Yes, I’ve gone back to Taiwan every couple of years or so. But for some reason, this time going back was a completely different and eye opening experience.
June 7-17, 2018 | Here is my Taiwan summer trip summarized in three categories.
There’s just something about the motorcycle filled roads, busy night markets, delicious street food, and magnificent temples that make Taiwan such a unique and exciting place. I loved walking the streets at night eating my favorite foods: tanghulu, oami sua, xiang chang, fried chicken, MORE! On one of the first days, my mom left me alone in Taipei so I could go explore and shop. Taipei has several cute boutiques with THE BEST customer service. The shops follow a system where only one of each item is on display, and if you need to try on an item you pull it out and ask for your size. When the time came around for me to eat that day, it was a struggle. Since my Mandarin is not at all up to par, I had to do a lot of pointing. Nevertheless, I got a good bowl of noodles.
No one (including me until this year) fully gets just how beautiful Taiwan is. Driving down daily roads, there are massive luxuriant mountains surrounding every angle. Every time I go back, I always make sure to take the time to relax in the hot springs. This year, I traveled to Kenting, the southern tip of the island, known for its white-sand beaches, caves, coral reefs, and northern mountains. I was not disappointed. THERE WERE ZERO TOURISTS. The desolate beaches were perfect for self reflection and relaxation. I spent my mornings laying on hammocks and watching the sun rise over the ocean. At night, I put my earphones in and walked along the sand until midnight. Cheesy as it may sound, I felt alive, happy, and one with nature.
Because I live in America and only get to go back every 4 years or so, I rarely get to see my family. But when I do, it is such a good time. Since I’m the youngest of my generation, all my cousins are married and already have kids. Let me tell you, these kids are the cutest around, and I adore every second I get to spend with them! On one day, I went on a walk with my niece, YuXian, through my grandpa’s mountainous neighborhood. We dribbled a basketball and talked about elementary school and sports–her favorite being running. Of course, it’s always great talking to Grandma and Grandpa. I love learning from their stories and wisdom.