If you live in Hong Kong, as we did at the time, it’s really easy to travel to another country. In April this year, we booked a little trip to Taiwan to break away from our crazy schedules. I know what you are thinking, “breaking away from one crazy city to another?”. Well, not exactly. Yes, we had our return flights booked to Taipei, but we ended up exploring Yilan as we are suckers for beaches and mountains!
So, if you want to explore Taiwan a bit more or need a little break from the hustle and bustle, below is a little breakdown from our 5 day adventure in Taiwan. (*insert drum roll here*)
As we were arriving super late, we booked one nights accommodation in Taipei. We stayed at the Bouti Capsule Inn which is conveniently located close to the main station. It’s basically like a very fancy backpackers and you sleep in, well, a little capsule. We were very impressed by this little place. It was clean, very well equipped, (I mean they even had hairdryers), and the staff were all super friendly and helpful.
The next morning we headed out to the main station to get our train tickets to Waiao Beach. We booked three nights accommodation at the Rising Sun Surf Inn.
Now, if you don’t speak Mandarin, you might have some difficulties getting around, but the locals are super friendly and very eager to show you exactly where to go, what ticket you need for the train, the platform you need to be at etc., so don’t be scared to ask for help.
The train ride to Waiao Beach is really beautiful as it goes along the coast. The station is also really close to the backpackers, so no need to book any extra transport.
Waiao beach is situated in the Toucheng village and has a very chilled surfing atmosphere. It’s a black sanded beach and you will see people growing their vegetables and crops in the sand. There are a few places where you can rent surfboards and book surf lessons.
For the next few days we explored the village and also headed out to Jiaosi.
(Side note: We could not find any supermarkets or seven eleven shops, so for food and drinks, stock up in Jiaosi)
Jiaosi is apparently very famous for their hot springs, there are soooooooo many, and man it was quite a treat! They have a hot spring park, that is free, where you can relax your feet in the warm water.
We also did a beautiful hike to the Wufongci Waterfall. It’s quite an easy hike as there are many stairs and signs to show you the way. My favorite part of this hike was when we got lost and found this really beautiful church high up in the mountains!
The last day of our trip was spent in Taipei as we had to catch our flight from there. We spent the day walking around in the peace park, visited the Shilan night market and soaked up the energy of the city.
Side tip: If you are a South African travelling to Taiwan, you do need to get a tourist visa. Although this is free, you need to give proof of the following:
* Flight booking
* Hotel accomodation
This may have changed by now but at the time that we applied for our visa, we had to have all this information available.
Check out our video over here!