Guess where I’m from?
Japan – No.
South Korea – Nope.
Taiwan – Nahhh…
“I come from Thailand” I told the guy, after he couldn’t think of any other country to suggest.
This was a conversation I had in Canada when I was just 16. It was my first time abroad, and I think it might have been be his first time talking with an Asian person as well.Well, that was 15 years ago.
Taiwan might be more popular than Thailand as an alliance country of the USA, to perturb and balance the power from big China.
But nowadays if you talk about traveling to Asia, most westerners would overlook Taiwan to visit the notoriously popular South East Asia. Similarly, a large number of Asians would prefer to holiday in Japan or South Korea over Taiwan.
So why don’t people choose Taiwan?
It is a shame, those who skip Taiwan on his/her trip obviously don’t know what they’re missing.
Let’s see what they would miss from my Top 5 list of destination Taiwan!
1. Taroko gorge
When you walk into Hualien city, you will notice that this township has its own unique style as everything is ornamented with marble. All of the marble you see is taken from Taroko gorge, one of eight national parks in Taiwan.
Taroko Gorge and its surrounding areas are well known for the abundant supply of marble, leading to its nickname “The Marble Gorge”. The rock now seen in Taroko began over 200 million years ago as sediment on the bottom of the ocean. As the sediment collected, it was subject to increasingly large amounts of pressure which eventually hardened it into limestone, over the past 100 million years.
I miss the freedom of riding the open road, motorbike rental in Taiwan is only about $20 per day with cheap gasoline. The nature was stunning and the scenery was picturesque; bright jade blue rivers running through granite rock, pathways so you could ride under the gorge itself, It was one of my favorite trips of all.
2. Taipei and surrounds.
Between 2004 and 2010, Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world. This capital city of Taiwan is amazingly convenient and cheap, and I couldn’t find any other place that has a cheaper cost of living than Thailand. But when I came to Taiwan I got the first hit from the food and drinks I bought in 7-11. What a nice surprise!
If you think about teaching overseas, and you are considering somewhere other than South Korea or Thailand, Taiwan is the place you are looking for.
3. Cingjing farm.
Cingjing farm is one of the best destinations for tourists. It’s surrounded by the snowy mountains of Hehuan. This place used to be a camp for retired soldiers who became a farmers, so the area was cultivated into farm land. Now it’s been developed into a touristic spot with superb views.
4. Walami trail
The township of Yuli has one of the nicest bicycle tracks in the country. I rented a motorbike and rode it all around. This area is pure and full of nature, stunning views of rice fields on the way of Walami trail. The Walami trail was a popular trail, which was constructed by Japanese soldiers as a direct access Jade mountain (Yushan) which is the tallest in East Asia reaching 3,952 meters.
You can park the motorbike right before the track, and it will take you about 3 hours walk to the starting point of the middle of the trail.
Taiwan has lot of mountains, Alishan is one of them. Its fame comes from its beauty during sunrise, when the mountain is shrouded in morning cloud. If you visit around mid- March- April, you can enjoy the sweet smelling cherry blossom trees, but there will also be huge groups of Chinese tourists!
There are a lot more places for you to explore here in Taiwan. I am sure you would enjoy the nice infrastructures, a well preserved environment, and low cost of living whilst traveling!