Encuentra aquí toda la información necesaria sobre Taiwan – este post series no ha hecho más que empezar, así que sigue atente al blog para ir descubriendo este precioso país 🙂
Para comenzar nuestra aventura taiwanesa vamos a visitar la ciudad de Taichung. Un lugar maravilloso que, aunque desconocido internacionalmente, ha sido elegido como mejor destino turístico por los propios taiwaneses.
Taichung es la segunda ciudad más grande de Taiwan con 2.700.000 habitantes y es conocida por ser el lugar donde se creó el famoso bubble tea (¿Todavía no conoces esta bebida tradicional? Sigue leyendo para descubrir más 😉 ).
Gracias a su esfuerzo por modernizarse constantemente y, al mismo tiempo, por mantener las tradiciones taiwanesas, Taichung trata de convertirse en la segunda ciudad más importante del país. Actualmente, esta posición la ostenta la ciudad de Kaoshiung.
Hagamos un pequeño tour por la ciudad para descubrir cuales son los lugares más increíbles:
El templo de Confucio
Construido hacía 1976, el templo de Confucio es un oasis de paz en medio del centro de Taichung.
Este precioso edificio sigue el estilo arquitectónico desarrollado durante la dinastía Song, donde se mezclaba la sobriedad con colores alegres y techos llenos de simbolismo. En las salas adjuntas al edifico central se pueden encontrar una gran variedad de bibliotecas y aulas donde se imparten clases sobre arte tradicional taiwanés.
Este templo también es utilizado por jóvenes parejas que van a casarse y quieren tener un bonito álbum pre-boda. Si, en Taiwan los futuros matrimonios suelen hacer una sesión de fotos antes del gran día.
Yizhong Street Night Market
El mercado más tradicional de Taichung se encuentra junto a la Universidad de Taichung en un área rodeada de residencias universitarias. En el mercado podrás degustar todo tipo de comida taiwanesa tradicional como el “stinky tofu” ó el “baozi” y, al mismo tiempo, podrás perderte entre cientos de tiendas de moda y tecnología que se mezclan con los puestos de comida callejera.
Entre las especialidades culinarias encontrarás también zumo de sandía, té frio y bubble tea.
¿No conoces el bubble tea todavía?
Esta bebida se inventó en Taichung en los años 80. Aunque hay distintas recetas, la original está compuesta por té, leche, bolas de tapioca (conocidas como “bubbles” – burbuja) y gelatina de frutas, como por ejemplo de lichi.
Paseando por el centro de la ciudad podrás llegar hasta el templo Paochueh.
¿A que es precioso? Bueno, pues espera a descubrir su estatua de Buda, la más grande de Taiwan. Me enamoré de la misma en cuanto la tuve delante.
¿Qué te parece?
Feng Chia Night Market
Museo de los globos
El “Taiwan Balloon Museum” es una fábrica con más de 50 años de vida situada en la zona residencial de Shengang. Aquí podrás disfrutar de un tour para descubrir cómo funciona el proceso de fabricación de globos. Además, este museo ofrece talleres para aprender a hacer distintas formas con los mismos.
Un plan diferente para los niños y los no tan niños 😉
Museo del terremoto
El 21 de septiembre de 1999 Taiwan sufrió uno de las mayores catástrofes naturales de su historia. Un terremoto de magnitud 7,3 en la escala de Richter destrozó la parte central de esta preciosa isla dejando miles de personas muertas y desaparecidas.
Para recordar a las victimas de esta catástrofe se creó el “Earthquake Museum”, un museo donde no sólo se explica lo que ocurrió aquel fatídico día, sino que también sirve para concienciar a la población y mostrar como hay que actuar en caso de que algo así se repita.
National Taichung Theater
¿Te apetece pasear por el tejado del edificio que alberga la ópera de Taichung?
Antes de llegar a la última planta me gustaría explicarte lo que vas a encontrar en este moderno edificio. El teatro nacional de Taichung “National Taichung Theater” es un espacio multifuncional que incluye:
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Impresionante museo con exposiciones permanentes centradas en artístas taiwaneses, aunque también se pueden encontrar exposiciones temporales más internacionales. El edificio es espléndido ya que fue reformado tras el terremoto de 1999.
