Ni Hao to all you funky monkeys and secret squirrels
So we are currently up at Cingjing which is farm area high up in the mountains of Taiwan freezing our butts off in a cheapo B&B with no heating… but MAN are we HAPPY to be here… alive… and in one piece… after driving our arses off on treacherous mountain roads at night since we misjudged our driving times today…
Holy shit dudes, Taiwan is 50% mountainous and we’ve spent the whole day driving through slippery wet windy mountain roads which in itself is a bit scary considering they have hairpin turns and blind corners almost every 100 meters… …but not only that, the weather has been so shitty that we’ve been driving on the inside of a cloud for most of the day with visibility of only couple of meters in front of our car… which again is a sphincter clenching experience…
But once you factor in how truck drivers in Taiwan will often overtake on blind corners so you can literally be coming around a corner and have a truck appear and hurtle towards you in your lane… man my sphincter is so ripped I’m going to need a car jack up my butt to unclench it.
But I’ve got to say Taiwan’s natural beauty is stunning and the people are pretty chilled and friendly so Taiwan has really grown on us.
So Taiwan is obviously known as an industrial powerhouse so we’d always imagined it to be drab grey and industrial, but in actual fact they have a very well developed tourism industry based around Taiwan’s amazing mountains and gorges and rugged pacific coastline.
And the Taiwanese are actually quite outdoorsy people so there are famous and very scenic cycling and motor cycling routes all around the country… which is probably why Merida and Giant mountain bikes are made here. We ended up doing a bit of a mix of train and car clockwise around the island over 2 weeks with a bit of trekking and cycling thrown in.
Taiwan’s most famous tourist attraction is Taroko gorge which is one of the modern natural wonders of the world and was a fantastic drive through tunnels and roads carved into the gorge walls.
We also checked out Yeliu Geographic park in the north which is an unusual lunar landscape carved from coastal erosions where fossilised urchins are everywhere.
From there we took a car down the east coast of Taiwan where we soaked in thermal hot spring hotels, and drove down through rugged coastlines with roads carved into towering cliffs that just drop into the sea. But the most beautiful area of Taiwan is what we’ve just driven through in the last couple of days. There is a spine of mountains down the centre of the country where the townships of Alishan and Cingjng are, and where we have done some stunning walks in cloud misted subtropical rain forests with elevated walkways and suspension bridges that fade like ghosts into the mists.
We did some hikes through forests around here where I did some of the most stunning forest photography I have ever done.
Which was even more beautiful when you also get to take a forest train through the misty forests.
But the best part of Taiwan was actually the people. I know it is a bit wanky to say it but Taiwan people and culture is what really makes this place awesome.
It’s the most perfect blend between Chinese and Japanese and Western cultures that we’ve seen in any country.It’s like they’ve taken the best of all those cultures and built a country around it, and in actual fact we found getting around even more efficient and easier than even getting around Japan.
And of course most of our trip Kitson has once again been a Rock star in Asia especially with Taiwan girls who love all things cute.We’ve gotten over our hesitations now and we now just send her off to charm people so we get better deals and upgrades in hotel etc.
We are such pimps!
Anyways, we are back to Taipei soon and then off to Tokyo to join friends for a snow trip. If you are bored and want to check out our Taiwan pics the link is here
And if you are wanting to go to Taiwan, since getting English travel advice was difficult we will post a proper travel tip blog on our website www.cedavril.com when we get home.
Lots love and fluffiness
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