If I had to describe my experience in Taiwan with just one word, that’s what it would be: Incredible.
But, let’s start at the beginning of the story. The reason I went to Taiwan was because I made it on to the 2017 US Collegiate National Team. I was excited to be on the team, but to be honest, I really had no idea of anything about Taiwan. I didn’t even know what language was spoken there.
I was in for a surprise.
A couple of months later, I hopped on a plane to Taipei along with the rest of our US Team. I was nervous and still didn’t really know what to expect. I was going there to compete at the World University Games/Summer Universiade. I won’t be talking about the competition too much, but if you want to hear about how the tournament went, you can watch my video/vlog HERE.
So I landed in Taipei, and I ended up spending a week there. I didn’t get to go out of the athlete’s village as much as I would have liked (I had limited walking due to ankle surgery), but I still feel like I got a great glance to what the country is like.
Here’s my best 5 takeaways from my experience visiting Taipei.
1. Taiwanese People are So Friendly
Alright, so this is something HUGELY important to me when traveling. I’ve traveled a lot, and been to countries where people are rude, and that definitely leaves me with a negative impression of the trip. I realize it may just be the people you happen to run into, but sometimes there’s a pattern.
One night, my friend AJ and I decided to leave the village and go on a walk to a random salon to get a spur of the moment hair cut. (I’ve a strong addiction to getting haircuts in different countries cause you never know what you’re going to get.) I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Even though no one spoke english at the salon, they treated us SO well and even went out of their way to try and talk to us through Google Translate. It was so neat to communicate with a whole new culture without having the facility of language.
Aside from this specific experience, I encountered similar situations with other locals that I met. This was the same type of kindness I received from our taxi drivers, cash register people, and village volunteers. This is such a big reason as to why I’d love to go back and visit Taipei one day.
2. The Places to Visit are AWESOME
Okay, so like I mentioned, I realize I was limited in the places I could go to while in Taipei. But I did get to go Taipei 101- and that was AMAZING! A couple of my friends were able to go visit the Night Markets, and I heard awesome feedback from that as well.
We went out to some food trucks for dinner within walking distance of Taipei 101- a place called Commune7. They had all different kinds of food, so I decided to try a little bit from different places. Unfortunately, I loved the first truck we went to so much, that I stopped after that haha.
Going up to Taipei 101 was quite the experience. We went on the fastest elevator in the world, then went all the way up to the top where we could look through almost 100 floors down and even go up to look outside in the fresh air. If you really want to see what it’s like, I’ll leave my YouTube video vlog of Taipei 101 & eating dinner right below. If I ever do get a chance to go back, I’d love to visit some of the night markets!
3. Clean Streets, Safety & Transportation
Again, these might not all be things that you consider a high priority, but it’s just something that had an influence on why I loved Taipei so much. At all the places I went to, everything was very clean and it made it that much more enjoyable. I’m sure other parts of Taiwan may be different, but that’s pretty much like any country. Transportation was also super easy; we took a taxi whenever we went out on our own, and they were pretty cheap to go around with it.
Overall, anywhere we went also felt pretty safe. Our only big concern was when we went to the Opening Ceremonies. There were protests going on as we walked in, and later we were told they turned into riots and we weren’t allowed to walk through Opening Ceremonies due to safety concerns. (I have a video of this too if you want to watch). However, this was cleared up quick and we found out they weren’t as big as anything like what we’ve seen in the US.
As you can tell, I had a wonderful time in Taipei. I really hope I get the chance to return again one day and see more that the beautiful country has to offer. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, I’d highly recommend it!
PS- Don’t forget to try the ramen!!
Watch videos of my trip on my YouTube Channel: CLICK HERE
I’d love it if you left any comments or questions below!