The history of Dadaocheng Area and the prosperous Dihua Street is deeply intertwined with all of the ruling Nations Taiwan ever had. The government tries hard to preserve the area and reviving old crafts like basket making, tea processing, the trade of dried goods and medicinal ingredients. Small museums also highlight important aspects of life in the area.
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.
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.
It would be a shame to miss out on a night stroll in Valletta or the Three Cities – once everything turned a mysterious dark, colorful lights illuminate hidden spots of the city, bringing new features to life.
The Three Cities lie opposite of the capital of Malta, divided by the Grand Harbour, hence offering a perfect view of the city. The naming of the Three Cities can be quite confusing: The Three Cities together can also be called Cottonera, and each of the individual cities has two names it can go by: Il-Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) in between.
Go there for the amazing view of Valletta, go to Senglea for the best views from La Guardiola, for balconies galore and sandstone churches, go to Birgu for Fort St. Angelo and the yacht harbour, for good traditional food and religious decorations, go to Cospicua for exploring markets and peaceful promenades.
South Malta has a lot to offer – the rugged coast has a wild beauty that is hard to miss. Walking on top of Dingli Cliffs is a very rewarding pastime. The famous Blue Grotto can only be reached via boat from Wied iż-Żurrieq, a small harbour and one of the few places in South Malta suitable for sea access. The bus stop on top of the hill offers a stunning view from above overlooking the grotto.