Forge unforgettable memories in Taiwan
Tourism ambassadors praise the country's 'undiscovered' districts
Malaysian hip-hop musician Namewee, a three-time tourism ambassador for Taipei, calls Taiwan his "second home".
The 36-year-old, who spent 13 years travelling around and living there, told The New Paper: "It is a pleasure to be serving (in this role) for the third year.
"This year, I want to craft a story between (Boon) Hui Lu and myself to entice Singaporean and Malaysian travellers to visit Taipei."
Namewee was in town on Wednesday alongside the local singer-songwriter - who was also named a Taipei tourism ambassador - for the Undiscovered Taipei press event to promote Taipei's five major quasi-museum districts: Beitou, Monga, North Town, South Town and Dadaocheng.
Launched in conjunction with 2019 Taipei Small Town Ramble by the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government (TPE-DOIT), Undiscovered Taipei celebrates these hidden but prized quasi-museums' culture, architecture and renewed image.
Namewee said he used to stay in those less-ventured small towns during his university days, specifically "at the foot of Yangmingshan National Park in Beitou, where my rental unit was a rooftop addition made of metal".
He added: "I was poor then and it can get really cold in the winter, but it was a place where I forged a lot of unforgettable memories.
"The first song I uploaded (Muar Mandarin, in 2007), which eventually went viral, came from there."
When asked for travel recommendations, Namewee and Boon agreed that Beitou's hot springs are a must-visit.
He said: "Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei are all cities.
"But what is unique about Taipei is its hot springs as you don't always encounter one in a city.
"It is especially comfortable during winter, when the temperature outside is 3 deg C and you get to soak in a 40 deg C pool.
"But make sure you take off all your clothing before you enter the place because the pool guard will call you out if you don't."
Boon, 26, has been living in Taipei for work for almost two years, after being signed to record label HIM International Music.
She chose accommodation that is next to a night market, where she can feast on the Taipei snacks that she loves, such as fried chicken cutlet and bubble tea.
"Taipei is also a place where my dream came true. I got to hold my first solo concert and even released my album there," she said.
At the Taipei booth at the Taiwan Pavilion at Natas Holidays 2019 held at Singapore Expo Halls 5 and 6 from today to Sunday, 10am to 9.30pm, TPE-DOIT has teamed up with China Airlines to offer the Free & Easy Flight + Hotel package at an exclusive discounted price of $435.
The first 100 customers who sign up will be given an additional gift package that includes airport shuttle service from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to downtown Taipei, a five-day network card and an Undiscovered Taipei EasyCard.