The area around Zhongshan MRT Station 中山站 in Taipei is one of the most popular areas in the city. It lays in the Zhongshan district, just a station away from the Taipei Main Station. You have shopping malls and restaurants, as well as cute little cafés making the area one of the top destinations for Taipeiers. But not only that, this part of Taipei is hugely popular with Japanese, those who live and work here and those who come to visit. Among other things, I have heard that Taipei's unofficial red light district is here as well, in various backstreets with a very limited access. Japanese businessmen like to frequent here according to my friend, who's identity I will keep undisclosed.
I've been to this area a lot of times, I usually go shopping for clothes or just having a drink with friends. Check my photos from June, 2011:
1 Zhongshan MRT Station area at night
2 Zhongshan MRT Station area at day
The area with the long green promenade or park is very pleasant for a long walk. Along the way you can see various sculptures and playful installations. On the right and left and various interesting cafés, usually with a special theme. The whole atmosphere is very easygoing here. Underground is one of Taipei's longest shopping malls (815m), the Zhongshan Metro Mall 中山地下街. I'm not a fan of underground malls, but this one is not bad. Especially if it rains, you can hide underground and enjoy shopping or eating in a safe place.
Zhongshan MRT Station area is a part of Taipei, that I truly recommend, and I will visit it many times in the future. And if you decided to go out at this station there are many other interesting parts of the city withing some 30 min of walk: You can go further and discover the old Taipei in Tataocheng, the Ningxia Night Market and the very famous Dihua old street. I bet one of these places will be interesting to you.
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