10 Reasons Why Taiwan Should Be Your Next Travel Destination

Having lived in Taipei for 18 years before I came to BU, I am so attached to this city that I want to share my favorite spots with you. Taiwan is the first country in Asia that legalized same-sex marriage, and its street food and snacks are so famous that they have even been represented on Netflix! It is a traditional, modern, and attractive island that you don’t want to miss out! These are just a few reasons to fall in love with Taiwan.

  1. 1. Bubble Tea Kingdom

    Taiwan is the origin of bubble tea. Even though I am not a bubble tea person, I do love to go to Milk Shop for its Taro milk. The milk comes from its local farm, which is fresh and quality-guaranteed! If you are looking for Bubble tea shops, I would also recommend Truedan, which is famous for its brown sugar bubble tea, and Chun Sui Tang, the very first bubble tea shop in Taiwan!

  2. 2. Traditional sweets!

    My favorite Taiwanese traditional sweet is red bean soup. This shop in Yilan, northern Taiwan serves the most nostalgic and satisfying flavor (there’s no website because it is really local but really yummy). Aside from red bean soup, you also have to try the shaved ice because it is hot in Taiwan all year round. Also, Kakigori on the northern coast of Taiwan has the cutest and most Instagram-worthy Japanese shaved ice. 

  3. 3. Coffee shops

    There are TONS of cafes in Taipei, around every street corner, and between every block. You can definitely find one that matches your personality and preference! My favorite one is Coffee Essential, an elegant coffee shop located in a tranquil and green neighborhood. It is such a perfect working environment that I sometimes stayed there for the entire afternoon. Another cafe in my list is called The Antipodean, a popular Australian-style cafe known for its creamy selected and generously-given avocado toast!

  4. 4. Bakeries

    There are so many good Taiwanese bakeries you must try when you are in the city. Taiwanese bakery is much softer compared to that of I have in the US or European countries. My original favorite and everyday breakfast is the bakery called Bonjour (because it is just down to my apartment) until my mom once brought a bag of bagels from Good Cho’s. Its bagel is chewy but delightful, and it has a variety of creams and flavors!

  5. 5. Fast and clean public transportation

    Well, Boston is definitely a historical and beautiful city, but the T train is a little bit slow and not punctual. In Taiwan, on the other hand, one US dollar can take you anywhere around Taipei city. Taipei Metro would be the best way to explore the city if you are on a budget. It is super fast, and its schedule is trackable. And there’s also wifi on the metro!

  6. 6. The high-speed railway, which will take you everywhere on the island

    Ok, let’s I confess that it can only take you to the cities on the west coast, but that’s pretty enough! Changhua, located in the middle of Taiwan, has a famous Taiwanese restaurant called Smartfish. It is renowned for its heart-warming and fresh fish-head soup. It is so famous that it’s even on Netflix’s “Street Food” series! If you want to visit historical attractions and indulge yourself in street snacks, Tainan would be a must-visit city for you as well.

  7. 7. Convenience stores

    I thought convenience stores were nothing special until I stayed in Boston for eight months. Convenience stores are densely located in each city in Taiwan. If you need to buy train tickets, charge your metro card, pick up your orders, or find some snacks, just go to the convenience stores and the staff are always willing to help you.

  8. This is the most iconic bookstore and local department store in Taiwan. There are incredibly wide selections of books, creative products, and stationeries. There are also movie theaters at some locations, which mostly play independent and artsy movies and short films. 

  9. 9. Authentic Taiwanese food

    When it comes to Taiwanese food, most people first think of Din Tai Fung. However, Taiwanese food definitely goes far beyond soup dumplings! My favorite Taiwanese restaurant would be Shin Yen, which provides the most authentic Taiwanese dishes!  It has five locations around Taipei, and my favorite dishes are radish omelet, boiled chicken, and brown-stewed port feet. 

  10. 10. The nature

    Taiwan is a delicate island surrounded by ocean and with countless mountains. Yang-MingShan National Park is located in Taipei and is a perfect place for hiking, picnicking, and hot springs. On the east coast of Taiwan, Taroko Gorge National Park is also a popular attraction for its spectacular cliffs and marbles. You have to see it once in your lifetime. 

There are of course many more fun things to do in Taiwan that aren't on this list. I highly recommend visiting Taiwan, especially if you are traveling on a budget and are looking to enjoy yourself in one of the safest countries in the world.

All in all, Taiwan is an absolute gem, so if you are planning to travel with your girl gang in Asia, put it at the top of your bucket list!

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