The smaller galleries of Taipei were a hit or miss, a lot of the recommended places were closed or nowhere to be found, but still we managed to snag up a few gems along the way. Another artistic spot is Treasure Hill, a small settlement founded by Kuomintang veterans now turned into an artivist compound. Then of course, there are much more organized exhibitions of art such as the Taipei Fine Arts Museum.
Revisiting some places in Taipei – the view from Elephant Mountain was one worth returning to: This time around, the climb up was much more sweaty and mosquito-ridden. Still worth the spectacular view of Taipei 101. Nonetheless, Taipei had a lot more places for us to explore: Huashan 1914 Creative Park was a chill place to hang out and spend an afternoon.
The scenic North Coast of Taiwan is quite difficult to get to with public transport, so a tour by car was the way to go. Rock formations, colorful waterfalls and amazings views of the coast from the village of Jiufen.
Some impressions from Tainan – the oldest city in Taiwan.
Scooters are the way to go in Kenting National Park ( 墾丁) – the best way to explore the coast is to cruise around and stop at the scenic spots. Swimming and lounging at the beach would have been more pleasurable if there weren’t so many mosquitos lying in wait…
佛光山 Fo Guang Shan Monastery is one of the most famous sights near Kaohsiung and the biggest Monastery in Taiwan. The premises cover a huge area and include the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, the Sutra Repository and the Monastery. There are different museums, art galleries, gardens, restaurants, cafés (even Starbucks) and shops to explore. A bit like a cross between a hotel and a museum, but nonetheless worth a visit.
Kaohsiung has some really awesome street and urban art to offer. The Hamasen Railway Cultural Park and Pier-2 Art Center are old industrial areas being transformed into new cultural spaces. Street artists created the largest mural village in Taiwan in Lingya District near Weiwuying, breathing new life into the blocks of houses – now bursting with color!
Taking the Gushan Ferry to Cijin ( 旗津 ) Island, walking along the long strip of beach, observing crabs moving on the rocks, hiking up to the lighthouse, walking to the Rainbow Church, looking over to Kaohsiung, exploring Cihou Fort and searching for the Mazu temple…
Impressions of Kaohsiung the metropolis of South Taiwan.
Kamakura is a comfortable day trip to do from Tokyo, perfect for getting out of the megacity and explore some of the many temples, there is even a beach to go to. The giant buddha is probably the city’s most famous resident – you can visit the inside, too!
For any food place that is a bit more popular and well-known in Tokyo, be prepared to stand in line. Best bet is to go at odd times in between meal times and just expect to wait for a while. Other than that, delicious food is waiting for you! Noodles are a favorite of mine, be it the more traditionally Japanese soba (buckwheat noodles) or the more Chinese inspired ramen, they are comfort in a bowl. There are lots of really good noodle places, so take your pick and enjoy.
Tired from escaping the crowds at Senso-ji temple? The nearby street food stalls might not be less frequented but provide some much-needed fuel for a sightseeing day. Fried stuff, pancakes, the ever-so-popular seafood, there is something for everyone. Of course, each district will have plenty of takeaway food to satisfy you.