24 June 2017

6 Beautiful Places You Have To Visit in Taiwan

Prepare to have your breath taken away.
________

Prepare to be surprised, in the best possible way, of course. This month, Brad and I had the privilege to swap winter in Perth for summer in Taiwan, and we couldn't scream say "yes!" soon enough.

What you may not know about this up-and-coming destination is that there's more to the island nation than a booming industrial and  technological industry. While the west coast plays home to a huge percentage of the population, the east coast remains a pristine paradise bordered by the mountain ranges on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

So, today I'm going to be sharing with you six beautiful places you have to experience for yourself in Taiwan. Trust me when I say, it will take your breath away, just like it did ours.

1. Taipei 101


It may not be on the east coast, but if you're flying to Taiwan, then chances are your first point of contact will be the bustling city of Taipei. If you don't have a lot of time in in the city, then I suggest you make some or head straight to Taipei 101 for a full cosmopolitan experience.

Begin your Taipei 101 adventure by refuelling at Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese classic. Trust me when I say, it is worth the wait. Order a table full of dumplings (the pork and chive xiao long bao, and spicey wontons are my personal favourites), and watch the highly skilful and efficient chefs meticulously fill, fold and steam them as you wait.

If you're able to move afterwards, then congratulations you really must travel up to the 89th floor of Taipei 101, the iconic bamboo-inspired super skyscraper (it was the tallest in the world from 2004 to 2009!). Unfortunately for us, the weather can change within the matter of minutes in Taiwan, and while there were blue skies when we entered the building, there was thunder and lightening when we reached the top. And despite the rain streaming down the 89th floor windows, the 360° view across buzzing Taipei was truly magnificent.

I'm wearing: [Below.] Elliatt cold shoulder dress, Lack of Color straw boater hat, black circle bag and Wanted mule slides.

2. Taroko National Park


If there's one place you simply have to experience at least once in your life, it's the Taroko National Park. It spans from seaside cliffs in its east to a dense mountain range in its west, and it will do nothing less than amaze you with its serene beauty.

I'll admit, Taroko is not for the faint of heart. The narrow, winding roads through the mountains littered with past landslides, some months, some days old, are only a stark reminder of the incredible force of nature. But it is worth every heart pounding moment. You'll be pinching yourself in disbelief over the magnificent views, the sporadic waterfalls and endless mountain tunnels.

After indulging in traditional aboriginal delicacies, we hiked along the Taroko Gorge, an extraordinary marble-lined canyon with the Liwu River and its crystal blue water cutting through its centre. It was well worth battling the hot and humid weather to see one of Taiwan's most famous natural locations.

By far, one of our favourite experiences throughout the entire trip (actually, of my life) was waking up at 2:30AM. Okay, well, maybe not the early morning part, but it was what came after that was a moment I will never forget.

We found ourselves travelling at night to a coastal town in Hualien, where we launched kayaks from the beach as the sun rose. The pink and orange sky reflected on the glassy Pacific Ocean, creating the most magical scene as we paddled along the coastline. The looming shadows overhead to our left transformed into sheer cliffs and mountainsides climbing out of the ocean as the light of day greeted us.

Needless to say, it was pure bliss. Rocking gently with the swell on the edge of the Pacific Ocean on a tiny kayak with Brad, surrounded by beauty too magnificent to be real, was a bucket list moment I didn't know I needed to tick off. And now you know.

I'm wearing: [Right.] White off-the-shoulder dress, Lack of Color straw boater hat, 3.1 Phillip Lim cross body bag from Shopbop, Ray-Ban round sunglasses and Rochessa slides.

3. The hot springs


As it turns out, enjoying hot springs is just as popular in Taiwan as it is in neighbouring Japan, and we most certainly weren't complaining. My goodness, how I love to soak in a tub!

Many of the hotels we stayed at during our tour featured suites with their own private hot spring baths, as well as outdoor pools. I can tell you now, there is nothing more rewarding than sinking into  your very own private hot spring after a long day of travelling, hiking and sightseeing, even if just for a moment.

Our favourite by far was Hotel Royal in Chiao Hsi, strategically positioned within the  incredibly beautiful Yihan hills. Our suite at the Japanese inspired five-star retreat featured a wooden onsen style hot spring, complete with the most picturesque view over the luscious green hills beyond. It simply took my breath away.

Truth be told, I could've spent a whole week there taking a breath from the busyness of modern life, immersing myself in nature and rejuvenating. One can only wish!

Needless to say, it would be a crime to visit Taiwan without experiencing their hot springs. Sit back, relax and breathe. How often do you get to do that?

I'm wearing: White off-the-shoulder dress, Lack of Color straw boater hat3.1 Phillip Lim bag from ShopbopRay-Ban round sunglasses, Cluse watch and Rochessa slides.









4. Tea Plantations


I'll admit, we didn't quite know what to expect from our visit to the tea plantation region in Hualien, but as it turns out, it ended up being one of our favourite experiences during our trip to Taiwan.

When we arrived at the Ji Lin Tea Plantation, we had the honour of learning about their nurturing process of organic tea making, from the growing of the plants to the fermentation of the leaves and beyond.

