As school can sometimes be an all consuming behemoth, it’s great when weekends and breaks come along to get some rest and relaxation. However not every weekend, is meant to be spent vegging out in front of the TV until Monday morning. So I took advantage of my time to explore and have some fun. I didn’t go everywhere in Taiwan, but I did hit up some of the popular must see places. Let’s take a look over those excursions:
Kenting, Pingtung County
All the way down south where the heat and sun never stop. This area is a great place to go for a staycation, when holidays come around and you’re looking for an adventure, but do not want to stray too far, that is if you’re in Taiwan. I visited in July, maybe not the best time because it was really hot, but it was fun. I rented a scooter, my hostel was on the main road not far from the night market, and there was even a beach within a 5 minutes walk.
Taroko Gorge National Park, Hualien County
On the west side of the island, is a beautiful national park and rocky beaches. It was a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city during the Dragon Boat Festival. This trip included a night at a homestay with a wonderful host who gave us watermelon and took pictures. We had downtime to explore the city and visit the market area. We also had an informative guided tour on one of the trails, with great commentary on the island and its native population. Our tour bus drove us around the national park and through the gorge and a stop at the rocky beaches of the Pacific.
Jungle, near Taichung
An all night reggae and ska concert/festival in the “Jungle”. This was rather interesting and something outside of my comfort zone, I am glad I went. This event was a great way to bring together foreigners from around Taiwan, to enjoy food and music in a serene and secluded spot. Although the music wasn’t quite doing it for me, it was great just to get out see people enjoying themselves.
Bietou Hot Springs, Taipei City
The hot springs in Taipei city are definitely a tourist attraction, that you can’t miss when you’re in the area. I’d never been in a hot spring before this occasion, but it was a great new thing to try. Before going, be sure to check the website for information about dress code and the hours of operation, and bring some coinage with you for the lockers.
Jifuen Old Street, New Taipei City
This quaint little town is the inspiration for the movie Spirited Away. It has great transit links from Taipei and can be a nice day trip. The old market street was packed with local tourist and vendors, and it’s a pretty narrow alley that twist and turns. Outside of the old street the town is quiet and peaceful, it is set into the hills and over looks the ocean so the views are stellar.