Text Lin Zixin
Taipei & Around
In this installment, check out these locations that we've highlighted in Taipei City, Beitou, Danshui and Yangmingshan National Park.
Yangmingshan National Park
Taiwan’s metropolitan centre, Taipei City is a great base for your pre-wedding photo shoot, with sceneries ranging from cutting-edge modern to old-world traditional. And Taipei offers the best of Taiwan in another way too – we’re betting you won’t be able to keep your hands off the sinful street food and great shopping deals.
Ximending | Taipei Fine Arts Museum | Taipei Story House | Taipei 101 | Spot – Taipei Film House | Taipei Water Park | Lin Family Mansion and Garden | Da'an Forest Park | Waishuangxi Nature Park | National Taiwan University | Dajia Waterfront Park | Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Whoever said that you can’t have work and play at the same time? Ximending is a vibrant destination for your pre-wedding photos that captures the essence of Taipei City’s spirit. Just look at the historic Red Pavilion Theatre located amidst the area’s skyscrapers. When you’re done, enjoy the rest of your time by sampling the delectable street food and yes, shopping till you drop.
Red Pavilion Theatre
Taipei Fine Arts Museum (臺北市立美術館)
For a sleek modern minimalist touch, be sure to swing by Taipei Fine Arts Museum. The museum façade is bold with clean-cut lines while the interior is lit with natural light let in through the full-length glass panels. One handy tip would be to check out what's exhibiting beforehand; you never know when an art installation can serve as an interesting backdrop.
Address: 臺北市 10461 中山北路三段181號
Taipei Story House (台北故事館)
Located just beside the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, this location borders on the small, but is nonetheless delightful if European-styled buildings are your cup of tea.
Taipei 101 (臺北101)
There's no other building that is more representative of Taipei than Taipei 101. The tallest building in Taiwan draws a dramatic skyline and adds a sophisticated edge to your photos.
Spot – Taipei Film House (光點台北電影主題館)
Tucked in a trendy suburban corner of Taipei City, Spot is a welcome respite from the tall buildings of downtown Taipei. Housed in a two-storey colonial style building, the lane leading up to Spot is flagged with low trees on both sides and lends interesting light play on sunny days.
Website: http://www.spot.org.tw/index_e.htm (English) / http://www.spot.org.tw/ (Chinese)
Taipei Water Park (自來水博物館)
Get a taste of flamboyant Baroque architecture without even stepping out of Asia at Taipei Water Park. The intricately designed buildings resonate with old-world European charm and leave no doubt as to why this is one of the most popular photo locations in Taipei.
Website: http://waterpark.twd.gov.tw/english/index_e.htm (English) / http://waterpark.twd.gov.tw/museum/museum.htm (Chinese)
Lin Family Mansion and Garden (林本源園邸、林家花園)
Bask in the poetic beauty of the strongly oriental Lin Family Mansion and Garden. Equal parts delicate and equal parts opulent, expect to find ornate buildings and the goodness of the East here.
Da'an Forest Park (大安森林公園)
Shooting in Da'an Forest Park is a walk in the park (okay, forgive the lousy pun) – enjoy the soothing leafy surroundings with the rest of the local Taiwanese lounging around the park. It'll be a great chance to experience the warmth of the Taiwanese as well; chances are, they'll be coming up to you and congratulating you on your impending nuptials.
Waishuangxi Nature Park (外雙溪公園)
Located in the Shihlin district of Taipei City, the park's claim to fame would probably be the ethereal image of its swing over the sparkling lake, a favourite of many couples. The undisturbed nature around the grounds makes for a pretty picture too.
National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學)
Taiwan's oldest university serves as a great location for couples who are looking to inject a little of a storyline into their pre-wedding shoot. Relive your student days in classrooms complete with chalk and blackboard; otherwise, historic buildings from the days of Japanese colonialism and impressive lines of palm trees serve as equally lovely backdrops.
