Taiwan is an amazing island. Ok, this is not an original statement, but it really is.
Just one month after we came back, there was sadly an earthquake which caused approximately 100 victims in Tainan, one of the cities we loved the most…Taiwan is a seismically active zone and you should expect quakes, but I can’t help but being extremely moved by this tragedy.
This little island has so much to offer for every taste, but it’s guiltily overlooked and I fear this sad news will not help.
In fact, every time someone has asked me where I was headed for my 2015 winter holidays and I answered: “Taiwan!”, everyone told me: “ Why?” The same thing happened also during our trip there, Taiwanese people were very surprised we visited their country. We never met any Italian there and we rarely saw other western tourists, apart from Taipei.
So why did I choose this destination? I’ve been reading travel blogs about Taiwan and got very interested in its nature and history; then I also liked the idea that nobody in Italy ever talks about this place and it sounded like an off the beaten path destination. Well, I played with the idea of going there for some time, so when my boyfriend and I found a very cheap flight, we decided it was the right time to go…and we are so happy we did!
7 reasons why you should also visit Taiwan:
1.Taipei. The capital of Taiwan is a beautiful mix of skyscrapers (ever heard of Taipei 101?) and ancient temples. It’s full of night markets to have fun, parks to relax and museums to visit. An extensive metro system makes it very easy to go around. I imagine living here would be great.
2.Night markets. The typical nighttime activity is to go to colorful and lively markets. Here you will find delicious food and cheap things to buy amidst a swarm of people. The atmosphere is electric and you will never get bored.
3.Food. On night markets stalls and the different type of eating-places you will find on every corner, food is so varied and interesting. There are dishes from every region of China, Taiwanese specialties and a lot of Japanese recipes at half the cost you would pay in Japan (of course you can also find international stuff, but who wants to eat those things from home when there are so many Asian options? 😀 ). You will NEVER starve in Taiwan.
4.Beautiful people. Taiwanese are so helpful and kind. Every time we needed help they were there to assist us even before we could ask. Smiling and caring, I miss their serene attitude very much.
5.The efficiency of its public transport system. Apart from the already mentioned metro system in Taipei, you can go everywhere in the island using trains and buses. There are also buses that are specifically designed for tourists. They are called Tourists Shuttle and they follow very interesting routes on “classic” travelers’ itineraries (you can go on and off with just one ticket).
6.Wild nature. The coast is wonderful and I especially liked Kenting National Park in the very south end of Taiwan (rent a scooter and explore it as much as you can; you can also go snorkeling if you like it). Taroko Gorge Park is another beautiful place where you can go hiking: there is a marble-walled canyon among tall mountains and many trails. Yehliu Geological Park is another amazing area to explore!
7.Temples. You can’t go wrong with these. They are beautifully crafted and adorned. Many devotees pray here and you can wander around marveling at the gorgeous decorations and smelling incense smoke: nobody will mind. Tip: they are generally open until late in the night so it would be best to go there during the evening…they are amazing with all the lights on.
These are just my first impressions of Taiwan, but I could write deeper about this island as it was really a trip to remember.
Have you ever visited Taiwan? Or would you love to, despite the earthquake risk?