Let’s Travel to Taiwan: 10 Tourist Spots You Need to See
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines announced last October 2017 that the Philippines will be granted visa-free entry to Taiwan on a trial period starting November 1, 2017, and will last until July 31, 2018. It was definitely good news for us Filipinos and thirsty travelers. Taiwan is only around 2 hours away from us so why not take the chance to explore and experience new places? I definitely did.
10 Tourist Spots You Need to See:
- National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine
- Taipei 101
- Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂)
- Longshan temple
- Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園)
- Shifen Old Streets (十分老街) – Sky Lantern
- Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村)
- Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) – Ropeway/Cable Car
- Ita Thao Shopping Street
- Ximending Youth Shopping District (西門町)
1. National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine
This shrine is home to around 390,000 spirit tablets in honor of the Kuomintang soldiers who gave their lives during the Chinese Civil War. It is guarded by active ROC military personnel and the changing of the guards at the front gate every top of the hour (until 5PM) is the highlight for tourists to see. Also make sure to explore the shrine and appreciate the architecture. 😉
2. Taipei 101
No doubt it is the most famous landmark of Taiwan. Such an architectural wonder! There are shops inside the 101 Mall and you can also go to the observation deck (tickets need to be purchased) but we didn’t have time to explore some more. Maybe next time~. Admiring it from afar and below is already an amazing experience.
3. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂)
Said as the most important historical landmark in Taiwan, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was built to honor Chiang Kai-shek, a military and political leader, and former President of the Republic of China. The main hall houses a large bronze statue of Chiang. Inside the large complex, you can also walk around the garden and see the National Concert Hall and National Theater.
4. Longshan Temple
Longshan Temple is the most famous temple in Taiwan. When I entered, there were students having a tour and throwing moon blocks or Jiaobei – a divination tool which originated in China that people throw to answer yes or no questions. It was fascinating to watch their reactions when getting a yes or a no to questions I will never know.
5. Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園)
What you are seeing isn’t man-made. These are natural geological formations formed in a span of thousands of years. It’s really amazing how these were shaped naturally and looking similar to actual things/beings. The most popular formation is the Queen’s Head but I’m personally fond of the Fairy’s Shoe. According to a legend, it was left by a fairy who came down to tame a naughty turtle elf.
6. Shifen Old Streets (十分老街) – Sky Lantern
You could see a glimpse of old Taiwan and its history in this spot. The train station was used during the Japanese era to transport coal but it’s now a nice addition to the scenery when releasing sky lanterns. It is a must-try for tourists and it was fun writing my wishes on the lantern. There are also souvenir shops in the area selling mostly mini lanterns with wishes printed on them (for good health, studies, friendship, etc.) and delicacies.
7. Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村)
This can take up half or your entire day because there’s lots see! You can walk around to see Taiwanese tribal lifestyle and watch traditional dance performances by actual native aborigines. Take a look at the structure of houses and relax with the nature surrounding you. Be prepared and have the energy to walk, walk and walk.
8. Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) – Ropeway/Cable Car
From the culture village, you need to ride the ropeway to get to Sun Moon Lake. We also rode a yacht and an actual native was explaining things to tourists about the aborigines in Taiwan.
9. Ita Thao Shopping Street
Just across Sun Moon Lake, you’ll be greeted by streets leading to different food stalls, specialty shops, and cafes. We tried ice cream infused with tea and seaweed and shrimp cracklings (kinda like chicharon here) which I regret not buying more. I also failed to take photos because we were too busy munching away!
10. Ximending Youth Shopping District (西門町)
This is the place I would definitely keep coming back to. Ximending is dubbed as the “Harajuku of Taipei” due to its Japanese roots and being founded during the Japanese colonization. It has grown into a cultural icon and popular especially to the youth. Our time here was limited but I made sure to get all the things I
wanted needed. I was lucky to find loads of Gudetama items here that I’ve been looking for since God knows when.
There you have it! I hope you got some ideas for your itinerary. Traveling to Taiwan for us Filipinos has been made much easier thanks to Taiwan’s efforts in enhancing tourism, economic, and cultural exchanges between us. There is still much to see and experience in this nation but I already brought back plenty of memories to share. Looking forward to the next one!
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