June 2017, The Summer I Fell In Love With Taiwan 2017年6月,恋上台湾的那个夏天

In mid-June 2017, I went for my first “long trip” (I define holidays more than a week as “long trips” :P) after last April’s spring holiday to South Korea. Although this wasn’t my first time to Taiwan, but the 9-day long trip was 1 of my more memorable holidays to date. In fact, it was this trip that I found myself in love again…… with Taiwan. 🙂 What was it about Taiwan that got me so captivated?

2017年6月,是我今年的首个较悠长的假期(我称超过一个星期的旅行为“长假”😄),与去年4月的韩国11天春季游隔了将近1年。虽然这不是我第一次到访台湾,但9天夏日游却是至今我较难忘的旅行之一。这次的旅游,也让我重新找回恋爱的感觉……恋上台湾的那种滋味啦😀。台湾的魅力何在呢?

1. Mind-Blowing Natural Scenery 撩人的自然风光

Yes, I am a sucker for the marvellous works of Mother Nature. Despite travelling during the unexpected plum rain reason (unfortunately), the scenic east coast of Taiwan has kept me in awe throughout the trip. Even away from Taiwan’s east coast, there was always something intriguing to discover. As I was sorting through the photos while writing, & even up till now, I am still enthralled by the amazing natural scenery seen during the trip.

是的,我是个很容易被迷人的大自然景观吸引住的人。纵使这次不幸地碰上迟來的梅雨季,台湾绮丽的东海岸美景还是深深地吸引了我。离开东海岸景区的好山好水,处处还是可找到她独有的魅力。回国后,为了写部落格而整理照片,我还是边看边陶醉在那秀丽的自然风光里。

PS: I had a hard time trying to decide which photos to upload while I was writing on my trip, because there’s just too many to share!

注:这次旅行拍了太多太美的风景照,在挑选哪些照片比较适合放上部落格里时,死了不少脑细胞。真的是个伤脑筋的差事!😅

2. Extremely Hospitable Locals 超级亲切友善的在地人

There are many other places in the world that may be home to lots of fascinating works of Mother Nature, but more often than not, it’s the people who live in them that make or break your trip. Generally, Taiwan is a country where its people are known to be warm-hearted & welcoming, & I can attest to this. Throughout the 9 days, I have met some of the most hospitable people I have ever come across. Often, while the service may be great, the people may be nice, there is still this feeling of something missing, like the people are being nice because it’s “part of their job”. However, this time round, I didn’t feel that the locals I encountered were merely paying lip service. They certainly walk the talk & make you feel extremely welcome, as if you were really part of their community.

其实,地球上有许多其他地方也坐拥秀丽、壮观的自然景观。但为什么有些地方再美,你都不会特别想念她,更别说想回去探访呢?说穿了,就是人为因素吧。众所周知,台湾人一般都以亲切友善的态度迎人。而在这9天里,我接触了许多好客的台湾人,而且也真的体验到让人感觉宾至如归的贴心服务。很多时候,虽然在地人也蛮友善,提供的服务也挺周到,但好像就是缺少了什么,感觉他们就只是在尽“本分”为你服务。不过,这次,我所接触的台湾人都令我感觉很诚恳,好像就真的把我当成他们的家人、朋友一样看待。

3. Cost of Living 生活费用

Taiwan is 1 of the Four Asian Dragons together with Hong Kong, Singapore & South Korea, a term coined during the industrialization period between 1960s & 1990s. While all 4 countries are highly developed now, the cost of living in Taiwan is still not as high as the other 3 countries, & definitely not like Singapore. I’m certainly happy to have my purchasing power increased when I visit Taiwan, as it means I can do more with the same amount of money I have in my homeland!

在1960至1990年代之间,台湾和香港、新加坡以及韩国,一并被誉为亚洲的四小龙。这4个国家都是经济发展迅速的国家,但比起其他3国,台湾的物价并没有飙升,也绝对不像新加坡那么贵。对我而言,这当然是好事。因为我到台湾游,购买力就相对地提高了!

