Like many experienced travelers, I always do my online search to gather information about the places I am going to visit. Depending on my time, my budget and the destination, sometimes I travel as a backpacker and other times simply enjoy the convenience of a private tour. The actual travelling experiences in the chosen destinations don’t always turn out as expected, some better and other disappointing.
My first Asian tour to Taiwan
Our neighbors in San Diego, CA are originally from Taiwan. Over the years we have heard so many good things about Taiwan and received great Taiwanese local handcrafts as presents from them. So, this time instead of having a traditional celebration of Christmas and New Year my family and I booked a private tour of 4 days in Taiwan. My first impression of Taiwan was HOT!
Exceeding our expectation
Thanks to the flexibility of a private tour, we decided to stay 2 more days in Taiwan after having had a fantastic time. Yes, I thought we had known Taiwan already from the information we had gathered online. How wrong was I? The people were so friendly that wherever we went we received the best hospitality anyone could hope for. Our guide Flora was such a professional who arranged different kinds of transportation so that we could experience the efficiency of HSR (high speed rail) to save time between cities, the thrill of a 4X4 jeep that brought us up to mountains, and the feel of shuttling among narrow alleys on a scooter.
Most exciting experience
We visited all sorts of must-see places in Taiwan such as the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Agricultural Leisure Farms in Yilan and many others. But, our most exciting experience during our 6-day stay was the food! A country of a size only 8% of that of California State, it has all kinds of cuisine from Mainland China, other Asian countries, the Middle East, and the western countries. Of course, we opted for only the real Taiwanese food, be it at a restaurant or a night market.
My favorite was meatballs which I first tasted the fried one at Fengjia night market in Taichung, wife’s favorite was spicy fried duck wings and necks, steamed seafood glutinous rice, and kids loved those big bowls of sliced ice mixed with all sorts of sweets.
Obviously, this Taiwan tour turned out much better than expected.