I and my wife are ardent travellers and as a habit we always like to write memoirs of our trip once it is over. Same is true for our last trip to Taiwan during the last winter holidays. Though I might have forgotten few fine details, but even then it will be fun to read for anybody who may be planning to go there.
This was planned as a family trip. Initially we planned to go to the place with my wife Anna’s parents. But the situation changed when Anna mother invited few of her old friends to join for the trip. Though I have apprehensions in the beginning but after the trip I have no qualms to accept that this was perhaps one of the best company we had and one of the best trip to remember. We were a group of total 10 people. There some very nice things happened to us on the trip that I would certainly like to discuss down below.
This time around I asked Anna, my wife to plan for the trip and she decided to take help of a tour operator. As we were a big group so we felt that it will be better if things are properly organised before we embark on our journey. The idea was that to first cover Taiwan on road for initial 4 days. Then after reaching Taipei, we had plans to see the city on our own. So, the Ist part was more or less like the guided tour where the place, time are all pre-decided and the second part was vague and to be done to suit our likings and taste.
My wife loves flowers very much. So, naturally we started the trip by visiting the flower farm Ta Shee Blooming Oasis. There are many TV serials and films that have been shot at this place and hence even if your wife does not like flowers, this place is worth a visit. I had one great enlightenment on the first day itself and that was related to the strange ways in which English is spoken and understood in Taiwan and anybody who is going there must be ready for that.
On the second day we visited the Taroko National Park. The park was nice with many splendid places to take photographs. The scenery was great and there was rich abundance of flora and fauna to be seen. It is advisable that one must go there with a proper guide to get the real feel of things. The trained guides are available to accompany you during your trip to the national park. When you are in Taiwan, you must be ready for bad weather any time. During the second and third way of our visit, a typhoon on the eastern coast affected the weather resulting into heavy rains. The 3rd day the rains became so heavy that at one point of time we felt that out whole program will be ruined. But fortunately the typhoon moved towards the north and weather got clear.
During our road journey, I was discreetly looking for the so called Taiwanese betel nut girls (in sexy attire). But to my disappointment that there was no such activity at all and it was observed that Taiwan is more or less clean country with rest to questionable activities, a good place to be with your wife.
On day 4th we visited the Yangmingshan National Park that is known for the sulphur springs. There is along trail where one can see the white clouds billowing out of the ground. At some places the water geysers can be seen gushing out of the ground. There was smell of sulphur all around. If you really want to see the place in detail it shall probably take one full day. As we had limited time so we saw the place for few hours and then we moved ahead.
From the Yangmingshan National Park we moved to Yeliou Geographical Park. This is close to sea and has some very nice rock formations to see. The place was an ideal example of how to preserve a natural habitat and also open it for the public to see, understand and enjoy. As the typhoon had abated only one day before, so the sea was a bit rough but overall it was a very good experience.
Taiwan has one speciality and that is its night markets. They are there everywhere and have nice options to eat food of different kinds. We ate our dinner on way to various places in these night markets and it was always a new experience. Though we had been to too many places, including Malaysia and before coming to Taiwan had always thought that as far as eating options are concerned Malaysia is best. But after coming to Taiwan our idea changed to firmly believe that Taiwan is much ahead of other places in this aspect. In the Taiwanese night markets one gets option of both sit in dinners or to just stand at stalls and eat your favourite snacks.
In the last leg of our trip we reached Taipei. This is a city like any other busy city and nothing much to talk about, except the fact that it is good place to buy books of all kinds, both old and new. I and my wife bought many books in Taipei as the souvenir of our visit to Taiwan. There are many monuments and palaces to see Taiwan, all of them more of less similar, but good enough to see them once.
One another good thing about Taiwan is that it is relatively cheap. During the whole trip we had spent much less than anticipated especially the food and travelling is very cheap. Though we expected Taiwan to be equally or costlier than Singapore or Hongkong but it was not so. It is more or less comparable to Malaysia.
Though we had limited time and a different agenda at the time of planning the trip, but there are some places that can also be covered while visiting Taiwan.
- It is one of the most famous mountaineering location in Taiwan and lcated in the eastern Chiavi. There is also a railway link from the Chiavi City to the Alishon resort. The train goes through Alishan Forest and one can see excellent natural forests on the way.
Kenting National park and the Kending Beach Resort
- Kending is the beachside city near the Kenting National Park. It is a good beach resort to relax and an ideal place to do surfing. The national park is also nice for biking, hiking and forest trail.
Procession is the place where there are almost 870 temples of Mazu who is considered to be the goddess of Sea. Every day in May the birthday of the goddess is celebrated and at that time a big carnival is organised.
Though there are also so many other spots that can be covered during the trip to Taiwan, but whatever we could cover I have no hesitation to say that on an average the trip was good and worth doing once. But if you are a hiking or climbing enthusiast then the place is definitely a must go once in life time.