A trip that I went on independently to visit family and learn more about my own heritage.
Highs & Lows
Some highlights include the tea house in Jiufen, and the beaches of Kenting.
The summer is extremely hot and there are tons of mosquitos (so make sure to pack accordingly)
I stayed in Taiwan for only a week, however, I did not waste any time because we had plans every day.
I took a quick tour to the mountains of Jioufen where we participated in a tea ceremony (that inspired the Studio Ghibli film 'Spirited Away'). There, we also released Chinese light lanterns, which lit the sky with our hopes and dreams written on them.
A family friend brought me by car to Kenting beach where the air quality index was above average (at the same level as Sweden). She told me that across the water was Shanghai , China (which I had visited the week before).
Finally, my grandmother and a family friend drove me up to Alishan, a nature reserve and mountain resort. We hiked parts of the mountain and was greeted by tea from small businesses along the mountain. They thought us how to correctly taste tea through traditional Taiwanese ways.
I took a quick tour to the mountains of Jioufen where we participated in a tea ceremony (that inspired the Studio Ghibli film 'Spirited Away'). The tea house was called "Amei Tea House". There, we also released Chinese light lanterns, which lit the sky with our hopes and dreams written on them.
A family friend brought me by car to Kenting national park where the air quality index was above average (at the same level as Sweden). We visited Baisha Beach (there are about five) and it is considered to be one the best beaches in Taiwan for its fine white sand and year-round warm temperatures. She told me that across the water was Shanghai , China (which I had visited the week before).
In Taipei, our mode of transportation mainly involved the metro and public biking. We went to the Taipei 101 which is classified as one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world. At night, I went to Huaxi Night Market which consisted of late night street food from 6pm-2am. I also hiked the famous Elephant Mountain at night which leads you to a peak overlook of the whole city lit up. It is named that for its volcanic spire trail
Q & A
What would you have changed?I think the one thing I would have changed was the amount of time I stayed in Taiwan. I wish I had extended it because each day was filled to the brim with things to do which got very tiring at the end of the day.
Anything go wrong during the trip?Nothing wrong, despite traveling alone. I did have family to assist me when I got there.
Restaurant recommendations?The food was probably some of the best food I've had. Most of the food is very natural (because there are a lot of farms in the outskirts of Taiwan). Something for everyone- Lots of vegetables for those who like to eat plant-based meals, as well as meat for the meatlovers out there.
Tips you would give a friend?If you're going to visit Taiwan, find a friend to bring/drive you around. It's difficult to find transportation especially up mountains or to national park beaches.
Packing tips?I wished I had packed more small jackets just because it was extremely hot in the day but quickly cooled down with breeze after the sun set.
Transportation Tips?There is not a lot of walking or public transportation, unless you're in major ciities like Taipei. I would recommend finding a friend to drive to certain tourist areas. Or perhaps sign up for tours where bus transportation is included.
Any surprises?What surprised me was the air quality in Taiwan because I know how bad it gets in China. The air was near perfect by the sea.
Booking details?I stayed with my family but if I had to book somewhere, it would be somewherein the center where it's only a few hours to get to different national parks and cities.