Raving About Taipei’s Riverside Part 2: Where to Go and What to Do

I’ve already said that the Riverside Park system is one of my favorite things about Taipei, but with a Riverside this extensive, it can be hard to decide which is the best portion to hit up if you only have a little bit of time. In this post, I’ll offer you 12 interesting suggestions of where to go and what to do along the Riverside.
Starting from the south end of the Riverside…
1. Taipei Zoo and the Maokong Gondola
Located at the southern terminus of the Taipei Riverside system in the Wenshan District, the Taipei Zoo and Maokong Gondola are two great areas to explore the mountains bordering the southern edge of Taipei. Of the two, the Maokong Gondola is the more famous tourist attraction, taking you on a 17-37 minute journey up into the mountains. The crystal cabins give you a magnificent view of the mountains as you pass over, with numerous temples and tea fields beneath you. Once you reach Maokong, you can access a variety of hiking trails and tea houses, all surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
The Taipei Zoo is a great destination for any family and hosts animals in a variety of areas, including the Formosan Animal Area, Children’s Zoo, Asian Tropical Rainforests Area, Desert Animals Area, Australian Animal Area, African Animal Area, Temperate Zone Animal Area and Birds World. The pandas and penguins are especially fun to visit!
If you’re interested in biking the entirety of the Taipei Riverside, there’s also a bike rental station located here near the entrance to the Riverside!
Nearest MRT Station: Taipei Zoo Station (Brown Line 01)
View of Maokong Gondola Zoo Station


View of the Zoo entrance from the Riverside
2. Rock Climbing Wall
Are you a climbing fanatic? Just want to stretch your arms a bit? Well there’s a climbing wall along the Riverside just for you! Great for bouldering, this free public climbing fixture is great for anyone who wants to get a quick climb into their day.
Nearest MRT Station: Gongguan Station (Green Line 07)
Rock on.

3. Treasure Hill
Treasure Hill is an Artist’s Village located on a hillside overlooking the Xindian River. Making its home in a complex of illegally-constructed shanties that is now a municipal historic site, Treasure Hill exhibits a serene, introspective atmosphere that provides a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Taipei city life. Treasure Hill regularly hosts multiple artists in residence in its 14 studios as a way to “build a multinational network through associative participation”. Get coffee at one of several shops located on the hill, stroll through the alleys and visit art studios (but first make sure the sign outside says you can go in!), and overall just enjoy the beautiful atmosphere that Treasure Hill provides. Additionally, Treasure Hill is the home of Taipei media school, known for its educational programs focusing on music, the visual arts, and show production.

Visit their website here to learn more about their history and special events!

Nearest MRT Station: Gongguan Station (Green Line 07)
View of Treasure Hill from the Riverside
Treasure Hill Artist Village main plaza
4. Gongguan Waterfront Plaza
One of the best spots to grab food or drink along the Riverside, Gongguan Waterfront Plaza hosts several small shacks that provide a variety of food and drink options ranging from beer and pizza to cocktails and fried chicken. One of my favorite stands at Gongguan is the Poutinnerie, which offers the amazing combination of great French fries and affordable craft beers (100NTD for ~473mL).
In the mood for live music? Pipe Live Music is also located in the Plaza and is a regular site for live music shows, ranging across genres such as heavy metal, EDM, and hip-hop. Check out their website here (in Chinese only).
Additionally, if you leave the Waterfront Plaza and walk down the street, you’ll quickly come across other unique Taipei attractions such as the Taipei Water Park and Museum of Drinking Water, the Gongguan Night Market, and the beautiful National Taiwan University campus.
Nearest MRT Station: Gongguan Station (Green Line 07)
The Waterfront plaza may look boring during the day…
…but it quickly comes to life at night!


