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> Taiwan - who knew?, never really thought of it as somewhere 'cool' to visit
Barrett
post Feb 10 2006, 10:19 PM
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So a great friend of mine and I just met up, he had flown in to Victoria from Taiwan where he is living. I never really thought of Taiwan as a place of scenic beauty, hard partying, and surfing but apparently it is! How many people have ever backpacked through there? Or is it mostly English-teachers in the countryside, trying to escape the Taipei smog? It would be great to hear some other stories and 'best of' type thing for Taiwan, a place I think most travellers don't ever add to their itinerary. Also, it looks like you can get cheap flights from there to most places in Asia, always a big plus.

The Chiang Kai-Shek memorial looks absolutely astounding. Could they make it any bigger??


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jenipa
post Feb 19 2006, 05:08 AM
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I think it gets missed off some Asian itineraries possibly because of the current position with China - and China becoming a strong destination on the backpacker route...

I have heard good things about Taiwan as a destination and it still is on my places-to-visit list. I think it - like South Korea - is much maligned and considered to be too "industrial" to have anything of interest to travellers.


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Barrett
post Feb 19 2006, 10:56 PM
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And who knew Taiwan had surfing? And oddly while most people have heard of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, few people know of Taipei 101, currently the tallest building in the world as I understand it.

I can't imagine the stressed relations with China have much to do with why backpackers don't go there. I think there are a lot more dodgy places that travellers go without regard to the state's international relations.
Maybe Taiwan just needs to do a better job talking itself up.


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jenipa
post Feb 20 2006, 12:02 AM
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QUOTE(Barrett @ Feb 20 2006, 12:56 PM) *


I can't imagine the stressed relations with China have much to do with why backpackers don't go there. I think there are a lot more dodgy places that travellers go without regard to the state's international relations.



I meant that comment more as a feasibility issue. As China is being more and more included on backpacker's itineraries and to travel directly to or from Taiwan from China is not possible, most people prefer to use Hong Kong as a springboard into NE Asia. Taiwan kind of gets missed out.


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Barrett
post Feb 20 2006, 09:39 PM
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I thought it was now possible to fly to China from Taiwan and vice-versa at least once a day, at least for foreigners anyway.

Can anyone else shed some light on this?


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Guest_Jason_*
post Feb 28 2006, 11:12 AM
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Direct flights between Taiwan and China are still banned, so to get between the two you have to go through a third-country, usually Hong Kong.

I've lived in Taiwan for awhile, and its a really interesting place. It has absolutely amazing food: make sure to try local Taiwanese delicacies like o-a-zen (oyster omelets) at the various night markets in Taipei. Taipei (capital and largest city) features an interesting blend between traditional and modern culture, so be sure to visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and the National Palace Museum (featuring the largest collection of Chinese artifacts in the world and is ranked among the top 3 museums in the world) for a taste of the old, and the many malls of the Xinyi District, which also features the must-see Taipei 101 building (tallest in the world) for a taste of modern Taiwan (go to City Hall subway station). For some inexpensive and trendy shopping go to the Ximending area (i.e. Ximen subway station) which caters mostly to teenagers. For a glimpse of Taiwan's beautiful natural scenery, try hiking through Taroko National Park on the east coast near Hualien or the mountainous area around the Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. I've heard there's good quality surfing and nice beaches on the island of Penghu but I have yet to see it myself.

Although Taipei may seem like a city that, like Seoul in Korea, is an industrialized sprawl, it is definitely a modern metropolis that deserves a visit. Fortunately, rural of Taiwan still has much unspoiled scenery to offer.
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Barrett
post Mar 1 2006, 11:25 PM
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Very helpful! thanks for the last two posts, some great information there. Did anyone notice that February for the Lonely Planet features all Taiwan pics? I have the calendar and it certainly whet my appetite for Taiwan.


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China Doll
post Mar 17 2006, 01:51 AM
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Hey Barrett
Taiwan is a special province of China.I don't know if you agree with my words.But in my heart it's always a part of our country.Taiwan is famous for hot spring.That's also good for relaxing.I hope you can come to mainland if time permits.I'm sure China is worth travelling for each toursit.
If you can visit my website i'll be very glad~ smile.gif

www.achinatour.com


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robjstaples
post Mar 29 2006, 05:14 PM
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I think Taiwan is really cool. I had a great time there travelling a little on the east coast. I know from my time living in mainland China that it's a touchy subject, but if I'm honest it feels more like Japan than China. I know that's a controversial statemtent to make but that's simply my own personal experience. That said, when I was sat by the Pacific Ocean watching American F16's whistle over my head, I could have been anywhere.

All I can say is nice people, nice places, nice food and worth visiting, whichever country you think it belongs to. Personally, I'm not sure I care - although that might be even more controversial!


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Barrett
post Mar 30 2006, 10:14 PM
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Actually I hear from friends who live there that most young Taiwanese don't really care who the country belongs to either, as long as whatever country it is allows the bling to keep flowing. Maybe nationalism doesn't matter in a world of worldwide commerce?


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rbisset
post May 3 2006, 01:49 AM
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I spent a week in Taiwan and really enjoyed it. The food was fantastic and it was great to be in a place with so few tourists! Sitting on the side of the street at 3am waiting for a bus to Tainan with bus loads of people waving at you was really strange. It helped that we knew someone in the country who could speak fluent mandarin but I'm sure we could have got by on our own, we certainly coped alright in China.


