Cruising is one of the most popular, budget-friendly forms of travel. However, when most people think of cruising, they imagine sun-splashed ports of call in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. If they’re particularly adventurous, a rugged, National Geographic type of adventure in the wilds of Alaska or Scandinavia may come to mind. The idea of taking an Asian cruise seems about as foreign and exotic as Far East culture itself. That mindset, however, is slowly beginning to change. Asian cruise markets are expanding, and by 2015, it is expected that seven out of 30 million global cruise passengers will be exploring Asia. “Off the beaten path” is the travel industry’s favorite catchphrase, so if you want to get to Taipei, Taiwan before the crowds do, you better start planning your trip today.
Taipei Travel Prep!
Whether you’re a first-time cruiser or a seasoned veteran of the high seas, you’re going to want to invest in travel insurance before you embark on your expedition around the world. Options like cruise insurance with TravelGuard will protect you when dealing with lost luggage, canceled flights or misplaced passports. It will also cover emergency medical issues. Whether you need a prescription filled or you slip on the ship’s deck and brake your ankle, cruise insurance will give you a greater peace of mind when you’re traveling far from home.
6 Must-See Highlights of Taipei
Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is commonly referred to as Asia’s Golden Sea area. It has long been considered the most underrated tourist destination in Asia. However, people are finally finding their way to Taipei to discover a city teeming with vibrant nightlife, superb street food and a vast collection of Chinese art. If the city gets too overwhelming, all you need to do is hop on the public transport system and take a tranquil excursion to one of the Taiwan’s hot springs. When you cruise to Taipei, be sure to visit the following attractions:
- The National Palace Museum- Why not begin your trip with some ancient art? The National Palace Museum has artifacts dating from China’s earliest days, from ritual bronze vessels to Ming Dynasty pottery. Many scholars agree that this high-class museum holds the finest collection of Chinese art in the world.
- The Taipei 101 building- At 1,670 feet, this building will give you a stunning panoramic view of the city. There are indoor and outdoor observation decks, which you can easily access via a high-speed elevator. However, this testament to modern architecture is not only known for its spectacular views, but for its shopping as well. Armani, Louis Vuitton and Sogo stores can all be found on the first few floors of the building, so save some room in your suitcase.
- Yongkang Street, Shin Yeh and the People Restaurant- The foodie revolution has overtaken Taipei. You can find delicious oysters at Shin Yeh, and the People Restaurant is known for its cocktails. However, nothing beats a traditional noodle bar on Yongkang Street.
- Raohe and the Ciyou Temple- Be sure to visit one of Taipei’s traditional night markets. The best ones can be found in Raohe and the Ciyou Temple.
- Yangmingshan volcano No trip to Taipei is complete without visiting the Yangmingshan volcano. The dormant volcano is in the center of a national park. There are numerous hiking trails in the area to explore, and the park is known for its summits and panoramic vistas.
- Beiou, which is a 40-minute excursion from Taipei, is famous for its hot springs. Before you get back on the cruise ship and sail for home, treat yourself to a spa.
Now that you know about the happening spots in Taipei, your Asian trip should be much more enjoyable! Get your travel plans ready, pack your bags up and let’s get going!