My time in Taiwan was quite short but I really enjoyed every minute of it. To be honest, I never really dreamed of visiting Taiwan. What a shame. If it wasn’t for Cebu Pacific promo airfare, I’d probably not even consider going there. Thank God I bought the tickets on a spur of the moment decision. It turned out to be the best solo experience of my life, best decision, and money wisely spent as well. Taiwan is beautiful!
Prior to my Taiwan trip, I knew very little about this lovely country.
When I was much younger, there was a Taiwanese TV series aired on channel 7 called “A Promise of Love at the Dolphin Bay.” I really loved its theme song – Yi Shi De Mei Hao. Although I couldn’t understand its meaning, I liked listening to the melody and the singer’s sweet voice. Her name was Angela Zhang.
There are other Taiwanese dramas that I’m a big fan of such as Meteor Garden, It Started with a Kiss, and Fated to Love You (which is my all-time favorite because Joe Chen is too adorable). I hope GMA will re-air Dolphin Bay coz it’s so good. It never gets old. The new generation deserves to see it.
So anyway, I traveled to Taiwan from December 22-27, 2017. There were too many things that I’d like to do but since I only had 4.5 days to explore the country, I decided to just visit the popular tourist attractions. I was not able to “fangirl” and visit the filming locations of Meteor Garden like PS Bubu and Taiwan National University.
Here are a few things that I find impressive about Taiwan:
1. Hot Showers
Hihihi. How shallow, I know. But I arrived in Taipei during winter and the weather was really cold. The first morning I woke up and it felt so cold. I sat on my bed for about 15 minutes thinking how I was going to take a bath. Time was running so I decided to just do it. It was a pleasant surprise because the water was hot.
2. Efficient Transportation System
It can be a bit confusing at first because the railway system in Taipei was complex. The trains are going in different directions unlike in Manila where the trains are following a straight line. They have an entire city beneath the ground.
3. Polite People
I always hear travelers raving about how the Japanese people are so polite. I have yet to experience that level of politeness, but I’m glad to report that the Taiwanese people are approachable, polite and willing to help. When I think about the people that I talked to, I’m very thankful because they added good memories to my travel experience.
4. Squeaky Clean Streets
Not to mention wide pedestrian lanes. I didn’t see trash or garbage anywhere. Note that I didn’t visit every corner of Taipei but based on what I saw, it was a clean and well-maintained city.
5. Law-Abiding Citizens
There are pedestrian signal lights everywhere. They don’t cross the street when the light is red, even if there are no vehicles passing by. They really wait for the signal light to turn green. The level of self-discipline that I witnessed was inspiring.
6. Working Elders
I bought food from McDonald’s and Burger King and I saw elders working as service crew. Now that’s really different from what I normally see in Manila. Where I came from, there is age restriction especially for that particular type of job. I’m impressed because it shows that they have equal work opportunity for everyone. That’s the way it should be.
7. English-Speaking Toddlers
In establishments, trains, and Taipei Zoo, I heard children speaking fluent English with a nice accent. I thought about my nephews and nieces and how they still couldn’t construct English sentences properly. We definitely need to work on that.
8. The Concrete Jungle
Buildings and mountains standing next to each other. Trees and plants everywhere. I was riding a cable car in Maokong when I confirmed that Taipei is like 50% forest and 50% human structure. It’s really a nice view from up above there so I really recommend you try it yourself.
9. Old Couples Holding Hands
This is something I rarely see or don’t see at all in Manila – senior citizens holding hands. I saw them in streets, train stations, Elephant Mountain, Ruifang, and Jiufen. So yeah … I can be really nosy. LOL. What can I do? I notice everything when I travel alone. Seriously, I got the impression that they are aging well and happily.
10. Beautiful Women
Mmmm … these Taiwanese ladies are really pretty, right? They must have been following the 10-step Korean skincare routine since birth. Too bad for me. I only learned about it last year and I still don’t follow it. Kidding aside, the Philippine standard of beauty has changed over the years. When I was younger, you have to look like Thalia (Marimar) to be considered beautiful. Since Korean and Taiwanese dramas became popular, we began to appreciate the oriental beauty. Before Song Hye Kyo, it was Barbie Hsu that became popular on local TV. I saw lots of girls even prettier than Barbie in Taipei! Good looking guys too but I didn’t want to look.
These are just my unedited and personal observations. Feel free to correct me.
I love Taiwan. Someday when life gets tough, I’ll think about my travel experience in Taiwan and smile. They say life is about collecting good memories so that when the bad times come, we have something to help us cope.
Cheers and happy traveling!