Just to quote some examples, a simple lunch, say a bowl of fish ball noodles + a cup of tea in Singapore at a typical hawker centre will easily cost S$5 or more. But such a meal in a local eatery in Taiwan will definitely cost less than 100 TWD (~S$4.50), & you will likely see more fishballs, vegetables etc in the bowl of noodles. 😛 Cost of public transport is also much more affordable than in Singapore. For instance, a 2-hour comfortable high-speed train journey (about 170 km) from Hualien City to Taipei City only costs 440 TWD (~S$20). At a similar price, you can only take a taxi from Yishun (north of Singapore) to Changi Airport in the east, just a mere 25 km or 22-min ride.

举例来说,一顿简单的午餐,在新加坡的小贩中心享用一碗鱼圆面加一杯茶,至少得花费新币5元吧。但是,在台湾,你肯定花少于台币100元(约新币4.50元)就能享用,而且,用料也会更丰富。台湾的交通费也比较便宜。例如,从花莲市搭乘约2小时的太鲁阁号火车到台北车站,大约170公里的路程,只需台币440元(约新币20元)。但以相同的价钱来到新加坡,你只能从北部的义顺乘搭德士到东部的樟宜机场,全程约22分钟,25公里。

4. Food 美食

Being a true-blue Singaporean, I do enjoy hunting for unique & delicious food. While I am not exactly an adventurous diner, I like the myriad of food options available in Taiwan, as it means I wouldn’t have much difficulty satisfying my tummy.

身为一名道地的新加坡人,我也像其他国人一样,喜爱寻找特别的美食。虽然不是个敢挑战味蕾极限的食客,但台湾多元的饮食文化我喜欢!

Feel like going vegan? No problem, there’s a wide selection of vegan-friendly eateries in the country. Can’t live without seafood? The island nation is blessed with an abundance of fresh marine catches in the East China Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the South China Sea to the south & the Taiwan Strait to the west. Feeling carnivorous? There’s plenty of meat dishes available too. Unlike Singapore where traditional food stalls & restaurants find it extremely difficult to survive many generations due to high rents, lack of successors etc, there are many food places in Taiwan where one can still enjoy a taste of traditional goodness. In short, it’s very hard to starve yourself when in Taiwan with so many tantalizing options available. 😉

想吃素?没问题,台湾有很多素食餐厅供选择。想吃海鲜?宝岛四周都是蕴藏着丰富海产的海域,包括东部的太平洋、南部的南中国海等。无肉不欢?台湾也有各式各样的美味肉食让你享用。而且,在台湾,有许多传统的美食店及餐馆可以让你品尝最道地的古早味,不像新加坡,因为许多传统食品的店家找不到继承人,或是受不了持续高涨的租金压力而被迫结束营业。简单的说,在台湾,很难会有机会饿坏肚子,因为太多美食的诱惑了。😄

5. Culture 文化

Taiwan was Japan’s first overseas colony, for 50 years from 1895 to 1945. Hence there are many places in the country where we can still find influences of the Japanese culture in them, be it in tangibles like architecture, food or intangibles like ambience & service standards. It has somehow made Taiwan an interestingly attractive country to explore, with a perfect fusion of 2 predominantly different cultures – Japanese & Chinese.

台湾是日本明治维新以来的第一个殖民地,从1895年至1945年,长达50年之久。因此,在台湾各处都仿佛能感受到日本的影响力,从地名、旧建筑、饮食文化到氛围以及服务态度等。这两种截然不同的文化碰撞在一起,没有冲突,反而使台湾更显独特。

Some examples of short & sweet Chinese phrases I came across in Taiwan
在台湾有幸看到的一些精简的中文词句😊

Furthermore, as the official language in Taiwan is Mandarin (post World War II), it somehow made me feel more comfortable when touring around, since it’s a language I’m familiar with. In fact, I used to dream of working in the Chinese media line in my school days given my forte in the language then. The dream may have been abandoned long ago, but the 9-day immersion allowed me to witness the power of this language once again. I love how a short Chinese phrase or sentence can bring out the essence of what the speaker/ writer is trying to express, compared to say, the English language. (Or maybe it’s because I’m not that proficient in English lol.) This trip has reignited my interest to try writing in Chinese again, before the skill gets rustier. 😛 That’s why you now see all the Taiwan posts being written in both English & Chinese. 😉

