Hello, everyone! I’m back with more stories to tell. One of the most interesting things that’s happening in my life is during Christmas and this year’s or rather, my 2016 year’s Christmas celebration was another wonderful experience. We celebrated and spent our Christmas vacation in Taiwan!
First and foremost, let me tell you about the basic details. Taiwan is known as the ‘Heart of Asia’ and Mandarin is their language. The Taiwanese are very friendly, very polite but sometimes, I find them really quirky. I’ll tell you the reason why as we go on. However, their main religion is Buddhism so, Christmas is not really given that much of a relevance. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t celebrate Christmas at all. Nonetheless, Taiwan is definitely a place worth visiting for vacation.
So here’s how we spent our Christmas vacation.
We arrived in Taoyuan International Airport around 2 am in the morning of 25th of December.
It was rather very quiet and empty. I would’ve expected for more since it’s Christmas but, I guess this is how they do things. But, being all tired from the preparations and the flight, we just focused on going to the hotel in Zhongli District and giving ourselves some rest.
After being revitalized by our sleep, we proceeded in taking a small walk around our district to familiarize ourselves with the new environment.
It was actually very convincing as the place was so clean and refreshing. The air was so fresh and the temperature was definitely just right, not too hot, not too cold. It was so peaceful that it just makes you want to live there. It was also very easy to adjust to the environment.
After walking around a little bit, we got hungry and decided to try some Taiwanese dishes. After all, we heard that Taiwan is good place to go for people who love eating.
Guess what? We weren’t wrong! Taiwanese food is definitely delicious. We especially love eating beef dishes because the meat was soft, juicy, and very flavorful. Beef noodle is definitely a must-eat. It’s very delicious, especially with a little spiciness. Furthermore, the good thing about that is, it is affordable.
We continued walking around the district and we reached the Zhongli Night Market, quite popular among the tourists. Why? Because you can find all sorts of things in this Night Market!
From variety of food to animals, all of them are found in the Zhongli Night Market. You will definitely have fun just watching the people prepare the food and some sellers tend to the animals to sell. Everything there looked really exotic! Not to mention, the octopus legs and the scorpions on stick were very cool. Sometimes, it got me wondering how Taiwanese can eat those. I really find it weird but, interesting. Taiwanese people are 100 percent quirky but, definitely fun.
But then, in the middle of the road, we suddenly heard a group of people singing Christmas carols.
It was a bit surprising as I did not expect Taiwanese to like Christmas carols and what makes me happy is that, Filipinos who live in that area joined in singing as well. That way, they could uplift the spirit of Christmas in Taiwan.
We decided to go to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan as more tourist spots can be found in that place. When we got to Taipei Mainstation, I was quite surprised by its vast area. It was very different from Philippines. It was just a train station but, it looked like a mall to me because of how vast the place was. I was just a bit disappointed to see that the workers there were already taking away the Christmas tree.
After riding the train, we went to Daan Park, a very clean and refreshing park which has definitely a breath-taking scenery.
To be surrounded by nature makes us filled with joy. It’s very fun and relaxing at the same time as everywhere we looked, we’re surrounded by beauty. You will really appreciate such a picturesque view once you visit the parks of Taiwan.
On our way back home, we decided to pay a visit to the nearest shrine to pray and give thanks to God, as we are all well and enjoying our Christmas vacation. We could not find any Catholic church but, we did find a place to pray so, I hope, we could make up for that.
Taiwanese shrines are very beautiful. They are filled with bright colors and eye-catching dragon designs. I find it really unique and very aesthetic. For our last destination that, it was rather fulfilling that we could pray.
Our destination for that day was to visit the famous historical sites of Taiwan and that includes Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial park.
This memorial park is utterly magnificent. Such jaw dropping sceneries just made me glued my eyes to it. It was filled with numerous flowers, lakes, and awesome Chinese structures that would really make you go “Wow”.
The next destination we went to was Sun Yat Sen Museum. It was where the first president of Taiwan, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, sat and later on, all of his things and his historical deeds were there. From childhood till the day he sat as the president, everything was there in that museum.
We then visited the famous Taipei 101, a very high building which is said to have one-hundred floors with lots of restaurants, shops, and many other things for entertainment and leisure.
The building was very fascinating as it towers above every building around it. It was so beautiful, especially when you are inside the mall. It is full of luxurious shops and restaurants which you will definitely enjoy.
After filling our stomachs with good food, we proceeded to mountain trekking in Xian Shan Mountain or also known as the Elephant Mountain because its shape from above actually looks like an Elephant.
Mountain trekking is a popular activity in Taiwan as its Trail course are challenging. I say, you must wear a very durable shoes for trekking because its course is definitely not for a beginner. It took us around 3 hours climbing all the way to the top with breaks for picture taking. And at the top, you will find a small shrine to pray.
Our next escapade, is the Beitou Hot Spring Museum where in Hot Springs even have history during different countries’ occupation. Surprising isn’t it? Even hot springs are considered as museums.
After our visit in Beitou Hot Spring museum, we went to Thermal Valley where in there is a huge lake in the middle and a waterfall. The water seemed really hot as it emitted smoke and bubbles! It was practically boiling.
Continuing our tour, we paid a visit to Longshan Temple and witnessed how Taiwanese people paid respects and worshiped their gods. People are really disciplined as they kept the temple clean and orderly. It was very beautiful and at the same time, you can feel the antiquity.
Then, we continued our tip to Taipei Zoo and visited Taiwan’s animals. This definitely a place where you can enjoy with your family as it consisted of a lot of activities such as touching the animals, watching videos about their facts and many more. More over, you will be able to witness their behavior which people will find very amusing.
But what really came for was those cute pandas! They were so chubby and fun as they played with the swings, set-up in their homes. The way they eat bamboo leaves was also really cute and amusing.
After taking a whole day inside the zoo, we went to the Maokong Gondola to ride a cable car across the plum mountain. Too bad, it was already night time during the time we visited that area.
After that long and exhausting day, we got hungry and decided to eat at a famous restaurant called Modern Toilet Restaurant. Pretty weird, huh. But, it was definitely fun to eat there and you can call it very unique! I find it really quirky.
And, after that, it was the end of our trip. We bought many pasalubong for our friends and relatives as we have always remembered them in our hearts. But soon, we already departed towards the airport.
And that was the end of our Christmas celebration! I am recommending you to come visit Taiwan because it’s definitely worth it! I hope you had fun visiting this page as well. That’s all! Thanks and bye. 🙂