Situado a tan sólo 4 minutos a pie del “Feng Chia Night Market” este hostal es un lugar acogedor dónde las habitaciones disponen de baño privado.
Este hotel se encuentra en el distrito central a tan sólo un minuto andando de “Yizhong Street Night Market”. Su estilo recuerda bastante a cualquier hotel europeo, salvo el desayuno, que es totalmente taiwanés. Cada habitación cuenta con un baño privado.
Este apartahotel se encuentra junto al parque “Taichung” y está rodeado de restaurantes. Cada planta cuenta con varias habitaciones con baño privado y un salón central para las mismas. Es una manera de conocer gente nueva :).
Recomendación: Prueba tanto el “stinky” como el “spicy” tofu. ¡Buenísimo!
La semana que viene continuaremos esta aventura taiwanesa visitando el precioso Sun Moon Lake.
¿Te ha gustado el post? ¿Conocías esta ciudad taiwanesa? Si quieres compartir algún otro lugar para visitar en Taichung no dudes en dejar un comentario aquí 😉
Después de 22 horas de viaje (incluyendo tres vuelos con Cathay Pacific), 3 horas de sueño, 2 películas y 3 episodios de Sexo en Nueva York, por fin llegué a Taiwan.
He de reconocer que el viaje fue muy cómodo. Era la primera vez que viajaba con Cathay y me da a mí que no va a ser la última 😉
Otra confesión que debo hacer es que Taiwan nunca había estado en mi lista de viajes. De hecho, nunca había pensado visitar esta isla de no ser porque una muy buena amiga mía se mudó allí. Es por esto que cuando decidí llevar a cabo este viaje no tenía ni idea de lo que me podía encontrar en Taiwan, y eso hacía esta escapada todavía más emocionante.
Ahora que he vuelto y que ha pasado un tiempo desde mi viaje, me doy cuenta de que Taiwan debería estar en la lista de países por visitar de todo el mundo, de hecho, mi recomendación es que consideres Taiwan como tu próximo destino de vacaciones.
Para entender mejor las razones por las que digo esto, te animo a que visites mi blog en las próximas semanas, ya que voy a contarte más cosas sobre este gran país a través de distintos posts.
Hoy empiezo este “post series” sobre esta increíble isla resumiendo mis 8 razones principales para visitar Taiwan.
No tengo palabras para describir la amabilidad de los taiwaneses. Aunque muchos de ellos (bueno, casi todos) no hablan inglés, siempre están dispuestos a ayudarte.
Los taiwaneses son bastante religiosos, lo que hace que puedas encontrar diversos templos repartidos por todo el país.
Es interesante visitarlos y descubrir más sobre su religión y tradiciones. De hecho, los ellos mismos agradecen que te intereses por su cultura y no tienen ningún inconveniente en abrir las puertas de sus templos a los turistas. Sin embargo, no olvides que estos son edificios sagrados y hay unas reglas que deberás cumplir.
En las próximas semanas te voy a mostrar algunos de los templos más impresionantes de Taiwan.
Taipei 101 (que como su nombre bien indica tiene unos cuantos pisos) era el edifico más alto del mundo hasta 2010.
Esta torre no es sólo un centro de negocios, sino un lugar muy interesante para los turistas, ya que desde la planta 91 podrás disfrutar de unas vistas impresionantes de Taipei.
Próximamente te contaré más cositas sobre este edificio 😉
Cuando los marineros portugueses avistaron Taiwan por primera vez, allá en el año 1500, se enamoraron de tal manera de esta isla que la llamaron “Ilha Formosa” (isla hermosa). Este nombre permaneció como nombre oficial de la isla hasta la llegada de la dinastía Ming.
¿Conoces algún museo del globo? La primera vez que oí hablar sobre este museo ¡no podía creelo! ¡Me parecía tan genial…!
¿Y el museo sobre los terremotos? Todo un descubrimiento para descubrir más sobre el “anillo de fuego” donde se sitúan países como Taiwan, Japón y USA.