此外,由于台湾的官方语言是我熟悉的中文,到这里旅行也变得轻松自在。以前念书时,曾梦想能从事中文媒体工作,因为当时的华文成绩还算不错。虽然这个梦想已离我好遥远,但这9天让我再次见证中文的奇妙。我常常觉得,中文词句比英文更能简单扼要地带出那种意境,而在台湾看到的许多文字也证明了这点。(还是因为我的英文水平不够好才这么说?😅)因为新加坡已难看到这么多有意思的中文词句,来到台湾感受中文的美好,又重新启发我想用中文书写的兴趣了。也因为这样,我才开始以中英文撰写我的部落格。😊

Because Taiwan has so much to offer, our 9-day Taiwan summer holidays was activity-packed & it took me almost 3 months to complete blogging all about it, 1 of the longest period I have taken to write on a long trip. 😛 Here’s a recap of our adventure from the time we flew into Kaohsiung down south, to the time we departed from Taoyuan International Airport up north. 😉

由于9天的台湾行很丰富,这次我花了近3个月才终于把一路上的所见所闻都记录在部落格里。以下是我们在台湾的9天行程概要:

Day 1 Singapore – Kaohsiung – Fangliao:

第一天 新加坡 – 高雄 – 枋寮

Arrived at Kaohsiung International Airport around 10 am. Took the 1-hour train from Kaohsiung Railway Station to Fangliao where we stayed for a night in a cosy minsu. Explored the small fishing town off the usual tourist path on our own.

约早上10点抵达高雄国际机场。从高雄车站乘搭约1小时的火车前往枋寮,在温馨民宿留宿一晚,并在这非一般的旅游景点体验一下朴实的在地生活

Day 2 Fangliao – Taitung:

第二天 枋寮 – 台东

First highlight of the trip was to take a joyful 2-hour ride on Taiwan’s last ordinary train from Fangliao to Taitung City. Free pick-up service at Taitung Station to Inn By The Village hotel where we checked in for 3 nights. As we only arrived in the afternoon, we didn’t arrange for a private tour today. Instead, we roamed around Taitung city centre on our own, & enjoyed a complimentary sumptuous dinner at Jenny’s Bar & Grill in the hotel.

旅程的首个亮点就是从枋寮乘搭台湾仅存的蓝皮普快车到台东市。抵达台东市车站后,饭店职员来车站接我们到住宿三晚的南丰铁花栈。因为下午才到达台东市,我们并没立即安排包车游,而是在台东市区自个儿探索。之后,也在饭店里的Jenny’s Bar & Grill享用美味的晚餐。

Day 3 Taitung:

第三天 台东

Today, it was the start of our 3-day private tour in Taitung County. First, we checked out some sights in the neighbouring Beinan Township. In the afternoon, we made our way to Taiwan’s hometown of rice – Chishang. Before we called it a day, we proceeded to discover hidden gems in Yanping & Luye townships.

我们今天才开始三天的台东包车游。首先,我们前往毗邻的卑南乡。到了下午,我们到池上用餐,并寻访纯朴的田园风光。最后,我们也到延平乡及鹿野乡寻幽探秘。

Day 4 Taitung:

第四天 台东

Started the day visiting 2 of Taiwan’s most beautiful schools in Taitung City. Thereafter, we ventured to Taimali Township to check out its lovely sights. Before bidding goodbye to our first driver of the trip, we headed to Dingyanwan-Sige Mountain for a panoramic view of the beautiful county. As the tour ended earlier today, we had more time to check out tantalizing local flavours in Taitung City as well as the weekend Slow Market.

今天的首站是位于台东市,被誉为台湾最美的两所学府。之后,前往太麻里乡的各处美景,并享用午餐。在与司机说拜拜前,我们也上去顶岩湾-四格山眺望纵谷平原。由于今天的包车游较早结束,我们也就有多一些时间寻找台东在地美食,也参观了著名的铁花村慢市集。

Day 5 Taitung – Hualien:

第五天 台东 – 花莲

Checked out of Taitung City hotel as we were going up north to Hualien today. Enroute, we fed the cute fishes at Fushan Fish Recovery Area before proceeding to Chenggong Township. The coastal urban township boasts many wonderful sights, so we spent time admiring the coastal scenery in the morning till lunch, before checking out the artistic side of the town in the afternoon. Thereafter, we headed to Changbin Township, our last stop in Taitung County before making our way into Hualien County’s southernmost Fengbin Township. In the evening, as we bidded goodbye to our guide for the day, we checked in to 500KM Home in Hualien City for 2 nights.

