You will surely have heard of Taiwan. If you are reading this on an Acer or Asus computer or an HTC phone, you have some Taiwanese technology, but this big Asian island is officially recognized by all but 19 countries.
Due to its complex history, Taiwan, or the Republic of China, as it is officially known, is more American than the nearby People’s Republic of China, but the island has not lost its truly Asian culture and appearance. .
Taipei – the gastronomic capital
The modern capital is Taipei, a major metropolis like most Asian countries: huge skyscrapers like the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, bustling markets offering every imaginable Chinese meal and award-winning restaurants with world restaurants whole. competition.
As you stroll through the city, you can not escape the mesmerizing scents of tasty food that will take you to the street markets scattered throughout the city. The most famous street restaurant is the Raohe Street Night Market with its myriad of stalls selling everything from fried rice eggs with Korean chili sauce to fried potato spirals to steamed blood cake. through the famous tofu. The food here is surprisingly cheap by European standards.
Taipei Street Food Market
Street Food in Taipei (c) Joe Worthington
Taipei is undoubtedly one of the Asian capitals – there is even a restaurant rated 3 stars in the Michelin Guide. The Palace received 3 Michelin stars in the first year, including Taipei.
Le Palais restaurant is located in the Palais de Chine hotel and offers typical Chinese cuisine made with local ingredients. Dishes like cube-shaped beef on rice biscuits, duck and fried rice noodles are served in a museum with pottery and gold statues from around the world.
Taipei – the view
Panoramic view of Taipei 101
Scenic View of Taipei 101 (c) Joe Worthington
In Xinyi District, the imposing bamboo-style Taipei 101 (formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center) was once the tallest building in the world. Its elevator takes less than 40 seconds. The breathtaking views of Taipei and New Taipei are simply spectacular.
Tainan – former capital of Taiwan
Taiwan has been ruled by the Dutch, Spaniards and Portuguese for centuries before mainland Chinese arrived in large numbers after Chiang Kai-shek after losing the Chinese civil war against Mao Zedong and the communists. Tainan is almost a city dedicated to Chiang and his wife, Ms. Chiang.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial (c) Joe Worthington
The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial is a large white palace dedicated to everything related to the former president of Taiwan. A change of guard takes place regularly every day. Elegantly dressed Taiwanese sailors change seats after sitting quietly in front of a statue of President Chiang on podiums. This attracts the masses from all over Asia.
Inside the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
In the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall (c) Joe Worthington
Tainan is not very big, so Zeelandia Fort is not far from the city center. This former fortress of the Dutch East India Company was opened in 1634, at a time when the majority of Tainan was submerged. The fort was used to control access to trade in Asia and beyond.
Alishan – mountain retreat
You can never guess how thick the fog clouds will be in Alishan National Forests in Taiwan. Huge red and yellow cypresses, some of which are more than 10,000 years old, cast shadows on the hidden Buddhist and Taoist temples, as well as on the picturesque streams and waterfalls. A former Japanese forest train, covered with a pale green moss from the constant fog on Alishan, takes visitors through the dark woods, from Shenmu Station (sacred tree) to the mountain resort located near the Alishan Hotel House.
Misty clouds over Alishan National Forests
Fog Clouds on Alishan National Forests (c) Joe Worthington
Alishan is also known for its successive tea plantations, with cultivated teas ranging from dense green to full-bodied on the Alishan Mountains.
Where to stay
From the ultra-modern to the grand and historic, Taiwan has a wide choice of accommodation.
Home Hotel Da’an is located in the heart of the main shopping district of the Taiwanese capital, close to Taipei Subway Station. The spacious rooms feature comfortable king-size beds, designer Taiwanese furniture, large windows and a free breakfast buffet.
Tayih Landis Hotel in Tainan is a super modern hotel located in the center of Tainan, the historical capital of the past. This 5-star hotel has 315 rooms with a grand piano in the lobby and a rich breakfast buffet in the large restaurant in the basement.
Alishan House is located atop the mountains of Alishan National Forest and offers breathtaking views of endless forests and mist-covered peaks. The hotel is divided into a modern wing and a historic wing housing countless diplomats, Japanese governors and presidents from around the world.