Taiwan
Taiwan

Curious what backpackers do in Taiwan? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

105 travelers at this place:

  • Day45

    Von Hongkong nach Taipei

    November 14 in Taiwan

    Und schon sind 3 Tage in Hongkong auch wieder vorbei. Diesmal bin ich schlauer und nehme den Bus zum Airport. 33 Hongkong Dollar in die Box beim Busfahrer eingeworfen und keine 250 HKD, wie bei der Taxifahrt. Jaja, aber ich tröste mich mit dem Argument, dass ich auf der Hinfahrt noch kein Kleingeld hatte, um den Fahrpreis passend zu löhnen. Da ich auf diesem Flug bis zu 30kg Freigepäck hatte, wurde bis auf Laptop, Powerbank, Handy und Kamera alles im großen Rucksack untergebracht. 27,3 kg! Ich fasse es nicht und muss unbedingt überlegen, was ich davon noch brauche. Zumal mein nächster Flug nur 20kg Freigepäck gestattet...

    Der Flug von Hongkong nach Taipei verlief ruhig und dauerte nur 1h 50min. In Taipeh angekommen war ich diesmal schlauer und nutzte die MRT in die City. Was mich allerdings umhaute, war die Größe der Taipei Main Station! 😱 Auch hier hatte ich wieder Glück, denn ein netter junger Chinese fragte mich, ob er mir helfen könne. Und ob! Ich folgte ihm 5min durch das Wirrwarr an Gängen nach draußen. Bedankte mich und fand dann relativ schnell meine Unterkunft - GPS sei Dank! 😂

    Fix das Gepäck abgestellt und raus ins Getümmel, um noch ein wenig vom abendlichen Taipei zu sehen. Leider ist es nun doch schon wieder fast dunkel. Dafür empfängt das internationale Vergnügungsviertel Ximending seine Gäste mit viel Licht, Glitzer und Glimmer. Ich streune ein wenig durch die Straßen und bleibe vor einem Kino stehen, wo Kameraleute, Aufsteller, Messewände und ein roter Teppich auf ein Filmfestival aufmerksam machen. Und urplötzlich gibt es klickende Fotoapparate und quietschende junge Mädels direkt neben und vor mir, was mich kurzzeitig verwirrt. Dann muss ich ein wenig grinsen, denn scheinbar steht genau neben mir ein nicht unbekannter asiatischer Schauspieler, der die Mädels ausflippen lässt. Warum sollte es hier auch anders sein, als im Rest der Welt. 😋

    Ich schlendere noch ein wenig weiter und komme an eine Ecke, an der 3 Mädels Brown Sugar Bubble Tea verkaufen. Ich schaue mir diese schwarze klebrige Masse mit irgendwelchen Geleekugeln an und frage die Mädels, was das ist und wie das schmeckt. 6 große Augen schauen mich an! Was für eine Frage! Ich frage, ob ich 1 dieser Kugeln probieren kann, bevor ich ein komplettes Getränk kaufe und das nachher doch entsorge, weil es mir nicht schmeckt... Nochmal große Augen, gefolgt von der Frage: „You want to have just 1 Bubble???“ „Yes, please.“ Wahrscheinlich werden sie sich gedacht haben, ich hab sie nicht mehr alle. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Aber ich bekam meine Kugel und die 6 Augen 👀 schauten mich an und warteten auf meine Reaktion.
    Gar nicht so verkehrt, also kaufe ich mein Tagesexperiment. Fazit: Ganz gut, ich brauche es aber nicht jeden Tag.

    So, der absolute Hammer und mein persönliches Highlight an diesem Tag war mein Abendessen. Da stand ich nun auf einer der Straßen in Ximending, hatte Hunger, drehte mich im Kreis und sah dieses Sushilokal. Ja, das passt. Hier sollte der Durchlauf top sein! Also ab die Treppe hoch. Und es war besser als erwartet. Ich bekam eine Nummer und musste kurz warten, da alle Plätze besetzt waren. Wie auch bei uns, erfolgte alles über Selbstbedienung vom Band, dass allerlei Leckereien direkt an einem vorbeifahren ließ. Kurz die Karte mit den Infos inspiziert und was soll ich sagen, da stand doch allen Ernstes jeder Teller kostet 30 Taiwan Dollar. Kurs 1:35!!! Das heißt, egal was da auf dem Teller lag, es kostete noch nicht mal 1€!!! Dazu muss man sagen, dass wir hier nicht von Lachs sprechen, sondern Sushi mit Oktopus, Tintenfisch, Hornmuschel und vielen anderen leckeren Sachen!!! Ich war im Sushihimmel! 🤩🤩🤩
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  • Day14

    Yey - Back to normality!

