I’m not an adventurous traveler.

I grew up with a mother who told us to never eat street food when we were growing up in Hong Kong. She hated crowds, taught me that you can contract horrible diseases from public bathrooms, held her breath when she walked passed beggars on the street, and always wore closed-toed shoes so as not to get contaminated by dirt.

During our trip in Taiwan the past week, I thought of my mother a lot.  What would she say seeing me walk on the street with sandals? I ate at a friend’s restaurant that she would consider a street vendor. I walked in the rain through dirty puddles.

And nothing bad happened.

I’m a little more brave now that I know I can survive in the world that my mother protected us from. In fact, I liked it.


In Taiwan, we’ve had hotels in very good locations with easy access to the MRT. I love cities with a good MRT and bus system. You can go anywhere independently and safely without getting lost.

A few highlights of Taiwan –

*torrent rain at Sun Moon Lake. On the one day we left our umbrellas in the suitcase is the day it rains hard. It was fun with the rain though.

*Taroko Gorge was beautiful. The day was perfect with a light breeze, not too hot. There are not too many camp grounds available in Taiwan, so I appreciate the national parks in the US.

*shopping at a store just a few steps from our hotel that had all the cute things we liked – pens, stickers, notebooks, etc. etc.  We stopped there multiple times. Once we had a basketful while the lady behind us in line had only one item. I didn’t see her until we were almost checked out, otherwise I would’ve let her go first.

*bus ride. As I said, I love an efficient public transport system. We took the MRT and bus to the National Palace Musuem and the bus ride was a nice way to see a bit of the city.

*Lunch with T’s aunt at a local eatery of pork chops and rice. She also bought us really good boba milk tea. Now I understand what Taiwanese cafes in the US are suppose to be like, but this is much better, and much cheaper. We were in DanShui and the place and weather was perfect for walking around.

*met interesting people on our tour group from all over the world. One woman we got to talk to was traveling by herself, from Brisbane, Australia and a seasoned traveler around Asia. Two men from Denmark took the tour to see the island while their wives were at a conference in Taipei. A boy with his dad and cousin from Canada. A couple with a cute son from Sydney.

*attended a large church Grace Baptist with an English service of over 400 people. A poster advertising their VBS said the capacity was 500 and registration was closed.

A few things not as good as expected –

*Shilin Night Market – it’s so big and crowded it was a little intimidating. Lost my appetite for the food with all the people around. Couldn’t really shop with people pushing on all sides. It was exciting because I like crowds, but the shopping was not as good as expected.

*didn’t have too many interesting fruits – mostly watermelon, guava, and lichee.

Next time if I come to Taiwan again, I would go see Kaoshuing the second biggest city of Taiwan, and spend a little more time on the buses in Taipei to look around.

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