The best treasure of Taiwan for Muslim tourists (Taipei edition)

2021-10-25

Assalamualaikum Warohmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Hi Everyone! How are you? I am Novi Irmania from Indonesian. Currently, I am studying at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology majoring chemical engineering department. As a student who has already lived in Taiwan for many years, I can tell you that Taiwan is like my second home after Indonesia. I feel so comfortable living here. Taiwan's government cares about the Muslim lifestyle and provides many Muslim facilities. So, that's why Taiwan has been ranked as the second most attractive non-OIC (organization of Islamic Cooperation) destination for Muslim Travelers in the 2021 Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI). That's amazing news.

There are great travel experiences for Muslims, no matter you are an outdoor lover or a city explorer, you can find your destination in Taiwan. On this occasion, I would like to invite you to join my journey having Muslim-friendly travel in Taipei. As the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei would like to have a better understanding of multiculturalism and create Muslim friendly city. Taipei is a large city with a rich history and culture, as well as a fast-paced and prosperous atmosphere. I hope this story brings you more convenience and reference during your vacation in Taiwan. So, let's check this out!

In this part, I will let you go through the red line MRT (Mass Rapid Transportation) to visit our Muslim-friendly sightseeing spots in Taipei. Here we go!

National Palace Museum

From MRT Shilin Station, I took bus number R30 and get off at National Palace Museum. I love this place. It has such beautiful scenery. National Palace Museum is a traditional Chinese palace-style structure that houses the world's best and most comprehensive collection of Chinese cultural artifacts. 

Moreover, for nearly two decades, the National Palace Museum has used digital innovation to enhance its vast collection. When I visited this place, I observed priceless museum objects have been converted into accessible pieces of new media art to video displays, sound, and virtual reality technologies. That's truly amazing!

Alhamdulillah, National Palace Museum already provides prayer rooms for Muslims. The prayer room is quite beautiful and large. Inside the prayer room, there is an ablution room and toilet. That's convenient for Muslim visitors.

Dihua street 

From MRT Shuanglian station exit 2, I walked several minutes towards Dihua street. Dihua Street is a good place to go for seeking the cultural heart of Taipei. In this street, I saw a lot of lavish Baroque buildings as well as bright red-brick western dwellings. I enjoy walking through the lanes, which are lined with unique businesses. It is the perfect place for me, who look for retrospective vibes. I explored the old streets and alleys, roaming the newly established cultural and creative blocks that have come to fuse with history. I love to know many things about Taipei's traditional way of life. That's why Dihua Street is the right place to go!

Tea is a part of Taiwanese culture. Take a sip of tea steeped in history! Tea has a long and illustrious history in Dadaocheng, dating back over a century. I found much great tea when roaming the vintage alleys of Dihua Street. The tea is famous for its unique production process as well as its historical and cultural heritage. Fortunately, I found a tea shop and learned how to make a cup of fresh tea. The tea host taught me how to make the best tea taste. I need to pay attention to several things, such as the type of tea, the number of tea leaves, the temperature, and the duration of soaking. If you are a tea lover, you must visit this place! I also rent traditional Taiwanese costumes. I was such as a true Taiwanese. You also can find some unique traditional Taiwanese accessories and crafts too.

Furthermore, I also found Halalan & Toyyiban Mart in Dihua Street Section 1. This Mart is Dadaocheng's first Muslim-friendly restaurant. A halal grocery has been put up within the eatery. It offers a wide variety of halal foods from many nations, meeting the needs of both Taiwanese and overseas Muslims. Previously, I order chicken satay, Shrimp laksa, and fried noodle. The taste is so delicious. You must try it!

Taipei Main Station

Taipei Main Station was originally opened as the Taipei Railway Station in 1891. In this place, I saw many tourists, students, and society visit the commercial district around Taipei Main Station. Taipei Main Station Basement 1 also provides ablution facilities and prayer rooms for Muslim visitors. 

When I walk through Taipei Main Station (TMS), I found a Halal Moroccan and Indian Restaurant in breeze TMS. From the main hall of Taipei Main Station, you can go to the second floor. This restaurant has been established in 2013. My favorite menu is Hummus Mutton curry, lemon chicken, naan, and chicken tandoori. The menu is very appetizing.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

After getting off at MRT Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, I walked around this huge complex area. This memorial hall was created in honor of Chiang Kai-shek, the Republic of China's first president. The National Theater and National Concert Hall are also a part of the Memorial Hall complex. Many local and international tourists visit this attraction to witness one of the best of Taiwan's architecture and traditional design.