De hecho, la razón por la que se creó este museo fue porque en 1999 Taiwan sufrió un terremoto de magnitud 7,3 grados en la escala de Richter, el peor de su historia, que mató a 2.400 personas.
Con este museo se pretende concienciar y educar a la población para que, en caso de que un acontecimiento así vuelva a ocurrir, sepan como actuar.
¿Conocías la existencia de este tipo de museos?
¿Te animas a probarla?
En la próximas semanas te daré pistas sobre dónde comer en las distintas ciudades taiwanesas que visitaremos juntos 😉
Taiwan ofrece una gran cantidad de senderos donde pasear o hacer escalada, dependiendo de la dificultad del mismo. Entre los lugares más conocidos para perderse se encuentran los senderos del Parque Nacional de Taroko y el precioso Parque Nacional de Kenting.
Aunque Taiwan es un país con mucha vida, sobre todo a partir de las 10 de la mañana, no es hasta el atardecer cuando se despierta de verdad y comienza a mostrar su cara más tradicional.
Esta preciosa isla está llena de los famosos mercados nocturnos, dónde podrás encontrar tanto deliciosa comida tradicional como productos textiles y tecnológicos.
Si de verdad quieres descubrir el estilo de vida taiwanes, debes perderte por estos mercados.
Taiwan Post Series
¿Te animas a visitar este increíble país?
En las próximas semanas empezaremos un viaje a través de distintas ciudades como Taichung, Jiufen o Kenting.
Juntos descubriremos cosas muy interesantes sobre la cultura taiwanesa, su historia, su gente, su comida y sus diversas tradiciones. Si estamos conectados vía IG seguro que ya has visto todas las fotos que he ido subiendo de mi viaje a Taiwan 😉
Nuestra primera parada será la espectacular ciudad de Taichung.
En los próximos días descubriremos más sobre la tercera ciudad más poblada de Taiwan que, a su vez, es la metrópoli más tradicional de la isla.
Pasa una buena semana y nos leemos en breves 🙂
If you are staying more than a couple of days in Taipei I highly recommend you to spend some time in Jiufen, a nice traditional taiwanese village located two hours away from Taipei.
Although Jiufen was founded during the Quing Dynasty, it became popular when gold was discovered in the area. The gold industry carried this city industry until the 60´s. From the 90´s onwards, this gold mine town became really popular among tourists.
The name Jiufen (Chiufen – EN: nine pieces) comes from an ancient legend. Regarding this legend, nine families used to live in this town. Since going to the market was a huge inconvenient due to the lack of transportation the nine families came to an agreement; whenever one family went to buy groceries at the market, they would have to divide them into nine pieces, each for each family.
Located within hills, next to the mountains and facing the ocean, Jiufen Old Street is known for its foggy weather and its beautiful views. The street is full of local snack vendors, traditional products and souvenirs stores.
Among the various snack vendors you can find some Jiufen traditional food such as taro balls, fried meat balls and taro cake. In addition, chinese tea houses are really popular among both locals and tourists.
Instead of having lunch on the street surrounded by locals and thousand of tourists – be careful, Jiufen is so trendy that its old street is usually crowded with people in the noon time, especially on the weekends- we decided to stop in a nice cafeteria with natural juices and beautiful views.
Jiufen is not only a touristic old street. If you are curious enough, I highly recommend you walk up the main road to the top of the hill.
On the way you will find a first temple – which was full of locals praying and some tourists – and at the top of the hill you will find a second one, – to find this temple you may need to get yourself lost among all the tiny Jiufen non-touristic roads. This is quite an adventure! and locals are so nice…! :). Sadly, I don´t know the name of this second temple, however, I still remember the peaceful, good vibes that we could feel up there. In fact, we were alone in the temple, no locals and no tourists. A heaven of peace!
Another interesting – and really well-known – temple is Fushan Temple. This 200 years old temple is dedicated to Tudigong, the God of Earth, and it is an interesting blend of Japanese, Chinese and Western elements.
There are two different possibilities to reach Jiufen from Taipei:
Train to Riufang and then bus to Jiufen From Taipei Main Station – Take a train to Riufang – the views during the trip are really interesting. Once you reach Riufang, leave the train station behind you and go straight, cross the main square and turn left. After a 5 minutes walk – you can always stop at a local vendor to buy some tasty tea – you will reach the bus stop. Don´t worry, you won´t get lost! All tourists are walking the same direction 😉 There you will find all the information related to the bus and its schedule.
Direct bus to Jiufen – Apparently there is a direct bus from Taipei to Jiufen. At that time we were recommended to take the train, so we could make other stops if we wanted to.
The bus starts at Zhongxiao Taipei Station and it drives you directly to Jiufen Old Street.
Have you ever been to Jiufen?
This ancient gold-miner town is a once in a lifetime must-see place. Although it is becoming too touristic, this place maintain some ancient charm that makes it special.
I highly recommend you to escape the town bustle to climb the hill, to reach the highest temple of Jiufen and to enjoy a moment of peace staring at the sea. It is a good idea to reconnect with yourself and to recharge some energies while contemplating an amazing view.
To continue our taiwanese trip we decided to drive to the southern part of the island.
Therefore, after spending a couple of days in the beautiful city of Kaohsiung, we took the Kenting Express bus to go to Kenting.
It took us less than two hours to arrive to this picturesque seaside town, whose lively streets welcome visitors with lights and music.
This part of the island is a tourist attraction for taiwanese and chinese people who want both, to enjoy some peaceful days at the beach and to discover natural parks.
If you are planning to visit Kenting, I highly recommend you to avoid chinese new year and summer season, since the national park can be really crowded and hotels can duplicate their prices.
Ready to find out what to visit in the unique seaside town of Kenting?
Kenting National Park (Eluanbi Park) is open from 7 am to 5:30 pm.
This area is a great spot if you are into hiking. I would recommend you to choose a non-rainy day to visit the park, otherwise, the path will be wet and slippery.
If hiking is not for you, you can always either rent a scooter or get a tourist bus to visit the National Park.
A nice spot located at Kenting National Park is the renowned Eluanbi lighthouse, nestled on a green grassy hill. Built during the Qing Dynasty, in 1883, this unique lighthouse suffered serious damages during the World War II and had to be re-built in 1962. Today, this iconic place is still functional and, at the same time, is held as a historical monument admired (and photographed) by tourists who visit the National Park.
A nice place to chill and get some sun while practicing different water activities such as kite-surf or snorkel. If you like calm crystal waters where to explore the deep sea, Kenting Beach is the ideal place for you.
A more hidden, quiet place. Little Bay Beach is a small beach located not far away from Kenting Beach, however, this beach is more quiet and familiar than the previous one. Most of people visiting it are just families or couples looking to chill and swim in the warm sea.
This place is also interesting during the night because the snack bar located at the entrance offers live music until midnight.
If you are looking forward to eat chips and finger food while you get a tan, this is your place. Otherwise, you can always enjoy a nice sunset or a drink in the evening.
Known as Chuanfan Rock is a huge piece of coral reef rock. The name “sail rock” was given to the rock due to its from,because, from a distance, the rock looks like a sailboat protruding out on the sea.
Situated next to the Sail Rock, there is a small sandy beach popular to practice snorkel, since the area is rich of aquatic life and coral reefs. If you are not into snorkeling, you can always lay down and enjoy the warm water.
How many food stands and restaurants can coexist in one street? If you want to get an answer, come to visit Kenting Main Street where delicious traditional taiwanese food stands and occidental restaurants live together among traditional buildings, which turned into modern hotel rooms.
Something that I really liked about this street was the good vibes you could feel in it. Most of the people knew each other already, in fact, many locals owned a food/drinks stand together with other friends, as a way to earn some money during the weekends, and they were super nice with visitors 🙂
Have you ever been to Kenting?
This southern point of Taiwan is a unique place with a lot to offer.
Kenting National Park is the main attraction, however, Kenting beaches and the town itself have some special charm that makes the visitor feel somewhere else.
This part of the island is far from noise and pollution. It is the perfect place to disconnect from daily crazy routine and to re-connect with yourself and with nature. If you plan to visit Taiwan, I highly recommend you to spend a couple of days relaxing in Kenting. Furthermore, locals are super friendly!
