Don’t Follow The Trends : 10 Alternative and Fun Things to do in Taipei
Looking for some unique and fun things to do in Taipei?
If you’re looking for the quirkier side of Taiwan’s capital, we’ve got you covered with our top-10 guide.
Weird things to do in Taipei #1 – Shrimp fishing
Weird things to do in Taipei #2 – Eat at a poop-themed restaurant
Weird things to do in Taipei #3 – Sit on a giant waterlily
Weird things to do in Taipei #4 – Have your fortune told by a bird
Weird things to do in Taipei #5 – Watch a funeral parade
Weird things to do in Taipei #6 – Go for a knife massage
Weird things to do in Taipei #7 – Hang out at a convenience store
Weird things to do in Taipei #8 – Visit a cat village
Weird things to do in Taipei #9 – Pick strawberries
Weird things to do in Taipei #10 – Go hiking in high-heels
Don’t miss our complete list of things to do in Taipei also.
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Fun Things to do in Taipei #1 – Shrimp fishing
Love catching your own fresh seafood but don’t want to go near open water?
Leave the fishing boats and nets at home – to go shrimp fishing in Taipei, you don’t even have to leave the city.
Indoor shrimp fishing tops our list of weird and fun things to do in Taipei.
There are several venues around the city and most can be found along the road from the National Palace Museum in Shilin District. You pay by the hour to rent all the equipment and your spot by the pool.
It’s not for the faint-hearted though – the shrimp fight back, and you have to remove the fishing hook and their claws before they cause too much damage. You’re also expected to skewer the shrimp for grilling while they’re still alive.
There’s a lot of waiting around for shrimp to bite, so take a friend and stock up on beers.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #2 – Eat at a poop-themed restaurant
The Modern Toilet Restaurant does exactly what it says on the tin.
At this popular Ximending eatery everything is poop-themed, including the food which is served in mini toilets, potties and urinals, making it one of the strangest things to do in Taipei.
Expect to sit on a toilet seat at a toilet-themed table surrounded by bathroom-themed décor. The chocolate ice-cream is the most popular and “instagramable” desert.
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The Modern Toilet Restaurant is such a hit that they’ve opened a second branch in Shilin and have their own range of merchandise. Plan your visit here.
PHONE – +886 2 2311 8822
Fun Things to do in Taipei #3 – Sit on a giant waterlily
Shuangxi Park in Taipei’s Shilin District is all-round gorgeous, but the highlight for many are the enormous waterlilies that grow on the pond of the Chinese garden, some of which are almost 2 meters wide.
On certain dates in the summer, Taiwan’s Parks and Street Lights Office (PSLO) allows visitors to sit on a special reinforced waterlily, creating the perfect photo opportunity. Hey, your instagram won’t feed itself.
The park is open all year round. To find out how to book a ‘seat’ on a waterlily, visit the PSLO website.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #4 – Have your fortune told by a bird
Stroll through any of Taipei’s night markets and you’ll see small birds in cages.
But these critters aren’t just pets – they can predict your future.
Bird-telling is an ancient Chinese method of fortune-reading that uses well-trained birds to pick out tarot cards which the clairvoyant then helps you decipher.
You start out by whispering your name, date of birth and your questions to your new feathered friend, making this activity one of the most unique things to do in Taipei.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #5 – Watch a funeral parade
Funerals aren’t generally a spectator sport – except in Taiwan.
Don’t worry about crashing a family’s private grieving time – large audiences are welcome because a good attendance reflects the social standing and popularity of the newly deceased, and eases their transition to the afterlife.
Traditionally, members of the community present cash in white envelopes to the deceased’s family to cover costs, so it pays to bring in the numbers.
To encourage people to attend, funerals have evolved into lavish large-scale affairs with live music, fireworks and hire-to-mourn Buddhist priests taking part in carnival-style parades.
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If the deceased was high-profile or well-known, you can expect the cortege to bring traffic to a stand-still.
