Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Taichung, Taiwan

Taichung, Taiwan, Asia

By Lianne Choo

Taichung: Taiwan’s Third Largest Jewel
Explore a world of food, culture and nature.

Taichung is the third largest city in Taiwan and is a jewel that many tend to overlook. Stay off the
beaten path and shrug aside the more obvious travel choice of Taipei and head further south to discover Taichung’s endless array of food, culture and nature. With a mix of luxury condos and colonial buildings, Taichung is a brilliant collision of old and new.

One of the things that Taichung is most famous for is bubble tea. Bubble tea is said to have been created at the original Chun Shui Tang teahouse so whether you are a fan of bubble tea, you have to make the effort to head over just so you can say that you had the ‘world’s original’ bubble tea.

Something else to experience in Taichung would have to be a night market. Head to the Feng Chia night market, the largest of its kind in Taichung. Stretching over several blocks, you are in for a real sensory treat. Must-try foods are Taiwan’s famous popcorn fried chicken, chicken chop, fried squid, stuffed chicken wings, stinky tofu, and grilled sausages.

One of Taichung’s main attractions is its maze of streets. Comprising of endless restaurants, auto garages, bars, and boutiques, Taichung offers visitors a vibe that closely resembles that of Japan. That being said, Taichung residents have a love for karaoke and these singing parlors are abundant in the city. Taichung is not well known for its nightlife and many say that clubbing is almost non-existent. However, all Taichung residents need to have a good time is a microphone and some cheesy music and they are all set to enjoy the rest of the night.

When navigating the narrow streets, beware of impatient scooters as they are known for paying zero
attention to their surroundings. The rule of thumb is to look out for them because they certainly are not going to look out for you. Collisions are common and are usually settled quickly without the interference of the police. Scooters are the main form of transportation for most Taichung residents although many others opt to drive or take the bus, which is an extremely efficient form of public transport. Visitors are advised to rent a car as this will give them the chance to explore Taichung’s myriad of natural wonders located outside the city centre.

Dakeng Scenic Area is the closest form of nature available to the Taichung urbanites.  Located 30 minutes away, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking and camping. Although it can get rather busy over the weekends, it remains pristine and perfectly maintained.

At the end of the day, one of the best things about Taichung is its people. Even though many do not speak English, they will try their level best to help tourists out, making Taichung one of the nicest and friendliest places in the world to visit.


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