Visiting Taipei in the month of May didn’t go quite like I expect. I thought for sure it was going to be steamy hot (and rainy), but it ended up being a little bit of everything.

I packed an umbrella and light clothes for a tropical climate. I never ended up using the umbrella. The thin clothing wasn’t enough to keep me warm in the early mornings and late evenings. And why the hell didn’t I bring sunscreen?

Scott Leazenby walking down the streets of Taipei
This right here is the look of a man who is ticked off at himself for not doing a bit of research ahead of time. “Taipei is cool as hell, but I am a total idiot.”

What you can expect when visiting Taipei in the month of May

The last time I visited Taipei was in February 2017 during the Chinese / Lunar New Year. It was a completely different experience from my most recent trip in May of 2024. This time I learned:

Temperature swings can be fairly significant

Remember: Taiwan isn’t exactly South Asia, but it’s not North Asia either. It gets downright chilly in the winter, and straight up tropical in the summertime.

It’s going to be fairly warm during the daytime in the month of May. Humid too. It can still get fairly chilly in the evenings that time of year.

My recommendation: pack mostly summer clothes, with a heavy shirt or two mixed in so that you’re ready for anything.

Sightseeing around the city of taipei
I also recommend not carrying around a 20 lb (9 kg) backpack on your day of sightseeing. Lower back pain, tweaked shoulders, and a sweaty back is overrated IMHO.
Inside a taipei taxi
OK, another recommendation (since I’m on a roll): don’t expect your taxi driver to understand a word of your plea to either raise or lower the temperature. None of them speak a lick of English.

Crowds in all the tourist spots will be fairly light

The first time I visited the Taipei 101 Observatory back in 2017 (during the New Year holiday), I had to wait an hour and a half in line.

On my most recent visit (in early May), there was no waiting. I simply walked up to the ticket counter, made my purchase, and hopped directly on the next elevator to the top.

Looking up at the Taipei 101 tower
Pro tip: the Taipei 101 Tower is still absolutely worth visiting any time of the year (even if you have to wait more than an hour in line). It’s just a lot more fun if you don’t have to wait, that’s all.

I also saw a significant fewer number of Western tourists on the streets compared to last time.

Empty streets of Taipei
57th most populated city in the world my a**!

It’ll be super easy to get a nice hotel room

I was shocked at how easy it was to get into a nice hotel room right in the middle of the city. And it wasn’t all that expensive either!

I made my hotel reservations approximately 2 months before departure. Nearly every room type at every hotel that I looked at was available.

Shangri-La far Eastern hotel room
The view I had from my room at the Shangri-La far Eastern was ridiculous (in a good way).
Madison Hotel suite Taipei
My suite at the Madison Hotel wasn’t quite as saucy, but it was a pretty good score nonetheless.

Construction. Everywhere.

I’m totally guessing about this, but my assumption is that the spring and the fall is when they do most construction in Taipei. It’s not as hot as the summer months, and much warmer than the winter months.

I lost count of the number of times that I nearly killed myself tripping over rebar or falling into an open trench. Long story short: pay attention!

Busy taipei Street
Granted, it was a little hard to pay attention when being constantly bombarded with visual stimulation like this. How I never once fell into an open trench on this trip I’ll never know.

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