Taipei is just like any large city: tall modern buildings, extensive and easy to use public transportation, many people, a lot of cars and even more scooters. But what sets Taipei apart from most other big cities I've visited is how laid back and approachable it is.

It's known for its lively street food scene. In Taipei, you don't have to book a reservation at a stuffy restaurant to enjoy some really great food. Just go out to one of the many night markets. If there's a queue, it's probably great!

Most cities have large avenues to explore but in Taipei, everything is more interesting in the alleyways. You may stumble upon a cute little shop or noodle cart, or you could just admire the local architecture.

But my favorite thing about Taipei is how important plants are in the big city. There are house plants everywhere. People bring their plants out onto the sidewalk for a little light if they are kept indoors. They adorn the sides of buildings and homes and line the streets.