Destinations

11 New Things To Do in Taiwan

There's a lot to eat, see, and experience at this neighboring East Asian country.
IMAGE shutterbean / PIXABAY
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Newly opened establishments worth your attention  


Lab Man Mano

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Taiwan may not be top of mind when it comes to cheese, but Man Mano is the first to put it on the map as Taiwan’s first Italian cheesemaker. Its founder, Isabel Chen, studied the art of cheesemaking in Japan, and then Italy.

Lab Man Mano sells some of its flavorful and freshly made buratta, caciovallo, and ricotta online and at its stores. It also supplies fine dining restaurants like STAY, Täirroir, and Tutto Bello, to name a few.

Täirroir

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After working at Guy Savoy and Jaan, both in Singapore, Chef Kai Ho returned home to be at the helm of this fine dining restaurant that’s not just about impeccable plating and kitchen showmanship. His goal was to take indigenous Taiwanese ingredients and create modern dishes out of it by using contemporary techniques. The result? Let the one Michelin starred restaurant speak for itself.

6/F, 299 Lequn 3rd Road, Zhonghan, Taipei

National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts

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This new cultural hub will play home to future concerts, exhibitions, musicals, and other performances, both big and small. Aside from the incredible open-air theater, which offers views of a nearby park, the venue also has a 1,981-seat concert hall and 2,236-seat opera house. The opening season, which ends in January next year, brings over 70 performances and workshops to this center. Recently, it has been awarded one of Japan’s Good Design Best 100.

Starbucks

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Even if you’re not a Starbucks fan, you’ll want to visit its newest branch in Hualien, Taiwan. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma made sure to create something of a monument to attract design-lovers and tourists. The architect stacked 29 shipping containers atop each other to form the maze-like coffee shop with a drive-thru. It stands next to a rainbow-colored mural that provides a stark contrast to its white façade.  

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Upcoming events, concerts, exhibits, and exclusive screenings


Taipei Photo 2018

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When checking out the tourist-swarmed Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, be sure to drop by this photography exhibit, which showcases around 780 photos from both local and foreign photographers. There’s no singular topic for the collection, reports Taiwan News, but they are all bound by this year’s theme: borderless, in which photographers are encouraged to capture their take on possibilities for the future.

Until October 31, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, 21 Zhongshan South Rd., Zhongzheng,Taipei

The Little Mermaid by Lin Mei-Hong

Forget everything you know about Ariel in the animated film The Little Mermaid for a couple of hours and take in this dance-based retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale. After charming the German audiences, Austrian-based choreographer Lin Mei-Hong is taking her acclaimed production to Taiwan in November. It uses modern ballet to tell the tale of the mermaid princess who falls for a human prince.

From November 3 to 4, National Performing Arts Centre, National Taichung Theater, Huilai Road, Xitun, Taichung


Best Kept Secrets

Under-the-radar spots


Hangzhou Xiao Long Bao

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The best need not always be the most expensive. While tourists flood Din Tai Fung to get their xiao long bao fix, this low-key restaurant is a favorite among the locals and compared to the former, it’s also the more affordable option. Hangzhou's xiao long bao is freshly made to order, which has fillings like crab roe and shrimp, aside from the conventional pork.

17 and 19, Section 2, Hangzhou South Road, Da’an, Taipei

R&D Cocktail Lab

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If you’re an anything-goes kind of traveler, this speakeasy might just be for you. It doesn’t offer any menu. Instead, the bartenders will concoct a drink based on your preferred flavors and use whatever is freshest or available. The owners of R&D, which stands for Research & Development, source some of their herbs and spices locally, while bitters and bourbons are purchased during their travels.

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178 Yanji Street, Taipei

Yilan

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North of this mountainous province is Yilan, where the pace of life slows down. While the small town of Jiaoxi is known for its hot springs, it’s also a prime spot for conquering your fears by paragliding. The brave ones get a majestic view of a lush valley and the black sand beaches of Wai’O. Nearby is the famed King Car Kavalan Whisky Distillery, the first Taiwanese whisky maker, where you can take a day tour and savor a glass or seven. This particular distillery doesn't specify the batch’s age since the climate allows the whisky to develop as quickly as three years.


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Establishments receiving noteworthy buzz


The Guest House

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In the past, The Guest House served as a members-only dining club before it opened itself up to the public and went on to earn two Michelin stars with its impeccable food. Its menu focuses on Chinese cuisine of Hunan and Sichuan origins. When dining at The Guest House, order the signatures dishes—chicken rice with sesame oil, pork tail braised in red yeast sauce, and millefeuille tofu skin.

Le Palais

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Le Palais is the sole recipient of three Michelin stars in Taiwan’s first-ever Michelin Guide released this year. Don’t be fooled by its French moniker, this establishment specializes in Cantonese cuisine and offers some of the best dim sums in town. The restaurant itself is a place to celebrate and get together, as it offers six private dining rooms and an opulent main dining area with traditional touches.

No. 3, Section 1, Chengde Road, Taipei, palaisdechinehotel.com

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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