Category: Taiwan

Travel to Taiwan! (Video)

I’ve got an odd fetish for poor Asian countries, so I’m not sure if Taiwan ranks as my favorite, but it is a fantastic country with all the order, comforts and general pleasantries that are missing from mainland China. There are a lot of things to do here, and if you’re a native English speaker, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself teaching English and studying Chinese like most of the other expats. It seems like a comfortable, Good Life to me.

Highlights From the Video: A Taipei street party, betel nut girls, Taipei night markets, tasty turtles and snake blood, a Filipino disco, Taroko Gorge, local hot springs and volcanic mud baths.

Places Seen in the Video
Taipei and its night markets, Taoyuan and its dirty Filipino disco (Thai OK), Taroko Gorge and local hot springs.

Best Time to Travel to Taiwan
You can travel somewhat comfortably in Taiwan all year long, but the summer months are especially hot and humid, while the winter months are cool and especially rainy. The spring and fall months have the best temperatures and generally dry weather.

The Taipei MRT (subway system) is very modern and extremely efficient. It’s well connected to Taiwan’s nationaltrain system which again is modern and very timely. The railroads circle the island, cut into the mountains at a couple different cities, and feature some of the world’s best high speed services.

Eats & Drinks
There’s no way to avoid the fact that Taiwanese food is diverse and delicious. You can easily find a number of strange and exotic foods reminiscent of mainland China (can anyone say bull dicks?). If you’re into expensive international dishes, Taipei can suit your needs. But if you want cheaper local delicacies, you can stay on the thrifty side as well, from about 30NT for squid balls to about 150NT for Taiwanese brunches (very similar to English and American breakfasts). Being an island, delectable seafood specialties are never hard to come by.

Taiwan (Photos)

Superior to mainland China in every respect that I can dream up. Taiwan escaped the wrath of Mao and has a lot to show for it: beautiful mountains and beaches, great cuisine, friendly and civilized people, efficient transportation, and fun nightlife in the north. Great place to see!

Welcome to Taiwan

Modern Taiwan was formed after the Nationalists fled to the island during the horrific Chinese Civil War. Changing from Japanese to Nationalist Chinese rule was a violent, confusing time. Taiwan’s White Terror (1949-1987) was a period of martial law under Chiang Kai-shek who simultaneously purged the island of enemies (whether real or perceived) and planned an attack on mainland China, his cherished and maniacal liberation scheme.

The US supported Taiwan politically and militarily until 1978 when they finally recognized the communists on the mainland as the legitimate sovereign of China. Like pulling a band-aid, Taiwan’s break with the US was quick but left a stinging feeling for the Taiwanese. Their violent anti-US reactions only confounded an already violent past riddled by organized crime and political corruption; these problems continued well into the 1980’s.

By the 1990’s Taiwan had become a wealthy, industrialized nation.

Democratization was finally realized in 1996 when the Taiwanese chose their first democratically-elected president, Lee Teng-hui. Since then peace has returned and the island has prospered. Today it is one of the safest and cleanest destinations in Asia and the rest of the world.

Ask any mainlander about Taiwan’s status, and the answer inevitably returned is, ‘Taiwan is a province of China.’ This is just one among many examples of how effective Mao and his propaganda have been at ‘smashing their brains down to size.’ China’s indefinite postponement of Taiwan’s independence has become a thorny issue to say the least. Both ‘solutions’ proposed to end this political stalemate, full independence or mainland control, each bring a host of problems. The best outcome may come from staying the course and keeping their defacto independence. Taiwan should probably rest in the history books as the interesting anomaly that it is, and nothing more.

Despite Taiwan’s turbulent past, it remains a top-notch backpacking destination, especially for native English speakers who should have no problem finding teaching work. Taipei is a fun and safe international city, and the east coast and interior areas of the island have fantastic natural attractions. Hot springs are littered throughout the island, the mountains are surprisingly high and beautiful, you can find snow in the winter (although not quite enough for skiing), there are tons of hiking/biking trails, the beaches on the east and south coasts are nice, and since it’s Asia you can of course find temples everywhere. The food is good, the people are civilized and friendly, and the country’s train system is world-class. However you find your fun, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your stay here.

Taiwan Railway Map & Taipei MRT Map

The Taiwanese train system is a modern, efficient and reliable way to transport all around the island.

Search Taiwan’s Train Schedule & Timetables

Taiwan Railway Map

Right click the image above and choose “Save As…” to download the map

Taipei MRT Map in English and Chinese

Right click the image above and choose “Save As…” to download the map

My Video From Taiwan

For More Info About Traveling Taiwan, See My Guide Here

Meet Dave

Meet DaveUnfulfilled by consumer lifestyles, I left on a really slow trip around the world. As a 3rd eye traveler on the New American Dream, my aim is to inspire and cultivate conscious living along the way....Read More...

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