Written by April Felicia C. Fojas
Photographed by Krizia Joy Rivera
Featured image by April Fojas
In light of the celebration of the 108th National Taiwan Day that the Taiwan Embassy, along with several members of the Filipino community, commemorated last October 10 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, let me tell you why Taiwan, the heart of Asia, should be on your travel bucket list!
Celebration of the 108th National Taiwan Day at Sofitel
7.) Mouthwatering Food
Calling all bubble tea and Din Tai Fung lovers! In case you didn’t already know, Taiwan invented bubble tea and is also the home of Din Tai Fung, but it doesn’t end there. If you’re a foodie, Taiwan is hands down one of the best places to go to for food trips. The food there is endless. They got sausages, mochi balls, deep-fried seafood, beef noodles, stinky tofu, and so. much. more. You will most probably gain a pound during your stay, maybe even 3.
Source: cotaro70s on Flickr
6.) Breathtaking Natural Landscapes
Taiwan is covered in mountains, about two-thirds of its terrain, making it one hell of a hiking paradise. And if you aren’t into hiking or climbing mountains, that’s no problem. You can still enjoy the scenery in places like Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Waterfall, Golden Waterfall, etc. that are easier to access on foot.
Mt. Jade, Taiwan
Source: Tony Wu on Flickr
Yehliu Geopark, Taiwan
Source: Albert Leung on Flickr
5.) Visit Historical and Architectural Landmarks
Learn about Taiwan’s history when you visit grand historical landmarks such as the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, Martyr’s Shrine, National Museum, and many more. You can also experience seeing Taiwan from greater heights at one of the greatest architectural landmarks in the world, Taipei 101. The view from the top of the magnificent bamboo-stalk-like structure is unlike any other. It gives you a full 360-degree view of the Taipei skyline.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Source: Jirka Matousek on Flickr
Source: Yu-Ching Chu on Flickr
4.) Shopping at Ximending
There is plenty of shopping to be done in Taiwan. In Ximending shopping district alone you’d already find yourself spending your cash on all kinds of stuff. From high-end clothes to smaller independent boutiques and other quirky shops. You could spend an entire day here just treating yourself to some new fits or buying pasalubongs for friends and family.
Source: Cliffano Subagio on Flickr
3.) Night Market Experience
One of the most well-known facts about Taiwan is that they have dozens of Night Markets. The night market is another chance for you to have fun, go shopping, and food tripping. There are also stalls for different kinds of games. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to worry about missing out on the night market experience because you have so many to choose from in literally every direction.
Rauhe Street Night Market
Source: fauzty on Flickr
2.) Get to Fly Lanterns at Shifen
Flying a lantern at Shifen Old Street is another must. It is believed by many to bring good fortune depending on the color and kind of lantern you fly. Whether or not you believe in good fortune the experience itself is a magical one. And if you’re lucky enough to catch the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival you’ll be able to watch hundreds of lanterns light up the night sky making it a night to remember.
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
Source: 總統府 on Flickr
1.) The People
Last, but definitely not least, the reason why Taiwan is so great is that the people are great! When I visited Taiwan, I don’t think I encountered a single local who was rude or unwilling to help. On several occasions, locals would try to help us even if we didn’t ask, especially if they noticed that we were lost or seemed like we didn’t know what we were doing. The locals that we were able to talk to and spend time with were one of the kindest and most enthusiastic people we’ve met. Our tour guide, Eric, even said that Taiwan loves Filipinos. The people truly reflect towards their country and they make visiting their country even more worth it. They put the heart in the heart of Asia.
Taiwan and the Philippines have one of the closest bonds and friendships. Over 150,000 OFWs work in Taiwan and the Taiwan government has been supporting the Bangon Marawi initiative through the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation. Oh, and I almost forgot to remind you that the embassy has given us Filipinos two-week visa-free entry into their country until July 2020! So, what better time to visit Taiwan than now!
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