Taiwan Journals

Naruwan Taiwan!

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A July 2006 trip to Taiwan by Composthp

Alishan House Photo, Alishan, Taiwan More Photos
Quote: We took a round trip rail adventure around Taiwan, starting from Taipei, Tai Chung, Chiayi, Alishan, Kaoshiong, and Hualien before ending in Taipei again.

Naruwan Taiwan!

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Overview

Taichung Railway station Photo, Taiwan, Asia
Quote:
Naruwan Taiwan! The voice of Ah Mei, a popular Taiwanese singer beckoned us to visit Taiwan for some years now. Together with competitive rates offered by regional budget airlines, we finally succumbed to temptation. The slogan "shop and eat", first touted by the Hong Kong Tourist association for its own promotional campaign can be aptly applied to Taiwan as well. There is so much to see, do and eat that it overwhelmed first time visitors like us. Its unique location, i.e., at the edge of the Western edge of the Pacific "rim of fire" and its rich colonial history results in a diverse yet unique natural and cultural heritage. We did a mini tour of Taiwan via rail. We began at Ta...Read More

Alishan House

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Hotel

Alishan House Photo, Alishan, Taiwan
Quote:
Alisan House is one of the "newer" and pricier hotels in Alisan. Guests have a choice between staying in the hotel suites or rooms at the main building or at wooden cabins located further at the Annex. There are 150 guest rooms and 17 wooden cabins that can accommodate up to 8 persons in all. Regular shuttle buses are available for guests between the main block and annex and from the hotel to the Alisan visitor center and train station. We chose to stay in the wooden cabin for 6 persons (even though there were only 4 of us) as it was cheaper. We arrived at the visitor center slightly ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2007

Alishan House
No.16, Xianlin Vil.
Alishan, Taiwan
05-267-9811

Grand Formosa Taroko, Hualien

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Hotel | "Grand Formosa Taroko"

Grand Formosa Taroko, Hualien Photo, Hualien, Taiwan
Quote:
This is a 5-star hotel nestled in the heart of Taroko National Park. It has everything a tired traveler will need, and more. Facilities include 2 swimming pools (indoor and rooftop), a spa and sauna, an arcade in the basement, 2 restaurants, 2 mini theaters (yes, indoor and outdoors), the list goes on. The rooms are luxurious. Guests have a choice of Western styled and Japanese styled rooms. The deluxe double room comes with a clear glass window between the bathroom and the room… perfect for couples or for someone who wants to have a soak and yet catch the latest drama on telly. We made reservations for a double and a twin sharing deluxe room and were suitably impressed. The rooms came with daily sump...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2007

Grand Formosa Taroko, Hualien
18 Tian Hsyang Road
Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

Rainbow Hotel

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Hotel

Rainbow Hotel Photo, Taipei, Taiwan
Quote:
This is a tourist class hotel located in the heart of Ximending, a popular shopping area in Taipei. It seemed to be a favourite place to stay among South-east Asians, mainly Singaporeans and Malaysians, probably due to its proximity to shops and eateries. Except for the family suites, most rooms are small and cramp. Room charges are reasonable though in view of its location and comes with complimentary daily breakfast. The down-side of its location, however, meant that we had to tolerate the noise and loud music emitting from nearby shops and cafes till the wee hours. Breakfast was nothing to shout about. It was usually toasted frozen bread with assorted jam. If you are early, there might ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 17, 2007

Rainbow Hotel
No. 36 Han Chung St.
Taipei, Taiwan
+886 (2) 231-9193

Ah Liang Railway Bento

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Restaurant

Ah Liang's rail bento Photo, Taiwan, Asia
Quote:
Fengchihu town marks the mid-point between Chiayi and Alisan forest railway line. No one could explain why this town was named Fengchi Lake since there was/is no lake in sight. This town has a long history of supplying local workers at the nearby tea plantations and later tourists and hikers bento lunches reminisce of the Japanese rail lunch boxes at affordable prices.Our taxi driver cum guide highly recommended us to try the Ah Liang railway bento. Now in its third generation, it is located at the foot of the town's oldest street. The quiet location and rustic setting evokes a laid-back atmosphere that begs visitors to slow down and take a deep breath of the mountain air.Ah Li...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2007

