Travel

Taiwan Itinerary: One week in the heart of Asia

September 19, 2017

Taiwan, also referred to as the heart of Asia, is a small island off the coast of China. Known for housing one of the tallest buildings in the world (Taipei 101) and having an incredibly rich history, it’s surprising how little North American’s know of this country. And until I travelled to Taiwan solo for a week, I too didn’t know what to expect.

The last time I visited Asia was when I conquered my fear of flying long-haul and jetted to Thailand for 17 days. But as my travel tastes expand, and I find myself yearning an exotic experience in a more modern country. Taiwan is just that.

The press trip to Taiwan was a last minute adventure that I couldn’t say no to, but when the opportunity to go there alone first came up, I felt worried. I don’t know anything about this country. What if no one speaks English? I can’t understand the alphabet, how will I find my way if I’m lost? Is it safe for me, a female, to go there alone? My hyperactive brain went over every scenario possible. Except for the one that would soon come to be; What if I fall in love with this country and find my passion reignited?

While it’s scary to travel into the unknown, it’s scarier to like it.

One week in Taiwan reminded me of my love for travel, my love for travel writing, and my love for this planet we call Earth. It’s a country that every one should visit at least once; a country that I hope to visit over and over again. With spectacular mountain ranges that you can spend days hiking through, metropolitan centres with shopping night markets, and historical temples that bring peace, it’s one of the only places in the world where you can indulge in a tropical climate, exotic landscape and modern society all at once.

Here’s how I spent one week in the heart of Asia.

Taipei


With EVA Airways expanding it’s flight paths, the direct flight from Toronto Taipei made coming to Taiwan an easy 15h plane ride.

Taipei City Tour
In Bloom for handmade printed fabrics activity
Xia-Hai City God Temple (Lover’s Temple)
Oolong tea experience at South St. Delight (Watch the video I created here)
Lungshan Temple
CKS Memorial Hall
Foot Massage
Shopping at the Shillin Night Market (one of the best night markets in Taipei!)

Where to Stay
Grand Mayfull Taipei

Jiufen

The steps to a lunch perched on a mountain, overlooking the ocean. 📍#jioufenteahouse

A post shared by Maria-Teresa Andreacchi (@fashionfoodflair) on

Jiufen is a historical town located on top of a mountain peak that offers tourists an incredible view, street food, tea house and even a museum. Because it’s close to Taipei you simply need to hop on the subway or private car to get there, all without finding another hotel.

Golden Waterfall
Jiufen Old Street
Shifen Waterfall + Shifen Train Station (Releasing Sky lanterns)

All across my lantern I wrote ‘never lose the fire in your belly.’ Something my mother tells me when I get caught in the overwhelm of owning my own business. Turns out my lantern was one of the few that kept flying and didn’t fall victim to the rain!

Where to Stay
Grand Mayfull Taipei

Sun Moon Lake

Here I was, in Sun Moon Lake, about to take the leisure bike trail. I had my @canoncanada camera and water bottle in the front basket, my drone, go pro, sunscreen and random items in my backpack. Thirty pounds of dead weight on my shoulders. It took me a few tries to get going, a few close calls before finding my balance. And when I finally got going I stumbled across this place – a viewing area slightly off the trail. I stopped, got off the bike, lived in the moment, took this photo, then tried to find my balance all over again. So here's my caption for this photo: "That's life." It's only when we pedal through the challenges, explore off the beaten paths and trust in our gut that we discover the things worth living for. 🌏 🎒-> @mahileather

A post shared by Maria-Teresa Andreacchi (@fashionfoodflair) on

Sun Moon Lake will quickly remind you of Lake Como in Italy. With glittering green water to compliment the lush mountains, it’s a part of the world where you only need to look a the lake to find zen. It’s a hefty price to visit, some rooms going for $1,000 per night, but if you’re budget calls for it you won’t regret the visit.

Sun Moon Lake Boat Tour
Tour of Shopping Street
Relaxing on Balcony
Cycling Around Sun Moon Lake
Head to Chiyi Airport to fly to Penghu using UNI Air

Where to Stay
Fleur de Chine

Penghu

The last stop in this amazing trip. Penghu offers an island experience with a small town vibe. The streets are incredibly safe to walk along, offering tourists a soundscape filled with karaoke and laughter. The island also has a rich history and culture. Walls surrounding properties are made from coral (a practice that no longer exists due to the environmental hazard), and old towns with hand crafted art pieces.

East Sea half day eco tour (by boat)
Basalt Reservation Area
Mudouyu Lighthouse
Xiyu half day tour

Where to Stay
Four Points by Sheraton Penghu

Have a question about Taiwan? Write to me in the comments below or reach out on Instagram. Always happy to offer advice for what do/ eat/ see.

Next post launching: Finding Peace in Sun Moon Lake

Click here to see some of the food dishes I captured in Taiwan for Bon Vivant Culinary Magazine.

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XoXo,
Tee

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1 Comment

  • Reply Taiwan’s most beautiful region, Sun Moon Lake – Fashion. Food. Flair. October 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    […] One week in Taiwan is all you need! Click here for suggestions on where to go and what to […]

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