DURING a three-week so-journ in Taiwan last year – which became the basis for the popular Free And Easy In Taiwan 26-part series that ran in my paper – I experienced the island at its best.
The food, as any foodie will tell you, is truly to die for. Sometimes, late at night, I find myself pining for the fried-chicken cutlet I ate at a bustling night market, and those succulent oysters that I tried on a pier.
The people are lovely, too. They are homely and down-toearth, and go the extra mile to make you, a foreigner, feel welcome.
But most of all, I find myself missing the island’s natural beauty. The quiet dignity of its stately mountain ranges, the astounding fields of flowers, and the clear-blue lakes – these are things you can’t find in all-too-modern Singapore.
I can’t help, therefore, but recount my time there, and tell you about my favourite places to visit in Taiwan.
CINGJING VETERANS FARM
This tranquil pasture, nestled on the top of a mountain in central Taiwan, was easily my favourite spot.
Not only is the air crisp and cool, but you’ll also find colourful European-styled bed-andbreakfasts, making you feel like you’ve been transported to a quaint European countryside.
How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung Railway Station. Then take the Kuo Kuang Bus to Puli and transfer to the Nantou Bus, which goes in the direction of Songgang-Cuifeng. Get off at Cingjing Veterans Farm.
This quaint city – the oldest on the island and located in the south of Taiwan – had my full attention.
I loved the antiquated buildings, the preserved remnants of its past (like its forts and old temples) and, of course, the fascinating fairy tale-like Anping Tree House. Its intricate lattice of intertwined tree roots and eeriely silent atmosphere were beautiful and chilling.
How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Tainan Railway Station.
Running along Taiwan’s mountainous east coast, this county gives you a slew of alluring natural attractions.
Enjoy amazing sea views atop plunging cliffs; travel on winding mountain roads, and check out the scenic lakes and a sea of seasonal golden daylilies dotting the mountains. Cisingtan’s black sands are also a must-see.
How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Hualien Train Station.
SUN MOON LAKE
This pristine and seemingly boundless blue lake is breathtaking at dawn, when the first rays of sunlight hit the water’s surface.
The air of serenity and harmony inspires weary city-dwellers to stand still, breathe, and clear their minds. It’s also a great place for honeymooners.
How to get there: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung Kan Cheng Train Station. Cross the street and take the Nantou Bus going towards Sun Moon Lake.
This archipelago is great for a quick getaway. Charming, unassuming and carefree, here you can enjoy a blissful island life as you engage in fun water sports, or just tuck into cheap and fresh seafood.
Though there are many tiny islands to visit, each with its own unique features to offer, my favourite is Xiyu. There, head to the west coast and look for Daguoye, where you’ll see the area’s majestic basalt columns.
Don’t forget to look for the gorgeously preserved antique stone houses on Wangan Island and to eat sea-urchin sashimi.
How to get there: Take a domestic flight – such as those of Trans- Asia Airways or Mandarin Airlines – from Songshan Airport to Magong Airport on Penghu’s main island.
Find my paper’s Free And Easy In Taiwan series online at http://sgtravellers.com/travel-sub-feature/free-and-easy-in-taiwan/29 Look out for a new travel series on Taiwan in my paper, starting next month.
Popular: 受欢迎的 shòu huān yíng de
Remnants: 剩余的 shèng yú de
Alluring: 吸引人的 xī yĭn rén de
Sea-urchin sashimi: 海胆刺身 hăi dăn cì shēn
Book online or visit our Travel Studios
Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, United States
马来西亚霹雳州是个得天独厚的州属，有风光旖旎的椰壳洞，也有红泥山人猿岛、太平夜间动物园，更有纯朴的红土坎、实兆远和江沙，复有精彩的怡保钟乳石洞，新开拓的旅游景点则有比亚马逊河5.5亿年还要古老的皇家柏隆雨林、双溪克拉温泉、马当红树林、霹雳达香草园（Perak Herbal Garden）…… 配合\"2012霹雳州旅游年\"，一个个自然科学、人文历史、美食度假的旅游品牌，断会叫人目不暇接，尽兴而归！
A film-inspired holiday in Hong Kong turns out to be an exciting and memorable one for Zackaria Abdul Rahim
Perth surprises Denise Lim with its stellar child-oriented experiences that fascinate little ones on their first travels
AROUND the time when red lanterns long associated with drinking establishments glow at dusk, Toyohashi Rail Road runs a special streetcar from Toyohashi Station in Aichi Prefecture.
OVERLY persistent vendors and noisy motorcycles aside, Morocco makes for a fascinating and friendly holiday.
Artist Robert Zhao Renhui enjoys Christmas Island’s unique ecology