Taiwan

I am super late talking about my trip to Taiwan. There is so much to love about this amazing country; I don’t know where to start. Simply starting at the beginning couldn’t be easier.

My friends and I boarded our flight out of Korea at almost midnight. (It was the cheapest flight) We landed just two hours after departure, I’m excited and eager to get there, and I’ve heard so much about the culture and the food… I jumped off the plane with my expectations sky high.

  • First time flying China Airlines, no complaints! They were fantastic, and will fly with them again.
  • Brittany Tip: Now matter how many times you fly always sign up for the rewards and miles program, you won’t regret it.

Welcome to Taiwan! My friends and I didn’t hesitate to look around, we found our hostel which is JV Hostel… you won’t find a better one. They were so friendly and hospitable. We didn’t arrive until after they had closed, and lights out had already started. That didn’t stop them from making us feel completely welcomed. They had a note typed up for us, with instructions to get in and where to find our beds! Needless to say they got an outstanding review from me.
The next morning we did not hesitate to find the beach. Since were staying in Taipei we hopped on a train to Furlong. The views and the water it’s self was breathtaking… I mean see for yourself.

  • That’s my friend Sean walking through the subway searching for our terminal.

I love staying in Hostels. You meet so many people from all walks of life. All ages, sizes, cultures and back grounds. This the same night after getting to Taiwan. We went to the day room, and met some of the other tenets. Of course, by looking at the picture what better way to get people loose and having fun? Drinking games! We had a blast talking with everyone and sharing travel stories. If given the chance try a hostel even if its just once. Some people are comfortable with the idea of sharing a room with strangers, and I have to admit, my room was with all men, and just me and my friend Elizabeth as the two girls, but they did nothing to make us feel uncomfortable.

  • This is my friend Elizabeth and Sean chatting with one of new friends from Germany.
  • Taipei 101

The next day we decided to do more exploring, like seeing Taipei 101 and visiting Juifang, Taiwan. I’ve been eager to visit this place since a movie I really admire was inspired off this location.

First Taipei 101: Visit this place, it was at one point the tallest building in the world! (S/N show your college ID and you will get a discount! They will take ANY college ID) Elizabeth along with a new friend we met at the Hostel rode the elevator all the way to the top of the building. There is full view of the city and even a mailbox to mail a post card. You can bring your own, or feel free to buy on in the gift shop at the top of the building. I did. If you read my Chicago blog, then you know I love being on top of buildings to get the best view in the house.

Juifang: You have to take a bus to get here, its about an hour or two outside of Taipei, (There will be a bunch of people trying to get you there faster in private cars-ignore them they are trying to rip you off) the bus ride is smooth, and you’ll get a great view of the country.
The movie “Spirited Away” was inspired by this beautiful city. I can see why! It’s amazing! I loved it here, this is also where I bought most of my souvenirs. I loved this place; you see amazing things and get some great deals.

  • Make sure you walk though the market so you can catch this view too

The following day, my friends and new hostel friends made our way to the Taiwan zoo. There you will find the gondola. This gondola will take you up the mountain in a 15 min ride; you will get the chance to see a lot. The lines were not that long and we all considered this to be worth the trip.

  • Make sure to get the gondola with the glass bottom. It’s not for the faint of heart, and is a little scary. However if you like adventures take it! The line will be a little longer, but trust me you’ll be glad you did.
  • Once you take it up, don’t waste time and take it down, or vice versa, you’ll only see the same thing twice.

The best part of Taiwan? The food!!! I can go speak forever about the food, however let me just give you a quick 411. Eat the food you will not regret it!
I can’t think of a single thing I ate over there, which I didn’t like. From the Beer to the Dumplings everything was amazing. This is Brittany’s list of food you must try while in Taiwan:

  • Dumplings from the night market (mind the scolding hot juice that flies out after you eat… burned my tongue.
  • Roasted Squid. I got mine from the top of the mountain after the gondola ride. There are venders almost everywhere in Taiwan, but these guys made his super delicious.
  • Radish Cakes. You can get this at a breakfast shop. I’ll be honest these were really hard to find. If you stay at JV’s Hostel they will know a place that is right around the corner.
  • The Toilet Cafe is in Taiwan! It’s a little overrated, and I only went because I saw it on Pinterest. It’s a fun little experience, but be prepared to spend a little money.

Not pictured because I looked like a barbarian when eating them:

  • Fried Chicken Steak. As good as it sounds.
  • Stinky Tofu. This smell is so powerful; you will smell it down the street. (It’s stinky because it’s fermented. This one was an acquired taste. My friend did not like it… but the rest of this did… again if you are feeling adventurous! Delicious.
  • Bubble Tea. It originated here, but if you’ve been spoiled like me, you’re use to sweet bubble tea with big fat tapioca balls at the bottom. The originals are only mildly sweetened, and have tiny size balls at the bottom…. its either love it or hated type thing.
  • Ice Cream Burrito. It’s amazing! It has shaved toffee, ice cream, and cilantro. Weird right? It’s a little strange in the first bite, but keep eating it. The flavors come together beautifully!

My Overview?
I loved Taiwan! Absolutely loved it, and will visit again… probably to eat more food.
The people are so warm and welcoming. Very willing to talk to us and help us in any situation. They seemed to speak a lot of English, a little more than Korea which was surprising.
The subway can be a little confusing at first, especially coming from Korea where the subway is so much easier, but stick to it, it gets easier.
My only con is….. it….was….so…..HOT! We went in July so… duh Brittany, but oh my gosh even at night the heat was almost unbearable. If you visit in the summer take water you are going to need it!
Have fun and safe travels!

Love and Peace,

​Brittany

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