Probably, the one word that suffices is comfort.
I don’t have any grasp of Mandarin at all but I found myself in comfort during the whole trip. The people. The food. The way of life. The chaos. The organization. We may have come from the same roots because these people look very much like the Filipinos of Chinese descent.
In one sentence: it was living in an old city with the comforts of technology.
In Nantou County and Taipei, they have old buildings. And despite the fact that they are a progressive country, they (consciously?) retained these old buildings. I quite like it. It adds to the charm of being old school. It makes you feel like you don’t have to rush. But don’t get me wrong, Taiwan has its share of modern buildings but it’s too far and few in between.
There are so many things that I love about this country. First of all, food. We, Filipinos, have a lot of things in common because of the Chinese influences. However, they really know their stuff – be it dumplings, noodles, braised beef, pork buns, or misua. You get all of the good stuff. Taiwan is Chinese cuisine heaven because you don’t have to go to an expensive restaurant in order to eat good food. Note: night markets.
The people are also one of the nicest ones out there – except for bus drivers when their trip is being hampered by unruly commuters. We met a lady who drove us to the place we wanted to go to. An auntie who helped us decide which pineapple cake to buy. And a taxi driver who let us pay less than what we should have. I’ve heard of people complimenting the Taiwanese because of their nature to help you out. We experienced it first-hand. No language barrier could ever get in the way of that.
Taiwan is a small country and every part of it offers something different. From the Sun Moon Lake in Nantou, the night markets that flourish in every part of the town, to the rainy but rather majestic town of Jiufen, and the Taipei Zoo that has a wide collection of animals. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s our itinerary for the trip.
I plan to go back and see what the other parts of Taiwan has in store for me. I’m looking at you Hualien, Lukang Township, and Kaohsiung.