Taiwan is well known for its tourist friendly attitude, cultural attractions and scenic beauty. However, initially not many people in the west are aware of the many attractions of Taiwan. In the recent years, the influx of tourists has greatly increased, and as a result, the country is slowly gaining popularity for its varied cuisines, scenic attractions and modern sources of entertainment.
Taiwan offers a multitude of options for accommodation ranging from international hotels, mid-range, budget, and private rentals. While the international hotels offer a number of amenities like fine dining, gym facilities and shopping arcades, there are also a variety of options for budget travelers like youth hostels and budget hotels. For people intending to live and work in Taiwan for a while, then it is recommended to either rent your own apartment or share with others. Renting your own place would usually require you to sign a contract for one year, although there are an abundant amount of rooms available in shared apartments that are more flexible about this.
When it comes to Taiwanese cuisine, there are a number of options to choose from. The Taiwanese cuisine carries influences from the Chinese, Japanese and even the Dutch cultures. The Hakka cuisine is more oily and spicy as compared to the Taiwanese cuisine which is relatively simple and light. Apart from the typical restaurant fare, many tourists prefer snacks like oyster with noodles and oyster omelets, beef noodles, and other delicious dishes which are quite famous in the night markets in Taiwan. Taiwan has opened up to more western cuisine in recent years, and there are now more and more cafes and restaurants with western style menus if that is what you prefer.
There are a number of places to see in Taiwan like Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, Taipei night markets and Toroko National park.
The Taipei 101 Tower is touted as one of the worlds tallest building, and up until recently was the holder of the title. It houses luxury shops, institutions and offices apart from an observation deck and high speed elevators. There is also a food court in the basement, and one of Taipei’s biggest bookstores, Page One, on the 3rd floor.
The National Palace Museum is situated in the suburbs of Taipei and houses a great collection of works of arts, calligraphy, paintings and world famous antiques. Die hard shoppers can shop at the Taipei night markets including Shilin, Tonghua, and Huaxi Jie, also known as Snake Alley, where you can get anything from bubble tea to a snakes blood drink at a bargain price.
If you wish to explore more of the island then you can use the High Speed Rail or HSR, a hi-tech train which is fast, clean and safe and is a hot favourite with children. There is also a fast and efficient local train and bus service to get you around the island.
Nature lovers can visit the Taroko National Park which has magnificent gorges made of marble and sandstone. You can also walk on the Liushue-Heliu Trail which has some great trails and tunnels and a glimpse of the magnificent flora and fauna.
Whether you are a nature enthusiast or a modern city dweller or a person who prefers to explore the past eras, Taiwan has something for everyone who visits this beautiful country.