Taiwan
Taiwan

Here you’ll find travel reports about Taiwan. Discover travel destinations in Taiwan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

68 travelers at this place:

  • 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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  • Day19

    Just Keep Swimming...

    October 13 in Taiwan

    Yesterday we were unsure what to do with our final 4 days, but decided to stay in Kenting one more day and then two nights in Hualien (in hope to get into the Taroko Gorge again).

    Today we decided to have a free day. The morning was spent finding and booking our accomodation for our last few days and then we jumped on the scooter and headed to South Beach. We went attempted to swim for a while but the waves got quite big so we decided to move on to see Baisha beach, also famous for starring in the Life of Pi. I can understand why, it was so beautiful.

    The sun was at its peak when we arrived so we sat amongst the huge coral rocks and ate our lunch in the tiniest bit of shade. Then we went for a cool and refreshing swim. It was a much better swim here as the waves weren't as big! We stayed for a while swimming, reading, swimming, reading and swimming. What a fab day! We decided to stay till sunset. Sunset was OK. Everyone always talks and shows pictures of incredible sunsets. I must admit we have now down a tonne of sunsets and still not had thee sunset that everyone shows in the pictures!

    We then went back to the main street in Kenting and picked up our luggage to take to Hengchun which is where we were staying that evening, about 20 mins scooter ride away. Now scooters aren't big and this particular one was pretty teeny. Fitting 2 people and two backpacks was not easy!! Will was on the front driving and I had to hold/ balance two backpacks on me. It was not a comfy journey but we got there in the end.

    For dinner I had Soy pork with rice, will had spare rib noodle soup and then we had some dumplings. Yum! As it was a Saturday it was impossible to find accomodation within our budget. The cheapest thing we could find was a dorm room. It was really odd... The room was basically a big shelf with a bed on each shelf... Let's see how we sleep tonight...
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  • Day20

    A Quick Swim Before Hualien

    October 14 in Taiwan

    We have the scooter for the morning and then in the afternoon we are getting the bus and train to Hualien.

    To make the most of our day we went for a quick swim in the morning. To be honest the waves were so big that we were more bobbing in the water than swimming. Running a bit late to pick up our bags we quickly raced back to the hostel, pick up our bags and then Will dropped me and the luggage off at the main square in Hengchun next to the bus station. Will then drove to drop off the scooter.

    While I was waiting for Will to come back I decided to make use of the time and the sunshine. I draped all our swimwear and towel all over the bench and then made our peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I must have looked like a homeless person 😂 I wish I'd taken a picture! In fact I've realised I've not taken any pictures of our day at all...

    For those that can remember Will's pants moment in Cambodia, guess what... We had another! I couldn't find his swim shorts and he realised he left them at the hostel. I had both our backpacks and packed up the drying and walked back to the hostel to pick them up. It was now midday, the burning heat couldn't have been hotter and I was walking for 20 mins with 2 backpacks. I was not impressed! Just as I arrived back at the square, absolutely drenched, Will turned up. Soaked and shattered we then jumped on the bus to to the train station.

    Before coming to Kenting we did exactly the same journey in reverse so we knew our way, or we thought we did. When we got to the train station we tried to buy our tickets and it seemed to be the most difficult thing to do, at one point he printed us 6 tickets 4 if which were for the same train and then when we said we need to pay using card he ripped up the tickets and handed us 4 instead of 6. Utterly confused, starving as we hadn't had breakfast and it was now 2pm we went for a brown sugar bubble tea and ate our sandwiches 😊

    The journey was long but we eventually got to Hualien at 8pm. Luckily we have been here before so we went straight to the hostel, dropped off our bags and had pork noodle soup for dinner. Yum 😋

    As I didn't take many pictures today I've added some of signs we've seen that are interesting...
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  • Day21

    Setting the world to rights

    1 hour ago in Taiwan

    Unfortunately we decided not to go to to the Taroko Gorge as the clouds over the mountains looked quite low and threatening, so instead we spent the morning setting the world to rights. We had quite an in depth discussion about how we felt with regards to the current pollution crisis and what we feel we can to ourselves to help from vegan ism, transport systems, housing and how we feel the government can and should encourage the population to make the right choices. Obviously us taking so many flights etc is not helpful towards this so we actually looked to see if it was possible to do the shorter journeys by land or sea, but it was interesting to find out that a lot of them you actually can't. 2 coffees and a green tea in we decided we should probably go for a wander.

    We wandered to a park to have lunch, Will bought a ring donut from a bakery and then we went along the river towards Pine Garden. It was hot, cloudy and muggy. Along the river we found the perfect spot for watching jumping fish. That entertained us for a while!! No idea what the fish were but they were big, silver and could jump impressively high. We thought they might be salmon but we are unsure. We also spotted a yellow wagtail on the side of the river.

    Once we got to the Pine Garden we realised you had to pay. It is literally 5 pine trees in a garden!! There were pine trees outside the park! Seriously why do they make people pay for these things. So needless to say we didn't go in. Instead we walked back to the river walked to the opposite side, watched the fish, saw a grey heron and then walked around the city centre until we could justify it being dinner time.

    For dinner we went on a bit of a foodie tour. Will had a chicken roll (3 chicken balls wrapped in chicken skin and grilled on a stick, it wasn't great actually), a KFC style chicken drumstick, we tried green bean mochi (still not a fan of mochi), a croissant filled with custard with a meringue on top (this was dessert when we got back) and then xao long bao (sooo yummy, will ate 5!!). Will was then super full so we started to head back, but I was still pretty hungry. On the way back I saw a buffet style restaurant that had looooads of veg so I just had to go in. I just filled the plate with lots of veg and... the thing we have been looking for since we got here... the famous 1000 year egg. Also known as the Pidan it is a Chinese preserved food product and delicacy made by preserving eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months. I can't describe how God awful this looks,but I will try and describe its textures (see last pic below, bottom left weird eggy thing... ). What would normally be the yellow yolk is still runny, but is a congealed, green, slimey goo, which oozes when you cut up the egg. What would normally be the white of the egg is a brown jelly. The whole thing tastes like a Kippery Egg. If you close your eyes it actually isn't that bad but the look of it is another level. To sum it up, I thought it was fine, but Will was feeling quite queezy after just one bite. Finally we went back to our long await gyoza shop and bought 5 gyoza. All in all we only spent £6.38 on what was actually quite a lot of food 😊

    When we got back to the hostel we booked our taxi for the morning, packed for our 7kg handluggage flight and then ate our amazing desert, yum!!
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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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You might also know this place by the following names:

Taiwan, 타이완 성, 臺灣省 or 台灣省

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