Two years ago I went on a trip to Taiwan with my boyfriend. I didn’t know anyone who had been in Taiwan back then and I didn’t know a lot about the country. But the flight to Taiwan was so cheap that I had to take it. So there I was, on a surprise trip to Taiwan. And it was a good surprise, because I really liked the country. Why? Just read my 11 reasons.
1. It’s a small country
Taiwan is just a small country and that is actually very pleasant, because you don’t have to travel for days. If you take the bus or train, you arrive at your next destination one hour later. Or maybe two, but that’s about it. You don’t have to plan anything before you go, because the distances are not too long.
2. A combination of old and new
What I really liked about Taiwan was the combination of traditional Asia and a modern world, especially in Taipei, the capital. This city is divided in a historic centre, with Asian shops, night markets and weird but funny stores. And a new centre, with shopping malls, skyscrapers and clubs. The contrast is really cool and that’s why it’s great for any type of traveler.
3. A combination of China and Japan
It’s also a combination of China and Japan. On the one hand you find meals, buildings and temples that remind you of China. On the other hand the locals think accuracy, safety and good manners are really important, just like in Japan.
4. In Taiwan you can travel by a bullet train
Have you always wanted to travel by a bullet train in Japan, but the country is too expensive so your dream never came true? No worries: in Taiwan you can also travel by a bullet train! And did you know that all the chairs are moving, so you never have to sit backwards? How cool is that?!
5. You don’t have to travel for weeks
Because it’s a small country and because of the short distances, you don’t have to spend weeks in Taiwan to get to know the country. I traveled for 9 days and that was just enough to see all the highlights. Two weeks is better though, because I had to skip some cool places. Three weeks is also fine, but definitely not necessary if you ask me. More than three weeks is too much. So Taiwan is ideal for a short trip.
6. It’s not touristy at all
What I reaaally liked about Taiwan is that you don’t come across many tourists. I’ve seen a few tourists, but we were the only ones most of the time. It felt like we really got to know the country better because of this.
7. The locals are very friendly
The Taiwanese people are very kind. Everywhere we were, they wanted to help us. They didn’t ask us if they could help, but they were always so friendly when we asked them a favour. They even called friends or colleagues if they couldn’t speak English very well. So helpful!
8. Taiwan has some beautiful temples
In Taiwan you’ll find many temples. Not like the temples in Thailand or Laos, but more like Chinese temples, with golden ornaments, dragons and other weird figures. All the temples look very different and that makes it so much fun. They won’t bore you.
9. You can surf here
It’s not known as a great surf destination, but you could definitely surf here. On the east side of the country there are some surf spots and the vibe seems to be very pleasant. I didn’t go there, but I only hear positive stories about it.
10. Taiwan has a lot of night markets
Yay, markets! Who doesn’t love them? I do for sure. Taiwan has some really cool night markets, like in Taipei or Kaohsiung. You can shop here till it’s late and you can buy anything: from food and drinks to clothes and sunglasses. Order some snacks and they’ll prepare the food right in front of you. Yum!
11. It has some cool nature spots
Alright, you won’t go to Taiwan to see some unspoilt wilderness or the jungle. And you won’t see white beaches with hundreds of palm trees and a blue ocean. But it has some beautiful nature spots, like in Taroko National Park or at Sun moon Lake. Definitely worth a visit!
Do you want to travel through Taiwan right now? Check the Skyscanner plugin on the right side of my website for airplane tickets (or scroll down if you’re reading this article on your mobile). Enjoy!