5 days in Taiwan

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I used my last trip of the semester to explore Taiwan. I spent two days in Taipei, one in Jiufen, and two in Hualien.

Taipei

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Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

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Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

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Xiaolongbao @ the original Din Tai Fung

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The famous Taipei 101

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Fried milk @ Shilin Night Market

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Maokong Gondola

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Crystal cabin on the gondola

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Tea @ Makong

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Peking duck @ Celestial Restaurant

Jiufen

Jiufen is a small town in a mountainous region around one hour east of Taipei.  It used to be a gold mining town, but now it is a huge tourist attraction with many cafes, souvenir shops, food, and fantastic views.

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Top of a hill in Jinguashi

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Street food: snails

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Street food: Ice cream, peanut, and cilantro wrap!

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One of many souvenir shops – this one sold ocarinas.

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View of Jiufen from the top of Mt. Keelung

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Clouds rolling over Jiufen

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Jiufen in the evening

Hualien

Hualien is a small city on the eastern coast of Taiwan.  Its main attraction is the nearby mountainous region, which is home to many beautiful scenery and national parks.

We spent one day river tracing with Hualien Outdoors.  River tracing (or river trekking) is a combination of hiking and climbing along the river.  Apparently it is a common sport in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan.  If you do one thing in Taiwan, I would recommend river tracing, and with the guide that I went with.

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The best part was that we had the whole river to ourselves.  There were several other “big tour groups” that were also river tracing where we were, but they only went up a fifth of what we did.  It was a much more enjoyable and personal experience going with a small group (4 of us + 2 guides).  We took several breaks at some scenic spots, and we got to do some cliff jumping!

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We also took one day to visit the famous Taroko National Park.

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This trip was an amazing way to end off my incredible exchange experience!