退房后,我们启程北上花莲。沿途,我们在富山復魚區喂了可爱的鱼儿,然后才到成功镇。由于成功镇大,有许多景点可游览,我们除了欣赏迷人的海岸线以外,午餐后,也走访了文艺特区及独特的教堂。过后,就前往在台东县的最后一站 —— 长滨乡,然后继续北上花莲的丰滨乡。傍晚时分抵达花莲市的民宿——伍百里驿站

Day 6 Hualien:

第六天 花莲

Fulfilled my wish to see the wild dolphins with the Turumoan Dolphin Cruise at Hualien Port. After that, it was time to hike through 1 of Taiwan’s amazing 8 wonders – Taroko National Park. In the evening, we spent some time shopping & hunting for local delights in Hualien City.

终于完成心愿,乘搭花莲的多罗满号赏鲸船看到可爱的海豚。之后,我们免不了俗,前往著名的太鲁阁国家公园半日游。天黑后,我们在市区逛逛夜市,品尝在地美食

Day 7 Hualien – Taipei:

第七天 花莲 – 台北

Thanks to our awesome homestay hosts, we managed to take a quick tour of some beautiful sights in Hualien City before leaving for Taipei. Upon arrival in Taipei City, we had a wholesome Italian lunch at Tutto Fresco, compliments from the hotel, before checking into the comfortable Hotel Relax 3 for 2 nights. Thereafter, we spent the evening hiking up Hushan, before visiting Linjiang Street Night Market to tuck into some good food.

感谢民宿主人的殷勤招待,让我们有机会在离开花莲市前,快速欣赏到她的美丽。乘搭火车抵达台北市后的第一件事就是享用翡冷翠意式餐厅的丰盛午餐。然后,办理好入房手续后,我们就前往虎山,在高处俯瞰夕阳西下的台北市景色。晚餐是到临近的临江街观光夜市。饱餐一顿后才回舒适的旅乐序站前三馆休息。

Day 8 Taipei:

第八天 台北

Cafe-hopped to 1 of Taipei’s oldest districts – Dadaocheng after a filling breakfast in the hotel. In the evening, we visited 2 night markets in Taipei city to continue searching for more yummy eats, as well as to do some shopping before leaving tomorrow.

来到特色咖啡馆到处都是的台北市,我怎能错过?所以我们吃完丰盛的早餐后就到古老大稻埕街区寻访特色咖啡馆了。傍晚时分,我们又走访了另两个在地人爱去的夜市,寻找更多美食,也顺便逛服饰店。😉

Day 9 Taipei – Singapore:

第九天 台北 – 新加坡

After breakfast, we didn’t do much except some last-minute shopping at the Taipei Main Station underground mall. Good time always flies & it was time to leave charming Taiwan for home.

早餐后,也没太多时间可以游览景点,因为中午就得抵达机场办登机手续。只好在台北车站的地下街做最后的瞎拼。美好的时光总是一晃而过!九天的台湾行就这样结束了……

I’m definitely planning for future trips to meet & get to know my new-found love, Taiwan better. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading on my adventure so far. Till my next holiday then! 😉

这次的夏日游之后,我一定会再次安排与我的“新欢”见面的机会。😁希望你喜欢我为这次旅行所写的所有文章。下回见!😉

You may also like these Trip101 articles:

你也可参考我在Trip101英文旅游网站分享这次台湾行的优质住宿体验:

Inn By The Village: Chill In Style At Taitung City’s Best Location
Hualien City: Stay At 500KM Home For A Cosy HomeStay You Won’t Regret
Hotel Relax III: Excellent Boutique Hotel Stay In The Heart Of Taipei
Advertisements

4 thoughts on “June 2017, The Summer I Fell In Love With Taiwan 2017年6月,恋上台湾的那个夏天

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s