Final Up to date: 2/2/2020 | February 2nd, 2020
I used to dwell in Taiwan for a couple of months as an English trainer. I liked the time there and have all the time felt the nation was actually under-appreciated. So, in this can be a visitor submit by Carrie Kellenberger from My A number of Worlds and an expat dwelling in Taiwan for ten years, she lists out all of the wonderful issues it's best to see and do there.
Each nation in Asia is gorgeous, however Taiwan is particular for a lot of causes. The individuals are heat and hospitable. In March 2019, Taiwan was listed because the happiest place in East Asia.
Whereas it is perhaps a small island, you'll be amazed on the endless number of sights and enjoyable issues to do right here. With over 100 mountain peaks above 3,000 meters, over 100 scorching springs scattered across the island, each golden and black-sand seashores, 9 nationwide parks, world-class museums, glittering skyscrapers, beautiful temples, and an enormous variety of night time markets which might be second to none, Taiwan has one thing that everybody can get pleasure from.
To this present day, almost 14 years after I moved right here, I nonetheless assume Taiwan is one among Asia’s best-kept journey locations.
Listed below are a number of the greatest methods to spend your time in Taiwan:
1. Eat, Eat Eat!
The nationwide pastime in Taiwan is consuming. Taiwanese, each adults and kids, are very work and examine oriented, so their existence demand wholesome meals that's obtainable on the go. Furthermore, there may be all the time an abundance of vegatables and fruits, so visiting a neighborhood market is usually a delight if you learn the way low-cost it's to eat contemporary meals.
Because of this, Taiwan has change into an epicurean’s playground. The meals scene is a global smorgasbord of culinary delights, for each funds and nearly each food regimen.
Whereas there are five-star worldwide eating places of each selection all through the nation, the night time markets are the place the actual gastronomes go. They promise to maintain your stomach full whereas your pockets stays comparatively unscathed.
There are over 30 night time markets in Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung (and over 70 night time markets throughout Taiwan). In case you’re undecided which one to decide on, go to this listing of night time markets in Taiwan and take your decide. My private favorites are Shilin, Keelung, and Roahe Road in Taipei.
Right here are some things it's best to attempt:
- Xiao lengthy bao, often known as soup dumplings, a favourite staple meals right here. They're made out of a skinny pastry folded into a kind of bag that's then stuffed full with a meat-and-vegetable combination and a tiny quantity of soup, then garnished with uncooked ginger and soy sauce. Biting into one among these is a taste explosion in your mouth. Loads of avenue distributors at night time markets provide contemporary xiao lengthy bao for round $2 USD for a basket of 10-12. There's actually no motive to not attempt them. I’ve but to satisfy a customer to Taiwan who hasn’t liked their xiao lengthy bao expertise. I promise you'll not be upset.
- Oyster vermicelli
- Oyster omelets
- Beef noodle soup
- Deep-fried rooster
- Tian bu la (a kind of fish cake fried with coriander with a touch of pepper and spice)
- Candy Taiwanese sausage or BBQ on a stick
- Pungent tofu
- “Coffin bread” (a tasty bread bowl formed like a coffin)
- Pig’s blood cake (It’s constructed from pig’s blood, sticky rice and soy broth and tastes significantly better than it sounds, I promise!)
- Shaved ice
- Zhen zhu nai cha (Taiwanese bubble tea)
- Taiwan Beer (it’s the preferred native beer)
It doesn't matter what you determine on, you’re positive to have an excellent meal at a low price whereas experiencing Taiwanese tradition at its best possible. You’ll be amazed at what you should buy for dinner for simply $5 USD! You’ll positively discover some issues that you just hate, however you’ll additionally discover issues that you just’ll love. It’s all a part of the expertise, proper?
2. Go to a Taiwanese Teahouse
Tea tradition in Taiwan is fantastic, and there are a lot of choices for tea lovers.
- Maokong Gondola – This gondola will whisk you 4 kilometers to a mountain peak in a glass-bottomed cable automotive, from which you'll be able to view the tea plantations constructed into the facet of the mountain as you zoom up. You may catch it on the Taipei Zoo MRT station; a journey prices 120 NT ($Four USD) every approach. When you’re on the high, there are a number of winding paths for a pleasing mountaintop stroll and an excellent collection of teahouses to select from if you’re able to get pleasure from a cup of contemporary mountain tea.
