Taiwan: an idyllic country to visit

Taiwan is a beautiful country and offers many exciting options for travelers. The country is gradually becoming popular among international travelers including Indians.

With an aim to promote and popularize Taiwan’s tourist destinations in India, China Airlines (CAL), the flag carrier of Taiwan, recently organized a familiarization trip to Taiwan for a group of travel professionals from India. I was also part of the trip. It was a pleasant and superb experience to fly in the National Carrier of Taiwan. Right from boarding the flight in Delhi to deboarding in Taipei Airport, we were taken care of with utmost warmth and hospitality.

On the first day of the trip in Taiwan, China Airlines conducted a B2B workshop in hotel Howard Taipei for the visiting group at hotel Howard Taipei, where the group interacted with the local travel agents and tour operators. The both sides had a very productive meeting. On the same day, the group reached Taroko National Park located in Hualien County. On the way to Taroko National Park, we enjoyed sightseeing which included beautiful river, mountains and waterfalls. We stopped and walked along the way to experience awesome views at Swallow’s Grotto also known as Yanzihkou. Stone structure along the Liwu River was spectacular.

After this amazing expiring on our first day, we checked in hotel Silk Place Taroko in the evening. Away from the city center and deep in the mountain, Silks Place Taroko is the mountainside hotel located in Hualien County. It is the only 5-star hotel within the Taroko National Park. At the hotel after having dinner, we enjoyed a very colorful cultural evening.

Hualien County has the largest county of Taiwan in area. It is located on the country’s mountainous eastern coast. Hualien County boasts many natural tourist attractions, museums, historical buildings, temples and shrines and theme parks, which include the famous Taroko National Park named after the Taroko Gorge, its landmark gorge. Sights in the park include Tunnel of Nine Turns, Eternal Spring Shrine also known as Changchun Shrine, Yentzihkou also called Swallow Grotto and Tienhsyang. The next day we saw Tianxiang (Tianhsiang), a river terrace in the Taroko National Park. Being located at the center of the Taroko Gorge, Tianxiang holds fascinating geographical landscapes. Its pleasant climate makes it a favorite scenic area for travelers visiting the Taroko National Park. Another landmark attraction in Taroko National Park, we visited was Changchun Shrine, which is a shrine complex in near Xiulin town. It is one of the major picturesque points of the park, with the view of the mountains and the waterfall, and one of the main memorials for veterans. Trekking the Shakadang trail was another amazing experience.

After such an amazing experience, we returned to Taipei in the evening. The next day we visited Taipei 101 Observatory, which is located in close proximity to the Taipei World Trade Center. As the name suggests, this super-tall tower has 101 floors. Visitors can go up to 91 floors. The tower gives an amazing panoramic view of Taipei city. Taipei 101 Observatory was built in five years and become ready in 2004.

We had a lavish lunch at Khana Khazana, a restaurant of Indian cuisines in Taipei. Food was very delicious and of good quality. The restaurant is very well located and walking distance from the Taipei 101 Observatory. The city has a many Indian restaurants, which offer a variety of Indian foods. After that we went for shopping for an hour. Taipei is a wonderful city for shopping for variety of goods such as electronic, cloths etc, but you must bargain for good price. Then we left for Beitou Hot Spring Museum, where we saw the museums and had Hot Spring Experience at Atami Hotel. The Beitou Hot Spring Museum is located in Beitou District, Taipei. The museum has a victorian-style building built with red bricks and wooden weatherboards. The museum building was originally built in 1913 during the Japanese rule of Taiwan as Beitou Public Bathhouse, the largest bathhouse in East Asia at that time. However, the building went through many changes in later years once Japanese left the rein of Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior designated the building as a class 3 historical site in February 1995. In 1998, the building was renovated and opened as Beitou Hot Spring Museum.

On the fourth day of our visit, we went to Taoyuan and checked in The Westin Tashee Resort, an excellent resort to stay. In the evening, we went to see the inauguration of colorful Taiwan Lantern Festival at Taoyuan, which has become an annual popular festival in Taiwan that attracts tourists from across the world. Taiwan Lantern Festival 2016 celebrated the Year of the Monkey under the theme ‘Golden Monkey Offering Peaches.’ An interesting and fascinating experience was that of visiting Sun Moon Lake just before the day we returned from Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake is the largest body of water in Taiwan and a renowned tourist attraction worldwide. The lake is located in Yuchi Township in Nantou County. We visited Sun Moon Lake Visitor Center and experienced Cruise in Sun Moon Lake. We also enjoyed ride in cable car and visited Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village near Sun Moon Lake.

The island nation has every tourist delight: from natural beauty such as mountains, rivers, national parks, lakes, beaches and wildlife to historical heritages such as palaces, monuments and museums. The country represents a magnificent blend of modernity and traditions. It has a very robust transport infrastructure. Taiwan is also a popular shopping destination. Gradually, Taiwan is becoming a popular tourist destination. The country boasts of everything that a tourist can expect from a tourist destination. In all we spent seven days in Taiwan and our group had a lot of fun there.

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