Taiwan is alternately known as the Ihla Formosa, meaning “Beautiful Island”- a fact that rings very true in my current thinking. Since my childhood, I have gone to visit my family in Taiwan just about once every year. The connection I feel with Taiwan is due less to my mere exposure to the country and more to my improved understanding of its true beauty. Though staggeringly humid, the fertility of Taiwanese soil is very hospitable; most every produce flourishes there. The fact is, it is encouraging to know that my roots are in a place so full of life. The water of Taiwan is said to be health-improving for the body. The morning market where I lived contained an abundance of tropical fruits not seen anywhere else.
One unique shopping opportunity in Taiwan is the night market. From Yongan to Dingxi, these markets are bursting with all kinds of creative gadgets and great food that comes in portioned sizes and unbelievably inexpensive prices. There is a multitude of food choices that do not exist in other places. Foods I recommend include oyster pancakes and shaved ice with healthy ingredients. That is only the tip of the iceberg; so much exists for your taste buds to fall in love with in the culinary world of Taiwan. Transportation throughout Taiwan is ridiculously easy. The Taiwan Metro System has been commended by prestigious reviewers for its practicality and safety. Taiwan is a good travel destination because everything is accessible. My mother says the Taiwanese have “lots of ideas and creative twists on everything”. To this I agree: it is simply a must to see the fresh ideas that exist in Taiwan.
It is a good idea to learn about Taiwanese history at the National Palace Museum- the biggest in the country. Displayed in this museum is the famous Jade cabbage representing human creativity, natural elements, and impacting significance combined. There is also an incredible collection of artifacts that leads viewers into the history of how ancestral people lived. My visit there molded my perception of the world by bringing into clarity how much work and failed attempts it takes to learn and get to where you want to be.
I have visited Alishan National Scenic Area, which is the most tranquil place I have ever experienced. Besides the famous Alishan Forest Railway, there is a particular view I would like to write about to you. As it goes, I rose out of bed one bright and early morning to view the unforgettable sunrise at Alishan. Alishan rose above a blanket of clouds and the rising sun lit up the sky in such a way that resulted in the most impacting sunset of my life. In that quiet moment, I shared something beautiful with my loved ones in nature. I felt like I was exactly where I wanted to be at that time, surrounded by people I loved.
In a way, Taiwan was a wake-up call for me. Everything is so fast-paced in Taiwan, a person living there would develop a keen reflex. Whereas while I lived in California, more things are taken care of for you- we have no idea. Taiwan opened up this world to me. I have been so blessed to be able to live in this place that looks so small on a map but holds so much culture. Life there is different in a way that opens up your thinking to new possibilities. The experience Taiwan offers is unparalleled.
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