We’ve all been there. We all know how it is to risk yourself, love, and only to lose to heartbreak in the end. It sucks. And while it’s clearly not the end of the world, going through that phase of healing from the heart ache could be tricky business. How does one heal, anyway?
For many of us, travel is the answer. We climb mountains, let salt water heal our wounds, yell at mountain tops overlooking a sea of clouds. But if local travels aren’t just cutting it for you, here is another option: go international. There is so much to learn about the world out there and, ultimately, about ourselves. Like in Taiwan, for example, where we have discovered these eight beautiful places that, perhaps, can help mend your broken heart.
8. Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
Stand in awe at vast and grand structures like this one—Taiwan’s national monument, and landmark, built in the memory of Chiang Kai-Shek, former President of the Republic of China.
Be humbled, be amazed, and be reminded that no matter how bad this feels now, we are just humans, occupying a tiny space in this world full of grandness and beauty. Our problems are so small compared to the vastness of the universe. Your hurt will fade away. In time, it will.
7. Dihua Street
Dihua Street is known for its Chinese medicine shops, fabric market, and sundry shops selling things of all kinds. On a busy street like this, it is easy to feel dazed and lost. And you know what? Let it. Surrender all your senses and allow yourself to get lost.
Also home to many cafes, art studios, and antique shops, Dihua Street is where you can learn the strength and wisdom of being alone. Try it. Order a cup of coffee and sit at a cafe by yourself, just watching people come and go along the busy Dihua Street.
Jiufen, in the Northeast New Taipei City, is an old mining town and is home to many artist shops, tea houses, and artisan shops. But the best part? Just look at that stunning view. With quiet, artsy villages tucked away in mountains like this, surrounded by trees and nature, it is impossible to not find peace in Taiwan. You will find peace here, which is what your aching heart deserves.
Bonus: If you are a fan of Hayao Miyzaki films, in Jiufen you will find the Jiufen A Mei Tea House, a place that inspired the film Spirited Away.
5. Public parks
There is an abundance of beautiful parks in Taiwan, such as this one near Chiang Kai Shek, which is even adorned by that lovely arched stone bridge above a river. Whether you go to these parks for a nice, long walk, for a delightful picnic, or to just think or not think at all, know that nature heals. And you will be healed, only if you let it.
4. Taiwan’s Famous Night Markets
There are two of the best: Raohe Night Market which is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, and Shilin Night Market, the most popular night market in Taipei.
Release your inner child and be reminded how it is to feel young and unfazed by heartbreaks again by playing carnival games found along Raohe Night Market. Quaint shops and food stalls abound the strip, too. And then satisfy your soul by going on an epic food trip down Shilin Night Market, apparently the best place to eat in Taiwan. A full stomach of Taiwan’s best street food doesn’t guarantee a full heart, but hey, it’s a start.
3. Elephant Mountain Trail
They say that keeping your body busy and energized, as in exercising, will help keep your mind off the one who broke your heart. Don’t want to think of them anymore? Then get moving.
Elephant Mountain offers the best view of Taipei, kind of like Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak. It is a 15 to 20-minute hike which, unfortunately, includes a lot of stairs. But as all things in life, the reward is always on the other side of the challenge. When you do get to finish the trail, a magnificent view of Taiwan’s capital will be waiting, and it will all be worth it.
If you’re feeling it, you can scream out all your feels at the peak, too, à la Shan Cai in Meteor Garden, which was also set in Taiwan.
Known as Taipei’s “Shibuya”, Ximending is the first pedestrian zone in Taiwan. This crossing is also home to many fashion outlets, shops, clubs, and restos, which makes it a perfect spot for a night out. Perhaps you’re ready to socialize and meet someone new now? Hit the bars! As a popular tourist spot, you’ll surely meet other travelers there who are also on a journey towards healing or finding themselves. And whether it turns out to be just for a night of clean fun, or maybe something more, you’ll never know if you don’t try. So try. Don’t let past heartbreaks rob you of a possible future with someone else. Always try. Never stop trying.
1. Taipei 101
Taipei 101 was once the world’s tallest building, from 2004 to 2010, with 101 floors. It is also the tallest “green building” in the world, featuring beautiful architecture based on Chinese pagoda structure.
Climb up to the tower’s observation deck, and marvel at how everything looks so small down below. Almost insignificant. Are you ready? This is where you let go of that person. Look at the tiny buildings, the tiny streets, the people seemingly small as ants. Gather up every last bit of bitterness, resentment, anger, pain, jealousy, heart ache. Gather them all up, say your last good byes, and then throw them all away.
Keep the happy memories, if you must, but this is where you decide if you should move on. Because, in the end, that is a choice we make. And that is how you heal.
Starting November 2016, AirAsia will operate direct flights to Taipei from Manila and Cebu. The daily Manila-Taipei service will commence on November 21 while the three times weekly Cebu-Taipei service will start from November 25. For more details, visit www.airasia.com.
To celebrate the launch of the Taipei flights, AirAsia is offering promotional fares on airasia.com for only 1 peso, (one-way, base fare) from Manila-Taipei with travel period from 21 November 2016 to 31 Dec 2016. Promotional fares are up for grabs until 27 November only!!
In short, PISO nalang para maka-move on guys!!!
All photos in this post by Stephanie T. Chan.
Have you been to Taiwan? What places would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!