Think East, think Taiwan.
[This is part 1 of Arabian Gazette’s Taiwan series. We are touring Taiwan on the invitation of the Taiwan Tourism Board]
Most of us think as far as Thailand, Philippines or perhaps Phuket. The rest is termed as Far East. How far can these places be with distances being bridged by the techniques of this global village?
Why don’t most of us think about Taiwan as a holiday? Well, not our fault, not many people boast about a holiday in Taiwan. We bet you would be surprised by the sheer variety of things it has to offer. While we explore the country for you, we are eager to share with our readers that the distances are just in our head.
Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan is well connected through flights. In fact, if you are flying from the UAE, hop on to an eight-hour flight and you will soon be in this city that will at times show its Chinese influence, at times surprise you with its Japanese influences and more often than not catch you unawares with its high western-kind fashion sense.
Once you land at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, you can enquire about the various city tours. Do check for free guided tours.
Meanwhile, we have stumbled upon some very interesting things about Taiwan and its capital city Taipei.
- First, internet works here and unlike what most of us think, Taiwan is a pretty democratic country and you can access your official mails, Gmail, Facebook, WhatsApp and the entire internet. In fact, you can purchase a 3G plan for as cheap as NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) 450 which is less than USD 15.
- However, we strictly advise you to keep some USD handy, rather a whole lot in case you want to get cheap deals. As such also, USD continues its global trend of demanding value and respect in Taiwan too.
- If you have been wondering where all those exotic locales were being discovered by Hollywood, we have the answer. Director Ang Lee shot his Oscar-winning 3D adventure “Life of Pi” on the island. Interestingly, French director Luc Besson shot in Taipei for his sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’. So, if you want to produce a movie with the best of technicians and effects and locales, you know where to head to.
- We are told that Taipei’s night markets are to die for. Though we already love the city and are sure the night markets will not disappoint us, we will ask you to wait until tomorrow when we shall personally drop by and shop at one such place.
- The people of the city are peace loving and not loud. It is a pleasure to be greeted by smiles as you walk down the streets either to check out some local stuff of branded clothes.
- That said, the city is totally safe for a single female traveler too. And you will not be judged by what you wear.
We will bring you more details as we begin our sojourn. Just to let you know our itinerary, we will be at the Yangmingshan National Park tomorrow to up the adventure quotient. And to further increase the luxury quotient, we will be reveling at private hot water springs to relax the soul and body.