Hello friends. I hope each one had a lovely weekend. After a relaxed weekend, its back to the grind of daily routine called "Work". There is one reason I looked forward to this Monday though..... you guessed it right.... the pleasure of getting to read some great blogs!!!
My topic for T is a short post about my trip to the wonderful country TAIWAN. Taiwan is a small, beautiful island to the east of the Chinese Mainland. Although it is not a very big country as far as total area goes (35,883 km2 or 13,855 sq mi), the natural beauty of this country really left us awestruck. We chose to take a 5-day guided tour of the island as we found it convenient, but one can choose to tour on their own too as the transport facilities are pretty good. The best time to visit Taiwan is between February to April, which is spring season there. Although Taiwan has much more to offer than what i can cover here, I will give just a few glimpses of this mesmerizing country.
DAY 1 : TAIPEI
We landed at the Taoyuan International airport and checked into our hotel in Taipei, the capital city. After that, we were taken on a city tour which included the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101(tallest building in Taiwan) and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial hall. Taipei is a bustling metropolis and also has a lot of places to offer for shopping. it has one of the largest night markets in Taiwan, the Shilin Night Market. One can also try the street food here, the variety is mind blowing!!
DAY 2 : SUN MOON LAKE
|Sun moon lake & Wen Wu temple|
It is the largest lake in Taiwan. The east part looks like the sun while the western part resembles the moon. Hence the name. It is surrounded by hills which have plenty trails you can explore. Other places of interest are the Wen Wu temple And Ci En Pagoda. The Wen Wu temple is dedicated to Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, teacher who is respected as the God of knowledge.
DAY 3 : KAOHSIUNG
|Love river promenade|
Kaohsiung is another big city in Taiwan. It lies on the southern side of the country. The main attraction here is the Love River with its scenic promenade. One can spend a lovely evening here sipping coffee and just watching the river flow with all its serenity. The other attractions here are the Lotus Pond and two pagodas that stand tall on it. The unique feature about these were the entrance and exit. The entrance was through the mouth of a Dragon and exit through a Tiger. It signifies entering good(dragon) and defeating the Evil(Tiger).
|Lotus pond, Fo Guang Shan, Temple|
We also got to visit the Fo Guang Shan buddhist monastery which is the headquarters of the Chinese Buddhist Religious Society. It is extremely vast and peaceful. The main attractions here are the huge statue of Buddha at the centre of the monastery and the Vegetarian Buffet Lunch at the restaurant, which is prepared by the monks. We also visited a temple which was devastated during the 1999 earthquake.
DAY 4 : KENTING NATIONAL PARK
|Cat Rock, Nixon Rock & Aboriginal show|
DAY 5 : HUALIEN and TAROKO GORGE
The Hualien shore also boasts of breathtaking views of rock formations made by constant currents from the ocean. From there we proceeded to Taroko Gorge which situated on the Eastern side of Taiwan. This region frequently bears the brunt of natural calamities like earthquakes and typhoons and therefore is sparsely populated. But the beauty of the Taroko gorge and its natural Trails make the stay here worthwhile.
|Trails in Taroko Gorge|
Finally, after 5 days of all this excitement, we returned to Taipei at the conclusion of this tour. As my husband was staying in Taiwan for a fellowship, we decided to stay back for a few days in Taichung. There we visited a few places of interest around Taichung. The place which touched me the most was The Earthquake Museum. This was a school which was totally destroyed in the 1999 ChiChi earthquake. It has been preserved as a reminder of the horrifying night which took Taiwan by shock in the middle of that ill-fated night of 21/9/1999. Just watching the remains sent chills down my spine.
|Mango desert & Icecream!!!|
Other than that, we visited the Museum of Natural History and Night markets to taste the Taiwanese fare. We specially loved the Mango desert made from fresh mangoes.
|Natural history museum, Taichung|
All I came back with was some happy and loving memories!!! Do visit this country if you can. I will surely do so again sometime, as there is so much more to discover!!!
--------------By MocktailMommy Prasanna