One of the most exciting things about Taiwan attractions is that surprises are offered at every turn. While you can hike, bike or play in the water in many places around the world, such opportunities include unique touches in Taiwan. Once you’ve visited the eastern hemisphere, you’ll want to return again and again.

To get an idea for the incredible diversity when it comes to Taiwanese vacations, check out these suggestions.

Photo Credit: Antonio Tajuelo

Experience the Hustle and Bustle of Ximending

If you want to experience the best nightlife that Taipei has to offer, hightail it to Ximending. This popular neighborhood was the first pedestrian zone in Taiwan. The neighborhood has flourished and now includes some of the country’s best pop culture attractions. Located in the Wanhua District, it is referred to as the ‘Shopping Paradise’ seeing over three million shoppers per month looking for great bargains on electronic goods, toys, magazines, books, CDs and clothing.

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Be Daring by Visiting Snake Alley

Over on Taipei’s narrow Huashi Street, you can find out just how brave you are. A section of it is known as “Snake Alley” - and for good reason, too. Live amphibians and reptiles, including snakes, slither and wriggle in several stalls. If you are squeamish about seeing live animals killed, though, you may want to skip past this unique Taiwan attraction.

Paraglide in Luye Gaotai

North of Longtian, you’ll find Taiwan’s paragliding capital. This highland area is known as Luye Gaotai, and it reaches elevations of over 1,000 feet in places. The winds here are perfect for paragliding, so adventurers regularly head out to this region. Whether you’ve been paragliding before or not, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time!

Photo Credit: WonderlaneIndulge in a Full-Body Massage and Acupuncture

You’ve never fully experienced a Chinese massage or acupuncture like in Taiwan. This part of the world, of course, is where the practices originated. As a result, finding talented massage therapists and acupuncturists is wonderfully easy. Better still, such services tend to be remarkably affordable!

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Enjoy the View from the Maokong Gondola

Taipei is a sprawling metropolis. Instead of traveling below ground, as in many major cities, you can soar above the city in a first-class gondola. The Maokong Gondola spans 12,000 feet and includes four stations. The novelty of being above the action is well worth the price of a ticket.

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Learn Tai-Chi from a Master

Many Westerners are relatively clueless about the ancient art of Tai Chi. You can educate yourself and learn the basics - by signing up for a class in Taiwan. Most areas have lessons available, and it’s easy to find a true master to show you the ropes.

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Tour Taipei at Night

There are plenty of day tours available in Taipei, but why not explore the city when it really comes alive - at night? Vegas and other American cities can’t hold a candle to the excitement that ensues in Taipei after dark.

Catch a Game at Tianmu Baseball Stadium

Nothing is as American as baseball. Its influence is so profound that it’s popular all the way over in Taiwan. If you’ll be visiting Taipei during baseball season, try to take in a game at Tianmu Baseball Stadium. It will remind you of home and give you a feel for how the locals enjoy sports.

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Travel By Train

Taiwan’s train system is remarkably extensive and it is possible to cover the entire island by train. If you have time to spare, doing so is well worth it. Make sure that at least part of your journey takes place on the relatively new Taiwan High Speed Rail for views of the rugged, mountainous terrain.

Photo Credit: Tsaiian

Take in the Taipei 101 Skyscraper

With an antenna that reaches 1,670 feet into the sky, the Taipei 101 skyscraper dominates the skyline in Taipei. Set aside a few hours to pay it a visit. An outdoor observatory on the 91st floor offers amazing panoramic views of the city.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Bardzell

See the Largest Jade Market in the World

While in Taipei, take the time to visit the Jianguo Holiday Jade Market, the largest in the world. Whether you end up making a purchase or leave empty-handed, you won’t soon forget the experience of exploring this compelling market stocked with gems and flowers galore.

Go Fishing in Cisintan

If you take a trip to Taroko Gorge, make a pit stop at Cisintan to do a little fishing. Area fishermen swear that this is the prime fishing spot in the entire country.

Photo Credit: Kwan Kwan

Get a Foot Massage on Dihua Street

Taipei is a great city to explore on foot. However, those feet are bound to get sore after a while! Stop over on Dihua Street to enjoy a foot massage. Several establishments in this part of town offer such services very affordably.

Photo Credit: Kirk Siang

Visit the Red Pavilion Theatre District

Gays are widely accepted in Taiwan, especially in Taipei. Experience the culture at the Red Pavilion Theatre and its surrounding neighborhood. The thriving gay community here is well known throughout the country.

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See a Chinese Medicine Doctor

If you’ve only ever visited Western doctors, you’ve been missing out on some intriguing experiences. In Taiwan, Chinese medicine doctors are everywhere. Find one and stop by for a health checkup. The insights you gain are sure to be incredible!