What I learned:

  • A key assumption we often make is that we understand a place solely based on secondhand descriptions/information
  • Without direct experience of a location's culture, people, atmosphere, etc. our understanding remains incomplete
  • We risk propagating misunderstandings or even false/harmful narratives about places we've never set foot in

The blend of Chinese, Japanese, and Indigenous influences has shaped Taiwan's rich cultural heritage. However, what sets Taiwan apart is the openness and progressiveness of its society, creating a welcoming environment for both locals and visitors.

The Genuine Smile of Welcoming Hearts

Taiwanese people take kindness to a whole new level. Whether holding the door open or going out of their way to assist a stranger, their acts of kindness are deeply embedded in their culture. From offering directions to telling us a 'fair' price of a taxi ride, the people of Taiwan embrace the concept of "guest is god" and ensure that every visitor feels valued and cared for.

My story:

Rather than expressing frustration or impatience, the taxi rider surprised me with an unexpected offer. With a warm smile, he kindly informed me that he would reduce the fare by TWD 20 due to the detour. His willingness to go beyond the call of duty and consider the situation from my perspective was a testament to the genuine kindness inherent in the people of Taiwan.

A Cultural Tapestry of Old Japan and the Vibrancy of Hong Kong

Fun facts:

  1. How did Japan's influence on Taiwan come about?
    Japan ruled Taiwan as a colony from 1895 to 1945, impacting the island's culture, architecture, and traditions. This historical connection is reflected in Taiwan's embrace of Japanese customs and practices.
  2. How can I experience the vibrant energy of Hong Kong in Taiwan?
    To experience the vibrancy of Hong Kong in Taiwan, visit the bustling night markets like Shilin Night Market in Taipei or Liuhe Night Market in Kaohsiung. Explore the shopping districts, such as Ximending in Taipei or Xinyi District in Taipei, which offer a vibrant blend of shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

Taiwan is a cultural treasure trove, where the echoes of old Japan intertwine with the vibrant energy of Hong Kong. From the serene beauty of Japanese-inspired gardens to the bustling night markets reminiscent of Hong Kong's street food scene, Taiwan offers a luxurious blend of traditions, flavours, and experiences.

As you stroll through the streets of Taiwan, you'll notice the unmistakable influence of Japanese culture. From traditional architecture to tea ceremonies and even the art of bonsai, Taiwan pays homage to its historical ties with Japan.

And for the vibrant chaos of Hong Kong, transport yourself to a land where East Asian influences converge in harmony. The bustling streets, towering skyscrapers, and neon-lit signs create a vibrant atmosphere that echoes the chaotic charm of Hong Kong. 

I Love Taiwan because of Food, Oolong Tea, and Boba

To-do list:

  1. Explore Taiwan's vibrant street food scene at famous night markets like Shilin Night Market.
  2. Indulge in mouthwatering delicacies such as beef noodle soup, stinky tofu, scallion pancakes, and oyster omelettes.
  3. Experience the luxury of dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, showcasing the finest ingredients and culinary techniques.
  4. Visit serene oolong tea plantations in regions like Alishan and Lugu, and learn about the rich history of Taiwanese tea.
  5. Don't miss the boba craze – indulge in the sweet, creamy, and refreshing flavors of bubble tea at local boba shops.

Taiwan's culinary landscape is a true paradise for food enthusiasts, tea connoisseurs, and bubble tea lovers alike. With a wide range of flavors and experiences to offer, Taiwan's gastronomic scene is nothing short of delightful. From savoring the diverse and delectable dishes of Taiwanese cuisine to immersing oneself in the elegance of oolong tea and embracing the ever-popular boba trend, the options are truly endless.

Discover the vibrant street food stalls that line the bustling night markets, where you can indulge in mouthwatering delicacies like beef noodle soup, stinky tofu, scallion pancakes, and oyster omelettes. Each bite is a culinary adventure that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

For tea enthusiasts, Taiwan's oolong tea is a must-experience. Nestled in the misty mountains, the oolong tea plantations produce some of the world's finest teas. Immerse yourself in the captivating aroma and delicate flavors of this exquisite tea, and delve into the rich history and cultural significance of Taiwanese tea-making.

And of course, no visit to Taiwan is complete without succumbing to the irresistible allure of boba. Originating in Taiwan, the boba trend has taken the world by storm. Treat yourself to the sweet, creamy, and refreshing flavors of bubble tea, and let the chewy tapioca pearls add an extra layer of delight to your drink.

Tagged in: