Where is Taiwan?
Before we travel to Taiwan, we first have to know where it is of course! And I honestly don’t blame people for not knowing where Taiwan is. Mainly because in some maps, Taiwan is somehow omitted. Maybe Taiwan is just to small, or maybe there’s some political reason behind it. Who knows!
The island of Taiwan, officially recognized as the Republic of China, is located right off the coast of China. And its three bordering seas are the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. With more than 23 million people living on this tiny island of 30,000 square kilometers of land, it is quite a populated nation that’s for sure.
Why Travel To Taiwan?
1. Delicious Taiwanese Food (PS. Taiwan is the birthplace of Boba Tea!)
Now, who doesn’t love food? Especially, CHEAP and DELICIOUS night market food! Taiwan proudly boasts more than 300 night markets throughout the entire island. After a long day of traveling, if you can’t decide on which restaurant to go to. The night market offers an insane variety of food to choose from. From the mouth-watering scallion pancakes to the infamous stinky tofu (my favorite!) that many tourists are terrified of.
You never have to worry about being hungry in Taiwan because even if the night markets are closed, 7-Elevens are always open. And I’m not talking about the gas station 7-Elevens that you see in the United States. The 7-Elevens in Taiwan are basically food paradises. You can make your ramen in there, microwave your bento box, get hot tea, and even sit down in the seating area and enjoy your food. It’s basically like a convenience store version of a coffee shop!
Lastly, Taiwan has so many cool themed restaurants. With the most popular one being the Modern Toilet Theme Restaurant in Taipei Ximending. Mixing toilets and food together is definitely a strange idea., but this restaurant was able to pull it off and attract a lot of media attention as well as visits from locals and tourists alike.
2. Amazing Transportation System
Another reason why you should travel to Taiwan is the amazing transportation system there. As travelers, our biggest nightmare is getting lost in a foreign country where we don’t understand the street signs. In Taiwan, even though the main language is Mandarin, every street and direction signs have the English translation underneath. And even if you get lost, most Taiwanese people can understand English. Some of them might be shy to speak to you, but they are friendly and will do their best to help you out.
If you are traveling to the major cities in Taiwan like Taipei and Kaohsiung, taking the metro (MRT) will be the most convenient way to get around. One thing that I love about Taiwan is how clean the metros are. Since you can’t eat or even drink water once you enter into the station, there’s no spillage of drinks or leftover food anywhere on the floor. The metro in Taiwan is cheap, fast, convenient, always-on-time, and my favorite way of exploring Taiwan.
If you are traveling to other cities in Taiwan. You can either rent a motorcycle, take the bus (it’s really clean and nice), take the train, or even the High Speed Rail that can take you from one end of Taiwan to the other in a matter of 2 hours! There’s plenty of transportation options available in Taiwan to make your travel in Taiwan super easy.
3. Cosmopolitan Taipei
The beautiful city of Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. This 300-year-old city has a unique blend of traditional Taiwanese culture and modern western influences. With its rapid modernization, Taipei has become the hub of international travelers and western businesses. And in 2004, the tallest building in Taiwan was built.
Taipei 101, also known as the Taipei International Financial Center, is a 508-meter high skyscraper that stands out proudly from the skyline of Taipei. Ever since its establishment, it has become the iconic symbol of Taipei and continues to attract more visitors to the city every day.
If you want to experience the nightlife in Taiwan, then definitely check out the clubs in ATT4Fun. ATT4Fun is right across from Taipei 101, and most clubs and bars are located in this area. If you’re ready to party your way through Taipei. Then make sure to book a hotel nearby so you don’t have to worry about transportation. One of the great things about partying in Taipei is that most clubs are open till 4 or 5 am unlike the clubs in the States. What’s even better is that you can get delicious late-night munchies at the 7-Elevens nearby! What a great way to end the night.
4. Rich Culture & History
The history of the island of Taiwan dates back thousands of years ago. From prehistoric times to the early 1600s, Taiwan was occupied by the Taiwanese indigenous people. And today, the aborigines only take up around 3% of Taiwan’s population. However, you can still find their beautiful culture in the 16 indigenous tribes scattered around the island of Taiwan.
When we think of Taiwan, we think of its rich Chinese influence. However, from the mid-1600s until the early-1900s, Taiwan actually had several encounters with other Western and Eastern civilizations. Including its colonization by the Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese. And since Taiwan was recently a Japanese colony (from 1895-1945), a lot of the island’s culture has a heavy Japanese influence. This is not only seen in Taiwan’s infrastructure and architectural styles but the customs and mannerism of Taiwanese.
5. Hiker’s Heaven
With its mountainous landscape and beautiful scenery, this island is a hiking enthusiast’s heaven. Fun fact, more than 30 percent of Taiwan is made up of forests and mountains. Which means hiking trails are everywhere. If you’ve been busy stuffing your face with cheap Taiwanese food and beer, then it’s definitely time to get exercising!
- Elephant Mountain is a famous (kind of touristy) trail for those who would like an Instagram-worthy shot Taipei 101 from above.
- Seven Star Mountain is a dormant volcano sitting at 1,120 above sea level, making it the peak of Taipei City
- Hehuanshan is one of the very few places in Taiwan where it actually snows in the wintertime. This is a very challenging trail, so make sure to be physically prepared.
- Jade Mountain & Snow Mountain are the two highest mountains in Taiwan. Standing at respective 3952m and 3886m above sea level, they’re definitely not beginner-friendly.
Don’t Hesitate! Travel To Taiwan!
Taiwan is without a doubt one of the most amazing countries in the world. Cheap and delicious food, nice people, easy transportation, beautiful scenery, and rich history. I mean, what else can you possibly ask for! If you ever travel to Taiwan, please let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your travel story!
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