Dajia Waterfront Park (大佳河濱公園)
With expansive stretches of green and pristine waters, the Dajia Waterfront Park makes for an idyllic afternoon of photo-taking, especially when the skies are clear. The large open areas also mean that this is an ideal location for energetic shots that require lots of movement.
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (國立中正紀念堂)
Another location offering classical Chinese architecture for that oriental touch. The white-washed walls look especially striking on a fine day and the open plaza makes a great photo location; that is, if you can beat the crowds.
Website: http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/index.php (English) / http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/index.php (Chinese)
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Previously a hot springs rest and relax area for the Japanese during Taiwan's colonial times, the Japanese sure knew a good thing when they saw it. Today, Beitou remains as rustic as before, and you can get plenty shots of exquisite wooden architecture here.
Taipei Public Library | Beitou Hot Spring Museum | Beitou Qinshui Park | Beitou Geothermal Valley
Taipei Public Library (台北市立圖書館、北投圖書館)
It would not be exaggerated to say that the Taipei Public Library is the epitome of Beitou's architectural beauty. However, do note that photography is only allowed outside of the library.
Tel: 0 2-2897-7682
Website: http://english.tpml.edu.tw/MP_104022.html (English) / http://www.tpml.edu.tw/MP_104021.html (Chinese)
Beitou Hot Spring Museum (北投溫泉博物館)
Another atmospheric building from the Japanese colonial times, the Beitou Hot Spring Museum is likewise sublime and elegant and will make an enjoyable outing any day.
Beitou Qinshui Park (北投溫泉親水公園)
Just a stone's throw away from Xinbeitou MRT, most couples come here for a shot of the famed Beitou Waterfall. If you're headed for the Beitou district, consider stopping by.
Beitou Geothermal Valley (北投地熱谷)
Further north of the Beitou Qinshui Park, the dry terrain of Beitou Geothermal Valley provides great contrast for gowns with dramatic sweeping trains.
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Less than an hour away from the heart of Taipei, at the end of the Danshui line on the Taipei MRT, beautiful Danshui is every Taipei dweller's not-so-secret getaway for the weekend. Boasting no lack of photogenic spots, be awed by Danshui's brilliant photo opportunities at every turn of the corner.
Fisherman's Wharf | Aletheia University | Tamkang University | Tamkang High School | Fort San Domingo | Shalun Beach | Danshui Church | Little White House | Ta-Tun Flower Garden
Fisherman's Wharf (漁人碼頭)
If you can, avoid weekends as that's when day-trippers stream in from downtown Taipei. We highly recommend a leisurely shoot starting from late afternoon till the evening – start along the waterfront to the serenade of live music from the nearby cafes, then wrap up with some shots of the breathtaking sunset from the iconic Lover's Bridge.
Aletheia University (真理大學)
It is no doubt why Aletheia University is a favourite with Taiwanese couples – from classical to modern, the grounds offers a diverse range of backdrops that will have you dazzled. Favourite photo spots are the school's classical red-bricked buildings, notably Oxford College, and the atmospheric Grand Chapel.
Tel: (02) 2621-2121-5
Tamkang University (淡江大學)
Tamkang University too offers a mix of the old and new. Apart from the sleek clean lines of its modern architecture (check out the curiously named Egg Roll Square), be awed by the exquisite oriental buildings within the grounds as well. (Great for that cheongsam dress!)
Address: 25137 台北縣淡水鎮英專路151號
Tamkang High School (淡江高級中學)
Anyone who has watched Jay Chou's directorial debut movie, Secret, would have wondered about the quaint school grounds that set the scene for the romantic love story. Now that's a secret no more, for the very place where the movie was shot is none other than Tamkang High School. Play out your very own love story on the tranquil and charming grounds.
Fort San Domingo (紅毛城)
Situated on top of a hill, Fort San Domingo is one of Danshui's most famous landmarks, and well worthy, since it looks imposing on the approach and turns out just as well on picture. Apart from the buildings' beautiful red-bricked exterior, the interiors also serve as good photo locations. The historical quarters of the fort can create cold, desolate looks while other areas, simply decorated with wooden furniture and warm lights are great for intimate shots.