    October 8 in Taiwan

    We both woke up with a spring in our feet as we knew we were going to have an amazing day. We were finally able to get hold of a scooter and were going to go to the mountains!! Taroko Gorge is the number one place to go in Taiwan. Although very touristy its easy to get off the tourist trail by heading a bit further and not going on the smaller trail roads. To be honest we didn't care, we had sunshine, a scooter and mountains. Perfect.

    The drive was soo gorgeous, first along the coast and then through the mountains. Gosh it was good to be back to normality!

    First stop was to go to a hidden natural hotspring. Annoyingly I'm a stickler for rules and I just couldn't bring myself to go in as it was actually closed off. Will on the other hand went for it. He said it was very very hot and came out sweating like mad. I definitely had a bit of FOMO on this occasion but ah well.

    For lunch we made peanut butter and jam sandwiches from breakfast at the hostel and ate them on our next stop, Baiyang Waterfall. At the moment it's the end of rainy season and you can definitely see it from the fast flowing river! I can see why its the number 1 place to visit in Taiwan.

    Next we did a bike tour round various photo ops and on our way down hit "total grid lock". It was crazy busy and there was a very narrow road and the traffic was being managed. Luckily we were on a scooter and were able to race to the front 😊 We soon jetted off and as it was beginning to shower we decided to head home before it got dark.

    For dinner we went to a really tasty beef noodle soup restaurant and for 25p extra you could order a large, so we did. It was ridiculously big, so I gave half to Will to finish off. Well at least he didn't need a second dinner today!

    It was only 6pm when we finished. I went for a much needed haircut and then chilled in the hostel with a hot chocolate.

    I'm not sure if I told you about a tune that we keep hearing everywhere? It's driving us bonkers and as I write this blog it's going on repeatedly outside. It's a tune that the bin lorry makes to alert residents it's coming round. All residents have to throw their own rubbish in the wagons so everyday from dawn till dusk this annoying tune is played and it is constantly stuck in our heads! But not going to let that ruin our amazing day 😊

    I'm so so so so so so glad we are finally getting back into the swing of things and able to visit the mountains, its made such a big difference on our mood!
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  • Day5

    Things don't always go to plan...

    September 29 in Taiwan

    As we pretty much did every must see place in Taichung yesterday we decided to try and hunt out WiFi to plan the next couple of days after Taichung.

    In the morning we chilled out and admired Kelvin's Art work around the flat and headed out around lunch time. It took a while but through absolute luck and lots of clicking we were able to understand how to sign into the free WiFi on the street with a backup plan of going to McDonald's. We found a popular noodle soup shop and saw people picking up either a pink or yellow slip of paper and then ticking their food choice which was obviously in Chinese. I was perfectly happy to just tick a random box on a random paper but Will was rather hesitant. After a couple of minutes the owner saw that we looked quite lost and helped us out and we had Tofu noodles with veg. It was absolutely gigantic!! We sat there till it closed and ended up taking most of it home. As we were in desperate need of veg we decided to go to the shop and buy some veg to bulk out the soup for dinner.

    We then headed back to the street found a couple of chairs and sat attempting to plan. Originally when looking at Taiwan I saw that it is a smallish island but with lots of mountains, therefore plenty of things for us to do. But the more research we are doing the more disheartened we were getting as to climb most of the mountains we have to have a permit and to get a permit it seems you have to apply well in advance. Then when we started looking at more low land options and looking for accomodation it seems there is next to nothing! After about 4 hours of making 0 progress it was time to make an early dinner. It was so nice to have something simple and scummy. In need of a change I decided to read for a bit, I'm currently reading Anne Frank: The diary of a girl.

