Travel & Explore, Photowalk and guide of Dapinglin (大坪林), New Taipei
I had the pleasure of spending the last weeks of last year in Taipei, Taiwan. Having the opportunity to travel back to Taiwan every few years, has urged me to explore different places than previously each time. Seeking out new experiences alongside visiting old favourite spots make for a wholesome travel itinerary. I’ll be documenting some of the sights, culinary experiences and everything in between in a series of posts, starting off with this one; a Photo walk and guide of Dapinglin, New Taipei.
General Tips for travelling in Taipei in Winter:
- What to wear? No need to wear a big puffy down jacket, a jumper and/or a windbreaker of sorts shall serve you well
- What to bring? An umbrella! Cannot stress this enough, the entirety of my stay, it was raining lightly every day.
Essential for travelling? MRT/Public transport easy card! Makes life that much more convenient when travelling Taipei (also works in Kaoshiung for those wandering South).
- Anything else? Organising your cards, boarding passes and passport when flying, notes, coins, SIM card and everything in between can be done effortlessly with a T&G travel wallet.
Dapinglin (大坪林) is an inner-suburb situated south of the centre of Taipei. Dapinglin used to be a “street village” called “Daping Linzhuang” back in the Qing Dynasty, and throughout the years belonged to different districts. Today Dapinglin belongs to New Taipei City.
Dapinglin can be reached via the metro/MRT on the Songshan/Xindian green line. Why provide a guide to what appears to be just an average Taiwanese suburb? Firstly, like mentioned, I urge myself and others to explore new and unfamiliar places especially if you have been to that city before. Secondly, it was where our place of stay was.
Things to do:
Honestly there aren’t any major tourist-y or overly-hyped attractions to explore in Dapinglin, however, for those keen for a laid-back walk and to get a glimpse into the daily lives and routines of your average Taiwanese, Dapinglin is the spot.
A short walk from the station can get you to the riverside that runs through New Taipei and the larger Taipei area. There are tall banks on both sides of the river but on certain points there are stairs that you can climb to view the river below.
Things to eat:
Because I stayed in the area, I was able to try a few places in Dapinglin to my stomach’s delight. Below are some culinary recommendations that won’t break your bank:
1) Guo Ba Shabu Hotpot 鍋爸刷刷鍋 - https://goo.gl/maps/DTs3YfCW1rH2
Hotpot has good service, good food at a good price ($400 - $440NTD, roughly $25AUD/$20USD), best of all it is an all you can eat hotpot buffet. There is no better way than to satisfy your cravings than hotpot buffet feast. This hotpot restaurant serves meats: beef, pork, chicken and duck and has a large variety of vegetables, seafood and desserts.
2) Taiwanese seafood – shui sang xian wei shi lou 水上鮮味食樓, (price varies) - https://goo.gl/maps/Wsisa5jb1r12
Traditional Taiwanese seafood place that offers live seafood, sashimi, Taiwanese dishes and beverages. Very local experience that again doesn’t break your bank. Perhaps go with a mate for those that don’t speak Chinese very well.
3) Beef Noodle – Da Feng Niu Rou Mian 大豐牛肉麵, $100 ~ $120NTD - https://goo.gl/maps/1R9aiCxo4h32
Local alley-like street Taiwanese beef noodle spot. Can you honestly say you’ve been to Taiwan without eating Taiwanese beef noodle? Once again, relatively inexpensive eating spot with a very local experience.
All three of these recommended spots are considered cheap eats and will not disappoint.
You cannot truly grasp what a city feels like if you only expose yourself to the hustle and bustle of the main tourist attractions. Get yourself to Dapinglin and don’t take Dapinglin too seriously, enjoy a laidback stroll while taking in the sights and smells of the average inner-city Taipei suburb, away from all the posh and glamour of Taipei 101 but not as rural as Jiufen old street.