pc257 Jhongi, Taoyuen and leaving
NEXT -->

Monday : visited the Taiwan Presidential building , which is actually a prety good museum as well (it's open fully some weekends, partially weekday mornings)

Then took the train to Jhongli to meet up John Chen and his wife who were both very kind. I visited their school and went for lunch They are more interesting than their profile suggests. They own a cram school so are free in the mornings more and they both speak excellent English .. wish I'd spent more time with them.

Afternoon met up with Ellison (thro HC) ..who had agreed to host me and take me to the airport in the morning
Stayed at his folks place in Taoyuan His family live in a big house in the semi-countryside . He's a great traveller, speaks good English. And his parents are very kind.
We cycled around near the house.. flower fields and a Bhuddist University and schools.

His Mum likes chicken feet

Conclusions - I seriously thought about staying longer to teach. but not this time I still need a break from such strong cultural differences from my own ;
such as me : simple food, respect for space, society import ..them : love restaurants,don't mind crowds, family important etc. I'm too European

In Taroko I met some travel agents from Europe. I commented that I couldn't see many tourists coming to Taiwan except for English teachers and their friends and families. But actually I think I am wrong it's got a lot going for it. Because it's an island like the UK it has a lot of things in a small space. Yes package tourists could very well come to Taiwan, it's a good substitute from travelling in China where the distances to see the same variety of things would be huge.

Taiwan has world class scenary like snow covered mountains and the Taroko gorge, 3 distinct Chinese cultures as well as 13 tribes, great surficng beaches pity about the (Nuclear Power stations), and tropical islands. It's safe and the people are friendly and kind. Food and other costs are reasonable, it has almost no crime affecting tourists. On the downside standards are lower it is a bit more dirty and rough than Japan and Korea. I only hope not too many tourists discover it and spoil it

Taiwan - An underrated country worth discovering
They've got

  • modern cities,
  • sunshine and a warm climate,
  • but cool mountains
  • Cultural diversity 13 tribes, 3 Chinese cultures etc
  • Good beaches (with nuclear PS)
  • Surf and dive places
  • Tropical islands
  • Nature Mountain hiking to 4000m
  • Natural sites like Taroko Gorge, lakes
  • Mountain railways
  • Safe
  • Cheap food
  • Stable government
  • Old towns with traditional buildings
  • Good infrastructure

Still too difficult for unadventurous ..package tourists would do well with a guide. But polluted and dirty cities, environmental problems like beach Nuclear power stations.

NEXT -->