Here comes Taiwan. Finally! 🙂
Landing on foreign soil gets my heart pumping with excitement. This is even though I know for sure the research planning to visit a new country for the first time will be littered with peak points of stress. Haha.
Kenneth and I were pouring over travel blogs and sites, facebook groups and more to prepare for our Taiwan trip. Titus just let us, saying that he’ll leave all research to us, with me as the ‘primary navigator’. Lol.
Taiwan is a neighboring country of the Philippines up north. Was it beautiful? Yes! Was the experience amazing? Yes, yes, yes!
Penfires in Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark
Field Trip Boy in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
That Neverland Girl in the Lavender Fields of Houli Flower Farm
NEW ROADS, NEW CONNECTIONS, NEW FRIENDS
Travel rewards one in countless ways. We see new sights, hear new sounds, taste new flavors, listen to new stories, experience new things, widen our horizon, and a whole lot more. But it is meeting new friends and forging new connections which makes traveling extra special for me. The world is small, and the universe open doors when you take a journey.
During our research planning and when we got to Taiwan, we met individuals who are very passionate about exploring the beauty and adventure that Taiwan offers and who are equally helpful to those who wants to experience the Taiwan that they know and hold dear. They are Joven, Elma, and Precy. You will find these power trio on the Facebook group Mga Pasyalan sa Taiwan. Do visit the group and join especially if you are visiting Taiwan soon! They and the group member’s may be able to help you with your itinerary and tour arrangement or invite you as a joiner on tours.
I first messaged admin Joven on Facebook asking if he offers tour or know of one who can help us get a car rental on affordable rate. Joven referred me to Elma. Ms Elma was the one I corresponded with before going to Taiwan. She also arranged our Taichung Tour and North Coast Scenic Tour with our Taiwanese driver Mr Huang.
*We totally appreciate the ever smiling and helpful Mr Huang, our driver and guide. Ang ganda ng vibes at aura nya. He can’t speak English, we can’t speak Chinese. Google Translate to the rescue! Hahhaha. In the future, God willing we will be back there again, we will still get the services of Mr Huang. Xie Xie, Mr Huang! 🙂
Our first tour was a DIY Keelung Tour. Keelung is a smaller city, near Taipei, but is also steeped in heritage, cultural sights, and foodie places. They’ve got a night market in Keelung too!
Baimiweng Fort, Keelung
With Elma and Precy’s guiding, we were able to visit great places in Keelung which are normally overlook by Filipino tourists. Daghang Salamat Ms Elma and Ms Precy sa time niyo pagpasyal sa amin!!!
If you want to hire a car or van, you can send a message on Ms Elma’s facebook account. Let her know, you read about her on Penfires. 🙂
Nope, I don’t get any commission hehe but as a travel blogger it makes me glad to be able to refer good services that I’ve experienced myself, to individuals who may be looking for the same.
By the way, watch out for the vlog of Elma for the day tour in Keelung, I’ll upload it once ready. 😊
UPDATE!!! I have just uploaded the vlog for Inside Keelung’s Fairy Cave! Explore with us! 🙂
The Goddess Guanyin, Giant Buddah Statue in Keelung Zhongzhen Park
The second tour was Taichung, flowers and blooms, rainbows and bold colors, castles and cherry blossoms. There is a separate Penfires post about Houli. 🙂
The third tour was North Coast, Yehliu, Jiufen, Golden Waterfall, Shifen Pingxi Lantern. We finished early with the day’s activity, so Mr Huang encouraged us to check one more Taiwan tourist spot, the Shifen waterfall. We asked him, ‘how many minutes’ walk?’… “just 30 minutes”, so that’s an hour total back and forth. Uggghhh. We’ll passed hahah pagod na ang mga gors.
Golden Waterfalls, easy access, road side
The fourth was a mini- tour DIY Taipei City including lunch in the famous xiao long bao restaurant, Din Tai Fung Xinyi branch. Unfortunately, it was raining on and off, Taipei 101 was off the table. But we made good time in Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and the park nearby which a section full of cherry trees! This one is easy to go diy, just ride MTR to Chiang Kai Shek Station (Green line), take Exit 5 then explore the complex.
Finally, we made it to Taiwan, a beautiful East Asian country. Plus, we were right on time for the lantern festival in Taipei and best of all, the cherry blossom season was still in full swing during our getaway. Lady luck was definitely smiling on us, I say! 🙂
Our Taiwan visit was a combination of a private car rental tour + diy tour. Do check out the Penfires Taiwan series if you’ve got time. 🙂
Wishes up in the sky!
These are some of my favorite pictures and moments from our Taiwan Tour last February 24 to March 1. If you plan to travel next year and you want a good chance of seeing cherry blossoms in 2019, time your vacation from mid-February to early March and catch those pretty blooms.
I wish I can upload all my fave shots but I can’t, Penfires won’t be able to handle lots of GBs of images hehe.
Writing down wishes for the lantern to carry up above…
Rainbow Village was all about bold and bright colors
Houli Flower Farm
We went gaga over the gorgeous blooms at Zhong She Sea of Flowers, more popularly known as Houli Flower market and farm. Check here for the post with more shots from Houli Zhongshe flowers visit.
The Sea. Yehliu Geopark
Narrow Passage inside Keelung’s Fairy Cave
North Coast Tour – Jiufen Old Street
Amei Teahouse in Juifen. #spiritedaway
Here comes the old train, wishes on hold
Day Time Visit. Night Market in Keelung
Quanji Temple, Jiufen 02.27.18
The Doves of Zhongzhen Park, Keelung
Back in the city – Taipei and Claw Machines 🙂
The heart of Ximending
One hour wait and a few minutes more. Din Tai Fung Xinyi lunch crowd.
Day tour at Xinshe Castle, Summit Resort
Salamat, Salamat, Taiwan!
Taiwan Foodie Haven
Our home based in Taiwan was Rainbow Hotel in Ximending District. Will be staying there again the next time we visit Taiwan. This hotel is surrounded by lots of restaurants, street food kiosks, shopping and many more.
Rainbow Hotel right in the heart of Ximending
I’ll be sharing a separate post on our food trips and the pasalubong hoards. 😉
When are you going to Taiwan? Grab those promo fares na and craft your DIY itinerary or go for packaged tour. Whichever way you go, I hope you’ll find Taiwan as amazing as we did. Get lots of pictures too!!! 🙂
Thank You, Taiwan!!! Babalik kami!