- Jiufen – In case you’re heading out of Taipei, Jiufen is one among Taiwan’s hottest vacationer locations, owing to its look within the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away. This seaside mountain village affords some terrific buying alternatives, in addition to all of the totally different sorts of meals you see within the film. It’s one among my favourite locations, as a result of additionally it is house to some stunning teahouses in essentially the most superb setting. Think about sitting on the high of a mountain, looking over the ocean within the consolation of a conventional tea home. It's really a magical expertise, particularly if you will get there for sundown. Go on a weekday to keep away from the massive weekend crowds.
- Jwu Jiu Teahouse – In case you make it as far south as Chiayi, make sure you discover Jwu Jiu Teahouse, a hidden gem that's like taking a step again into the previous. Jwu Jiu is a conventional wood teahouse set above huge stone ponds stuffed with lots of of large, brightly coloured koi. Feed the fish whereas sipping in your tea, and luxuriate in some conventional dim sum within the loveliest setting you’ve ever seen. The grounds belong to a neighborhood household, and the teahouse makes use of a effectively that's over a century outdated, wherein the water nonetheless runs deep and pure. The proprietor has saved many of the authentic constructions and bricks, plus a hundred-year-old Osmanthus tree, which is related to many traditions in China and Taiwan. In case you’re a historical past buff, you’ll benefit from the teahouse’s lengthy historical past, displayed with satisfaction and apparent care.
3. Take a look at the Northern Shoreline
Head to the coast for some unbelievable lunar-like landscapes at Yehliu Geopark. There are some distinctive, otherworldly rock formations, together with one that appears like Queen Elizabeth (although it took over 4,000 years to type) which might be a preferred vacationer attraction. Attempt to get there early to beat the crowds.
4. Hit the Seashores
The seashores of Kenting on the southern tip of the island provide enjoyable within the solar. White Sand Bay is the preferred and an excellent place to take in the solar, swim, snorkel, and even go diving (simply hold a watch out for jellyfish!). Different nice seashores are South Bay and Little Bali Bay.
5. Soak within the Scorching Springs
Taipei has its very personal lively volcano in its yard, and due to the volcanic exercise within the space, Beitou Scorching Springs enjoys a gentle stream of holiday makers and locals who love to wash in its wholesome waters. Costs begin round 40 NT ($1.30 USD) per individual for a soak within the scorching springs, making it a really reasonably priced alternative for anybody in search of some R&R.
6. Go Island Hopping
The gorgeous islands of Penghu simply off Taiwan’s western shoreline will delight your sense of wanderlust and are particularly well-known for his or her golden seashores. This island archipelago has islands which might be all distinct.
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Boats will drop you off at one island for a couple of hours after which take you to the following one, so you possibly can actually go from snorkeling to observing sea turtles to wandering by way of conventional aboriginal villages made out of coral in a single day.
7. See Outdated Taiwan
Two teams of islands that make up the Kinmen Archipelago off the west coast of Taiwan, only a couple miles from mainland China — and they're outdated Taiwan at its greatest. Right here you’ll have the ability to see some conventional structure, and there are additionally insightful museums that spotlight the continued tensions between the Individuals’s Republic and Taiwan.
8. Get Off the Overwhelmed Observe on Orchid Island and Inexperienced Island
Situated simply off the southeastern coast, these lush islands are a deal with to go to. Right here you’ll discover mountain climbing, swimming, diving, and wonderful scorching springs. You too can get additional off the crushed path and have an journey by renting a scooter to touring across the islands your self!
9. Discover the Inexperienced Mountains
Seize a scooter and head up into the inexperienced mountains, which lengthen over 5 ranges the size of the island. If you wish to stretch your legs, climb to the summit of lovely Jade Mountain and watch the dawn; this stunning peak is nearly 4,000 meters above sea stage, making Taiwan the world’s fourth-highest island.
10. Go to Wuling Peak on Hehuan Mountain
In case you’re nonetheless craving some climbing and mountain climbing, head to Wuling Peak on Hehuan Mountain, round 3,275 meters above sea stage, making it one other good hike for anybody trying to spend extra time outdoor. However what actually makes this place particular is that the height is so excessive, you possibly can look down right into a sea of clouds beneath!
11. Go Mountaineering in Taroko Nationwide Park
Prepared for an additional metropolis break? This nationwide park affords guests an opportunity to hike by way of mountainous terrain and gorges, and you'll even cease to dip your toes in swiftly flowing mountain rivers. Protecting just below 100,000 hectares, it’s one among solely 9 nationwide parks in Taiwan. You may go to the park solo or as a part of a full-day tour from Taipei. Admission is free.
12. Head East
To actually get pleasure from Taiwan’s majestic magnificence, don’t overlook Taiwan’s japanese shoreline. The east coast freeway has a number of the most dramatic coastal surroundings on this planet, from plunging sea cliffs and splashing surf to seashores, nature reserves, and rural cities a world away from the large metropolis.