Pipe Live Music venue entrance
5. Huajiang Wild Duck Nature Park
Are you an amateur ornithologist?  A general nature aficionado? Simply like bird watching? Come visit the Huajiang Wild Duck Nature Park where you can see an abundance of Taipei’s water birds. The most dominant bird in this area is the brown-headed Cattle Egret, but you’ll probably spot a glimpse of some other cool species such as herons, mallard ducks, and water rails.
Nearest MRT Station: Longshan Temple Station (Blue Line 10)
Signs along the Riverside path show you what types of ducks you can look for.
One of the Riverside’s resident dog packs coexisting harmoniously with some of Taipei’s native waterbirds
6. Dadaocheng Pier Plaza
The spot on this list located nearest to Homey Hostel, Dadaocheng Pier Plaza offers another great area to relax and find good food along the Riverfront. Whereas the Gongguan Waterfront Plaza is best to visit in the evening for drinks, Dadaocheng Pier Plaza feels more like a place you would go for an afternoon picnic. With a variety of food options available, from noodles to pizza, there’s something for everyone. Don’t worry you can still enjoy an alcoholic afternoon drink here by visiting one of several stalls that offer craft beer, champagne, and cocktails.
Nearest MRT Station (even though it’s easiest to just walk from Homey): Beimen Station (Green Line 13) or Daqiaotou Station (Orange Line 12)
Unlike most of Taipei’s night markets, at Dadaocheng you can actually sit and enjoy your food!
Take a break from your bike ride and grab a bite to eat!
7. Old Taipei Children’s Park and Yuanshan
As you bike east under the Chengde Road Overpass, the view of an old Ferris wheel begins to come into view. The previous home of the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park (now located across the river in Shilin District), the lot currently houses several band ones theme rides, including the aforementioned Ferris wheel and a carousel. Trespassing on the lot is most likely prohibited, but the view of the old park provides a unique spectacle along the river.
The old amusement park used to be a part of the Yuanshan Park area, which is a still vibrant system of several parks on the northern edge of Taipei proper. On the weekend, the park plaza outside the MRT station is filled with a bustling farmers market, and all week long, Maji Square offers a variety of snack stalls that offer delicious goodies from around the world, including tapas, tacos, and ramen. When you visit, there’s plenty of green space to explore, and if you wander over to the neighboring Xinsheng Park, you can even find a garden maze to lose yourself in and a botanical conservatory that allows you to surround yourself with beautiful plants while staying indoors.
Nearest MRT Station: Yuanshan Station (Red Line 14)
This abandoned ferris wheel provides a simultaneously eerie and beautiful picture.
Take a few minutes to lose yourself in this free garden maze
See a variety of exotic plants inside the Taipei Collective Botanical Garden
8. Splash Park and Sandbox at Dajia Park
Fun for kids of all ages, Dajia Park hosts a large splash park and sandbox area that your kids (or maybe just you) can play in. Build a sand castle, escape the hot summer heat, and grab a snack at one of the food stalls located in between the two areas.
Nearest MRT Station: Dazhi Station (Brown 14)
Sand and sun, what could be more fun?


Splash Park Fun
9. Boat Docks and Dragon Boats
The Riverside hosts several boat docks that allow you to take watercraft on to the river (you may or may not need a permit though – I haven’t found much information on boating or kayaking in Taipei yet). During the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the spots you can view dragon boat races is at this spot located under Dazhi Bridge. If you’re in Taipei during May or June, be sure to check out this historic Chinese tradition and catch a dragon boat race!
Nearest MRT Station: Dazhi Station (Brown 14)
Dragon boats for days (actually only a few days, check this website first!)

10. Minigolf course
Can’t go on vacation without hitting the green? Go to Yingfeng Riverside Park to practice your putting on the Riverside’s very own miniature golf course. BYOBAC (Bring your own balls and clubs).
Nearest MRT Station: Dazhi Station (Brown 14)
What what in the putt?
11. Yingfeng Dog Park
Dogs are allowed all along the Riverside! In fact, there are more than a few packs of wild dogs who have made the Riverside their home (cared for and fed by the city, none of the dog packs are aggressive. However, they tend to keep to themselves, so it’s wise to exercise caution and avoid antagonizing them). However, if your dog can’t be trusted off its leash, but you want to let him or her run wild for a while, Yingfeng Dog Park is the perfect place to go. Consisting of two fenced in areas that have plenty of space and fun fixtures for your dog to run to, it’s the perfect place to give your dog some exercise and maybe make some other puppy friends along the way. Don’t have a dog? The dogs that come to the dog park are still super fun to watch!
Nearest MRT Station: Dazhi Station (Brown 14)
Plenty of space for your dog to run around!
There are even obstacle courses for your dogs to run along!
This dog pack may live in Jingmei and not Yingfeng, but they’re still super cute!
12. Rainbow Park and Raohe Night Market
Rainbow Park is probably one of my favorite parks along the riverside simply because the multiple different-colored bridges provide a beautiful backdrop as you relax along the river. After meandering along the Riverside, you should definitely enter back into the city and visit the nearby Raohe Night Market to enjoy some delicious Taiwanese snacks next to the beautifully ornate Songshan Ciyou Temple.
Nearest MRT Station: Songshan Station (Green 19)
Rainbow Park Bridges
Raohe Night Market Entrance Gate
Any of the above places seem interesting? Here’s a map showing the locations!
Honestly though, no matter which part you go to, you should visit the Riverside.
Don’t think these are the only spots along the Riverside worth visiting. On any given day you can also find people flying kites, running, practicing instruments, and just generally living their best lives. Even in the places that don’t necessarily have any “special attractions”, there’s still a ton of gorgeous scenery and greenery to immerse yourself in and escape the city for a little while.
Stay tuned for next week’s post, in which I address one of the greatest (or at least one of my greatest) challenges of traveling/going on vacation: getting your workout in.
Until next time,
Your favorite Homey LTR, Angie

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