travel taiwan and taiwan food

We recently wrote about how much we love Japan. And we do. But perhaps one of the most surprising occurrences during our travels was when we realized just how much Taiwan had wormed its way into our hearts and made us fall totally in love with it – more than any other country we’ve yet to visit.

How Taiwan Stole Our Hearts

We hadn’t planned to visit Taiwan. In fact, we were supposed to fly from Toronto to Vietnam with a short layover in Taipei, but when a series of events added up, we made the decision to stay in Taipei instead of boarding our connecting flight to Ho Chi Minh.

We had no clue what to expect. We hadn’t researched the country and we had barely read or seen any travel blog posts or videos on it but we were cautiously optimistic. With two months in the country, we certainly hoped it would be a place we would enjoy and since we are usually good at finding the positive in most situations, we weren’t overly concerned.

travel taiwan hiking jiufen

What we found over the two months in Taiwan was more than we could’ve expected. In fact, before we left, we actually contemplated returning to Taiwan and living there for a while – we still bring it up occasionally.

From Taipei in the north to Kenting in the south, and back again, we explored the country, immersed ourselves in the culture, stumbled our way through the language and enjoyed some of the most amazing food.

The Beauty Of Taiwan: A Video Montage

When we left Taiwan we left a piece of ourselves behind and so we wanted to show a bit of our journey through this incredible country and share some of the many moments we cherish from our time there.

So What Is It About Taiwan?

It is a country of incredibly generous people who invited us into their homes and families, and ultimately found their way into our hearts. With each new place we visited we found people who would go out of their way to help us find ours, small family restaurant owners who would bring us a “special dish” to make us feel welcome, people who would always try and help us overcome the language barrier, and a country full of smiles for us foreigners, with no price tag attached.

We spent a week with our friend’s family celebrating Chinese New Year and found ourselves warmly embraced into the fold. Yes, everywhere we went it seemed as though there was an abundance kindness and generosity.

taiwan food candied fruit and why we love taiwan

 

It is also a country with incredible natural beauty from the rugged coastal regions, to the beautiful outlying islands and the incredibly varied inland sights like mountains, forests, gorges, and natural springs. We hiked up mountains for stunning views over villages below, visited tea plantations, walked along the sandy shores of the southern beaches, and motorbiked through national parks overlooking incredible coastal landscapes.

We explored the cities, walking what seemed like every inch of Taipei, visiting night markets, temples, memorials, and making friends with locals and expats alike.

We made such strong connections and so many wonderful memories that it’s hard to think we may not be back there for quite some time. Taiwan will always have a place in our hearts and you’ll be sure, when we get the chance to return, it won’t just be because we happened to decide to stay at our layover destination.

 

Have you found a place that grabbed hold of your heart while travelling? Comment below and tell us about it!

29 replies
  1. Erika
    Erika says:

    Isn’t it wonderful when you find a place that grabs you like that? I felt that way with Lake Malawi. Originally, my friends and I had just thought it would be a nice pit stop on our travels through southern Africa, but we soon realized that we could have stayed for weeks. And we probably would have, had it not been for the fact that we needed to return to work! I think expectations can really get in the way of enjoying places, so I’m trying to go into every trip with as few expectations as possible. I find that I’m pleasantly surprised most of the time.
    Erika recently posted…Driving around TahitiMy Profile

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    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Now we absolutely have to put Lake Malawi on our list! Expectations do seem to get in the way of enjoying places. We’ve had that happen several times and also try and start off with little to no expectations.

      Reply
  2. Duke Stewart
    Duke Stewart says:

    Loved this post for so many reasons not only because it’s of Taiwan, but also because of the question you pose at the end. Taiwan is starting to become a favorite of people I know who move on from Korea for a multitude of reasons, with the awesome food being up there. I’m really shooting myself in the foot for never visiting and hope I get the chance someday.

    Sidenote: They still have Family Mart! Sorely missed here in Korea, where they changed over to CU. Not as good in my opinion.

    Regarding your question at the end, my wife might have a different answer but my heart belongs to either Siem Reap or Bohol. Both were amazing in their own ways, as you probably already know. Can’t remember if you’d visited both but yeah, awesome stuff. The latter one was our most recent trip and there’s really not much I can complain about, other than the weather being too awesome? Sorry but I really can’t find anything wrong with our time there, haha.

    Thanks so much for sharing this and for the thought provoking question there at the end. It makes me want to visit Taiwan and to revisit those other two I mentioned before. Take care you two! Hope to run into you in the Seoul area in the near future!
    Duke Stewart recently posted…Why I’m Writing – Life Through TravelMy Profile

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    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      It is so amazing when you find those places that steal your heart and leave only amazing memories! While we love every place we visit for different reasons, there’s always those rare destinations that absolutely take hold of your heart! So glad you’ve found some of your own! p.s. We miss Family Mart as well! They were our saved us many a day from being “hangry” in Taiwan and in Japan!

      Reply
  3. Sand In My Suitcase
    Sand In My Suitcase says:

    It’s funny, isn’t it, how some places you have low expectations of turn out to be some of the most memorable (in a good way!). Our visits to Taiwan have only been 3- to 4-hour jetlagged layovers in the Taipei airport. But we plan to fix that some day – and spent some time actually visiting the country. We’ve only heard good things about Taiwan, now bolstered by your post :-).
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted…Ooh La La! Going French for the day with Ponant CruisesMy Profile

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    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      Oh man will you have an amazing culinary experience in Taiwan if you love xiao long bao!! We had some of the best soup dumplings at small local restaurants and night market stalls! Though, we had amazing food everywhere we went!

      Reply
    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      We love that feeling when we think back to Taiwan. Now, there’s a chance we’ll find somewhere that gives us a similar feeling, but right now, and in all the places we’ve travelled in Asia? Taiwan is it!

      Reply
  4. Gabby @ theglobewanderers.com
    Gabby @ theglobewanderers.com says:

    Wow – you’ve definitely sold it to us guys. Taiwan sounds like our kind of place. Any place that tugs on your heart strings with its delicious food and wonderful people is a go’er in our books. Great video also… we’ve recently invested in a GoPro and are determined to start making travel videos. Watch this space ;).

    We have a bit of a love affair like this going on with Mykonos. We’ve only been there once, but were absolutely balled over by the beauty of the town and the nature of the people. So much so that we’ve just booked to return again this year! (As any traveller with a full time job will know, choosing to use your precious annual leave to REvisit a place is the highest of compliments!) Thanks for the great post :).

    Gabby
    Gabby @ theglobewanderers.com recently posted…A Weekend in Paris is Always a Good IdeaMy Profile

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  5. Natalie Deduck
    Natalie Deduck says:

    Thanks for sharing it! Taiwan wasn’t on our travel bucket list, but in just one month you are the third couple that talks about the country with so passion. Love it!! Definitely will put Taiwan on our travel radar!!
    It´s great to know that the unexpected turned out to be a amazing experience!
    Cheers,

    Nat
    Natalie Deduck recently posted…How Much does it Cost to Travel in Spain?My Profile

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    • onemoderncouple
      onemoderncouple says:

      It’s definitely a great place to go if you get the chance! There seems to be more and more promotion of tourism there so we’ve been hearing more about it lately as well! Always positive too!

      Reply
  6. Gemma Two Scots Abroad
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad says:

    It looks like you had a lot of fun! Colombia stole our hearts. Have you been? It wasn’t even on our itinerary but others encouraged us to go and we’re so glad we did. Such a beautiful country, not too touristy and a very recent history that they are progressing from. Amazing to experience.
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted…Whale of a Time at Pender HarbourMy Profile

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