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helen:D
post May 3 2006, 08:27 AM
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helen810614@hotmail.com[font=Arial]
i'm from taiwan.
East Taipei is the very good shopping place.
i live in Taipei.
Has the time,u can come here to play!
welcome everybody:)
(sorry,my English is not good:P)[size=3]
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samhoso
post Mar 6 2007, 06:03 AM
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guys - taipei/taiwan IS DEFINITELY one of the best places to party it up! i would say one of the best in all asia! and just for the records: you'll find some of the coolest, most open-minded and most stunning girls ever (and no, i am not talking about hookers - i am talking about normal, friendly, cool local girls in taipei!).
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bluestarfish
post Mar 21 2009, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE(China Doll @ Mar 17 2006, 01:51 AM) *

Hey Barrett
Taiwan is a special province of China.


Hi China Doll,
not quite, not correct,
South Korea is not a province of North Korea,
Taiwan is not a province of mainland China,

the fact is they are two Korea on earth,
they are two China on earth,

any mainland Chinese must prepared Taiwan visa, before he/she come to Taiwan,
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lohonggee
post Oct 5 2009, 04:49 AM
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Dear China Doll
Taiwan is a country. OK~
Taiwaness have their own president by election.
ok. i don't want to talk about politics too much.

anyway,Taiwan is a beautiful "country",especially in east Taiwan.
if you want to have a great experience, try cycling this island by bicycle.
i tried last year, so amazing.
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athena
post Feb 23 2010, 10:47 AM
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I have been in Taiwan a total of 2 years so far. I seriously love it here. It's very easy to live here and I know quite a few people that came here to teach English and are still going strong 10-20 years later.
There are so many amazing and beautiful things to see here. Such varied landscapes. You can get huge mountains beside the ocean. It's a treat! So many offshore islands to explore as well (Matsu, Kinmen, Penghu, Orchid Island, Green Island, Turtle Island).
I haven't been to China...so I can't make the comparison. I know people that have been to both places and say that they prefer Taiwan. The question of Taiwanese sovereignty will always be up in the air. It seems kinda funny to me that China would still claim Taiwan is a renegade province when it has its own government (elected president), flag and military. It's a touchy issue for some but I have never quite seen Taiwan as part of China.
It hasn't been very well-known in the past but I think many people are starting to notice Taiwan.
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jeklah
post Aug 29 2010, 08:04 AM
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Hi just wanting some advice on travelling around if possible please ? I'm new here and have done a bit of searching, but couldn't find the answer I was seeking - is it possible to book travel directly from Tianan to Hualien, or do I have to go back through Taipei (or south) ?

I was trying to get info about the tourist round-island train, but the site is not in English (and I only speak English), so then have been trying to get info on travelling perhaps by bus ?

I'll be in Taiwan for 5 days late September for my first visit to the country, with two teenagers - so I'm trying to get in a few days of sight-seeing the country for me before I have to entertain them with shopping (lol) !
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athena
post Aug 29 2010, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE(jeklah @ Aug 29 2010, 08:04 AM) *

Hi just wanting some advice on travelling around if possible please ? I'm new here and have done a bit of searching, but couldn't find the answer I was seeking - is it possible to book travel directly from Tianan to Hualien, or do I have to go back through Taipei (or south) ?

I was trying to get info about the tourist round-island train, but the site is not in English (and I only speak English), so then have been trying to get info on travelling perhaps by bus ?

I'll be in Taiwan for 5 days late September for my first visit to the country, with two teenagers - so I'm trying to get in a few days of sight-seeing the country for me before I have to entertain them with shopping (lol) !


Yes, there are trains available from Tainan to Hualien. The THSR ends in Kaohsiung so you need to take the regular train over to Hualien. You could also probably find a bus (Kuo Kuang or Ho Hsin - among others) to get you from one place to the other.

Round-island info:
Here is one website with places you can book the tickets:
http://www.railway.gov.tw/en/information/information-5.aspx
Here is another link with more info:
http://www.taiwanfun.com/north/taipei/arti...7/0707Track.htm

Good luck!
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jeklah
post Aug 30 2010, 12:29 AM
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Thanks for the info, it's much appreciated ... am now finding myself getting so confused I'm thinking we might just base ourselves in Taipei for the entire stay and take day trips via train/bus to see different places ... at least we won't have to drag along our luggage that way !

I'm looking forward to seeing it all !
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athena
post Aug 30 2010, 06:59 AM
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QUOTE(jeklah @ Aug 30 2010, 12:29 AM) *

Thanks for the info, it's much appreciated ... am now finding myself getting so confused I'm thinking we might just base ourselves in Taipei for the entire stay and take day trips via train/bus to see different places ... at least we won't have to drag along our luggage that way !

I'm looking forward to seeing it all !


Glad I could help. Taipei and surrounding area will keep you busy for sure! The MRT (subway) is a lifesaver and quite easy to use. It hits most tourist attractions or has a stop not too far from one. I suggest you pick up an EASYCARD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EasyCard . You juice it up with some cash and can use it to swipe at the sensors to pay for buses, trains and to purchase things at some convenience stores.

When will you be in Taiwan? I'm always happy to meet newcomers and show them around! smile.gif
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