Taiwan is an undiscovered island east of mainland China, southwest of Japan and north of the Philippines.
A few reasons for me to visit Taiwan:
Taiwan is safe, nature is beautiful, you can hike well in several national parks and it is not too hot, super friendly people, delicious food and not touristy!
My tour starts in Taipei, via the east coast I travel to Kenting, all the way to the south and via the west coast I continue my journey back to Taipei.
After a stopover of a few days in Hong Kong, I fly on to the capital of Taiwan, Taipei. I check in at the hostel and immediately start exploring the city. In the Ximen district I go shopping and buy new shirts and walking shoes. In between I eat delicious sushi in a restaurant where the sushi is passed around on a small conveyor belt. I can pack myself and some things I have to order. Well, pointing out pictures because not everyone speaks English, they apologize but I’m glad they like me coming for lunch.
I look at the 8-sided Red House and the Street art in Bopiliao street. There is also an exhibition of an old musician, all in Chinese, but the man who explains it in English is great! While we listen to the composed music, he sings along with the lyrics.
The next day I visit the special Baoan temple in the middle of the city. The temple is visited daily by locals and is notable for its beautiful carvings.
Today I do everything by metro. I had heard of the mall near the metro but this is amazing, it looks like a city under Taipei! There are corridors with shops and market stalls everywhere. They sell everything, a real underground market.
The next day I first drink a coffee with Teresa, she sleeps in the same room in the hostel. Then I visit the highest tower, Taipei 101. At first there is no view but luckily the sky clears up a bit!
A memorial hall has been built in honor of the former leader Chiang Kai Shek. This memorial hall is located on a large square and has a Chinese/Korean atmosphere. Just like the changing of the guard with a lot of show spectacle.
I also go to the Longshan temple, in this temple happiness is determined by means of numbers. On the way to the hostel I walk over a typical Taiwanese night market. Wow there is so much to do in Taipei!
The streets in Hualien are cheerfully decorated with red lanterns. It’s New Year’s Eve and I have a drink with backpacker Teresa on the new year, happy 2019!
The food is often freshly prepared while you watch, how handy the chefs are! You can read and order the dishes on the board behind the chefs… in Chinese 🙂
Taroko National Park
The east coast of Taiwan is known for its beautiful untouched nature and I am not disappointed!
In the Taroko National Park near Hualien I hike the easy and wonderful Shakadang trail through the Taroko gorge.
The Zhuilu old trail is one of the best-known and most beautiful hikes in the park, but you need a permit for that. Unfortunately I was too late to apply.
I enjoy the many beautiful temples in the park. The Xiangde Temple is a gorgeous pagoda located at the end of a long staircase. To get there you first have to cross a suspension bridge and then walk up a bit.
I take the bus back to Hualien and almost at the end of the ride I decide to get out and enjoy the sea, wind and waves, wonderful!
The bus route to Chenggong, my next overnight stop, runs right along the east coast. I see the big waves and the coastline, I didn’t expect this and it makes me happy. I can check in directly at the hotel and borrow a bike to explore the area!
Sanxiantai is an island with huge rocks 6 km away from Chenggong. The route along the coast is very nice for cycling. Once there, I cross the eight-arched bridge and walk around the island. It is located in the middle of the sea, really magnificent! The weather changes enormously, from nice and sunny to gray with large threatening clouds.
In the hotel the owners are very helpful like all Taiwanese. They don’t speak English and everything is translated with the app on the phone that works fine. With the scooter the owner shows me where the bus stop is and almost drives into a truck via the wrong side of the road, hahah we have great fun!