of Jifuen, you can find winding streets of small market stalls and a huge ornate teahouse, illuminated by traditional red lanterns— with plenty of Ghbili-related souvenirs to pick up along the way!

It can get a little busy there at weekends, so we recommend trying to plan a mid-week trip to beat the crowds. For more information on how to get there, we recommend checking out CK Travels’ full guide.

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A girl kneeling next to a ginger cat in Houtong Cat Village
Photo by galyafanaseva on Pixabay

7. Houtong Cat Village: A purrr-fect day trip from Taipei

Nestled in the lush mountains just outside of Taipei, Houtong Cat Village is a charming enclave where cats hold court amidst picturesque scenery and quaint streets.

The village’s feline-friendly reputation can be traced back to its origins as a coal mining town in the early 20th century. As the coal industry declined, Houtong faced economic hardship and depopulation. However, in the 2000s, the village underwent a remarkable transformation thanks to its growing population of cats. For more information, check out Lonely Planet’s guide to Houtong.

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The view off the front of a bus in downtown Taipei.
Photo by Lisanto 李奕良 on Unsplash

How to Get Around Taipei

EasyCard / iPass: When you arrive, we recommend purchasing an EasyCard (which also has a mobile option). These reusable tickets can be used to pay for the Taipei Metro, bus services, trains, bikes, and even convenience stores. You can top them up at any of the above, and then you can head straight through the ticket barriers at any station. 

Taipei Metro (MRT): Fast, reliable, and affordable, the MRT covers pretty much all of the key attractions and neighborhoods in Taipei (with a stop right outside the Taipei International Convention Center, the venue for WordCamp Asia). Pay with an EasyCard for free transfers and discounted fares.

Public Buses: Complementing the MRT, buses offer access to offbeat destinations. Use apps like Google Maps or Taipei Metro for route planning and real-time arrivals.

YouBike: Rent bikes from stations citywide for eco-friendly exploration. Download the YouBike app and use your EasyCard or credit card for easy access.

Taxi: Convenient for late-night or non-transit areas. Look for illuminated rooftop signs and ensure the meter is on before you set off.

Walking: Taipei’s pedestrian-friendly streets make walking a pleasant option if you’re not going too far. Use navigation apps such as Google or Apple Maps to guide your route and discover hidden gems along the way.

two hands hi-5ing

What is WordCamp Asia?

WordCamp Asia is more than just a gathering—it’s a vibrant celebration of all things WordPress. From seasoned developers to casual users, attendees come together to share ideas, collaborate, and build connections within the WordPress community.

With WordCamp events happening worldwide on both regional and continent-wide scales, these gatherings serve as invaluable opportunities to network, learn, and grow within the WordPress ecosystem.

Did you know: There has been someone from XWP at every regional WordCamp event since 2014!

XWP in the Community

Whether it be through organization, speaking, workshops, or engineering, we’re proud to support the open web communities defining the shape of the web. 

A number of our XWPeople are active participants in the WordPress community, including a number of WordPress Core Contributors, thought leaders, and volunteers, who help bring community-driven events like WordCamp to life. 

Simply put, we’re passionate about what we do, and we always look to contribute to the development of the community. We believe we don’t succeed until we succeed together, and we’re proud to play our role in making the web an accessible and rich place to visit.

Learn more about XWP’s contributions to WordPress and WordPress events over the years.

We're really excited to have so many of our amazing people heading to Taipei this June for WordCamp Asia 2024. Come and say hello! Arrange a meeting today.