Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies aside from reading, and nothing is more fun than reading while traveling. Traveling allows me to discover new cultures and is a way for me to visit the world. My ultimate goal is to visit all countries on the planet, and I am not quite there yet, but I have traveled to my fair share of countries. One of the places that I loved visiting and that I’ve been to twice at this point in Taiwan. Taiwan is a gem and is usually overlooked for its big sister China. I make it a point to visit Taiwan, Phuket, and Thailand whenever I travel to Southeast Asia. So, without further ado, let’s learn more about Taiwan and what you can do there.
When To Visit Taiwan?
When you tell people you are going to visit Taiwan, they usually confuse it with Thailand; this is because Americans are very self-centered and have little to nothing about the rest of the world. So let’s learn more about Taiwan, where it is situated and when the best time to visit it is? Taiwan, like Phuket, is an island off the southeastern coast of China, which is located in the Pacific Ocean. The city of Taiwan is Taipei and is the epicenter of this island nation, and is home to the future Taipei Sky Tower, which upon completion will be the third tallest skyscraper in the world. Ideally, you should visit Taiwan during the autumn and spring season. From mid-September to mid-November, the temperature is ideal for people who like warm but not too warm, and the temperature will always veer around 20°C. If you like hiking and seeing the blossoming of cherry trees, then you ought to visit Taiwan in spring. You should preferable not visit Taiwan during summer because it is Typhoon season and will most likely mean that you will be stuck in your hotel instead of visiting the country.
Your Name Engraved Herein
This famous bl (boys love) movie in 2020 is one of those beautifully filmed movies and evokes the painful reality of being queer in a religious and conservative country. The first part of the movie, which takes place as martial law, ends in the country in 1987, and the latter part of the movie, when the time skip happens, takes place in Quebec, Canada. The story follows two students, A-han (Edward Chen) and Birdy (Tseng Jing-Hua) and who they fall in love with and that society’s attitude towards queer people. This is a very raw and emotional movie that is emphasized by our protagonist’s actions. If you want to visit the country and where the film was shot, then you can visit the school on which the school of the film was based, which is the Viator catholic high school.
“So you can like girls, but I can’t like boys?
Is your love bigger than the love I give?
Tell me. What’s the difference between your love and mine? Tell me the difference!”
This is the most powerful line of the movie and is one of the several instances during this 2-hour movie that I was balling my eyes out. You can stream the movie on Netflix and is the highest-grossing queer movie in Taiwan’s history and is also the most popular Taiwanese movie in 2020. It is also the first queer movie that exceeds NT$100 million in the Taiwanese box office. Grab your box of tissue, put your PJs on and if you live with someone, grab them too and watch this movie together. Prepare for the waterworks. Mt roommate and I have watched this movie at least thrice now, and we cry like babies every time we watch it. We are also currently planning to revisit Taiwan to visit the island and take a trip to all the popular destinations where the movie was filmed.
What to do there?
Taiwan is located on top in a geologically unstable ring of fire, and one of the major upsides of this is the natural creation of hot springs on the island. It is home to one of the only accessible seawater hot springs in the world and situated on Green island off the southeast coast of Taiwan, and it is known as the Sunrise Spring. However, you don’t need to leave the island to soak in a hot spring, you can take a trek on the large island itself to Xin Beitou metro stop, and you will find a plethora of hotels and resorts which offer piped-in sulphur hot springs. If you are in the epicenter of the island, you can take a train or bus to the east coast of the island to Jiaoshi. Joshi draws people from around the country for its hot springs. The Art Spa Hotel in Jiaoshi is home to one of the town’s best public spas, has multiple hot springs, and is home to the only hot-spring waterslide in Taiwan.
Taiwan is an active center for culture and worship and is home to Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist temples. Some of the must-visit temples in the island’s capital are the Guandu and Longshan temple which both have their own metro station. In the heart of Taipei’s ultra-fashionable Ximending district, past a small gate, there lies a small but fascinatingly intriguing Tien-ho temple which is completed with the statue of Matsu. The sea goddess and ancient Chinese generals. It also has a bell tower and a small dragon-shaped pond which is home to giant carps.
To label Taiwanese food as Chinese food is an oversimplification and an exaggeration and excludes the rich history of Taiwan. It draws much of its culinary heritage from china but has its own twist to it. The best place to try Taiwanese food is the local night market which is a source of much-heated debate. Keelung Night Market, which is about an hour from Taipei, is excellent for people on a budget ad offers a wide variety of food. If you love bubble tea, then Taiwan is the place to be and is home to some of the best bubble teas in the world. As someone obsessed with bubble teas, I can tell you that you should visit Taiwan at least once in your life, even if it is only to try their bubble tea. If you like savory food then, you should try soup dumplings, oyster omelet, and beef noodles. If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you ought to try shaved ice, mung bean pastry, and pineapple shortcake.
Freedom is the oxygen of the soul, and traveling is a way to fuel my soul. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what your favorite bl series is and if you want to visit Taiwan. My personal favorites are Your Name Engraved Herein, I Told Sunset About, and Bad buddy, which is currently airing. Taiwan is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in their life because it has a rich culture and has delicious cuisine and cinema.