Before we went to Taiwan we thought it might be like Hong Kong: a massive cement megalopolis. But when we got to Taroko National Park we were amazed at how well Taiwan was able to preserve its natural resources. It was one of the lushest forests we’ve been to; poetic with all the willow trees and gushing waterfalls surrounded by pristine nature and fresh air. It was so rural with terrifying drops to the left and right of us as we snaked through the roads to the park. The students of Tsing Hua University helped us tour through the park as part of a conference offsite. They were so friendly and their English was very polished.
After we made it to Taipei, we found the massive city we had anticipated with amazing public transit that we cannot fathom on the West Coast of the United States. The trains were fast and direct and led us to the best food. We dined on wonderful steamed dumplings (小籠包), and drank bittersweet bitter melon juice at Shilin Night Market.
It was our first time trying a dragon fruit and it was an amazing combination of tastes like something between a strawberry and a kiwi. The local Taipei people were very friendly, but knowing Mandarin was also helpful in getting around in Taipei. Everyone was very respectful and followed the rules of queueing, and there was no pushing. As tourists we felt perfectly safe.
At one point in the trip we did have a longing for American food. We are big fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), but we found an even better thing in Taiwan! The KLG with a plump chicken on the sign delivered a juicy chicken with taste so much more amazing than its U.S. counterpart, KFC. The Colonel should really learn this new recipe.
We were also amazed at the wide range of things you could accomplish at each 7Eleven, from eating a traditional breakfast to buying bus tickets and mailing letters.
Eye glasses are amazingly stylish and cheap compared to how they are in the United States and we purchased four pairs of glasses so we could each have plenty of unique styles for our return to the United States.
But the trip wouldn’t have been complete without checking out the National Palace Museum and seeing the delectable Meat-shaped Stone and of course the Jadeite Cabbage.
When we have a chance in the near future we will visit again for the great culture, food, sites and people.
and Debra Horn Taiwan’s night from San
market. Francisco visit