Before abruptly returning to the U.S. from stay in Taiwan, I was living in the Songshan district of Taipei. For the un-initiated, Taipei is divided up into districts such as Songshan, Xinyi, Zhongshan, and more. Traveling through Taipei, you will not notice you are traversing one district or the other, but people refer to these districts to narrow down the locations of various places like the best bars, coffee houses, or clubs.
I stayed at an Airbnb with a fantastic host named Beatrice Hsu in Song Shan district. Her listing is No. 41-4 Xindong Street, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105. The place was a little old, but private, and the host made my stay worth while. If you get a chance to stay at her listing, ask about her church. It is a small gathering at her apartment. The whole thing is in Mandarin, though people can speak some English. Everyone comes together and has a great meal, then there is a bible study. In addition to my gracious host, I found Songshan to be quite nice and quiet. The streets are not crowded and the sidewalks are never too stuffed.
My place in Song shan was a little bit far from the MRT, but there were plenty of bus stops around which definitely came in handy. If I was not in a rush I preferred to walk to the MRT because the walk was peaceful. From my place to the MRT was about 15 – 20 minutes walk. While Songshan is more residential and quiet it has many great food spots, especially where I was on Xindong street. There were some great places to get a quick meal of rice, meat, and veggies, as well as soups, and the famous Taiwanese “hamburgers” (Guabao), plus many more delicious foods. You cannot tell from the picture below, but the whole sidewalk was filled with restaurants like this.
Speaking of food, Song Shan is also home to the famous Rao He night market. Rao He is so damn good, I wish I had visited the place more frequently. It is also extremely easy to get to. Take the green line on the MRT to the Songshan exit and you are basically there. While hanging out in Rao He, try out some Xiaolongbao( soup dumplings) and choudofu( fried stinky tofu). Night markets are usually packed so hopefully you are not claustrophobic.
Since Song Shan is more residential, you will easily find super markets to get anything you need. There were a few major super markets within 5- 10 minutes walk from my apartment, very convenient. So if you are looking for a quiet place to stay with plenty of food and cafes, Song Shan is a great place to look. Take some time step back from the hustle and bustle, walk the streets and relax.