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Taiwan Travel A Reflection Of The Times

Hsinchu City And The Eastern Gate taiwan travel
East Gate Hsinchu, Taiwan

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

taiwan travel food dish
Great food as you travel around Taiwan

Taiwan Travel Culture, Food, & Adventure

‘I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find the perfect city, travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.’ – Anthony Bourdain.


Taiwan Travel and my time back in the US and a few other countries have led me to consider writing a reflection piece on what I liked and maybe some of the things I consider odd. I can tell you for sure that I think about my time there on a weekly basis, and sometimes every day like now as we come up to the Chinese New Year and I know my friends and businesses are preparing for the celebration. This small island with its grand city of Taipei, and the small towns and cities come with a vast amount of cultural difference. From the strong Manderian language spoken in Taipei to the Hakka and other languages that are still spoken there today. As you decide to begin the planning phase of your Taiwan travel adventure please take a look at our numerous videos from Taiwan here.

‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart!’ – Confucius.

Indulging In The Delicacies Of Taiwan travel
Indulging In The Delicacies Of Taiwan travel


Taiwan has a strong food culture, and that means celebrations like the moon festival offer some very unique food opportunities. Even Starbucks got in on the action selling moon cakes back then. Every high-end department store, and family all had their special recipes that would lead one to try this great single, double, or triples your desert. So if you have some flexibility consider making your plan one week before this festival.

Make sure to have chili crab and the picture is below for your reference. Chinese food in the north and Aboriginal food in the south so you must explore. Hakka food is great in the mountains around Hsinchu, seafood is almost everywhere. I always enjoyed my lunch at the beef noodle place, and the occasional hot pot to spice things up. When friends came to town we always went to the all-you-can-eat ship house in Hsinchu where several flavors would come out. Now always keep in mind that seafood is fresh, and sometimes you must select the living seafood you want the resteraunt to prepare for you, and then they will ask you some questions on preperation.

‘A good traveller has no fixed plan and is not intent on arriving.’ – Lao Tzu.

Chili crab in Taiwan
Chili crab in Taiwan

Be A Taiwan Travel Foodie

Now food is such a large subject and I can say yes I gained weight living there. I think one of the interesting observations was that people there attributed long lines to the place must be really good. And most of the time that was correct but sometimes it was just average. I always remember my friends saying oh boy this place must be famous. We would then wait so long we were tired of standing there. I think that was part of the fun of exploration of a new place, and my family and I enjoyed it.

‘Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ – Ibn Battuta.

Taiwan travel by high speed rail train system
Taiwan travel by high-speed rail train system

‘Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.’ – Ralph Crawshaw


Now getting around Taiwan can be done with a car and we did have one but it was a burden most of the time. Budgeting the costs of a train ticket, and using the taxi system made traveling around very enjoyable. It forced us to explore within the store, shops, and food carts along the way. This was and is a part of the travel experience.

So I would recommend that unless you are working, and live far enough from your job go without the car. If you need a driver to hang around, and you are friendly this can be arranged easily, and we have done so many times. The drives will park somewhere, and wait for your call or text. They also know a tremendous amount about the area and are a great resource to see things the average tourist will miss due to time during your Taiwan travel adventure.

queen's head rock taiwan
Queens Head Rock at Yehliu Taiwan

Different Places To Explore

I think it is important to see the many major tourists such as the “queen’s head rock” The change of the guard in Taipei, and many others. When going to Taipei taking the high-speed rail makes the most sense assuming you are on the east coast of Taiwan. If you don’t have access then you can take the other part of the island’s train system. This part of the system will come into another area of the downtown train station there in Taipei.

Goto Places Without Tourists

Since it is used for the most part by regular people the food, in my opinion, is more unique and represents the likes and comforts of the average person. That just means your small noodle shop is very authentic and will be very good because it is difficult to keep those high-traffic spots in Taipei. From the Taipei train station hub, you can then go north toYehliu. From there we took a bus to these unique places where rock formations offer up the imagination of amazing shapes, sights, and sounds of the ocean seaside. There are many seafood restaurants close by to rest in and to enjoy some great food.

Here are a few articles covering those subjects

The Amazing Treasures Of Taipei Taiwan

Queens Head Rock at Yehliu Taiwan

18. ‘If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.’ – James Michener.

