Taiwan Surprised Me! (Part 1)

 

 

Taiwan Taipei TravelWe were quite prepared for this Taiwan trip — flight booked months before, itinerary detailed out, budget carefully planned.  I, myself, had all the resources (from bookmarked blog articles to guide books in my iPad) that gave me a glimpse of Taiwan and what to expect when we get there.  And yes, they gave me nothing but mere glimpses because Taiwan had so much more to offer, but this I didn’t get to discover until our third day there!

I landed in Taipei with my officemates and good friends Jenny and Pauline last March 28 and stayed there until the first of April.  It took me quite a while before I realized what Taiwan actually was.  The first two days, I was kind of confused about Taiwan’s identity.  Unlike Vietnam, I wasn’t able to instantly identify what they were as a nation/culture because everything seemed to be of Japanese, Chinese, and Western themes.  And then, thanks to Pauilne’s Taiwanese friend Ishan, it dawned on me — Taiwan is a mix!  Ishan shared with us that they were actually under Japanese rule for 50 (!) years, then I later found out that they were under the Dutch before that.

For some reason, this was the biggest surprise of all, and I found it really interesting.  This explains the numerous Japanese restaurants, European-themed patisseries, and Hello Kitties everywhere.

Just look at that boat of sushi!  This Japanese restaurant is located at Red Castle along Danshui Old Street.  Yes, Japanese food is part of who they (the Taiwanese) are. :)

Just look at that sushi boat! This Japanese restaurant is located at Red Castle along Danshui Old Street. Yes, Japanese food is part of who they (the Taiwanese) are. :)

 Aside from Taiwan being an interesting mix of cultures, I was also awed and surprised by Taiwan’s mountains and gorges.  Even within the city, you’ll see views of beautiful mountains from afar. :)

When the Portugese sailors discovered Taiwan, they first named it Ilha Formosa, meaning “Beautiful Isle”.  These mountains put the Formosa in Ilha Formosa, and these photos will never do them justice:

On our second day, we traveled to Hualien City and visited Taroko National Park and marveled in Taiwan's beautiful mountains, marbles, and gorges.

On our second day, we traveled to Hualien City and visited Taroko National Park and marveled in Taiwan’s beautiful mountains, marbles, and gorges.

Taroko Gorge, Taiwan Travel Tips, What to Do in Taiwan

We went on a 2-hour hike along Zhulilu Old Trail in Taroko Gorge and passed by dark caves like this!

Taiwan Travel, What to Do in Taiwan, Taroko Gorge

The view after the 2-hour hike! <3

On our way down, we saw this little monkey!  <3

On our way down, we saw this little monkey!!!!! :)  I had so much fun during the hike.  It feels good to breathe fresh air and be one with nature once in a while. :)

For tours to Hualien City and Taroko Gorge, contact Tiffany Chang here: https://www.facebook.com/Tiffanytaxi

:)

It was my first time to travel with these girls and we had so much fun! :)

It was my first time to travel with these girls and we had so much fun! :)

For tours to Hualien City and Taroko Gorge, contact Tiffany Chang here.

Up next — Taiwan Surprised Me! Part 2: The Warmth of the Taiwanese

 

1 Comment on Taiwan Surprised Me! (Part 1)

  1. JM dela Rama
    June 22, 2015 at 3:00 am (2 years ago)

    I love Taiwan! They have one of the nicest set of street foods! :) Hope you were able to try their stinky tofu and other interesting treats! You’re blessed to see Hualien with a bit of sunshine. Last time I was there it was gloomy and drizzling. :)

    Reply

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