BEITOU HOT SPRINGS MUSEUM :
Reminiscent of an era long gone, the Beitou Hot Springs
Museum located in Taipei City used to be a public bath
house during the Japanese Imperial Rule. Now, the
structure displays old clothing and accessories and even
serves meals to those that wish to dine, Japanese style.
SHILIN NIGHT MARKET :
The city comes alive within the maze of alleyways that are
full of local food and quirky shopping. Dig into a variety
of Taiwan’s traditional food such as oyster omelettes, fried
buns and bubble tea that can be bought at reasonable prices.
Tip : While the people of this country are incredibly polite
and nice, keep track of your phone and wallet. Also, dig in
to your haggling skills and get the best price possible!
THERMAL VALLEY :
Thick sulphuric steam blankets this valley to give it local
nicknames such as ‘The Ghost Lake’. Reaching a top
temperature of 100 °C and rich in sulphur, the Japanese
believed that the hot springs could heal a variety of physical
pains. The locals, on the other hand, used the heat to boil
eggs but this practice was banned to keep them from
Tip : The high sulphur content does not make the trip a
good experience for the olfactory.
Tip : Don’t take a dip in the valley but find your way to a hot
spring resort and soak in the warm water. It will leave you
relaxed and rejuvenated.
TAIPEI 101 :
The best part about being on top of the world is getting
to look down in awe. But the best part of being on top of
Taipei 101, is taking in the city of contrasts. Mountains,
lakes and rivers live alongside malls, towers and temples in a
synergy that is cathartic and complete.
Tip : Keep an eye out for those doing Tai Chi in front of
KAOHSIUNG LOVE RIVER CRUISE :
Named the ‘Love River’ for the lovers that
jumped to their death in this body of water,
the river lost it’s charm during the 70’s when
the industrialisation of the city caused the
river to become a dumping ground. Decades
of clean up drives and numerous politicians
jumping in to prove how sanitary it is, has
restored the river to its former glory.
SUN MOON LAKE :
Situated in the Nantou district and home to the Thao tribe,
one of the 16 remaining aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, the
Sun Moon Lake must be explored from every angle and as
many times as possible. You can take a cruise on the lake,
hike and cycle around it or, if you’re feeling adventurous,
cable car across it.
Tip: Forget a good night’s rest while at the lake. Take a
walk down to the pier, sit back and look on in wonder
at the countless stars in the sky. We promise, you would
have never seen that many before.
Tip: Stalls selling fresh fruit are on the pier so dig in to
the custard apple, star fruit, watermelon and mango.
SCENIC AREA :
Located in the Kaohsiung
County, the majority of
the people that reside in
the Maolin area are
from the Rukai Tribe.
The area is known
to be the home of the
Purple Butterfly between
the months of November
and March. Pick a
route and take a hike
or go cycling through
I was just about done with one issue of Femina ME and was considering my options for the next when the Taiwan Tourism Bureau came knocking on our door. There I was, on one hand, frantically working to send the magazine to print and on the other, packing a bag to visit a land I knew nothing about. What followed was an experience that filled my soul with joy- Sharon Carvalho
Taiwan is one of those places that sways to it’s own beat. It is a peaceful lull that sets you at ease and nudges you to explore. It tempts you with long winding roads, serene greenery and the bluest skies. It also comforts you with some of the nicest strangers you will ever meet. It has fallen into
the hands of the Dutch, the Spanish and the Japanese. It has faced torrential typhoons, horrifying earthquakes and catastrophic floods. And yet, it is beautiful. Taiwan can only be described as such, a beautiful land full of breathtaking juxtapositions.
• Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have direct flights to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
• The high-speed train that connects numerous cities within the country is an effective way to travel.
• Local buses can take you to your local destination at almost any time of the day. We saw them on the road at 3am!
• Taxi drivers are a blessing in this country. All you have to do is find the location on your phone, show it to them and voila! You’ve reached your destination!
• A seven day SIM card with unlimited 3G data will cost you NT$ 500 (AED 62.5). The card comes loaded with NT$ 1500 (AED 187.5) to make phone calls but we suggest saving that for emergencies as international calls to the UAE cost a pretty penny.
• AED 1 equals NT$ 8.5 (approx.)
• Be adventurous. The food may look questionable but is, ultimately, delicious.
• The country and its people are very hygienic so do not worry about the sanitary conditions of the street food.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY: SHARON CARVALHO