Some mourning Taiwanese families even hire exotic dancers to celebrate the life of their relative and please the crowds. Yes, you read that right.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #6 – Go for a knife massage
Having your bare skin stroked with a meat-cleaver might not sound like the most relaxing way to un-wind, but knife massage is an ancient Chinese practice that remains popular in Taiwan today.
It’s way less scary than it sounds. The blades of the knives are blunt so there’s no danger of grazes, and the cool metal is used to stroke, pound and pummel tired muscles in the same style as a conventional massage.
The Chinese World Knife Therapy Association, a Taiwanese organisation tasked with promoting this traditional therapy, claims it can improve the metabolism, aid sleep and enhance the quality of the blood.
Tall claims, but they offer a 10-minute try-out session for only NTD 220 – a small price to pay for one of the weirdest things to do in Taipei.
Find them at Taipei City Mall, connected to Taipei Main Station, or try out a knife massage at spots all over Taipei.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #7 – Hang out at a convenience store
7-Elevens are everywhere in Taipei, and are an integral part of life in Taiwan.
Where else can you do your dry cleaning, pay your bills, collect your mail and enjoy a three-course meal?
Hanging out at a convenience store might not be one of the most exciting things to do in Taipei, but what makes this a weird and unique experience is that you can spend hours in these places and still have change from NTD 100.
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Fun Things to do in Taipei #8 – Visit a Cat Village
Houtong Village is a stone’s throw from Taipei and every feline fan’s fantasy – this former coal-mining community has been over-run by cats, and a whole kitty-themed industry has sprung up to cater for the many thousands of visitors who descend on this pawesomely purr-fect prefecture every weekend.
The story goes that a local woman started taking in strays 10 years ago and shared pictures of them on social media, and today Houtong’s cat population stands at more than 200.
Thankfully her neighbours got on-board and the whole town went cat crazy, becoming a shrine to kitty-kitsch.
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This place should be high on the list of unusual things to do in Taipei for any animal lovers.
Houtong is a one-hour train journey from Taipei Station on the Yilan Line.
If you can’t be bothered to make the trip but still need a kitty fix, Taipei is also home to the world’s first ever cat cafe, the Cat Flower Garden. Cat cafes spread like – well, stray cats – throughout Japan and Europe in the late noughties, but this venue gets credit for being the first, having opened its doors 20 years ago.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #9 – Pick strawberries
You might not expect to find much fresh fruit or market gardens in a sprawling metropolis of 2.5 million people, but Taipei is surrounded by countryside and at weekends city-dwellers enjoy nothing more than escaping to the greenery for some fresh-air and tranquility.
In the hills behind Neihu there are dozens of farms and orchards, including several places where you can pick your own strawberries – probably the most delicious you will ever taste.
At the S. Garden Café on Bishan Road, you’re given a basket and a small pair of scissors and invited to help yourself to the fresh ripe fruit, which you pay for based on weight.
You can even wash and enjoy them on-site in the cafe, or choose from their menu of strawberry-themed dishes. Strawberry season runs from December to April, and S. Garden is open for picking on Saturdays and Sundays.
Find more information and to contact them, see Facebook.
Fun Things to do in Taipei #10 – Go hiking in high-heels
Hiking is a popular activity for many of Taipei’s residents, particularly in the cooler months of the year (when you are less likely to encounter a venomous snake).
The hiking trails around the city are clearly signed and most of them have steps and hand-rails to improve access, making these routes popular with people of all ages and abilities.
Elephant Mountain offers amazing views of 101, making it one of the most popular treks to do, and at only 1.5km long and 183cm high (mainly steps and flat) it’s perfect for the faint-hearted and fashion-forward.
You might feel more comfortable wearing walking shoes, but we have legit seen girls doing this walk wearing high-heeled shoes. Sister, we salute you.
If you’re brave enough to attempt a hike in heels, it’s definitely one of the more unusual things to do in Taipei.
To get to Elephant Mountain, take the red line to Xiangshan MRT and follow the signs to the trail.
Got a taste for Taiwan and want more? Check out our friends over at Triprovider.com who have a whole multitude of other things you can get up to in Taiwan!
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