What do the locals eat in Taipei

Snakes eat in the megacity

01 National Palace Museum. The attraction of the capital par excellence. This is one of the main reasons why millions of tourists come to Taipei each year, especially mainland Chinese who don't seem to be hugely popular here. Unfortunately, the museum turns out to be a bitter disappointment. These are immense treasures that General Chiang Kai-shek and his troops took with them during their exodus from Beijing's Forbidden City and other imperial collections. For a European, however, the objects come under the heading of arts and crafts, or, somehow more bulky, Kunstkammer. Like the total hit of the exhibits: the “grasshopper in the jade cabbage”. Pure virtuosity, skillful handicraft. No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Road, Shilin District, npm.gov, tw

02. Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Taipei is a hotspot for the educated, western-oriented, globally networked youth and art scene. The internationally curated Taipei Biennale is world-renowned. One of their locations is the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the first contemporary art museum in Taiwan. It offers a mix of permanent collections and special exhibitions. No.181, Sec. 3, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Tfam.gov.tw

03.Songshan Cultural Park. Built as a tobacco factory by the Japanese occupiers, it has recently been transformed into a center for culture and creativity. Generous, intelligently adapted rooms, a huge, leafy inner courtyard, a design museum, a considerable collection of modern art, interesting temporary exhibitions. A successful oasis in the middle of the Moloch Taipei. No.133, Guangfu S.Rd., Xinyi Dist, songshanculturalpark.org

04. Landis Hotel. Centrally located five-star hotel. Small but nice. Spacious rooms. High standards of service. Always scores excellent in all reviews. No. 41, Section 2, Minquan East Road, Zhongshan District, landistpe.hotel.com.tw

05. Eclat. Boutique hotel with lots of art and the latest technology. Lavish breakfast buffet, free minibar. No. 370, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, Da'an District. eclathotels.com

06. Yong Kang. Beef Noodles are something of the nation's signature dish. There's an incredible cult around it. The trained Austrian is then of course a bit surprised: It is boiled beef, served in a soup bowl with noodles. No.17, Lane 31, Section 2, Jinshan South Road, beefnoodle-master.com

07. Dian Shui Lou. In many countries there are dishes that represent a test of courage for the stranger. In this case we are talking about an olfactory challenge. In addition to beef noodles, stinky tofu is also a national gastronomic sanctuary. The author of these lines, who tried surstromming (fermented herring that smells like a corpse immersed in manure) in Sweden, was prepared for the worst. But the all-clear: The “stinking tofu” looked like a health food store tofu, it also “only” smelled, as an Austrian fellow traveler put it, “like what comes in at Kuahstall”. So relatively harmless and tasteless. No.54, Huaining Street, dianshuilou.com.tw.

08. Lu Dang Chuan Guo. This place is definitely different, looks more like a western intellectual pub. Simple furnishings, large, long wooden tables. Here the local folk cuisine is celebrated, the hot pot, the Chinese fondue, as it is still common in the country and with large families. A large pot of hot soup is placed on the table, along with lots of ingredients such as thinly sliced ​​meat, mushrooms, bean sprouts, dumplings, sea cucumbers, vegetables and so on. Informal, extremely conversational, and really delicious. Of course there are also many sauces that you can mix yourself. No.1, Xueyuan Rd., Beitou District

09.Din Tai Fung. Not the most romantic location. Huge in size on the ground floor of the 101 Tower, it looks like a better corporate canteen. Dozens of cooks and their assistants in white coats and white mouth and hair protection work in a glass show kitchen like surgeons in an intensive care unit. People stand in line and have to pull a number and wait. They specialize in all imaginable variations of dim sum: delicious beyond measure. You really understand the success when you get the bill: a ridiculous amount for what you have consumed. Probably the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. B1 F, No.45, Shifu Rd., Xinyi Distr., Dintaifung.com

10. Raohe Night Market. At the famous night markets you can see street food that has never been seen in this form and therefore has to torment your guide or the seller with endless questions. So, after extensive research, treat yourself to: duck asses on a spit, roast duck hearts or lungs, boiled fish heads, deer penises, turtle blood, turtle testicles, etc. . . The most harmless delicacy is the unusual oyster egg dish prepared in front of your eyes. Section 4, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105

11. Snake Alley. It takes about half an hour to even dare to stick your spoon in a snake soup - in front of the restaurant you have seen the terrarium with the living animals. But as soon as you taste it, you are immediately convinced and could actually eat it every day. Snake soup tastes like fish - if you didn't know better. This is accompanied by drinking wine made from male snake genitals that have been put in alcohol for weeks. Huaxi Street, Wanhua District.

12. Elite Bookstore. Looks like a library and is open 24 hours a day. Why don't we have something like that? Greatest. Sensational. Most necessary. Envy! Want to have too! Vienna must become Taipei! 2 F, No. 245, Dunhua South Road, eslitebooks.com