Shalun Beach (沙崙海水浴場)
Shalun Beach comes highly rated on every pre-wedding photo shoot itinerary to Danshui, and it's no wonder why. Arriving at different times of the year and day, this enigmatic beach offers a different mood and look to make yours a unique photo outing. In summer the beach is resplendent with endless blue sky and clouds while in winter it is grey and moody; at first light you may find the quiet beach bathed in shades of pastel from the morning sun but in the evening you may find stunning views of the twilight reflected on the sea.
Danshui Church (淡水教堂)
Another notable historical landmark in Danshui, the Danshui Church is also a place you can consider in your itinerary if you're a fan of red-bricked facades and rustic buildings.
Little White House (小白宮)
If grandiose European chic is what you're looking for, Little White House is the place to go. Channel the old world charm with elegant verandas, finely structured colonial architecture and abundant flora and fauna around the grounds.
Ta-Tun Flower Garden (大屯花卉農場)
In your time of looking at other couples' pre-wedding photos in Taiwan, you've probably been captivated by that image of a windmill amidst a sea of flowers. Look no further, for Ta-Tun Flower Garden is probably that very place where the picture was taken. Couples looking to shoot here are required to pay a fee of NT800 (around SGD40), which includes free flow of drinks.
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Yangmingshan National Park is a must-go for every couple taking pre-wedding photos in Taiwan. Apart from seasonal blooms, the park is endowed with numerous scenic spots that will create pictures of different moods depending on your preferences at any time of the year.
Qianshan Park | Tatun Natural Park | Taipei Floriculture Experiment Centre | Cold Water Pit | Longfeng Valley | Take a Break Coffee | Xiaoyoukeng | Zhuzi Lake Calla Lily Gardens | Black Forest/Liushan Forest
Qianshan Park (陽明山前山公園)
Qianshan Park serves as a great primer for the rest of Yangmingshan National Park's beauty and is probably the first place you would check out for seasonal flowers within the national park.
Tatun Natural Park (大屯自然公園)
If never-ending stretches of grasslands are your idea of beauty, you'll be feeling right at home at Datun Mountain.
Taipei Floriculture Experiment Centre (台北市花卉試驗中心)
The large variety of blooms is the main reason why this spot remains one of the most popular with wedding couples. The centre also sees a peak (in both wedding couples and visitors) in the season of cherry blossoms around February.
Cold Water Pit (冷水坑)
This scenic spot brings to mind images of temperate countries in fall/winter, with magnificent palettes of earth tones.
Longfeng Valley (龍鳳谷硫磺谷遊憩區)
It's nature galore here with waterfalls, immaculate waters and verdant green – the perfect backdrops for gorgeous wedding photos.
Take a Break Coffee (台北奧萬大)
Located within Yangmingshan National Park, Take a Break Coffee is a dainty coffeehouse with ready views of maple leaves all year round.
Get shots of steaming sulfur fumaroles amidst hilly landscape in this area.
Zhuzi Lake Calla Lily Gardens (竹子湖觀光海芋園)
Blossoming around March to April, create a dreamy and romantic shot with these calla lilies as your backdrop. Take your pick from the numerous gardens lining the perimeter of Zhuzi Lake.
Address: 台北市北投區湖田里竹子湖路 56之7號
Black Forest/Liushan Forest (黑森林、柳杉林)
Widely known only by its moniker of 'Black Forest' to many couples, this vast expanse of towering cypresses trees is one of the most sought-after pre-wedding photo spots in Yangmingshan National Park, but also one of the most mysterious. Little known to couples who search for signposts to 'Black Forest' in vain, the actual name of the area is 'Liushan Forest'. As its nickname would suggest, expect to find rows of dark cypress trees all around you. If you're lucky, you'll also be able to get some pretty magical shots of the forest mist enveloping both of you.
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Here are some other locations that you can refer to:
Northern Taiwan (Coming soon!)
Central Taiwan (Coming soon!)
Southern Taiwan (Coming soon!)