Taiwan is the kind of country that flies a bit under the radar.
It wasn’t even on my original spring Asia trip itinerary, mostly because it’s a touch more expensive than other places in SE Asia.
Yet, in Vietnam, when I found myself with a few weeks before I wanted to arrive in Bali, I started Googling flight routes and destinations in Asia to see what may be doable.
At the top of my intrigue radar were Taiwan and South Korea. When I realised flights between the two were relatively inexpensive, and that I could easily get to Taiwan from Vietnam, I made the impulse decision to spend 8 days in Taiwan.
Initially, upon starting to plan, I thought I’d travel around the country a bit in that time. But, my time in Taiwan overlapped with teaching certifications I was doing, and I realised it’d be difficult to bop around as much as I would have liked to.
So, instead, I decided to make Taipei my home base and booked a day trip to Shifin and Jiufen. I’d considered another day trip to Kaohsiung, but waited too long to purchase my tickets. By the time I went to book the high speed train, it was a day that would cost me several hundred pounds.
Lesson: Book high speed rail in advance, or give yourself more time and take the slow (read: cheaper) train.
Taipei was incredible. I have no regrets about spending most of my time exploring the city’s attractions.
In fact I loved Taiwan so much, I’m contemplating a return to see more of this incredible country. When I return, I’m hoping to spend more time in Taipei, and make my way around the country.
Where else is high on my Taiwanese ‘to visit’ list?
Three Places I’m Hoping to See on a Return Visit to Taiwan
Taichung: Taichung is easy enough to see in a day from Taipei. I didn’t realise how much there was to do there until closer to the end of my time in Taiwan, but if I’d known there was a gorgeous rainbow village, killer street markets, an incredible flower market, banging street art (hello, Animation Alley), a beautiful park, serene river walk, and a mushroom village (yes, a mushroom village), I would have definitely figured out a way to make it there on my first trip. Since I didn’t, it’s high on the list of places I’d like to see when I return.
Oh, and the rainbow village isn’t just Instagrammable, the nature of the gesture is also swoon worthy- it was painted by a grandfather for his grandchildren.
Image credit: link
Kaohsiung: When I realised I wouldn’t be able to make it to Kaohsiung, I was pretty disappointed. If I planned my trip again, I would have given myself one or two days longer in Taiwan, and split my time between Taipei and Kaohsiung. It’s easy to get between the cities, and a few nights in each would have made it a cinch for me to also work on my certifications.
Alas, on my return to Taiwan, Kaohsiung is the place I’m most looking forward to seeing.
Incredible temples and pagodas, a tranquil island (Cijin) off the coast with quirky art, cool metro stations, insanely good night markets and top notch street art (so good, the city is referred to as the street art capital of Taiwan)? Here for it, in every way.
Image credit: Link
Taroko National Park: Regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan, visitors flock to Taroko to hike its beautiful trails.
The landscapes are breathtaking, from coast to steep gorge walls, to waterfalls inside of caves, to dense, rolling tropical hills.
And, a bonus, most people recommend using public transit to get around the park. Which, I’m a huge fan of.
Image credit: link
Have you ever been to Taiwan? Is it on your list of places to visit?