Taipei Layover: Stay Fit In Taiwan (Even For A One-Day-Stop)

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Quality Over Quantity!

Leaving Beijing to continue my Asian travel, it was hard to bypass the island nation of Taiwan.  Even for a quick two-night stay, Taiwan, specifically its capital city of Taipei deserves to be explored. Top of my priorities, of course, is the fitness facility. And a rooftop pool is always nice as well! I stayed at the Taipei Marriot, conveniently located in the hub of downtown, yet still with some nice gardens and greenery nearby. It was really nice, and the health club was truly gorgeous.

Rich Gastronomic Flair

Taiwan in the recent years has positioned itself as one of the top destinations in Asia, specifically among its Asian neighbors.  When we speak of Taiwan, people often think about its food, specifically its famous street food and night markets. But I want to see more than Taiwan’s amazing dishes.

Like China, this proved to be a little tricky, however, I was lucky to find a vegetarian restaurant in the food court across the street. Not sure if the food in Taiwan is usually really spicy, but I’m not coming away as a huge fan. At this point, I’m starting to feel a little ‘Chinese-d out’ on the culinary front and craving something familiar. I probably could have found it in Taipei, but just made do with what was available. As always, Starbucks quick dishes are usually the best option when I don’t have the energy available to track down something more ‘local’! Yet the local cuisine is indeed worth discovering as it marks the identity of Taiwan as one of the must-see destinations today, especially among foodies.

Workout Of The Day

It was just days before my arrival that Taiwan was threatened by the onslaught of Super Typhoon Mangkhut. The weather just got warmer and it has no rain, which looks like a good day to wander. However, I just arrived from Beijing and I think it would be best if I start my fitness at my own hotel.

This hotel gym is open 24/7 (a big plus for international travelers, battling time zones) with equipment for cardio and weight training. I got up early and did 90 minutes on the treadmill, zoning out in my own music combining high-intensity speed work with power and hill walking. It was easy to get 15,000 steps, something I especially recommend doing on the treadmill when you’re new to the city.

The weight room allowed me to continue my usual dumbbell workout, and then –saving the best for last – the glorious rooftop pool! This is what movies are made of.

I really had a momentary lapse of blissful feeling as I spoke with my wonderful man back in Canada both morning and night, looking out to the 360-degree view of the city. All my hard work getting to the place in my life where I can comfortably stay five stars just seemed worth it at this moment especially. I enjoyed a night swim at the pool, perfect to end the day and a prelude to a relaxing sleep.

My room has a great view of the city and what would be better than completing a vinyasa sequence with such a beautiful view. My yoga app was blocked when I was in China so it was nice to access it again in Taiwan. I had my 5am yoga just in time for sunrise – the perfect way to start my day in Taipei.

Sightseeing Walks

As your Taipei layover is likely only a day or do, save time by catching a cab directly to Baoan Temple.  This really is a spectacular temple to visit a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award recipient, with stone-carved artwork and gorgeous old carvings. You can walk around the whole area.

There are smaller parks but one of the major parks in Taipei which are close to my hotel is Meiti Riverside Park, just along the Keelung River. The park has designated jogging and cycling parks, easy to access.

Taipei

Interesting is their dirt race track for remote control car – perhaps appealing to those with kids, or those who are kids at heart! The green space of Meiti Park is enormous. I saw folks walking their dogs (made me miss my dogs back home even more).

Taipei

If You Have A Longer Taipei Layover

Just like in China, I saw a lot of people early morning practicing their Tai Chi. And yes, you can just join a group and follow the steps. I spotted other people stretching and doing some running and jogging in Taiwan’s parks.

After sweating it out, parks are great places to recharge and enjoy the canopy of green colors around you. For a densely populated country, it amazes me to see how their government reserved tracks of land for parks.

Close to my hotel is the Taipei Botanical Garden, a relaxing place to hang out or do some walking. This garden is famous for its lotus pond and greenhouse. Within the garden is Taiwan’s National Museum of History.

Daan Fort Park is another green space – one of the biggest with traditional Chinese architecture. Peace Park is the city’s oldest and a “gift” by the Japanese who once controlled the island.

Taipei 101 is an imposing structure in the city. After all, it was once the tallest building in the world. The nicest way to view Taipei 101 is from a famous hiking trail just within the city limits – Four Beast Hiking Trail.

Named after the four mountains resembling Elephant, Tiger, Lion, and Leopard, the hike is a loop. The lookout named Stone Garden offers the best view of the city and at night – I think this is where photographers take the money shot for Taipei 101.

Bike trails can be found just outside Taipei but are accessible from various MRT Stations in the city. These bike trails run along the river or cut through a protected park. To name some of Taipei’s top bike trails, there’s Guangdu Bike Trail, Bali Bike Trail, and the Dahan River Bike Trail.

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About the Author

Cat Smiley

Cat Smiley

Hello! I’m Cat, Master Trainer and owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. We’re a luxury weight loss retreat for women of beginner fitness levels. Click here to go to our home page and find out about our amazing programs!

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About Cat

Cat Smiley (@icatsmiley) is one of Canada’s leading body transformation specialists, and the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. CATSMILEY.com

   

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