Taiwan was never on our original ‘to-do’ list of countries to visit but a recommendation from Hiro (one of our Couchsurfing hosts in Japan) got us thinking that perhaps we should go take a look…

After visiting Japan we had to briefly go to Hong Kong to get a second visa to allow us to return to China and it turned out that flights to Taipei were super cheap so a 2 week detour to Taiwan was on the cards! We flew from Hong Kong to Taipei for a 2 night stay then headed down the east coast to Hualien and a visit to Taroko National Park. From there we headed further south to Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung before returning to Taipei for a couple more days before heading back to China.

So what did we think of Taiwan?… We absolutely loved it!… Maerii said it reminded her of Hong Kong 15 years ago with loads of great bargain shopping (trust her to pick up on shopping!) and amazing night markets with all kinds of delicious food to stuff our faces with! There was a definite Japanese influence (Japan used to rule Taiwan) and I’d go as far as to say that Taiwan is a mix of the best of China combined with some great Japanese elements for good measure!

We had an amazing time and here are just a few of the highlights…

Taiwan night marketThe night markets were definitely the culinary highlight of our Taiwan trip! Crazy busy, bustling with locals and tourists and packed with dozens of delicious food stalls. We found ourselves stuffing our faces at several different markets during the course of the trip sampling fried chicken as big as your face & numerous yummiest things on sticks!!

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Our ‘outdoors’ highlight was definitely a visit to the gorgeous Taroko Gorge situated in the national park. We hiked along several stunning trails and thanks to some local knowledge gained the night before we found the natural hot springs right on the edge of the river running through the gorge. Well hidden and probably not the safest place to bathe but an amazing experience all the same!

20121216-190219.jpgOur two weeks in Taiwan flew by in no time at all but you can view the rest of our photos including some interesting artwork, a Lego sculpture exhibition & a sex shop with real pussy in the window (honest!) either on our photos page or via our Hobohop Facebook page.

Next up will be an update about our time in South China and Hong Kong so please check back soon!

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