Taiwan, an island trail

Taiwan, an island trail

Taiwan is a mix of modern cities, picturesque hilly terrain and coastal beauty. Taiwan has also rich cultural heritage and cuisine. A visit to Taitung County, located in the country’s eastern coast, and finally to Taipei in the north, the glitzy, urban capital. Cities spectacular hilly terrain, coastal beauty, rich culture, and of course, its signature cuisine.

The small industrial town of Kaohsiung located in south-west Taiwan. The Pier-2 Art Center is usually an abandoned warehouse. It has been then transformed into a beautiful public space filled with quirky art pieces. A huge Transformers installation looked down upon and behind it was a wall with graffiti painted on every inch. Another installation of a scarlet would-like creation looked especially menacing.

Here are also the kids aqua paradise, the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung County. I’ve always loved aquariums and as I walked into glass tunnels filled with rich marine. This is really a family destination with parents pointing out cute, stumpy penguins to their kids and taking selfies with glowing jellyfish.

That night we were staying at howard Beach Resort in Kenting – a beach area with buzzing nightlife – clearly my pick of the trip. After dinner, we picked up local souvenirs from a night market with vibrant stalls lining the main road. You have shops selling trinkets, colourful footwear, cheap electronic stuff, cool headgear, a variety of seafood and much more. Even at midnight, a young crowd throunged the street swaying to Tai wanese rock music and sipping on cool cocktails.

Kenting, in pingtung County, is not only about nightlife. The kenting national park is a 333s qkm area and a 90-minute walk in the park took us through limestone caves, valleys, coral landscapes and tropical forests. It was hot and sticky and a panoramic view of he surrounding sea and mountains from the viewing tower. Kenting also offers you a host of water sports – snorkeling, scuba diving, kanana boat and water scooter riding – at its beach. Some of us chose to stay put on the seashore wading through the water and checking out colourful corals. A hot air balloon ride is a part of the Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta at Luye Gaotai, Taitung County. But unfortunately it was so windy that afternoon that the balloons could not take off. The revelers had to be content watching the pilots ‘whispering’ into the air against a beautiful sunset.

Following a hectic day of travelling what really helped was a refreshing hot spring bath in my room at the Luminous Hot Spring Resort & Spa in Taitung County.

Our last stop was in Taipei, the country’s capital. An urban destination, Taipei thrills you with its top landmark. It is one of the tallest buildings in the world, the 508 m Taipei 101 and the view of the city from the top was exhilarating.

Make quick visits to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and the National Palace Museum. Have a sumptuous dinner at an Indian restaurant, Joseph Bistro. The tandoori chicken was tender and smoky and the energizing masala chai served as a fitting finale to the experience. And after days of feeding on sea fish and oysters and shrimps and scallops, it was a nice familiar change.

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Taiwan island trail

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