    After an hour it was definitely time to get out the house and get fresh air, and of course do our daily steps (currently on a 9 day streak and don't want to break it). We went back to Feng Chia Night Market again. Not really in search of food but wanting a snack we went in search of the biggest queues ie the most popular food. We had a treacle bubble tea (Wow), a green tea custard tart (yum) , sweet potato balls (meh, it was OK, we only queued because it seemed so popular for 2 days) and pan fried scallops and prawns with pepper and onions (only £2.50 so can't complain!). Our mood was definitely lifted and we even, although it was quite late, decided to walk the 45 mins back home as we needed to get our steps done 😊
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  • Day9

    Alishan Forest Walk

    October 3 in Taiwan

    We were up and out with plenty of time to walk to the station to begin our journey to Alishan. Our host saw us and gave us some biscuits and then drove us! He's been fantastic!!

    The journey to Alishan was pretty windy around the mountains, but luckily the driver stopped a couple of times so we were able to get some fresh air and clear our heads. Upon arrival it was cold and really foggy, so we had a chicken curry and rice from 7-11 with the rest of the local tourists.

    As usual upon entering the park there were steps and boardwalks across the whole forest area. It was pleasant and the trees were so lovely but it was a shame to not be able to feel the natural leaves and soil under our feet. Once we got going the fog lifted and the sun was beaming down. It ended up being a really nice walk, very easy but a nice little wander.

    After finishing the walk we caught the train to our final stop for the day, Tainan, the old capital city and now known as the City of Snacks. Here we booked the cheapest accomodation yet and its a nice hotel room, luxury. 😊
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  • Day10

    Tainan

    October 4 in Taiwan

    Sometimes it's the little things you miss, a soft towel, a shower that is actually warm and doesn't constantly go cold every 30 secs, a bed that you can lie on without thinking why am I lying on bricks. Well this hotel ticked all the boxes and we even got a free caramel macchiato in the morning from their coffee shop 😊

    Today we visited the Anping District which was the original ancient capital of Taiwan during the imperial times. For brunch we ate milk fish skin and fish ball soup and battered shrimp. We then walked along the canal to Anping Fort. Anping Fort, also known as Zeelandia, was excavated in the 17th century by the Dutch as a sea port for sea trading across South East Asia. Due to another typhoon heading towards Japan the winds were very strong, but luckily it stayed sunny! We then visited Anping Tree House, which was originally the warehouse of Tait & Co. During the Japanese Occupation it was the office and warehouse of the Japan Salt Company. After World War II, the salt industry in Anping declined, and this area was abandoned. After about 70 years of abandonment the site is now encased in Banyan Trees. Its absolutely incredible how these trees grow!

    The late afternoon was spent visiting Shennong Street, a hipster coffee street, various temples and then finishing off in Tainan Wu Garden listening to a guy playing complex classical music on his recorder - he actually made the recorder look like a cool instrument!

    In the evening we walked to Garden Night Market and tried coffin bread, a chowder in a deep fried bread (unexpectedly sweet!), scallion pancake (yum!), a hell of a lot of fried chicken and brown sugar bubble tea (honestly this stuff is incredible, obviously super bad for you but amazing!). Before coming to Taiwan I was never a fan of bubble tea but actually when you add a tonne of treacle and mask the bitter green tea flavour it's amazing! 😂

    Annoyingly buses are pretty unreliable in Tainan so we had to walk back, luckily it was still earlish.

    The rest of the evening was spent attempting to plan our next step, but with the weather constantly changing this is now becoming a bit of a chore. We have about 12 days left and have still not done any real hiking so we are thinking of heading northwards to try and get some good weather. We've decided to go to a place called Dulan which is on the south east coast, in hope for some OK weather. Let's see.
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  • Day11

    Dulan - South East Coast

    October 5 in Taiwan

    Originally Dulan wasn't in our plans, but after meeting some people yesterday it quickly got on our to do list. So here we are. It's a small town on the coast line and so far it's been great. We are staying in quite a "cool" hostel and for our late lunch we went to a Vietnamese restaurant. Oh my goodness I wish I was back there, the food is just soo yummy and sooo fresh, I really miss it. We both ordered a seafood rice noodle salad and it was just to die for.

