A weekend in Taipei

taipei

Taipei thrives on neon lights and tall buildings, however that’s not all there is worth seeing.

After touching down in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Friday morning it was off to the Regent Taipei to check into our hotel room and head out for the day.

The first stop of the day was up a mountain to look at some sulfur springs that have been active for hundreds of years. Disregarding the unique smell, the view was incredible!

From there we made our way to lunch on the waterfront of the East China Sea, we had a variety of different flavored waffles and were in awe of the seamlessly never-ending coastline.

After lunch it was time to go the incredible Juming Museum which is just north of Taipei City, and is well worth visiting for a couple of hours.

Juming is an artist who, since the age of 15 has created thousands of sculptures, all by hand. Overtime he has gathered all the artwork in one place – the Juming Museum.

The sculptures are amazing and span from small rock formations all the way to a life size model of a navy ship, decked out with crewman, all of whom are sculptures as well.

 museum

For dinner on Friday night we went to the much talked about Taipei night markets, where we enjoyed a variety of different market dishes, from turkey all the way to tofu.

Our evening was spent in the wonderful rooms at the Regent Taipei. The room was spacy and modern, with a great view of the city.

Saturday morning we were given a few hours of spare time to get lost in the big city Taipei. When I say ‘big’ I mean it. Everything in the city is big, big hotels, big department stores, big sports centres. It is just a massive city.

In the afternoon we took a bus to Sun Moon Lake in preparation for the Sun Moon Lake 30km cycle we had the next day.

The evening was spent eating traditional Sun Moon Lake food mixed with local fruits, and accommodation was at the brand new Fuli Resort on the lake.

The resort is still in its testing phases but it is great, every room comes fitted with a hot spring bath and the hotel itself offers hot spring spa treatments.

The time had come for the 30km ‘fun’ cycle around Sun Moon Lake. We awoke early to make our way to the start line, as did thousands of other people.

sunmoona
The popular event is part of the nation’s Cycling Festival and is designed for cyclists at any level, with a 6km cycle, 30km cycle and the serious 50km cycle.

We took part in the 30km cycle around the lake, it was very enjoyable riding around looking out at Sun Moon Lake however some parts were quite challenging!

We were treated to a lunch at a famous local restaurant, it consisted of traditional indigenous Hakka food.

That afternoon we were lucky enough to enjoy a cruise around Sun Moon Lake and we also went on the cable cart through the mountains surrounding the lake, this provided some awe inspiring views.

As the weekend drew to an end we made our way to the 3rd largest city in Taiwan, Taichung. The city has a very modern, new and upmarket feel about it, it felt like an exciting place to be.

We enjoyed dinner at the Pumpkin House, which was an Italian/ New Orleans/ pumpkin enthusiasts restaurant. Despite the confusion with the varied menu options it was a nice dinner.

After an amazing weekend exploring the mountains and city of Taipei and cycling around the beautiful Sun Moon Lake it was time for a good sleep to prepare ourselves for the week ahead.

Sunday night was spent in the classy business hotel in Taichung called Hotel One. It was a very sleek hotel with business dominating the design of the rooms.

An action packed weekend in Taipei and Sun Moon Lake was well enjoyed by all. The people in Taiwan are incredibly friendly and genuine, it is a remarkable place, and I have only been here for three days!

Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
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