You heard it here first: Taiwan is the next hot destination for foodies. There’s street food, night markets, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and even fancy dining establishments run by Michelin star-awarded chefs. Eating in Taiwan is like lining up at the world’s best buffet: incredible food using traditional ingredients, local produce and ancient (and new) techniques abound.
A typical day starts with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast, which includes an assortment of soup dumplings, a bowl of hot soymilk (which you drink directly from the bowl), egg pancakes, fried bread and turnip cake. For lunch, indulge in a bowl of beef noodles – some say this is Taiwan’s national dish – made of stewed or braised beef, steaming hot beef broth, vegetables and noodles, washed down with a Pearl Milk Tea (aka Bubble Tea).
THE NATURAL LANDSCAPES
If you haven’t done so already, add Taroko National Park and Sun Moon Lake to your bucket list. Both are worth the flight to Taiwan alone. Taroko Gorge, an 18 kilometre-long marble-walled gorge, is a section of the Taroko National Park. The national park boasts 27 peaks over 3,000 metres in height, is the most popular walking and hiking destination in the region, and has enough picturesque backdrops to make even the most snap-happy photographer weak at the knees.
THE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Taiwan is a goldmine when it comes to active adventures. As much as the Taiwanese like to eat, they also love to be out in nature – in national parks, lakes, hot springs, and open-air galleries. Wuling Sixiu Trail in Shei-Pa National Park, Zhuilu Old Trail in Taroko National Park and the Yushan Peaks Trail in Yushan National Park are just a few hiking trails worth tying up your sneakers for; you can find everything from a two-hour stroll to a five-day hike here. Given that 20% of Taiwan is selected as protected land (in the form of national parks and reserves), you’re never far from your next hiking adventure.