The amount of work, time, passion and love that goes into making something that we more than likely take for granted in our everyday lives was a true privilege. I can honestly say that every time I enjoy a cuppa, I'll remember the experience and take the time to appreciate every mouthful.

After our personal tour, we sat down amongst two friendly cats (I was in my element!) at the Ji Lin Tea Plantation cafe and chatted over the most delicious tea I've ever had in my life. The special honey tea, infamous in the region, even turned Brad into a tea lover, a miracle in itself! And then came the sorbet. Oh, the sorbet. It was 100% fresh mango sorbet and it was YUM! There's simply no other way to describe it.

Regardless of whether you're a tea drinker or not, you really must pay the tea plantations a visit during your tours in Taiwan. And all this coming from a cappuccino addict! Enough said.

I'm wearing: [Below.] Shona Joy off-the-shoulder dress, Ray-Ban round sunglasses, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag from Shopbop and Nude Footwear sandals.


5. The Taitung Coastline


If it's blue skies and sunshine, clear turquoise water and surf, and breathtakingly magnificent coastal views, then the coastline in Taitung is not to be missed. One thing is for sure, I've never seen anything quite like it before.

The unique coastline features pebbled beaches, a concept that is somewhat foreign to us Aussies (our local beach at home is white sand, so it was quite the contrast), unique rock formations that have been moulded by the often extreme weather the region experiences, and Asian structures that attract thousands upon thousands of tourists every single year.

Our first stop during our time along the coast was the Stone Umbrella lookout, which is a rock formation that kind of looks like, you guessed it, an umbrella. To be honest, it resembled more of a mushroom to us, but hey, whatever floats your boat! We were simply blown away by the stunning view atop the cliffs, looking out across the Pacific Ocean.

Then, we visited Sanxiantai, however sadly we couldn't explore the small island as the bridge was closed for construction. The bridge itself is an eye-catching eight arch walkway and was magnificent in itself.

As soon as we decided it was too hot to explore further, we retreated to a cute beachside cafe for cold drinks and a traditional Taiwanese lunch, overlooking the beach. Now this is how you spend a relaxed day on the coast!

I'm wearing: [Above.] Rails LA shirt, MLM white shorts, Lack of Color straw boater hat, Ray-Ban hexagonal sunglasses, circle bag, Cluse watch, gold rings and Rochessa slides.


6. Rice Fields


Of course, I had to save the best for last! Just kidding. How could I possibly choose just one favourite? Although, visiting the famous rice fields in ChihShang was truly a spectacular experience.

After filling up on the most delicious tofu that we had the chance to actually make ourselves (why did nobody tell us how delectable tofu could be?!), we hired an electric buggy and, before long, found ourselves surrounded by rice fields in every direction. Also known as Mr. Brown Avenue, the area is situated smack bang in the middle of the two mountain ranges, which creates some of the most beautiful scenery.

And yes, I did say 'electric' buggy. While you can hire bicycles to ride around in the vehicle free rice paddies, it was simply too hot and humid on this particular day. Plus, it was kind of hilarious riding around in our brightly saturated buggy. Oh, how I can't wait to show you the video of it soon! Riding along the 'green road of paradise' was something we'll never forget, surrounded by an endless sea of green with the mountains in the background. Wow, wow, wow.

Want to see more of Taiwan? We're releasing our travel vlog very soon! Make sure you subscribe to the Lion in the Wild YouTube channel to see it first!

I'm wearing: [Right.] Elliatt printed dress, Lack of Color straw boater hat, Ray-Ban round sunglasses, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag and Rag & Bone espadrille sneakers.

Follow




17 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous trip, you two are so cute together, very picturesque! I love the first two dresses you wore so much! Xx

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Tea Plantations would be where I'd head to first! I love the black and white dress you wore there!

    Sharni // A Girl & Grey

    ReplyDelete
  3. These photos are just amazing! I would love to visit one day!

    Kirsty xx | kirstyeelizabeth.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. All these photos are so beautiful!!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic time. Your pictures are really great.
    I love this post.
    Have a nice day
    Ela
    www.themomentsbyela.pl

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Have never known that Taiwan is this beautiful. Its a place worthy visiting

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great tips - noted! I'd love to go to Taiwan at some point it looks so beautiful!

    www.elleisforlove.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. The National Park looks incredible, the clouds/smog with all the greenery is giving me movie vibes for sure. King Kong? Jurassic Park? I don't know, something like that. The coastline really surprised me to see as well, I don't know why but I didn't expect that water to be so blue!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, I'd love to go to Taiwan!

    Jill
    http://www.jilldap.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh this national park is my favorite! beautiful photos!!
    btw could you show us your hat collection in any post, please?

    xo Honey - blog Royal Lifestyle - Twitter - Instagram

    ReplyDelete
  11. wow You look so fantastic
    PC Review - Computer News and Reviews Pcreview.co.uk

    Thomas Cook | Package Holidays, Hotels and Flights, Cheap holidays Thomascook.com

    Top Eleven - Be a Football (Soccer) Manager Topeleven.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks a lot for that post it was really helpful.
    โคนัน

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for your sharing! I really like to read it,So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject .
    abcya |abcya 7 | brainpop

    ReplyDelete

Your comments, questions and feedback truly make Lion in the Wild (and my day!). xx