Why I Went There?
I wanted to get to know my country of birth better. I had been there just six months prior to this visit, but being tired from having just finished three months of fast traveling (New Zealand and Australia), I didn’t leave Taipei and its surroundings during that 2-month period. This time around, I wanted to go around the entire country, focusing mainly on nature and national parks.
Places I Visited
After landing in Taipei from Japan, we started to make our way around the island starting from the east coast. The first destination was Hualien and Taroko National Park, following by Yuli (and Walami Trail). Then it was off to the southern beaches of Kenting National Park, before heading up the west coast. After a quick stop in Kaohshiung, we took the Alishan Forest Railway up to Fenqihu, where we made a day trip to Alishan National Scenic Area. From there it was back to Taipei before flying to Myanmar.
My Other Blog Posts on Taiwan
Also from my previous trip to Taiwan:
Total Expenses for 2 People: 2,382 USD (1,191 USD/person)
Average for 2 People: 85 USD/day (43 USD/day/person)
Traveling with someone makes certain costs like accommodation and taxi rides cheaper. Accommodation (airbnb, hotels, and hostels) was the largest expense by far (between 22 to 50 USD per night for both of us), but everything else was cheap. A metro ride usually costs less than 1 USD. A meal at local places or convenience stores cost only 2-3 USD. For tourists of most nationalities, no visa or fees are needed to enter the country.
How Is It To Backpack in Taiwan?
Public transport is in general cheap and efficient. The metro systems in Taipei and Kaohshiung are very modern and clean. Within Taipei, there are buses to everywhere you might want to visit. Getting a refundable Easycard makes traveling on subways and buses very easy since you don’t have to worry about having exact change. You can get these cards at metro stations. Long distance trains are cheap and very punctual, and tickets can be bought online. The government has also done a very good job of putting consistent English signage in touristy areas.
While not relatively cheap, hostel standards are very high. They usually have very modern features (individual curtains, reading lights, power points next to bed) and are immaculately clean. The one I stayed in Hualien was one of the nicest I have ever stayed in.
Food is very cheap and most tourists love it. As I get older I’m liking it more and more. Jenni tried a lot of dishes and was kind of disappointed. Convenience stores are like those in Japan, with a large selection of cheap microwaveable meals.
I’m really glad I finally got the chance to explore my country of birth. I had heard about its natural beauty, but after having seen it first hand, I can say that it is indeed very impressive.