It took us around 2 hours to travel from Taichung to Kaohsiung in the rapid train. Once we arrived to our destiny we left our packages at the hostel and we started to explore this amazing taiwanese city.
This dramatic 378 meters high building, called “Tuntex Sky Tower” was constructed from 1994 to 1997 and it had the honor to be the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan until the building of Taipei 101. Its elevator is one of the world´s fastest elevators reaching the 75th floor in only 43 seconds, at 600 meters per minute.
From 75 View Deck, the observation deck, visitors can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the entire city and harbor. A good idea is to go there in the late evening to enjoy the sunset of Shou Mountain (promised we tried to do it, but we didn´t mange to arrive on time…) or to go early in the morning to admire the vitality of this incredible city.
Known as Dagou River in Qing Dynasty, this beautiful river gained the title of “Love River” due to its developed green park areas, which makes Kaohsiung Canal one of the most romantic places for lovers to date. At night, visitors can take boats on the east or the west coast to enjoy the charming views among the river.
Good news for bicycle lovers: A very long bicycle way was constructed, to wander on the pathways while admiring the beautiful landscape.
One of my favorite parts of the city is the well-known “Lotus Lake“.
Located in the old section of Zuoying district, this lake is surrounded by buildings close related to the ancient Chinese culture.
How is this possible? Easily. Lotus Lake is, as I previously mentioned, located in Zuoying district. This section has always been a historical one because it was established as a military fortress during the Qing Dynasty, to later on become a community of nationalist Chinese who fled to Taiwan when the Communist took over of China.
The lake is surrounded by a 3km path. There is also a road for tour buses, since this place is becoming very popular among tourists. Here it is easy to find visitors enjoying the pretty views of the lake and walking along the different temples in the area.
Starting at the southwest part of the lake, visitors encounter the beautiful Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. Following locals traditions, the dragon’s throat is the entrance and the tiger’s mouth is the exit. It is said that entering a dragon’s throat and coming out a tiger’s mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune. From the top of the pagodas visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the lake.
A little further down you can visit the Spring and Autumn Pavilions and the Wuli Arbor, which welcomes the visitor with a nice, ancient foot bridge. Spring and Autumn Pavillions, built in 1951, are dedicated to Kuan Kung (the God of War).
Wandering along the path you will find the beautiful Confucius Temple. This is not 100% the original temple, since the original one was built in 1648 in a different location of the city. In 1960 the government decided to renovated and reopened some old temples around the country (abandoned during Japanese siege). The mayor of Kaohsiung mandated to build the temple next to the beautiful Lotus Lake.
To be honest, the mayor had a great idea! This place is seldom busy – most of the touristic buses do not arrive until here – and it is a great place to sit, relax and enjoy the view.
This church was established during the Qing Dynasty, when Spanish missionaries arrived to Taiwan. It suffered a reformation in 1860, when it got its current name “Rosa Basilica”. Again in 1928, the basilica was reformed into a Renaissance-style architecture. The current Rose Basilica is the result of another reformation which took place around 1931.
Liuhe is the most touristic night market located in Xinxing District. In fact, this market is one of the most popular ones in the country.
During the day, Liuhe 2nd Road looks like any normal road with tons of traffic, however, after 18.00pm things change a bit there…
The whole street turns into a crowded pedestrian market full of stands selling crab, shrimp, octopus and squids. Although this market is know due to the quality of its seafood, here you can also find other traditional dishes such as beef, papaya juice or snake meat.
It takes around 30 minutes to visit the whole market (always depending on how hungry you are and how many stands you want to visit 😉 We spent almost one hour there).
Located on GuangHua Road, this local night market is around 60 years old. At that time, street vendors gathered in from of GuangHua theater, where people went to the movies. After years of prospering, this night market expanded and it became the local night market of nowadays.
Over hundred vendors and shops are located here. Known for its cheap price and quality food, this night market is the favorite of locals.
Doubtlessly the most popular and busiest night market in Kaohsiung. Located in the north part of the city, this night market is the ideal place to find all kind of food and shoppings choices.
Does the name “The Dome Of Light” sound familiar to you?
