It has been a couple of weeks that we have moved to Ahmedabad. The unpacking is done and the cartons have all been opened. It is now time to set sail again. So, where do I go next? Taiwan, baby! Sometimes, life throws unexpected surprises at you and my trip to Taiwan is one such surprise. I am delighted to be part of the press trip which sets sail later this month to explore this jewel of an island – Taiwan.
Until a few days ago, there was little that I knew about Taiwan, except that my mini piano, back in the 1980’s, came from there. There is no doubt that to an electronics lover, Taiwan is paradise. But there is so much more that this lovely island offers…and I am soon about to explore a little bit of it. I have been reading up on Taiwan in order to prepare for the upcoming trip. Here are some interesting facts that I have come across…
- Taiwan was called Ilha Formosa by the Portuguese, when the sighted the island in 1542. Ilha Formosa means ‘beautiful island’.
- Taiwan has a recycling rate of 55%, which makes it a world leader. It is such a pleasant surprise that there exists a nation that is actually making an attempt to create a better tomorrow.
- Taiwan is a clean country and garbage is typically not kept outside. Garbage trucks play music to announce their arrival!
- Since 2011, WiFi is available to the public for free. This is one destination where I won’t have to worry about buying a local SIM to stay connected.
- Taiwan is supposed to be an extremely vegetarian friendly nation. Mock meat, made of soya or wheat gluten is used as a substitute in a variety of dishes. I am looking forward to sample some local delights, that are ‘vegetarian compliant’.
- While Hello Kitty is popular all over South East Asia, Taiwan even has a Hello Kitty branded beer. I wish Ankur could have come along to say ‘Cheers’!
- Taiwan has nine national parks, including two marine national parks. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I do get a chance to dive and blow fish bubbles at Nemo and Marvin.
- Taiwan is home to over a hundred hot springs, which have therapeutic properties. I am looking forward to a lazy afternoon at one of these sites. Who doesn’t love a spa treatment on a vacation?
- Taiwan has seven little islands surrounding it, for those who wish to escape sights of concrete and seek some solitude. I am not sure if I will be able to budget time for a day trip this time… maybe next time!
- The national flag of Taiwan is different from the Chinese flag. It has twelve rays of the white sun that represent the twelve months of the year and the twelve Chinese hours. Taiwan isn’t allowed to use its national flag when it participates in international organizations or sporting events such as the Olympics or Asian Games. The Chinese Taipei flag is used on such occasions
Are you all set to travel with me to Taiwan? Lots coming up later this month…live from Taiwan on FB, Twitter and Instagram…stay tuned!
All pictures in this post are courtesy the Taiwan Tourism Board and the copyright continues to rest with the Board and the respective photographers.