    Having barely walked today we wandered to find a swimming pool that was recommended. The sea was really rough so I don't think there will be any sea swimming here! When we got to the pool it was quite late and looked pretty dirty so we decided to just chill out on the benches, watched the crashing waves and get some fresh air 😊

    After reading our books for a while we wandered back towards the town. Today was a day of grumpiness and not really wanting to make decisions if I'm honest. So when asking Will what he wanted for dinner he didn't say a word and instead walked me straight to a Fish and Chip restaurant. He walked straight in and ordered 2 fish and chips which was 4 time the price of a normal dinner and said "Well if I can't do anything in this place I'll just eat everything!" We had a bit of a giggle while eating our chippy tea and then on our way home we bought a beer from 7-11,went back to the dorm and read our books for a bit.
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  • Day15

    Well you can't have it all!

    October 9 in Taiwan

    Well after having gorgeous weather yesterday, booking an extra night and booking an extra day with the scooter, we got up early for another exciting day out but obviously it decided to pour it down! Up we got anyway in hope it would stop but we didn't have much luck in the morning. Instead we did our washing, Will got his hair cut and I read more of Anne Frank's diary.

    Around 11am it started to just spit and so we jumped on the scooter and drove to Qingshui Cliffs. Even though it was very cloudy the views were really pretty along the coastline with the towering cliffs and the blue crashing waves in the sea. This was spoilt slightly by the number of tunnels in which the road went through which were suffocating and full of maniac trucks that would all of a sudden overtake us on the bike in a narrow 2 lane tunnel! We had a late lunch at the viewpoint along the way.

    After a couple more scenic stops we arrived back in town and went to Meilun Sea Shore Park, Beibin Park and Nanbin Park. Nanbin Park was by far the best with its coastal views and enormous rocky beach. Truly calming for the end of the day.

    In the evening we ate the famous spring onion pancake with a runny egg in the center (mine burst all over me, I was such an embarrassing mess!), Xia Long bào (soooo tasty) and gyzo dumplings. Good day of food!

    The plan for tomorrow is to pack up and hopefully begin working our way northwards.
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  • Day16

    Well the weather has defeated us again. It rained ALL morning. Our plan to see the North East of Taiwan just isn't possible with this bad weather so after a lot of deliberation we decided to head south to a place called Kenting. It wasn't the easiest of places to get to but it's the southern most part of the island and the weather is generally good so we went for it!

    After a bit of confusion with buying our ticket we missed our first train but after that it was pretty straight forward, 2 trains and then a bus ride and we arrived for 6:30pm. Let's just say our moods were not great during the travel as we were both so gutted (and soaked) about not going to the North, but ah well. I can hear you say, "Well you could have just sucked it up and and gone in the rain", but it would have just been horribly miserable!! Once we got on the bus the sun was shining and our moods got better. We made the right decision!

    When we arrived the bus dropped us off about 20 mins from the hotel and when getting off I saw a small girl carrying a pizza box. It was a sign, tonight was the night for our Taiwanese Pizza. For those that are new to the blog we've had one pizza in each country and its been fun! We ordered a seafood pizza and although not the best or biggest, it was super popular and hit the spot.

    We then walked along the main night market strip to our hotel and let's be honest it's a sin to walk through a night market without getting anything so we bought what I can only describe as an open, sweetened beef sandwich with sweet potato crisps covered in molten cheese. We sat on the street with a beer from 7-11, eating our sweetened burger watching everyone passby. I wouldn't get it again but it did fill us up! So one thing we have found bizarre here is although they are crazily safety conscious, they have a really busy night market on the sides of the highway with pedestrians crossing aimlessly and trucks and coaches passing at 60kmph.

