If you had told me that Taiwan (TAIWAN!) is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, I would think that you had too much happy tea in Dali. Who knew such an island -one with marble canyons, palm trees and hot springs – exists just outside China? Who knew that there is an entire population of Han Chinese who eat delicious food but don’t scream or attempt to run you over with their scooter? Who knew that there was a city with beautiful temples, fabulous food and class-A hiking within the capital city.
WHO KNEW? And why didn’t you tell me?
Ok, there are a lot more words that I want to say about Taiwan, but I’m too worked up with sheer surprise and utter delight.
Perhaps we spent too long in China? Maybe the emotional toll of internet starvation and the physical strain of avoiding death by scooter was just too much.Â Could it be that I had forgotten the wonders of a fully developed, democratic country?
As we were boarding the airplane in Kunming, China, an older gentleman cut in front of us while screaming into phone, “WEI!” Landing in Taiwan the world felt a little different -a little calmer, more orgainzed, less frantic. I couldn’t put my finger on the exact difference until we were on the airport shuttle bus.Â A phone rings, a man answers and in a sexy low timbre says, “Wei-baby.”
OK, so it’s not just the people (whose kindess is legendary), it’s also the sheer amount of things to do and delicious food to put in my mouth. In one week we managed to drink our weight in beer, hit up a night market, binge at TWO all you can eat/all you can drink venues, get our Gaga on at KTV and hike a gorgeous mountain.
It could help that we’re staying with my cousin Stephen (the one who slept in the woods after partying with us in Korea) and he’s a faaabulous host. Â Not only do we have his huge queen size bed and soft fluffy pillows, we have also been adopted by his crew. This country is AH-mazing!
Welcome to Taiwan!