Green Island Adventure, Food, And Fun

Outdoor activities are also very popular while you explore Taiwan travel adventures. From the mountain tops, and Hakka villages to the smaller islands that offer an escape to the ancient past. You can hike, and yes even scuba dive the warm waters around the islands. One of the places we visited a few times was Green island. We toured the great coast enjoying spas, scuba, and wonderful food dishes. While we went there we enjoyed some amazing storms. Yes, you’re in the Pacific so Typhoons and just major storms happen often. We found that fun in an adventure kind of way. Dipping quickly into a great food restaurant for lunch while you wait for the storm to pass.

Article on It Is Time For A Green Island, Taiwan Adventure

‘Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.’ – Miriam Beard

welcome to life in taiwan
Our first group photo after getting certified to dive as a family in Taiwan.

Scuba Diving Taiwan

Since we were in Taiwan for a few years and used it as our base camp to explore Asia we did our scuba diving training there. All four of us were ages ten years old on up, and it was a very unique experience. Our dive instructor didn’t speak English, and that didn’t matter since under the water it’s hand signals anyway. Her helper and divemaster did speak English and handled the rules, and manuals, ensuring we were ready to do our first dive. Once it the water our adventure expanded to a whole new world. Even now today the once ten-year-old is still diving and enjoying his own adventure.

Article On Scuba Diving For Adventure Travel

‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.’ – Lao Tzu.

Pingtung County Team with new friends Dario and Joy, in the rich culture of the Paiwan and Rukai Tribes at Sandiman Village in Southern Taiwan

South Taiwan

Okay, I want to layout one of our favorite areas of Taiwan. The southern area of the island. Now we lived in Hsinchu up north and would take the high-speed rail down to Kaushung. From there we would take a bus or taxi to the destination. There are mountain peaks with wild monkies, temples, great food, and aboriginal music from various tribes. We spend time exploring and living short-term amounts with these aboriginal peoples.

Taiwan Aboriginal Cultures

It was a lot of fun, and a whole different experience, Because in Taiwan you have a strong Chinese culture presence, but once to go to the south that does change. The Chinese of these parts have a more Hakka origin, and the aboriginal has been around for thousands of years. The tribes are unique form each other with different music and culture. You can experience food, and the delight of their company while you travel the areas.

A Photo Tour Of The Indigenous Peoples Of Taiwan - A person wearing a hat and holding a guitar - Taiwanese indigenous peoples
The Indigenous Peoples Of Taiwan – A person wearing a hat and holding a guitar – Taiwanese indigenous peoples

Here in the following videos, you have Elijah explaining our meal, and where we went to.

The meal was so big we had to break the video up to show more of it. I guess we went all out that day.

‘To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.’ – Bill Bryson

Seediq 賽德克族 Taiwan's Aboriginal Tribesmen
Seediq 賽德克族 Taiwan’s Aboriginal Tribesmen

12. ‘You don’t have to be rich to travel well.’ – Eugene Fodor.

Mackay Memorial Hospital Hsinchu
Mackay Memorial Hospital Hsinchu

Current Travel Rules

Current rules for traveling to Taiwan should be looked at since there might be restrictions that would impact a short trip. However, if you are planning a longer trip you should be able to comply, and have an enjoyable time.


If you happen to get a job teaching to help offset your expenses you should receive the country’s health insurance. It is exceptional in Taiwan, and the doctors are world-class. We have from experience had to use the medical system while living there, and they were very supportive. It is very cost-effective, and the insurance covers most treatments with a small copay. If you need major surgery you might need to pay a few thousand, and that is way cheaper than what happens in the United States since we normally have to pay 15-20% of the total cost of highly marked-up treatment.

‘Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.’ – Oscar Wilde.

Taiwan Dragon Bridge
Taiwan Dragon Bridge

‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’ – St. Augustine.

In conclusion, if you are looking to spend some time in Asia and need a strong home base to operate out of Taiwan should be on your list. They have a strong array of services and warmer or cooler climates for you to choose from. You can live in a high-tech city center or on a smaller island, and scuba dives regularly. You don’t need to feel unsafe, and the people are very friendly to foreigners. As with all places, it is what you make of it, and if you try to learn the culture, language, and respect the people they will also respond in kind, and give you great honor and respect you in return.

‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.’ – Mark Twain