Justins World

Thanks Taiwan

I wasn’t sure if I’d write another post about Taiwan, but here I am, writing one final post. So I finally caught the Taiwan High Speed Rail. Same price as the Canberra to Sydney train I’ve caught many times, same distance as the Canberra to Sydney train. Yet only 1 1/2 hours flying through the countryside vs you guessed it the over 4 hours on the Canberra to Sydney train. All the trains and public transport in Taiwan have been incredibly efficient and actually quite cheap. I don’t think the government runs it to make a profit but as a service for the people to use (hint hint other governments). Food and public transit are mostly quite affordable here. Want a new pair of brand name shoes, you’ll pay the same price as most of the world, same for electronics, there are no bargains here and even rent is not cheap but more affordable back home.

I did do one last thing in Taipei though. I intended to do this on my first day, but the early arrival and my sore feet from that first day and I put it off. It was for the best because two weeks of climbing stairs in Taiwan trained me for the challenge of Xiangshan or Elephants Peak. It was a 500m trail in length…. but climbed about 150m and it was all stairs. I reckon about 3 stairs a metre so well over 1500 steps. Of course local fitness fanastics jog on this trail, but everyone else struggles up this steep staircase. Was it worth it? Yes it was the views of Taipei and Taipei 101 were amazing. There are even more trails to continue on exploring this peak, but i timed it for sunset, along with the rest of Taipei.

So was it worth coming to Taiwan? Most definitely, easy to get around, cheap and tasty food, accomodation is decent, toilets wash your backside for you, the cities are vibrant and the nature is even better. English is spoken widely enough that for most people you’ll have no problems, there is a distinct lack of western travellers here though, which for me was fine and it means more people should come and visit the place. I did 2 weeks and did a lap around the island, but a week spending at least 2 nights in Hualien to visit Taroko Gorge, is perfectly good amount of time. You can even do it on the way to Japan, South Korea, China or Hong Kong. Thanks Taiwan, you lived up to my expectations!

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