This year I revisited Hong Kong, and visited Taiwan for the first time.
I’ve been to Hong Kong before, but it was my first time to Taiwan.
Hong Kong was even more fascinating than the first time I visited back in 2006. It must’ve been a combination of traveling young, and also knowing more about what I wanted to do this time.
This trip consisted of a lot more shopping, finding good eats, and revisiting some of the touristy locations.
In terms of food, Hong Kong is Yum Cha paradise, with so many places to choose from, you just need to know where to find them. As ground floor shop space is mostly retail, you’ll find a lot of Yum Cha places hidden on the upper floors of buildings (except big places like Din Tai Fung). Apps such as TripAdvisor and UrbanSpoon are very useful in hunting these places down. Don’t forget to check out the Michelin Star restaurants scattered throughout HK!
Shopping is also great, with lots of variety. Prices are ok, nothing bargain paradise. I think the USA is still the best for that.
This was my first time to Taiwan. It was very different to Hong Kong. Best described as somewhere between Hong Kong and Vietnam, Taiwan has some new buildings, but a lot of old run down buildings, motorbikes, and plenty of street food.
The people of Taiwan are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met. As there is little English spoken in Taiwan, you have to brush up on your Mandarin or improvisation. At one stage, I recall asking for instructions from someone on the street. He spoke almost no English, went inside to ask a shopkeeper, where the conversation was overheard by a female customer who happened to speak a bit of English. She came out and tried to explain the directions the best she could!
In terms of what there is to do, I think there is plenty if you venture out of Taipei. I had a week in Taipei, and I did struggle to find things to do after 4-5 days. However, for me having not much to do also meant I just had to relax – not a bad thing for a holiday.
Here’s a quick list of things to do:
- Taipei 101
- CBD for some shopping and food
- Hunt down some Din Tai Fung
- Night markets – there are plenty of them!
- Pub food – try frog legs!
- Monuments, memorials, and temples