Home to 23 million people, Taiwan and its people have an irresistible charm about them. Many people fly from all over the world for different reasons but what about Singaporeans? Let’s find out what you can experience in that island nation!
1. You’ll be surrounded by an entire bunch of friendly people
If there’s something I love more than the street food in Taiwan, it’d definitely be their people. Taiwanese are more than just welcoming and passionate, they are the kind of people who often go out of their way just to help you. And that’s what I really love about them! Maybe it’s the air or the laidback lifestyle that they lead but their kindness is something I always miss when I come back to facing grumpy Singaporeans who are perpetually in a rush. Meh.
2. You’ll never go hungry at any time of the day
From Ah Zhong Mee Sua, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, Braised Pork Rice to my all-time favourite Grilled Kurobuta Sausages, my trips to Taiwan are always filled with non-stop eating. Home to more than a hundred night markets, Taiwan will definitely keep you and your belly fully satisfied. Visit the popular Shilin Night Market or Raohe Street Night Market to experience the hype!
Feeling hungry in the middle of the night? Their convenience stores, like FamilyMart, stock up on mouthwatering onigiris and other instant food choices that I wholeheartedly swear by!
3. You get to visit the Santorini of Taiwan
Jiufen is a mountain area in the Ruifang District of New Taipei City which is also termed as the Santorini of Taiwan. The place is almost always crowded with tourists but the bustling atmosphere makes it even more ‘local’. Walk along the cobbled walkways and explore the quaint stores with some Taiwanese snacks in hand – the chilly weather high up in the mountains is totally a plus!
Stay at this amazing place for a night because the night view is simply breathtaking! Jiufen Long Men Ke Zhan Bed and Breakfast is loved by many Singaporeans and prices only start from S$75.55 per night on Agoda. Definitely a small price to pay for a good night’s stay with a spectacular view.
4. You can be a part of the biggest Sky Lantern Festival in the world
Like my favourite scene of Rapunzel and Flynn straight out of the movie Tangled, standing under a sky full of floating lanterns is somewhat calming and utterly beautiful. With hundreds of thousands of lanterns lighting up the sky, it’s a unique experience not be missed. Don’t forget to write down your wishes on the lanterns before releasing them into the sky!
Shifen Old Street is the place you want to be at to join in the fun! Stores selling sky lanterns line both sides of the (working) train tracks so you’re all good to go once you’re there. Take note of the occasional passing trains, especially when the store owners start shouting for you to get off the tracks!
5. You get to explore the country on two wheels
YouBike, the government’s initiative to make the country a more bike-friendly place, is an eco-friendly way to travel around the cities of Taiwan. With an EasyCard, their version of an EZ-Link card, you’re free to use their bikes for 30 minutes which is great for travelling to a distance too daunting for your tired legs. Every 30 minutes thereafter will only cost you 10 TWD (~S$0.40)! There are designated cycling lanes around so it’s relatively safe – just remember that you should be riding on the right hand side of the roads in Taiwan!
6. You get to enjoy amazing views on top of mountains
Taiwan is a mountainous island with the highest number and density of high mountains in the world. Apart from cycling, hiking and mountain climbing are two of the most popular sports in the country. At 3952 metres, Yushan is the highest mountain in Taiwan, promising incredible panoramic views complete with thick fluffy clouds. Witnessing sunrises and sunsets at the peak of this mountain is definitely unlike any other.
7. You get to experience a real farmstay
With fresh air and scenic greenery, Cingjing Farm is one of the more popular tourist spots in Taiwan in recent years. While Singaporeans take photos with deers in Japan and quokkas in Australia, you know they are in Taiwan when they flood your Instagram feed with sheep selfies. With a cooling weather all year round, it’s no wonder that Singaporeans are all flocking there to relieve the heat they’ve all been enduring. Enjoy a stay there for a relaxing night or two because accommodation choices only start at S$59 per night on Agoda!
8. You get to soak yourself in a real hot spring
Soaking in natural hot springs, like the most popular ones in Beitou, actually brings you several health benefits like lowering your blood pressure, helping you sleep better and even improving joint mobility. The area features public hot spring pools, natural attractions, and numerous hot spring resorts and hotels. Best of all, prices for these hot spring resorts and hotels begin at only S$58 per night on Agoda!
9. You get to have a taste of the original DTF Xiao Long Baos
This point is included for the sake of all Din Tai Fung lovers out there! The first DTF outlet is still standing at Xinyi Road in Taipei which can be easily spotted by its long queues. With superb service from its attentive staff, you’ll feel like a million bucks while sipping the hot soup from your Xiao Long Bao. My personal favourite is the Fried Rice with Shrimps & Eggs – please give it a try! Tip on eating Xiao Long Baos: Never stop at just one long (bamboo basket)
10. You don’t need to burn a hole in your pocket to get there
That’s right – one of the reasons why Singaporeans love going to Taiwan is due to its affordability!
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