This public art is the largest glass work in the world. Its vivid colors and unique design are located at the Kaohsiung MRT transfer station for the Red and the Orange lines (Formosa Boulevard Station). The renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata took four years to complete this piece of art, which tells the story of human life in four themes: Water, Earth, Light and Fire.
The immensity of this design cause tourists and locals to simply stop and to admire this unique monument.
Of course,it is becoming the “selfie place” of Kaohsiung by far.
Have you ever been to Kaohsiung?
This city is a charming place with a lot to offer. Discovering dramatic skyscrapers, cycling/wandering around Lotus Lake or trying taiwanese food at the local markets is an experience I highly recommend. Kaohsiung and its citizens are amazing!
Just 64km away from Taichung (2 hours by bus) lies the unique and dramatic Sun Moon Lake.
The largest body water in Taiwan is also home to the Thao tribe, an aboriginal taiwanese tribe, and a tourist hotspot, mostly during Chinese New Year.
This area offers some accommodations for those who want to spend some days discovering this enormous lake and its surroundings. In our case, we spent a whole day enjoying this majestic place before coming back to Taichung.
First thing we did after getting off the bus that drove us to the lake, was to take a plan of the area at the tourism information office and to check which activities we could enjoy.
Following you can find some information about Sun Moon Lake attractions:
After grabbing a coffee at a local cafeteria we decided to explore one of the walking trails at Shueishe Pier (the main pier of the lake). We figured out that we could have a nice walk among nature and take some nice pictures of the clear turquoise waters.
On our way we found some local fishermen and a couple of adventurous who, like us, were enjoying an early morning walk.
The quickest way to discover this beautiful lake and its green mountains is to take one of the various ferries that you will find at the Shueishe pier.
Since there are many different ferry companies I recommend you to take a look at this website “Taiwan Sun Moon Lake Boats“. Here you can find all the information related to the different boat operators, their prices and schedules.
If you decide to take a boat tour you will be able to see and visit the following places:
Although Shueishe is the most tourist-oriented part of the lake, it is also a great area to have a nice walk, to enjoy nature and to visit some traditional places such as Longfeld Temple.
Ita Thao Pier
You can get off the boat at Ita Thai Pier and discover the old village of Thao tribe, the aboriginal taiwanese tribe. Here you can get lost among the narrow, colorful street and their food markets. If you want to try some traditional food and buy some souvenirs, this is a nice place to do it.
From the wharf you can enjoy an amazing view to the sun moon lake cable car.
From my point of view this is, by far, the most interesting spot in Sun Moon Lake.
Once you get off the boat you can enjoy a nice, an maybe crowded, walk until you reach Xuanguang Temple. This beautiful taiwanese temple was built to honor Xauanzang, a prestigious monk who devoted his whole life to promote Buddhist teachings and it is still one of must-go places for many visitors to Sun Moon Lake.
However, this is not the only temple created to honor Xuanzang. At the top of the mountain, visitors can discover one of the most magnificent temples I have ever seen: Master Xuanzang Memorial Hall.
To be honest, you can reach the temple either by walk or by bus/Car.
I highly recommend you to discover the trail on the mountain, surrounded by nature and wild animals (Do not worry, they are afraid of people, so they tend to hide when you make noise).
We decided to invest some time at Xuanguang and to walk up the mountain until Xuanzang Memorial Hall. Surrounded by nature, we did not find any other tourist on the way – which was a huge surprise for us.
The first image that comes to my mind when I think about the temple is the dramatic views that the visitor can enjoy from its esplanade.
The temple is also really special. On the first floor, it is easy to find solo monks praying on silence. On the second and third floor, the visitor can learn more about Xuanzang story and the importance of this monk who brought back the original Buddhist sacred texts to translate them himself. This journey took him twenty years and, since then, his contributions to the Buddhist community were innumerable.
Located in the middle of the lake, this tiny island was inhabited by Thao people. It is too small and fragile for tourists since it has been half disintegrated due to the building of a dam around 1930, as well as due to the 921-earthquake in 1999. However, you can have a great view of it from the boat.
You can dock the boat at either Shueishe, Xuanguang or Ita Thao Pier and get back when you are done with visiting each part of the lake.