I need to walk up the stairs to reach the main entrance of the hall. When I reached the impressive doorway, I saw a large bronze statue of President Chiang. I also watched the changing of the guard ceremony who stand at attention beside the statue. The guards are members of the Republic of China Honor Guard. The current guards, who have been stood completely motionless for the previous hour, will be replaced by new guards. The changing of the guard ceremony once every hour becomes the most popular attraction at this Hall. It is symbolic of the ROC armed forces discipline and skill.

I also visited the history gallery at the ground entrance of Memorial Hall. In this gallery, I discovered more about the documents important parts of former ROC President Chiang's life and some of his accomplishments in Taiwan. So interesting! 

The memorial hall is surrounded by around 122 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens and ponds. I captured many wonderful pictures here. I saw many people also do their photoshoots in this beautiful garden.

Moreover, I have an opportunity to watch traditional opera. The show demonstrates historical traditional arts with great story-telling. I enjoy experiencing the bygone era from this traditional performance. After watching the opera, I got an opportunity to take some pictures with the opera artists.

Go for a leisurely bike ride with Ubike!

From Daan Park MRT to Taipei Grand Mosque, it takes around 10 minutes on foot. I saw, there is a ubike station nearby MRT. So, I decided to have a wonderful trip by peddling a bicycle along Daan Park toward Taipei Grand Mosque. I loved the beautiful surroundings and the soothing breeze on my face.

Taipei Grand Mosque

After riding Ubike for around 6 minutes, I saw the beautiful building with an enormous domed roof feature and two minarets. That's exactly Taipei Grand Mosque which is located in the Daan District of Taipei city. If you come to Taipei, you must visit this oldest mosque in Taiwan! The Taipei Grand mosque adopts the architectural elements of the ottoman and Persian empires style. Interestingly, the architect of this mosque is a well-regarded local architect, Yang Cho-Cheng, who is also a designer of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, the National Concert Hall, and the National Theater. The mosque's doors were opened to the public. When I came, I also saw Students of different faiths attend the mosque, and guided by the Imam to gain a better knowledge of Islam's teachings. A second floor above the main prayer hall floor is accommodated for the female worshipers.

Taipei 101 Observatory

Taipei 101 is a Taiwan iconic building that also expresses distinctively Chinese characters in its resemblance such as an elongated pagoda. This building heads up to the sky-high observatory to see the remarkable city views. Besides the tower, the base of the building also has a multi-level shopping mall, stores, and an international grocery store. Alhamdulillah, Taipei 101 already provides a Muslim prayer room.

I bought the ticket on the 5th floor of the Taipei 101 Shopping Mall to go to the 89th-floor observation deck. Then, I took the high-speed elevator (the world's fastest during 2004-2015 according to the Guinness Book of World Records). It takes a mere 40 seconds to get from ground level to the 89th-floor observation deck. I felt like flying. On the 89th floor, I enjoyed an unlimited 360-degree night view of Taipei City's irrepressible vibe from here. (Left picture)

Moreover, Taipei 101 has a significant architectural innovation that keeps Taipei 101 stable during severe winds and earthquakes is the tuned mass damper. I observed the dumper located between the 87th and 91st floors. It is the largest and heaviest skyscraper damper in the world, as well as the first to open to the public. (right picture)

Taipei 101 is located at the southern end of the Xinyi Shopping District. From Taipei 101, I went around Xinyi commercial district, a window-shopping area, and took in Taipei's vibrant streetscapes. We can find the flagship eslite bookstore, Line friends' store, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, and many entertainment complexes.

That's all my best Muslim-friendly experience journey in Taiwan (Taipei edition). If you want to learn new cultures, mandarin, explore many beautiful tourism spots, witness the advance of technologies and transportation hubs, without worried about halal foods, find prayer rooms in public places like train stations, libraries, and at many tourist attractions, also enjoy Muslim friendly accommodation, so Taiwan is your best choice.

Hopefully, it can give you more recommendations to choose your Muslim-friendly destination in Taiwan. See you on the next journey! Thank you for joining my journey.

 write by Novi Irmania,Indonesia