What it’s Like In Taiwan
I started this column to cut through the fluff of travel writing which paints everything as a magical experience. For this exercise I wanted to simply give readers an idea of what it was like to be on the ground in a particular place. So far we’ve shared what it’s like in Tokyo, Luang Prabang, Dubai, Jaipur, Copenhagen, Baku, Edinburgh, and Budapest.
What it’s like in Taiwan
To many in the western world, Taiwan may seem like one big factory. For decades it produced much of the goods we consumed in the west. Now the economy has switched from producing cheaply made goods to manufacturing more high tech products like mobile phones, tablets, and computers. To the traveler, Taiwan is so much more. It is a country of strong traditions and culture, breathtaking natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and a well-developed infrastructure like South Korea or Japan. There are many more than 5 Reasons to Visit Taiwan!
Out on the Streets
Taiwan is clean. This is especially a relief for anyone who’s been to China and found it to be dirty. Taiwan is clean China. Another big difference is the people out on the street act well-mannered, calm, and friendly. Taiwan is a densely populated island and especially on the west coast you will see most of these urban areas. Traffic can be heavy in the biggest cities with lots of scooters zipping about. There’s lot of bright lights and neon, and heavy pedestrian traffic.
Food & Drink
Food in Taiwan is delicious and cheap. A win-win situation for travelers. Taiwanese love to eat and there are plenty of inexpensive cafes serving up noodles, dumplings, and whole vast assortment of other specialties. Taiwan’s original creation, Bubble Tea, can be found on nearly every street. Taiwan loves its green, oolong, and black teas sweet and over ice. For a classic lunch try beef noodles, pork rice, or a bento box. For a fun night out, go to the popular night markets which have all sorts of food and drink favorites. Be prepared for long lines at the popular stalls or get there early!
Taiwan is a great value for travelers. The quality you get for the price you pay is extraordinary. A bowl of beef noodles will cost only about 60 NTD ($2 US), bubble tea 30 NTD ($1 US), a day’s scooter rental 400 NTD ($12.50 US, and an hour train ride about 100 NTD ($3.25 US). A dorm bed in a hostel will set you back about 400-650 NTD ($12.50-20.50 US) and a cheap double room between 1200-2000 NTD ($38-63 USD).
Taiwan has no world-famous sights, something that keeps the tourist masses at bay. This fact just makes it better for the rest of us. The closest thing they have to draw internationals is the outstanding National Palace Museum in Tapei and the Asia-wide famous Taroko Gorge. Personally I love the lesser appreciated Qingshui Cliffs, rice paddies of Chishang, and the remote East coast. Tainan is regarded as a cultural center and a not-to-miss city on the West coast of the island. Its food and night market are tops.
Join us is in Taiwan!
Want to see Taiwan like a local? Experience Taiwanese culture and eat the best food? Join us for our Experience Taiwan Tour (16-25 October 2015) for 9 spectacular days and nights in Taiwan. We’ll take you through the night markets, green rice paddies, atmospheric temples, and give you an opportunities to meet locals. This is the best value tour out there–of that we are sure! It’s a small group–no more than 12–and we go the independent way–traveling on public buses and trains. Keeping it real, as always!