Arts / Chinese Lanterns / Culture / Drawing/Painting / Festivals / Film/Cinema / Getting Around / Hikes/Trails / History / Hot Springs / Jiaoxi / Jiufen / Luodong / Parks / Pinglin / Pingxi / Taipei / Taiwan / Taroko / Tea / Temples / Wulai / Yilan

Time just rolling by… A Taiwan To-Do List!

After 6 months abroad, Luke and I have made a good dent in our exploration of Taiwan. We’ve hiked Taroko’s majestic gorges, once on death-defying scooter-back along the East Coast Mountain Highway, eaten sticky bamboo rice in the aboriginal Wulai, bathed in Jiaoxi’s hotsprings, released sky lanterns at Pingxi festival, ambled Daxi in the west, braved Taipei’s Ximending district, trekked the Caoling Historical Trail, lost ourselves in the Old Streets of Jiufen and cycled through the tea fields of Pinglin.

Now armed with 5 month-late travel guides, we have prepared a bucket-list for things we want to do in the next six months.

Around-the-island Scooter Ride

Luke’s dream of one man and his scooter out on the coastal highways of Taiwan. We shall see if this epic journey ever becomes a reality…

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Beitou Hot Springs

We’ve done our local hot springs in Jiaoxi, but we’ve heard great things of the Beitou hot springs in the north of Taipei City. With public outdoor hot springs being gender-mixed and swimsuits on, I am keen to be in the outside world when relaxing in beautiful hot spring water.

Eat Stinky Tofu (chòu dòufu)

People say the stench of this fermented tofu can be smelt streets away from the vendor’s stall, but actually it doesn’t smell that bad to either of us. Still yet to eat it, but next time we smell it, we’ll eat it!

Keelung Coast

I may have spent more time complaining about A-Level Physical Geography than learning anything, but it certainly left me with an appreciation for quirky rock formations and strange coastal erosion.

Kenting

Apparently it’s always sunny in Kenting. Well then why are we hanging about in rainy Yilan? Only because Kenting is at the southern-most tip of Taiwan, so to hit those lovely sandy beaches we’ve got to find enough time for the high-speed rail trip down there from Taipei.

Maokong Gondola

Ah so everyone tells you that if you’re in Taipei then Maokong is the trip you’ve got to make. There’s some hikes, temples, teahouses and tea plantations, as well as a view of the whole of Taipei once you reach the top of the gondola.

Rainbow Village, Taichung

I read about Rainbow Village on another Taiwan blog, A Crusing Couple and thought it looked amaze. It’s an old ‘military-dependents’ village transformed by Huang Yung-Fu, an 86-year-old man with a paintbrush.

rainbow village

SPOT-Taipei Film House

Being the film buff that I am, I definitely want to make it to one of Taiwan’s few indie/arty cinemas, hopefully to see something from the Taiwan New Cinema era.

Sun Moon Lake

It’s said that the east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. It’s the largest body of water in Taiwan and one of the hot places to go.

Teapot Mountain (Mt. Wuerchahu)

So we made it over to Jiufen with the intent of getting on Teapot Mountain but unfortunately our plans were scuppered by rainy foggy rain.

Whale-watching and Turtle Mountain (Guishan) Island

Turtle island is just off the coast of Yilan, our Taiwan-home county, and the only active volcano in the county, so we’re keen to get on a boat out there, spot some whales and snorkel in the waters.

*Sadly these gorgeous photos aren’t our own, but they are all from awesome blogs/photo-blogs about Taiwan, so just click on the photos and you can hop over to the original corresponding blog post =)

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5 thoughts on “Time just rolling by… A Taiwan To-Do List!

  1. Sounds like a thorough list! I’ve been on the island nearly 3 years (even got married to a Taiwanese guy) and have yet to do all these things. However, I will endorse Maokong Gondola as a worthwhile trip here in Taipei. It’s especially cool if you go up on that particular mountain in the evening, that’s when the ambience/view is at it’s best imho.

    Furthermore, how fashion forward of you both to open your minds about stinky tofu. The classic repulsive dish to all foreigners. Allow me to suggest mala chou doufu (albeit you might need to specify that you don’t want coagulated duck blood). Mala chou doufu is spicy and delicious, especially suitable in the colder season. Now, if only I had the time and the means to get back to that elusive and wondrous MCD booth in one of the Taoyuan night markets…heavenly.

    I’m a Taipei dweller myself, and partial to hot springs. Indoor/outdoor what-have-you, I’m down! Though you may want to step up your timetable as it’s getting warmer. Mixed gender outdoor-suits-on pools are the way to go. I’ve also visited a wonderful venue featuring this type in Tainan County (down south).

    Welcome to Taiwan, and enjoy your stay! It truly is a wonderful and scenic island nation full of neat things to discover.

    • Thanks for this lovely message!

      It’s difficult to always work up the momentum to get out somewhere when you know there is so much time going to be spent on public transport, or the rain is so heavy, or the humidity is so strong, and with work on a Monday morning. I think we’ve only managed to be so proactive because we know that we only have a short time, unlike you!

      You like stinky tofu then? Yes, alot of people we talk to really seem to be repulsed by it, although there are a few who like it, so I’m optimistic we’ll be along with them in the second boat!

      Thank you, will will :) Feels so strange to already be half way through! It is very much a beautiful island indeed.

  2. I agree it’s a great list here, and there are some things I am also yet to do after more than six years here. As a recent stinky tofu convert, I can recommend this experience, and it definitely smells worse than it tastes. If you are in to any kind of stinky cheeses, you might even find the taste appealing! As for Kenting, its the summer playground of Taiwan, definitely worth a visit. Weekends are jam packed but full of action, while weekdays are a lot more subdued, and therefore lot cheaper and easier to get hotels/hostels. Make sure you see all the cool places around there too, BaiSha (白沙) beach, HoubiHu Marina, as well as the drive from Kenting around the southernmost tip to the start of the east coast.
    Good luck with your bucket list, and enjoy the rest of your time in Taiwan!

    • Thanks very much! and thanks for the suggestions, that’s uber helpful as we haven’t done much research on the best things to do in Kenting yet.

      Actually, yes, like a lot of Brits I really love strong cheese – and blue cheese too. Do you think that correlates to liking stinky tofu? I’m sure the texture must be very different, but the strong smell is a definite similarity!

      I’ve been enjoying perusing your blog- some funny articles! :)

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