I travelled around Taiwan in January 2019. As a Spanish citizen, I had three months “visitor visa”… OR I could buy a ticket out of the country before those 3 months and could explore the island. So I did that.
I’m a planner, but I also like to have the freedom to chose what I want to do each day. For me, it came down to visit the most “important” cities:
It’s a big city and has a lot of things going on. I did the Elephant Mountain, went to a few markets and temples and jumped on a train to visit Pingxi, Shifen and Jiufen.
It’s a very industrial city, but had the luck to stay through Coachsurfing with a kind host who showed me around. I visited Sun Moon Lake from here as well.
This has more of a village feeling but the hostel I stayed was really nice and I visited Alishan from here.
Big city but without all the noise and stress from Taipei. I went to Cijin, Fo Guang Shan Temple and enjoyed walking and moving around the city.
I came here for a weekend. I rented a motorbike and went along the highway admiring the scenery. At night there is a lot of aboriginal musical and artisan stuff going on in the old train station.
I stayed in a hostel, cleaning in exchange for accommodation for 2 weeks. When I walked around the area and it had a very calm atmosphere. There is a lot of aboriginal tradition and the night market is the tidiest I’ve been.
I stayed here the longest because I thought being the previous capital and being close to the sea, it would be kind of like Barcelona in Spain. Lots of cool places, but you can visit with a motorbike in one day or two.
Honestly, I would change a few stops, but the experience helped me grow a lot, so I don’t regret anything.
Taiwan is such an amazing island with kind people, great food, interesting culture and history as well as beautiful scenery. I thought and still think of it as the “pearl” of Asia.