    Finally we made it to our hotel and upon check-in the owner apologised as she had given our room away, so has upgraded us to a suite. Obviously we were so angry by this... Ugh... not!! WINNING!!! We had a double bed each, a sofa area and ensuite. What a perfect end to a rough day 😊 It was only 9pm but as soon as I put my head down I was fast asleep while Will watched Xmen on the TV haha.
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  • Day17

    "What a difference a day/ sleep makes". We both slept like there was no tomorrow and fully made the most of our suite. At about 10:30am I popped downstairs to extend our booking, in hope they will let us keep the room for the same price. But I think we had our luck and they were fully booked up! So we quickly packed and found somewhere else to stay that was just a minute walk down the room. Not quite as cheap, beautiful and roomy but still an ensuite with a fridge, kettle and tv. We weren't expecting to check in so early but amazingly we could which was perfect.

    For brunch we had sausage and rice bento box from 7-11 and then hired a bike from our old hotel for half the price of everywhere else in the town. Today we planned to do various site seeing spots but to be honest I'm so sick of eating rubbish food so we went to a local town to a supermarket to buy cereal, milk, fruit, snacks and sandwich stuff so we don't have to eat out 3 meals a day for a couple of days. Oh and we bought a couple of different fruity beers which they don't sell at 7-11 so we thought we'd try them. By the time we got back it was around 3pm, so we had a cereal lunch and Will had a noodle pot. We didn't have any bowls or cutlery so let's just say we had to improvise. We had cereal out of plastic water cups and Will ate his noodles using two free toothbrush ends that we got free with the room 🤣

    Then we jumped on the bike and went for a coastal drive. It felt about 100 degrees with a gale force wind. The views were really pretty but as usual a few of the must see places had a cost attached so we didn't end up seeing the lighthouse. On our way back we saw a cloud iridescence, which is a rainbow in a cloud!

    In the evening we agreed to meet Alex who was now in Kenting at sunset the Guanshan view point. We were running pretty late but arrived just in the nick of time and guess what you had to pay to enter! We decided not to pay as the sunset wasn't great and Alex hadn't made it in time either. It was now getting really windy.

    For dinner we met up with Alex and Bianca in Hengchun and went to a veggie buffet (it was OK, but not great), we tried shaved ice which is a huge craze here (again it was OK but probably wouldn't get it again) and our usual fried chicken (yum).

    Then came the reason we all came to Kenting, the ground on fire on Chuhuo National Scenic Area. We all joked about how rubbish it was going to be and the flame will probably be the size of a tea light but it was actually really lovely. We sat around, drank beers and chatted about all our travels. It was such a nice evening. The wind suddenly turned up a notch so we got back on our bikes and drove home. The drive home was about half an hour and we were both holding on to dear life the whole way. The wind had really picked up and it was tough but we got home safely. Will treated himself to a bubble wrap waffle when we arrived 😊
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  • Day18

    It absolutely down poured all night, but luckily by the morning it was dry, crazyily windy but dry. Today the plan is to visit Sheding Nature Reserve and then go for a coastal drive along the east side.

    Sheding Nature Reserve was small but pretty, we walked the whole reserve in the morning, through the coral gorges, up the decking to see the coastal views and it was really peaceful. This whole area, in fact the whole of Taiwan, used to be completely under water until an earthquake formed the island. This has resulted in coral reef gorges within the reserve. They were very impressive. It must be butterfly season at the moment because they reserve was full of all kinds. It was really beautiful, unfortunately some of them were struggling in the wind! At the top we had our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before heading back to the bike and beginning our coastal drive.

    Luckily it wasn't as windy as yesterday and we were able to go much further round the west coast. We stopped at a couple of view points and ended up in Jialeshui. This must be surfer heaven! The waves are huge here. We sat for a while just watching all the surfers of all levels. In all honesty it was a good laugh and by the end we were really egging them on from the sideline to do well.

    After a while we jumped back on the bike and drove to Hengchun to see the old town in daylight. We wandered along the old city walls and along the cobbled streets but to be honest there wasn't much else to do. We sat in the main square and decided to do a bit of planning and booked another flight, super excited but I'll tell you where to when it happens! In celebration we went for an early dinner. Its only 5pm but we are starving, so eat we shall.

    We finished the day planning for the next day and drinking brown sugar bubble tea. Going to miss this stuff!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

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