Shanghai might be a little jealousShanghai, Fall 2009
Oh my goodness, where to begin…I absolutely love Taiwan! The weather was absolutely gorgeous (with the exception of a couple of rainy days), and Taipei is so much cleaner and more orderly than Shanghai. For example, taxis actually wait for pedestrians to cross the street and not once (OK, maybe once) did I hear a car honk. Also, people actually wait in line in the subway stations and don’t push to get on or to grab a seat.
People in Taipei are a lot nicer and friendlier than in Shanghai. I will never forget the people that we met, especially the National Chengchi University (NCCU) students. They were so helpful in showing us around the city. It was also easy to get along with them, partly because most of them spoke fluent English and partly because of our similar cultures and lifestyles.
As an IES-sponsored trip, we were required to attend a couple of interesting lectures about Taiwan at NCCU. But afterward, we were free to explore. Here are a couple of things I would definitely recommend doing in Taiwan:
- Shih-Lin Night Market: One of the largest night markets in Taipei, Shih-Lin has so many delicious snack foods to try and many shops to buy from.
- Foot massage: I got my first massage in Taiwan! After the best shoulder massage ever, I had my feet massaged. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the feet are linked to the rest of your body, so if a body part is not healthy, you feel it in your feet…I guess I’m not that healthy…
- Xinbeitou Hot Springs and Danshui: Another first for me–going to a hot spring! I have never felt as relaxed as I did after the hot spring. Then, I went to Danshui and shopped at its markets, tasted its local specialties (like iron egg and A-Gei), and visited the Fisherman’s Wharf.
- Taipei 101: My favorite place in Taipei hands down. After riding the world’s fastest elevator (from floor B1 to 89 in 39 seconds), I was at the indoor observatory. I couldn’t see a lot at night because of the heavy fog, but it still left me in awe to be there in the world’s tallest building.
- Hualien: Our day trip to Hualien (located on Taiwan’s east coast) included a stone carving museum, a visit to Taroko National Park, a view of the Pacific Ocean, and an Amis aboriginal dancing show.
You May also like: