For an island that stretches only 144 kilometers(90 miles) wide, and 394 kms(245 miles) north to south Taiwan packs alot of culture, life, along with a wide variety of activities into a compact area. Smaller than Switzerland, slightly larger than Belgium this past June and July I covered a few of the many activities and events one can enjoy on a vacation or family visit to the island.
From hiking up Elephant Mountain, Xiangshan (象山) and checking out the views of Taipei and the developing skyline to the lovely hot springs district of Beitou, a 25 minute MRT ride from the center of the city.
Many people ask me, “is it difficult to travel in Taiwan because of the language barrier”? My reply is always, not really. Most people, especially in the larger cities all have post-secondary education and have studied English for several years. Because of the shy nature of Taiwanese people though, some may be a little reluctant to speak. If you can learn a few words or a couple of simple phrases, it’s always a helpful icebreaker. When people see that you’re Chinese(mandarin)is no better than their English they will feel more comfortable speaking with you.
Even in the smaller towns and villages you can get by with little or no mandarin skills. Calculators, for showing prices are readily used and with all of the various translation apps available now you won’t find it difficult to communicate.
If you are a seasoned travel you will find Taiwan a refreshing change from some of the more visited cities of East and Southeast Asia. You will see far less Western people in Taiwan than almost anywhere else in this part of the world.
Modern in every way but still retaining it’s ancient culture of Chinese folk religion, Buddhism, and Taoism, one of the best times to visit the country is during Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year festivities, usually in February or March. This is also a great time to visit if you don’t travel well in the heat and humidity that lasts from April through to mid December.
Here is just a small sample of what to expect on a visit to Taiwan from the best of my live streams from this June/July.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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