This is the second part of my solo traveling experience in Taiwan. Today, I will talk about the 3 cities I decided to go: Kenting, Kaohsiung, and Chiayi.
Stop 3 Kenting
My next station is heading to the southern region of Taiwan, Kenting. For sure, I can stay in a hotel in Hengchun for it is by far cheaper than staying in Kenting and it’s only a few minutes away by scooter. As I own a driver’s license which is required in Taiwan, I can easily get a scooter for 400 NTD (~12$ US) a day which is not really expensive for a developed country like Taiwan. The landscape down there is absolutely breathtaking. I just drive along the coast and visit some places like Baisha Bay which is a nice family beach. I also go down to the fish market of Houbihu.
I have another great clam soup and a parrot fish dish. There are a lot of families and it looks a bit strange that I’m actually alone enjoying such a good meal. I can recommend doing it alone. If you do it like this, for sure nobody destroys your appetite by talking about things you don’t want to hear while enjoying a meal.
Anyway, after lunch, I continue my ride around the national park. I pass through this amazing landscape before I turn back to Hengchun.
When I am there I visit a Reggae bar. I met an English guy who performs there so I drop by and listen. I can totally recommend the reggae bar called Goat Reggae Bar. You can enjoy their meal, and wine while listening to music. I also highly recommend their pizzas by the way. But again for sure, I eat another clam…
Furthermore, I met some people there and they invite me for a hike to a small waterfall. I don’t know where it is. But if you visit Goat’s Reggae Bar just ask them for directions to the small nice waterfall. I’m sure they will help you.
The small hike to the waterfall leads through the forest. Watch out for snakes.
Stop 4 Kaohsiung
I continue my journey to Kaohsiung one of the bigger Cities in Taiwan. I visit the night market and I am craving to eat once more the amazing clams. But actually, there are other things to eat as well. Sometimes I just like to eat something too much that I totally forget to try other things. But I just love seafood in Taiwan if it’s clams or any other kind it’s just amazing.
The Tuntex Sky Tower has a nice observation deck on the 79th floor with an amazing view.
Also nice to visit is the Lotus Pond there. A bit artificial but definitely very Asian.
Here some other photos of the city of Kaohsiung…
On a day trip in Kaohsiung, I visit the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum. I have been in a few Buddhist temples in Thailand and Cambodia. However, I had no idea about Buddhism until I visit this place. I would not describe myself as a religious person but religion has a big impact on culture. And that’s what I’m interested in. Anyway, this museum is not only impressive of its huge and beautiful architecture. It also shows many things about Buddhism like the life of Buddha, the different festivals in Buddhism throughout the year and many other details. I think it is very informative if you are interested in the culture and lives of the people in Buddhist regions.
On the way back up to Taipei where I will fly out, I stop by in Chiayi. My plan is to go to Alishan the next day. But, it is raining badly so I decide to just stay in the town of Chiayi. To go to Alishan is a good reason to come back to Taiwan one day. Hopefully, it will not rain cats and dogs the next time. But also staying in Chiayi is great fun. I have one of my best burgers ever in a small shopping mall in Chiayi. I never expect to find a good burger in Taiwan. Fresh meat and vegetables, real good bread and thick french fries.
Back in Taipei
I still have 2 days left that’s why I visit some things I missed out on my first trip to Taipei. I go to the fishermen’s wharf:
This time I stay in the district of Ximen. It is also very lively full of interesting shops, bar, and restaurants. I can totally recommend staying there as well.
The next day I visit the National Taiwan Museum. I actually find the surrounding more impressive than the museum itself. But I guess it’s also because I have a higher expectation because of the other two museums I visited the last time in Taipei (see 5 Stops in Taiwan part 1).
Some expats organize a dinner at a Japanese eat-all-you-can restaurant…. Unfortunately, I forgot the name, but I’ll post it here as soon I remember ;-).
About flying in without a plan when to fly onward
I flew into Taipei and for the first time, my flight ticket to fly out again was controlled. I mean most countries ask you as a Tourist to have an onward ticket already booked when coming in. I was sometimes asked at the check in and also one time they asked me at the border control. Often I had an actual ticket sometimes I had to book one at the airport. And also this time I just booked a flight out after roughly 3 weeks. Actually, nobody ever checked if my ticket was real. But this time there was a trainee at the check in and she had to learn how to prove if a ticket is real or not. So she did that for the first time by checking some official ticket reservation network on her computer. Usually to show an E-Mail was enough which is really easy to fake.
If you don’t want to fake anything and also don’t want a real ticket you can do either one of the following suggestions:
- Book a refundable ticket.
- If you have 10$ to waste on this, rent a ticket here: www.flyonward.com
- Book a cheap bus or ferry ticket for 5$ over some border.
I guess the refundable ticket is the cheapest solution if it is really fully refundable. Anyway, it is nothing but a pain in the ass for all spontaneous travelers. And it also doesn’t bring any security to the local government that the traveler actually flies out again. I think they might need some more years to figure that out as well. Just because most people plan their holidays doesn’t mean that everybody needs to do that.