At the very beginning I talked to you about the Circular Walk. If you prefer to ride a bike instead of having a walk, I recommend you to do not miss out this amazing bikeway that covers half of the lake and allows the visitor to enjoy great views as well as to take beautiful pictures.
Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, with around 1.877 meters length, runs between Ita Thao Pier and Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. The cable car travels over two mountains with altitudes around 1000 meters.
This ropeway is used as a public transport by locals, as well as a touristic attraction by foreigners ready to enjoy a dramatic view of the lake. The cable cars are designed with three different colors: red, yellow and blue, which represent the sun, the moon and the lake.
Have you ever been to Sun Moon Lake?
This lake is a beautiful area with a lot to offer. Cycling, having a nice walk around the lake, getting ourselves lost among the streets markets and discovering dramatic temples is a unique opportunity you should not miss. This place is stunning!
Enjoy your time at Sun Moon Lake and feel free to send me a photo via IG or Twitter. Share this post or comment below if you want to share your experience with us.
Next time we will travel to the colorful city of Kaohsiung. See you there!
Here you can find all the information to prepare your trip to Taiwan
To start our taiwanese trip we will travel all around the city of Taichung, a taiwanese hidden gem chosen by locals as the best destination in Taiwan. The attractiveness of the city originates in its architectural mix, its lively streets, its mild climate and the kindness of its citizens.
Taichung is the second largest city of Taiwan with 2.7 million inhabitants and it is known to be the house of the famous, tasty bubble tea (still don´t know the taiwanese bubble tea? Just keep reading then 😉 ).
While endeavoring to achieve modernization with the construction of new, modern buildings as well as remember the past, Taichung strive to position as the second most important city of Taiwan (today this honor belongs to Kaoshiung).
Let´s make a tour around the city to discover some amazing spots you should take into account when preparing your trip to Taiwan:
Built around 1976 Confucius Temple is a peaceful oasis in the middle of Taichung´s downtown.
This incredible temple follows the construction-style of the Song Dynasty by mixing sobriety and simplicity together with vivid colors and decorated roofs and beams. In the galleries located at the side of the main courtyard the visitor can find various classrooms and a library, where traditional arts are taught.
This temple is usually used by young couples as the perfect landscape for their pre-wedding photo album.
Yizhong Street Night Market
If you want to experience the real, ancient Taiwan lifestyle you CANNOT miss this unique night market.
Located closed to Taichung´s University, this area accommodate thousand of students willing to enjoy its young, trendy culture with many fashion stores and tasteful finger food such as stinky tofu (you can feel its smell since the moment you approach the market), baozi or fried chicken.
Among its specialities you will also find cold tea, watermelon juice and the famous bubble tea.
Haven´t you ever heard about it?
Bubble tea was invented in Taichung in the 80s. Although there are many varieties of this unique drink, the original recipe contains a tea based mixed with milk, tapioca balls (know as bubbles 😉 ) and fruit jelly such as lychee.
A nice walk from the city center will lead you to Paochueh Temple.
Beautiful isn´t it?. Wait to discover its dramatic (laughing) Buddha statue (the largest in Taiwan). I fell in love with it! 🙂
Feng Chia Night Market
Taiwan Balloon Museum is in fact an over-50-years-old balloon factory located in the residential area of Shengang. Here visitors can take an informative journey to discover how does the manufacturing process of balloons work. In addition, the museum offers rubber balloon DIY workshops and guided tours.
An original plan for children and not so children 😉
On September 21, 1999, Taiwan experienced one of its worst natural disasters ever, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake that destroyed the central part of this amazing island. The earthquake museum was built in order to honor the victims of this catastrophe, as well as to raise citizens awareness and show them how to act in case of earthquake.
National Taichung Theater
Ready to walk on the roof of an opera house?
The National Taichung Theater is an opera house and multifunctional space which includes:
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
Great museum with exhibitions mostly focused on taiwanese art, although all the time there are temporary exhibitions. The building itself is splendid and it has been rebuilt after the 921 earthquake.
Located just a short 4-minute walk from Feng Chia Night Market, it is a pretty cozy place, nicely decorated and with own private bathroom.
