We're a little less than one month out from New Years and if you're starting to think about how to spend your final moments of 2019, I highly recommend heading to Taipei!
Taipei 101 is a giant 508 meter building, previously the tallest in the entire world, and the city sets off about 16,000 fireworks from the bottom to the top of the skyscraper. It's also complimented by a huge LED light show on the building itself. Taipei 101 is considered to be the largest New Years countdown clock in the entire world. The scene is impressive to say the least and totally worth a trip. This is also accompanied by a pretty cool set of performances (not dissimilar from Times Square).
Tips and Tricks for Success:
1. I was told multiple times that Taipei 101 at New Years was just like New York City and if I didn't arrive by 3pm, I wouldn't be able to even see the building. Have to stake your spot out as early as possible. Now, if I learned anything from my time in Taiwan, it's that Taiwanese people tend to exaggerate a bit...but this was more than a bit. At 3pm, I was literally the only person at Taipei 101. The crowds don't start to form until about 11pm. So unless you want extra time to explore Taipei, you definitely don't need to arrive hours and hours early (no matter how many well-meaning Taiwanese people say you do!)
2. In my opinion, the best place to watch the fireworks is right inside Taipei 101 City Plaza. This gets you the best views of both the performances beforehand and great close up views of 101 for the fireworks. If you're looking for a different view, try hiking the Xiangshan Hiking Trail. This will get you an exquisite view of the city...but be mindful of hiking back down in the dark! If you're up for splurging a bit, there are many rooftop bars around Taipei 101 where you can reserve tables to watch the fireworks...but personally I'd rather be down in the action (for free!)
3. If youre planning to watch the fireworks from Taipei 101 City Plaza, the best MRT stop to get off at Taipei City Hall on the Blue Line of the MRT. It's just a six minute walk to all of the action!
4. Keep in mind that in Taiwan, crowds are noticeably more polite than in America (and many other places in the world...looking at you Israel). So when youre staking out your spot, be respectful of other people's spaces that they have carved out for themselves. No one will push or shove, and most people will wait until 11:55pm to stand up. Follow suit! (:
5. If you're planning to stay in Taipei...maybe reconsider. Hotels are very hard to come by on New Years in Taipei and if you do happen to find one with free occupancy, they are extremely expensive. If you can plan to stay a bit outside of the city, you will save yourself a lot of money. Try Keelung as a low-cost alternative!
6. Getting out of Taipei will be a struggle because the busses and trains will be stopped by midnight. The MRT will be running, but imagine thousands of people trying to fit on a subway car...not so great. I'd heavily recommend a cab...but build time into your budget to wait for one...it will take time! If you want to avoid the crowds of people, check out a party after the fireworks!
7. If you need more ideas of what to do in Taipei for the rest of your visit, check out my blog for all my favorite spots!
Happy almost 2020 blog friends!