One of the best things about my frequent travels is that I’ve been able to make friends all over the world. I met one of my best friends, Julia, while I was teaching English in South Korea. Earlier this year she finished her Master’s in Education in Canada and accepted a job teaching in Taiwan. I’ve been itching for a chance to make it to Taiwan to see her new digs and experience all the things that made her fall in love with the culture. So needless to say we were siked to partner with Taiwan tourism on our travel bucket list.
Taiwan is very LGBT Friendly
Taiwan is one of the most LGBT friendly countries in the world. They’re also one of the only countries in Asia that is accepting and inclusive of LGBT folks. Taiwan is home to Asia’s largest Pride celebration, vibrant nightlife, and progressive protections for Taipei’s LGBT residents. AfterEllen even did a queer guide to Taipei nightlife.
Taiwan Cycling Festival
I’d love to visit during the festival and experience the nine-day, 745-mile ride around the island. Taiwan Cycling Festival is held each November, but biking enthusiasts are on the 600 mile Taiwan bike network year round. The network is complete with 122 rest stop and connects to major attractions all over Taiwan. I’m a little nervous to be in good enough shape to make the trip work but luckily, biking in Taiwan is an activity for all fitness levels. Lindsay will probably be riding circles around me but it’s really a choose your own exertion kind of activity. One of the coolest parts of doing a cycling tour is that you can stop along the way and participate in all the activities around Taiwan.
Sun Moon Lake Bicycle Trail
While we’re cycling for the festival, I really want to see the Sun Moon Lake Bicycle Trail – it’s honestly, one of the most beautiful recreational biking areas I’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise that it was selected by CNN-Go as one of the ten most beautiful bicycle trails in the world. The water is a deep jade color and the trails are surrounded by gorgeous plant life. I’ve heard the majestic Ci En Pagoda is one of the most beautiful places in the world to see fireflies on evening rides.
Taiwan is home to numerous natural wonders
The natural wonders can be found all over Taiwan, but I really want to see the Water and Fire Cave on the side of Zhentou Mountain. It’s literally a cave where natural flames dance on top of a natural hot spring. Apparently, it’s the result of a crack in the earth that releases both water and natural gas. According to local legend, the flame has been continuously burning for centuries and was accidentally discovered by a passing monk. Legend or not – that’s something I need to see in person.
Taiwan Street Food
Taiwan’s night markets have some of the most delicious street foods in the world. I can’t wait to visit Miaokou Night Market and my fill of all the treats. Taiwanese soup dumplings are literally one of the most amazing foods I’ve ever eaten. They’re made with the broth inside the dumplings so it melts in your mouth as you take a bite. After exploring the street food you’ve gotta explore all the local shops with their crafts and wares for sale while you’re working off your extra food.