13. Witness Some Chaos
Take a look at the feeding frenzy of the markets in Taipei, or get pleasure from a stroll round cool Ximending, the homosexual district and Taipei’s reply to Tokyo’s Shibuya. Ximending boasts a large out of doors plaza behind the Crimson Home (a widely known cultural landmark) and a pedestrian buying zone stuffed with the most recent style developments, espresso outlets, eating places, and native artisans.
Give your self bonus factors for testing all of the tremendous cool graffiti; you received’t discover it on the primary thoroughfares, however in the event you enterprise onto a number of the smaller facet streets, you’ll quickly end up in world of brightly adorned alleys and lanes.
14. See Tianhou Temple
Whilst you’re in Ximending, it’s price stopping by one of many oldest temples within the metropolis, Tianhou (often known as the Ximending Mazu Temple, after the in-house deity Mazu, goddess of the ocean). Round since 1746, it’s one among three main temples in Taiwan from the Qing interval. It’s situated on a important thoroughfare — however it’s very straightforward to overlook the doorway.
Stepping by way of the doorway to this stunning Taoist temple stuffed with mythological creatures, smoky incense, fortunate goldfish, and other people paying respect to the gods is really a surreal expertise. You’d by no means know this quiet oasis is in one of many busiest areas of Taipei!
15. Discover Fo Guang Shan Monastery
When you've got your personal journey in Kaohsiung, I strongly encourage you to cease by Fo Guang Shan Monastery and pay homage to the monks that dwell there. An ultra-Zen monastery open to the general public, the advanced is very large and beautiful, resulting in the Nice Path of Buddhahood, a broad pathway flanked by eight equivalent pagodas.
You may discover every as you stroll your approach as much as the Large Buddha, the very best seated bronze Buddha on this planet. I’ve been to many temples and monasteries in my lifetime, however this one takes the cake.
16. Go to a Taiwanese Aboriginal Village
There are lots of educated native guides that may introduce you to the aboriginal lifestyle in Taiwan. The Formosa Aboriginal Tradition Village close to Solar Moon Lake is the preferred vacation spot to study extra about, however it’s actually not the one one — there are many villages to select from.
17. Take Half within the Pingxi Lantern Competition
One of many coolest occasions in Taiwan, the Pingxi Lantern Competition includes releasing lots of of paper lanterns into the sky. (Many newlyweds additionally embody this significant custom as part of their marriage ceremony celebration.) In case you don’t wish to courageous the crowds, you possibly can simply buy a lantern and lightweight one on any of Taiwan’s seashores.
Taiwan may be very environmentally pleasant, so be sure you go along with the eco-friendly paper lantern choices that disintegrate, leaving no residue, and don’t trigger fires. The corporate My Taiwan Tour additionally presently affords biodegradable paper lantern excursions in Shifen.
There are lots of issues about Taiwan that make it an unbelievable place to dwell; it’s straightforward to take a few of these issues without any consideration when you’ve been right here for some time. I incessantly hear that folks assume Taiwan may be very Westernized, and whereas I agree that it's to some extent, there are nonetheless loads of genuine Taiwanese experiences available!
Taiwan is and continues to be an sudden journey vacation spot that continues to please guests to this present day. There isn't any place prefer it!
Canadian expat Carrie Kellenberger has been dwelling in Asia since 2003. She moved to Taiwan in 2006 and have become a everlasting resident in 2012. She loves entertaining company and vacationers to Taiwan. You may examine her adventures and life there at her weblog, My A number of Worlds.
Guide Your Journey to Taiwan: Logistical Ideas and Methods
Guide Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to discover a low-cost flight. They're my two favourite search engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned. Begin with Skyscanner first although as a result of they've the largest attain!
Guide Your Lodging
You may ebook your hostel with Hostelworld as they've the largest stock and greatest offers. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use Reserving.com as they persistently return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost lodges. My favourite locations to remain are:
- Formosa 101
- Meander Taipei
Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you towards sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes flawed. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many occasions up to now. My favourite corporations that supply the perfect service and worth are:
- Security Wing (for everybody beneath 70)
- Insure My Journey (for these over 70)
- Medjet (for extra repatriation protection)
In search of the Finest Corporations to Save Cash With?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of if you journey. I listing all those I take advantage of to economize once I’m on the highway. They are going to prevent cash if you journey too.
Need Extra Data on Taiwan?
Make sure to go to our sturdy vacation spot information on Taiwan for much more planning ideas!