Taiwan is very rainy so don’t be surprised when the weather forecast predicts rain nonstop for a week, but don’t fret because there are still plenty of ways to enjoy your time in Taiwan.
For reference, London, which is known for being quite rainy, receives on average 23
inches of rain each year, while Taipei averages 94 inches of rain each year. When I first arrived it was 梅雨, or plum rain season, named for its connection to the growing season of plums, but people like to joke that it is because the rain drops are the size of plums. Needless to say, after a few days stuck inside due to the rain I became disheartened that I wouldn’t be able to experience all that Taiwan has to offer. Here are some of my best tips to enjoy Taipei despite, or maybe sometimes because of the rain.
Pop into an arcade to get away from the rain
On many streets, especially those close to night markets, there are charming arcades,
where you can use 10 NTD coins, which is a bit more than 25 cents in USD, to play a variety of games and even win prizes. Something that really surprised me is how popular claw machine games are, with some arcades being made up entirely of them and each one is filled with different, desirable prizes from cute bobble heads to delicious snacks.
An adorable arcade that my roommate and I stumbled upon while it was raining.
(Photo credit: Wendy Zhang)
Check out interesting museums
This may sound obvious, but museums make the perfect rainy day activity and with such
a rich history and culture, Taipei has loads of engaging museums that are well worth a visit regardless of the weather. A trip to the National Palace Museum, with its vast collection of ancient, imperial, Chinese artifacts, is a definite must. The National Taiwan Museum’s “Exploring Taiwan” exhibit is an excellent way to learn more about “the story of Taiwan and her people.” For a more interactive learning experience head to Kuo Yuan Ye Museum of Cake and Pastry, where for 400 NTD you can take a class and make your own pineapple cake, which is one of the desserts Taiwan is most famous for.
Savor a warm and satisfying meal
With incredible food to be found on every street corner in Taiwan, there is always an
abundance of tasty things to try, but some dishes are elevated by the presence of rainy weather. The national dish of Taiwan is 紅燒牛肉麵, or beef noodle soup and after trying it I know why because it is one of the most comforting foods I have had the pleasure of partaking in. With tender pieces of beef, broth made incredibly fragrant from the use of warm spices and delightfully slurpable noodles this soup can make the rainiest of days brighter.
Another great idea for a rainy day is to grab a group of friends and head to one of
Taiwan’s many hot pot restaurants. Getting to help cook your food is always fun, but there is something so fitting about enjoying a relaxing, slow paced meal and chatting with friends while it is raining outside. If neither of these options suit your tastes, you will be sure to find something that does at the Shilin Night Market’s underground food court, which is the perfect refuge from the rain.
Enjoying Beef noodle soup with my roommate.
(Photo credit: Wendy Zhang)
The rain doesn’t stop anyone here from living their lives. Even the people driving
scooters keep going with the help of a rain jacket. While you will be fine without rain boots, you will definitely need a good umbrella or rain jacket. An umbrella is preferable since you can easily stash it in your bag so that you are always prepared for any unplanned precipitation, plus most of the locals use umbrellas. And if you do get caught in the rain while in Taiwan, don’t worry and just embrace it like any main character would.