Top 8 Things I love about Taiwan

Taiwan is an island nation of nearly 24 million people. It is bounded to the northeast by Japan, to the West by China and to the South by the Philippines. Taiwan currently does not belong to the United Nations and is the largest economy and most populous nation in the world not to belong to that global organization.

All About Taiwan
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – All About Taiwan

Taiwan is a special place for a number of reasons. Every year, thousands of people troop to the island nation to have a feel and taste of what the people have to offer. These are the eight amazing things I cannot stop talking about in Taiwan:


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Things I love about Taiwan

Street Food

Feasting in the streets is a major phenomenon in Taiwan. Known as Taiwan Xiaochi or ‘small eats’ your journey cannot be complete if you do not enjoy one of the tasty meals served on the streets of Taiwan. You can move from stall to stall to ensure that you get the best food at a moderate price and if nothing else, for the fun of adventure. Some meals sold on the streets are: iron eggs, seafood, stuffed meatballs, scalion pancake, pearl tea, shrimp monkeys, to mention just a few. If you love to explore Taiwan’s wide variety of street foods, you can visit Yongkang St, Ximending and Shilin night market.

Taiwan Street Foods
Taiwan Street Foods
Grilled Chicken Butt
Grilled Chicken Butt

Taiwan is also the origin of the famous Din Tai Fung. With branches in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the United States, Thailand and Dubai, experience one of the world’s best selling xiaolongbao where it came from.

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Affordable Flights from Manila

You can get some cheap fares for flights from Manila, Philippines to Taipei, Taiwan. Flights are available for as low as $80 from Manila to Taipei, a journey that lasts for just over two hours. The good news is that the world’s famous low-cost airline, AirAsia has launched flights from Manila and Cebu in the Philippines to Taipei.  This guarantees cheap fares on the route every day of the week.

A beautiful pond near Chiang Kai-shek National Theater
A beautiful pond near Chiang Kai-shek National Theater

AirAsia Flight Schedule for Manila (MNL) to Taipei (TPE)

Flight Number From To Departure Arrival Frequency
Z2 128 MNL TPE 23:05 01:10 Daily
Z2 129     TPE MNL 01:35 03.45 Daily

AirAsia Flight Schedule for Cebu (CEB) to Taipei (TPE)

Flight Number From To Departure Arrival Frequency
Z2 7124 CEB TPE 06:35 09:25 Wednesday
CEB TPE 06:10 09:05 Friday and Sunday
Z2 7125 TPE CEB 10:20 13:10 Wednesday
TPE CEB 10:10 13:00 Friday
TPE CEB 10:30 13:20 Sunday

The People

It is usually said that a place is as great as the friendliness of its people. This is one of the main reasons why Taiwan should be in your bucket list. The people are known to be very hospitable and accommodating to visitors.

Friendly Fruit Vendors at the Night Market in Taipei
Friendly Fruit Vendors at the Night Market in Taipei

They show a sense of excitement and happiness towards you to say; “we are excited and happy to see you.” Rather than the usual prodding of tourists to buy souvenirs, Taiwanese would rather greet with a friendly smile and look for ways to help if you were looking confused. And if you actually ran into trouble, they would willingly offer help though some of them do not speak English. They would rather pass the phone to someone else who speaks English to sort you out.

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Night Market

This is one thing most Asian countries are known for – night markets. Such markets are usually bustling and filled with people. From food to souvenirs and anything that can be sold. Even if you are not in the mood to shop, hanging out there and meeting with hundreds of people can just turn a boring night into a blast.

Keeling Night Market
Keeling Night Market
Ximending in Taipei
Ximending in Taipei

Some of the night markets that you can visit in Taipei are Raohe Street Market, Shida Night Market, Tonghua Night Market and Shilin Night Market.

Temples

Taiwanese are very religious people. Majority of the people there practice Buddhism and Taoism while there are pockets of Christians and other religious groups here and there. Dotted around Taipei’s landscape are temples that are such magnificent sights to behold.

Mengjia Longshan Temple
Mengjia Longshan Temple
Afternoon in Longshan Temple
Afternoon in Longshan Temple

Some of the temples are steeped in the history of Taiwan and have cultural connections too. Temples you can stop around to see in Taipei are: Mengjia Longshan Temple, Baoan Temple, Qingshan Temple, Confucius Temple and Ciyou Temple. A tour around any of the temples would expose you to information about the rich cultural heritage of the people of Taiwan.

Dragons

Either on the rooftops of temples or just another colourful sight, dragons are everywhere in Taiwan.

About Taiwan Dragons
Dragons – All About Taiwan

This is particularly the case because temples are everywhere. The dragons are colourful; they are beautiful and absolutely amazing. Some of them are carved in stone and they make great scenery for the pictures which you can use to set your social media pages on fire.

Free Wi-Fi

Taiwan has a free Wi-Fi network that covers the length and breadth of the cities. So citizens can log on to iTaiwan and enjoy the benefit of free internet connection. It is one of the first places in the world to have successfully launched a free Wi-Fi network on such a massive scale.

iTaiwan Free WiFi Hotspots
iTaiwan Free WiFi Hotspots

Visitors to Taiwan can enjoy the service too by signing up with their international passport at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau centres and offices at transportation stations. If you prefer to buy a Sim card to access unlimited 3g internet using your mobile phone, you can buy a sim card for only $6 with 4 days of unlimited 3g access.

Effective Transportation System

Taiwan operates a very cheap and effective transportation system. The metro system is very clean and absolutely amazing.

Taiwan Railway's second generation ticket vending machine
Taiwan Railway’s second generation ticket vending machine By Lexcie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20455698

It has ten lines running from Taipei to the New Taipei City. The metro system has relieved Taipei of much of its chronic traffic congestion issues, carrying more than two million passengers per day as at early 2016. Due to its connections with existing rail way lines, it has facilitated tourist traffic to many towns outside Taipei.

Conclusion

Taiwan stands recommended as one of the best places in the Asia to visit because of its tourist attractions, good food and friendly people. I will definitely go back very very soon 🙂

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How about you? What do you love about Taiwan?

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