Bit of a random one as no one I know could accuse me of being green fingered, but turns out we’ve spent time visiting some awesome gardens on our travels and we wanted to share them with you. When we bought our house, one of the top items on the list of ‘must haves’ was a garden.
We were pretty worried about how we’d find travelling in Taiwan – it’s not exactly a renowned backpacker destination after all. After doing some research we decided trains were best for inter city travel but didn’t work out how to navigate the cities until arriving in them which was interesting at times! Having heard reports of people getting horribly lost and having real trouble finding any English speakers to help out with buying tickets etc we were expecting it to be a bit of a disaster.
So many people who visit Taiwan never make it out of Taipei, which I think is a huge mistake when there are so many other awesome cities to see! Despite a somewhat dodgy start, we found loads of awesome things to do in Taichung, and it turned out to be our favourite city in Taiwan. Deciding to save money by walking the 30 minutes from the station to our hostel we found ourselves walking through some pretty sketchy looking areas. Tower blocks, concrete high rises and busy roads made the whole place feel pretty bleak and soulless and we thought we may have made a bit of an error. We figured that we only had a one day in Taichung anyway so perhaps it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we had to stay in our apartment and get some work done…
Arriving in Taipei was an instant culture shock of the best kind and we loved every minute of our time in this amazing city. It’s one of the few places where my overly high expectations didn’t leave me disappointed and actually as we’ve continued our journey round Taiwan we’ve fallen more and more for the country. It’s a little crazy, very busy and intense at times but the people are so friendly and there’s so much to do that you can’t really help but love it. Do make sure that if you visit Taiwan you leave time to spend at least 3 days in Taipei exploring all the city has to offer.
Sadly we weren’t able to take our usual cooking class in Taiwan as it was surprisingly expensive and we simply couldn’t justify it given that we’re fairly broke these days. After doing some research the cheapest class I could find was 100USD per person which was so far out of our budget we may as well have been flying to the moon to learn how to cook. I mean, it’s not cheap here by South East Asian standards but it’s hardly the most expensive place we’ve visited so we were kind of shocked at the prices and sad that our cooking class challenge seemed to be coming to an untimely end.
We never really go shopping while travelling so this was a bit of a turn up for the books. Occasionally we might replace some of our grotty worn out clothes at a market or head to the food hall in a fancy shopping mall, but generally speaking we’re not big on wandering round the shops. In Taiwan though, we stumbled across some of the coolest department stores we’ve ever seen.