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There are many day trips that you can take from Taipei City, but none are quite so enjoyable or convenient as a trip to Danshui. A visit to the historic fishing town is a must, but if you want to get the most out of your 24 hours, then you’re going to need a plan.
If you’re not staying in Danshui, then wake up at the crack of dawn and get onto the first MRT of the day. Taipei’s MRT lines start at 6 am, and if you want to beat the morning rush hour, then you’ll have to be on that first one. If you’re already in Danshui (or if your stomach can wait until you get there), it’s time for an early morning breakfast, and like any other area in Taiwan, Danshui has a ton of breakfast options. Find any local breakfast shop, and fill up on dan bing (rolled pancake with egg). Wash it down with a big cup of milk tea or, if you’re feeling adventurous, soybean milk.
Time to go for a walk to blow the cobwebs away. Head for the old Customs House, which now houses cultural exhibitions periodically. Here you can also learn about the history of Danshui as the island’s one-time most important port. From here, it’s a short walk to Fort San Domingo, which dates back to 1629. It’s one of Taiwan’s most important historical sites, and you’ll also find the former British consular residence next door.
Danshui’s most popular attraction comes alive once the sun goes down. Here on Old Street, you can find shops selling everything from local handicrafts to cheap clothing. It can get a little busy during the weekends, but it’s a great experience. Here you can also sample some of Taipei’s legendary street foods from the street’s many food stalls. Later, you can head for Lover’s Tower at the Fullon Hotel. This tower offers incredible views of the landscape, and it’s quite spectacular at night. It closes at 9pm though, so make sure you’re there on time.