First time travelers to Asia normally have well known countries like – Japan, China, and Thailand on their Itinerary. It is a rare chance when somebody visits Taiwan as a first destination on a trip to Asia. Probably the travelers are not enlightened enough with the beauties of Taiwan. This article aims to make you realize the charm of Taiwan.
Located on the Southeast coast of China, Taiwan is home to over 22 million people. Diversities ranging from nature tourism to culinary trends and aboriginal experiences are what this nation has to offer. This small, modest island is a perfect place for a novice visitor. The country is somewhat shaped like a sweet potato.
Taiwan has out of the world things that make it so special. To start with, Longshan Temple, which is Taipei’s most popular Buddhist site. It’s a place fit for meditation amidst a busy shopping and business area. The Ningxia night market offers a sight of hawking vendors selling almost everything from spicy fish ball soup to ice cream, and a beautiful sight of elderly couples strolling hand in hand at night.
The Taipei subway (MRT) has signs in Mandarin Chinese and in English that makes it super easy to navigate. You get scooters on rent to roam. Taipei metro is just like metros in London, Washington, etc, which are based card/token system.
Another not to miss spot in the capital is the National Palace Museum. Taiwan’s first president Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters rescued and stole some famous Chinese artworks before leaving. Many of these artworks are on display in the museum. The museum is large, so keep a good amount of time when you visit the museum. The large Buddha, the carved- jade cabbage, and modern exhibitions are the central attraction in the museum.
SPOT is an impossibly cool boutique, café, and indie Movie Theater sheltered inside the former US Embassy. If you are confused as to what gift, you should take back for your family and friends from Taiwan, so this is a place where you can buy goodies like Buddhist principles inspired homemade soaps, decorative rolls with cool designs that tell a story inscribed on them and much more.
A trip to the village of Jiufen is total fun. It’s a bliss for the nature lovers. Jiufen, which is at the northernmost tip of the island. One can reach there by a public bus from the capital. It is abundant with gorgeous views that a number of Taiwanese pop singers have sung of its beauty. Jiufen is famous for two things – teahouses and food stalls. After getting off the bus, climb up the hill to the main street that presents packed sight with stalls. You can try almond tea, ginger tea; taro ice cream rolled in peanuts and folded in a mochi wrapper, noodles in duck broth, pickled cucumber, and red bean soup with rice balls, nougat candy, and gummy peaches.
Taroko National Park that derives its name from the Taroko Gorge, is located in the eastern coastal province of Hualian.It is accessible through daily local and express trains from Taipei. Stay at the Silks Palace Taroko hotel, which is the only luxury hotel located within the park if you are interested to experience the ultimate beauty of the landscape. The hotel has an excellent spa, a rooftop hotel, and beautiful views of the park from almost every angle.
While getting out of the city, you can have the pleasure of several hot spring resorts located within a short distance from Taipei. At about an hour long distance from the town, the Yangmingshan Tienlai resort has a variety of hot and cold pools where you can let loose of yourself in the gender-divided areas and get rid of the entire travel lag. The heated massage therein rocks.
Absorbed in history and culture, Taiwan has some excellent restaurants, exotic night markets, picturesque monuments, and exhilarating temples. Taiwan has something foe every visitor. So next time when you plan a trip to Asia, do not forget to add Taiwan to your list.