Too much of a good thing is a great thing in Taiwan. From insane night markets and appetising street food to bustling cityscape and friendly smiles - they take pride in each and every element that makes this Asian destination complete. Taiwan may be a small island located off the populous China but never underestimate what they have to offer within their tiny frame.
1. Muslim-Friendly Taiwanese Food
With the influx of Muslim travellers to this lively destination, Taiwan has never been more ready to share their delectable street food and local delicacies through the rise of halal restaurants. And Taiwan has not one but two halal certification boards to thank: Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association and the Chinese Muslim Association.
Credit: @halaltaiwan on Instagram
The long list includes cuisines of Chinese Muslim, Thai, Indonesian Egyptian and Moroccan origin but we recommend going local with the famous beef noodle soup from Chang Jia Restaurant and the sweet pineapple cakes from Vigor Kobo.
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2. The Harmonious Contrast of Urban and HeritageCredit: James Wu on Flickr
Getting lost in Taiwan is a scenic experience and that we can guarantee. The sight of religious temples and piercing skyscrapers co-existing on the same island is proof that Taiwan upholds tradition close to heart while still chasing for today’s modernity.
Credit: @thedramaqueenkrish on Instagram
3. Insane Night Markets
Taiwan runs their nightlife scene in the most authentic way possible: the local night markets. If you think the island only has room for two to three street bazaars, the fact that they have sixteen in total surprises everyone!
Credit: Alexander Synaptic on Flickr
Similarly in most Asian countries, bargaining politely is the rule of thumb but of course, the golden rule is to simply enjoy what these night markets have to offer: affordable clothes, unique gizmos and of course, the glorious food.
Credit: Miguel Vincente Martinez Juan on Flickr
4. Captivating National Parks
If you’re stuffed from the Taiwanese feast you had the night before, it’s time to take a long stroll at their beautiful national parks. Incredibly, they have nine national parks and Taiwan’s crowd favourite is the Sheipa National Park, Taroko Gorge National Park and Taijiang National Park.
Credit: Elsie Lin on Flickr
For the road not taken, Yangmingshan National Park is a fantastic choice for hot springs and Yushan National Park is said to be the largest with East Asia’s highest peak smack in the middle.
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5. Cheap Gadgets and ElectronicsCredit: @beefperryaki on Instagram
Paradise for gadget geeks and tech aficionado can be found in the six-storey Guanghua Digital Plaza. Well-known for their affordable range of old school and newest electronics, hop from store to store to find the laptop, smartphone, games and software/hardware of your dreams. You might want to set aside a few hours for this piece of tech heaven.
Credit: @sac113 on Instagram
6. Efficient Public Transportation
Moving around is a breeze with the efficient public transportation in Taiwan. The Taipei and Kaohsiung Rapid Transit will take you as close to the tourist attractions as possible inexpensively and there are lots of bus services to keep your journey convenient.
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If you prefer not to leave any carbon footprint, Taiwan runs a public bicycle rental service called YouBike that covers cities such as Hsinchu, New Taipei, Taichung, Taipei, Changhua County and Taoyuan.
Credit: 威翰 陳 on Flickr
7. Scenic Outdoor Adventures
Everyone needs a little escape from the rush-hour traffic and there’s no better way to seek for tranquility than the great outdoors in Taiwan.
Credit: @lrq20501 on Instagram
Picturesque with a punch of adventure, start your day with a morning hike at Sheipa National Park, river tracing in the Golden Valley of Hualien or a scenic cycle around the Sun Moon Lake.
Credit: @mirobikes on Instagram
8. The Great Taiwan Festivals
Some of the best ways to mingle with the friendly locals in Taiwan is by joining them at any local festivals and their annual calendar is punctuated with many.
Credit: Jirka Matousek on Flickr
Full of life and fervour, go for a magical experience at the yearly Lantern Festival or cheer for your favourite team at the Dragon Boat Festival.
Credit: Gerry Giroux on Flickr
More than just a home for lip-smacking local delights, Taiwan’s embrace for modernity and cultural heritage has certainly elevates itself into a charming destination to travel. Now all that is left for you to do is adding Taiwan into your bucket list and be prepared for an unforgettable experience.
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