Located in the central district, 1-minute walk from Yizhong Street Night Market is an ideal european style hotel with private bathroom and taiwanese breakfast.
Located near by Taichung Park and surrounded by restaurants, Wowwow House is a taiwanese cozy hotel whose rooms own private bathrooms.
Hint: Try both stinky and spicy tofu. Tasty!!!
Did you like the post? Motivated to include Taichung in your bucket list? If you want to share more information about this dramatic city feel free to leave a comment below 😉
To say goodbye I want to share more pictures with you (Remember: Next stop Sun Moon Lake 😉 ):
After 22 hours travel (including three flights with Cathay Pacific – first time with them and I fell in love with the company), a 3 hours sleep night and two films + 3 episodes of Sex and the City, I finally arrived to Taiwan 😊.
Let me confess that this wonderful country was not in my bucket list. In fact I had never thought about visiting it until a good friend of mine moved there. So, I basically took my decision based on a good friendship. What am I trying to say? Well, let’s be honest: I had no clue about what I could expect from Taiwan. I had no idea about the country, its people, its culture…
Now that I am back in occident I can strongly say that Taiwan should also be in your bucket list, in fact, you should consider Taiwan as your next holidays destination.
To understand why I am saying this I want to invite you to visit my blog within the next weeks, when I am going to tell you more about this amazing place and I am also going to give you a lot of tips to prepare your trip.
Today, to start this blog series about this idyllic asian island I would like to share with you the 8 main reasons why you should visit Taiwan.
Are you ready? Then… Let´s go!
No words to describe the kindness of Taiwanese people. Even though most of them do not speak English, they are always willing to help you.
Yes! This trip allowed me to improve my chinese skills 😊
Taiwanese are quite religious with many beautiful temples dotted all around the country.
Do not feel a little intrusive when visiting them, locals are extremely welcoming to tourist that do. However, do not forget that temples are sacred buildings where some rules should be followed.
In the coming weekends I will show you some of the most amazing temples in Taiwan.
Taipei 101 (the figure denote the number of floors) was the tallest building in the world until 2010. This is not only a business building, but also a great place for tourists. From its observation deck on the 91st floor the view is dramatic (I will tell you more on a post dedicated to Taipei 😉 )
When Portuguese sailors first saw Taiwan in the 1500s they literally fell in love with the landscape of the island. In fact, the called it “Ilha Formosa” (beautiful island) and the name remained until the arrival of the Ming dynasty.
Can you believe it? I was so amazed when I found out about the balloon museum… I couldn´t even imagine the existence of such a museum!
And the earthquake one? Thanks to it I learnt that Taiwan sits on the same earthquake “ring of fire” as Japan and California.
In 1999 Taiwan experienced a magnitude 7.3 earthquake, its worst in recent memory, which killed 2.400 people. Apparently, the museum was created to inform and raise awareness on how to act in case of an earthquake.
I have never heard about this kind of museums. What about you?
Ready to try it?
Within the next weeks I will give some hints about where to eat in the different cities that we will visit together 😉
Taiwan offers tourists a wide hiking trails opportunities, from light treks to real climbs. One of the most known places to hike are Taroko National Park and the beautiful Kenting National Park.
While the country is pretty lively during the day (let´s say from 10.00 am onwards), it is when the sun goes down when the island of Taiwan really wakes up and becomes alive.
Taiwan is full of night markets where you will find delicious street food, clothes and tech products. If you really want to understand the Taiwanese way of life, you must definitely visit its night markets.
Taiwan Post Series
Ready to visit the country now?
Within the next weeks we will start a trip visiting many different places such as Taichung, Jiufen, Kenting or Taipei on the blog.
Together we will discover more about the taiwanese culture, its history, its food, its people and its traditions. (If we are connected via IG, I am sure that you have already seen some of my taiwanese pictures 😉 )
Our first stop will be the dramatic city of Taichung.
Next week we will discover more about the third largest city of Taiwan and, at the same time, the most traditional one.
Have a nice week and see you soon! 🙂
* when I talk about “tourists” you must take into account that Taiwan is not known for being an international holidays destination, so most of the tourists visiting the island are local or chinese ones.