Actor Nat Ho shares 6 things to do in Taiwan

Planning a getaway to Taiwan but not sure where to begin? We ask Tanglin’s NAT HO, who lived in Taipei for two years, to play tour guide and show us his favourite haunts

1. Get a dose of culture at Songshan
1. Get a dose of culture at Songshan
18 Dec 2015

1. Get a dose of culture at Songshan

“Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite has many branches in Taiwan, but I like the one at Songshan the best ’cos they have workshops on glass-blowing, leatherwork and jewellery-making. You can also go to a café there, order a cup of tea and paint a painting to bring home. It’s a really artsy place. I went for a glass-blowing workshop and made a vase. It was really interesting and not too expensive, about NT$1,200 ($51) for a session. I also tried pottery and made a candle-holder.”

2. Eat ice cream with parsley at Rao He Night Market
2. Eat ice cream with parsley at Rao He Night Market
18 Dec 2015

2. Eat ice cream with parsley at Rao He Night Market

“It’s at one of my favourite spots to eat at in Taipei. It’s famous for its black pepper biscuits, but I personally like the peanut rolls there. It’s like popiah, except with three different flavours of ice cream topped with parsley and peanuts. I know it sounds very weird, but it’s really nice! Everybody I brought there liked it. I don’t like eating Taiwanese smelly tofu, but the tofu at Rao He is one of the better ones I’ve tried.” 

3. Hike off the calories at Huang Di Dian
3. Hike off the calories at Huang Di Dian
18 Dec 2015

3. Hike off the calories at Huang Di Dian

“There’s a trail called Huang Di Dian (Emperor’s Pavilion) which branches off into many small trails. Some of the paths are really hardcore! You could be hiking on a narrow path with the mountain on your right and vast nothingness on your left.” 

4. Shop like a pro at Wu Fen Pu
4. Shop like a pro at Wu Fen Pu
18 Dec 2015

4. Shop like a pro at Wu Fen Pu

“This is a wholesale market selling clothes. The locals told me that to get the best price you have to bring a trolley bag with you. That’s what Taiwanese boutique owners do when they are stocking up on clothes there. The Wu Fen Pu shopkeepers will more likely entertain you when they think you’re a big buyer, and offer lower prices. If you want accessories, Huayin Street in Taipei City is the place to go. I’m planning to launch my own fashion line soon, so I did some research there.”

5. Frolick with felines at the Houtong Cat Village
5. Frolick with felines at the Houtong Cat Village
18 Dec 2015

5. Frolick with felines at the Houtong Cat Village

“This place is amazing, and, of course, I say this ’cos I own a cat. (Laughs) Let’s just say the village is like a cat harem. The cats are wandering everywhere, and there’s even a ‘wishing area’ where you can write your wishes on paper in the shape of a cat and hang it up.” 

6. Volunteer at a dog shelter at Nangang
6. Volunteer at a dog shelter at Nangang
18 Dec 2015

6. Volunteer at a dog shelter at Nangang

“My Taiwanese friend asked me if I would like to help out at a dog shelter. I was free one Saturday and off I went. It’s run by an elderly, visually-impaired auntie who needed some help after she had injured herself a few weeks ago. We helped her wash the dogs’ pens, cut grass and clear overgrowth.”

Tanglin airs weekdays, Ch 5, 8.30pm; also on Catch-up TV on Toggle.sg.
 

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