I spent a week in Taiwan last summer. It is a beautiful country, with friendly people, and delicious food. Here are my top 4 moments from that visit.
In no particular order…
It’s talked about on every site and in every guidebook and it lives up to its expectation. It’s BEAUTIFUL! Because I couldn’t rent a scooter or a car, I stayed in Hualien and took the bus from there. The park’s website has some trail recommendations that are super useful (here). I also did some wondering on my own and tried to stay away from all the big tour groups as much as possible. This place is worth a visit, it’s beautiful and will leave you breathless. One regret I have is that I wish I had at least another day to do more exploring and maybe a fun adventuring activity. There is also a great night market (Dongdamen Night Market) in Hualien, most people visiting the park stay in that area.
TThe best I ever had. I don’t know the name of the place, because it is in Chinese, but it is AMAZING. The Night Markets are awesome, but this was my favorite meal in Taiwan, for sure. Use this link to go to their Yelp page if you wanna try it. I also fancied the Taiwanese fried chicken. It is like a huge flat piece of fried chicken and it’s delicious. You can find it at the Night Markets, just look for the stall with the super long line, it’s worth the wait!! If you want a dessert, Ice Monster’s mango shaved ice for the win.
I had one full day to ride my scooter and explore this park. I did some beach hopping and enjoyed the freedom of not having to rely on public transportation for once. Make sure you get a well serviced scooter, the electric ones are slower and safer, if that’s what you prefer. The beaches here were beautiful and relatively quiet. Some of them I had all to myself. The most crowded beach was the one where they filmed parts of the movie The Life of Pi (Baisha Bay). Kenting also has a big night market for cheap and delicious food.
For a great view of the city and of Taipei 101, this is the place. I mainly loved the basketball courts at the bottom of the mountain. Shooting hoops is like my own version of meditation, so I played there for about two hours. Later, I did the short hike of lots of stairs up to the top of Elephant Mountain. The view is awesome, and I bet it’s even better at sunset or at night. There is also a great brunch place near by called “Good Cho”. Super delicious.
I only had a week in Taiwan, but I would have liked a few more days to explore this beautiful island and more of its national parks. It is a super safe and friendly place, everyone wants to help you, and a lot of people speak English. You can’t go wrong with friendly people, great food, and beautiful scenery.