The ABCs of Taiwan

With Taiwan granting VISA-free entry to Filipinos until July of next year, my friends and I decided to pack our bags and head over there to explore some of the best (and heartwarming) things Taiwan has to offer. In 5 days and 4 nights, we explored Taipei, the capital, as well as two of its neighboring towns — Jiufen and Shifen. Without further ado, here’s our take on charming Taiwan from A – Z! :)

The ABCs of Taiwan

A – A Mei Teahouse

One of Jiufen’s most iconic structures, it is said to be the inspiration behind Yubaba’s bath-house in Spirited Away. Seeing it in person was such a dream come true. I was so happy, I actually told myself, “I’ll just stand here and wait for my own Haku!”

B – Breakfast

Food in Taiwan is delicious by default, but I particularly love the breakfast offered at the hostel we stayed in. It was a simple set of toasts, spreads, congee, and some side dishes. The spreads usually come in fours, though there were five flavors available: strawberry, chocolate, coconut, green tea, and peanut butter. There is something about the simplicity of it all that is genuinely heartwarming, a feeling which always reminds me of home.

Photo source: Hostel World (Homey Hostel Taipei)

 C – Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

A historical landmark erected in honor and memory of Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China, this was actually the first place on our itinerary – a beautiful one full of respect and history.

D – Details

This primarily refers to the intricate architecture and design of the temples in Taiwan. The Taipei Confucius Temple, as well as the Dalongdong Bao’an Temple in Datong District, are two of the most beautiful and serene temples that we were able to visit during this trip.

 E – Efficient transportation

Whether by bus or by MRT, Taiwan’s transportation system is affordable, convenient, and safe.

F – Fangirling

This pertains to kilig-filled activities best done with friends in the wee hours of the morning, at the airport, and while waiting for your flight’s boarding announcement. Speaking of fangirling, there’s a new Taiwan cast for the 2018 remake of the much-loved Meteor Garden!

G – Gourmet

Defined as a connoisseur of fine food and drink; you’ll definitely become one during and even after your trip to Taiwan because for the umpteenth time, food in this country is really good! 

H – Homey

A beautiful and cozy hostel located at the heart of Taipei, their lounge area, comfy beds, and breakfast sets are the ones I loved most. Just between you and me, the high probability of finding an oppa in the common areas adds to its star value! ;)

Photo source: Hostel World (Homey Hostel Taipei)

I – Instagram stories

Anyone whose skill-to-fame is creating beautiful Instagram stories will definitely love Taiwan. It has so much character and is picturesque in a natural way. One of my friends has already mastered the art of IG stories and her hands went numb trying to capture all of Taiwan’s beautiful landmarks!

 J – Jiufen

A magical place, its ambiance, food, and souvenirs partnered with the rain and cold weather produced an indescribable experience. The journey to Jiufen was actually my favorite part of the trip. There is something eerily beautiful about the quiet bus ride, the zigzag roads, the foggy mountains, the Aden-lit tunnels, the rain, the cold weather, and the red lanterns from afar that effortlessly made a mark in a corner of my conscience. Make sure to visit at night.

 K – Kindness

My greatest takeaway from this Taiwan trip is that it reminded me of how traveling is never a competition. It is not about passport stamps, your frequency in a place, or beautiful pictures. Traveling is a humbling experience – an opportunity to bask in a stranger’s kindness and a chance to find a home away from home.

 

L – Layering

This was our default weapon for Taiwan’s November weather. The ground temperature was between 13-18C that time, so make sure to bring thick clothes if you’re ever planning to visit during the same time of the year.

 

M – Music (K-Pop)

Our playlist for this trip consisted of BTS, CL, EXO, Shinhwa, and Sechskies. I can’t help but think that the latter’s song was very fitting for Taiwan as it really was something special!

 Hit page two for more! :)


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