National Scenic Area

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Attraction | "Among the Sacred Giants of the Forest"

National Scenic Area Photo, Alishan, Taiwan
Quote:
Mt Ali or Alishan was a source of cypress logging during the Japanese occupation in the early 19th century. The Alishan Forest railway was built to transport these logs down the mountain. It was designated as the Alishan Forest Recreation area after WWII and is now one of Taiwan’s major attraction. The most popular way of seeing Alishan is via the train. Touted as one of the world’s highest elevation railway, the train climbs to an altitude of 2000m and passes through the changing flora and fauna reflecting 4 climates (from tropical to subtropical...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 18, 2007

National Scenic Area
Alishan
Alishan, Taiwan

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

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Attraction

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Photo, Taipei, Taiwan
Quote:
Chiang Kai Shek was the first president of modern Taiwan. I remembered him from history lessons of yore as a general of the Nationalist party that busied itself fighting the communists instead of the invading Japanese. They were eventually defeated by the communists and fled to Taiwan where he founded the present KMT party. He was also known for his marriage to one of the 3 beautiful Soong sisters, Song Mei Ling who remained his most loyal and staunch supporter throughout her lifetime.The Chiang Kai-Shek (CKS) Memorial hall...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Zhong Shan South Road
Taipei, Taiwan 100
+886 2 2349 1635

Shihlin Night Market

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Attraction | "Shilin Night Market"

Shihlin Night Market Photo, Taipei, Taiwan
Quote:
This is the largest and one of the most popular night market in Taipei. It is divided into 2 sections: the Shilin Night Market, which is actually a food court housing countless of hawkers selling yummy snacks and local delights; and the Yang-Ming theater section which stretches around Danan, Dadong and Wenlin road. Lanes are choked full of street vendors and shops hawking the latest fashion apparel and accessories, snacks and local delights, all at very affordable prices. Stroll along the Yang-Ming section first for some retail therapy before hitting the food court where you can rest your legs and tuck in cheap food in comfort. The rain did not deter the crowds from coming to Shilin market...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2007

Shihlin Night Market
Chung Shan North Road, Section 4 Shihlin
Taipei, Taiwan 111
+886 2 2349 1635 (To

From Sunrise to Sunset: Alishan

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Story/Tip

Alishan Photo, Alishan, Taiwan
Quote:
One of the must see and do for all visitors to Alishan, besides hiking that is; is to get up at the crack of dawn, brave the cold mountain air to view the sun rising above the sea of clouds over the Alishan mountain range. A spectacular sight not to be missed, we were told. There are 2 designated spots for viewing the sunrise in Alishan, one at the DueiGaoYue and the other near Jhusan rail station. The latter is the more accessible of the 2; therefore expect crowds jostling for best spots, especially during peak seasons. Most visitors take the early train to Jhusan station and hike downhill after the sun is up. The train journey takes about 25 minutes in gradual ascent. There is usually only 1...Read More

Going Marbles at Taroko Gorge

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Story/Tip

Taroko Gorge Photo, Hualien, Taiwan
Quote:
If you have time to visit only one nature reserve, then head on to the Taroko National Park. Located in the township of Hualien, approximately 2 hours by train from Taipei, Taroko is considered to be Taiwan’s 8th most beautiful sight to behold. The main attractions in the park are easily accessible by car and can be covered in a day. However, to fully appreciate the magnificence and beauty of Taroko and the surroundings, do try a home stay or splurge at the Grand Farmosa Hotel. The area boasts limestone formations between the late Paleozoic era to the Mesozoic era, florid marble gorges curved by the Liwu River and a wide variety of flora and fauna. We stayed 2 nights at the Taroko Grand Fa...Read More