Hi! My boyfriend is gone for the festive season and I have to spend the NY weekend on my own.
I wish I could travel locally in Taiwan to some interedting place that is beautiful and extraordinary. Taiwan is full of such places I hope and I already visited some. But my main concern are mainlanders. We used to live in China and we both were fed up with certain behaviors. In short we overreact now. I just came back from the Taroko gorge and am traumatized for life. I would like to know if there are places in Taiwan which they prefer less or don’t go at all? Ideally I would like to visit some abotiginal places. But I don’t want to see those fake ones where everybody wears traditional adidas costumes and wishes me merry Christmas in Mandarin. I also don’t want to go to a place where I’ll stare at the loaclas and make them.feel uncomfortable. Thank you in advance.
I have a family visit now and so will visit the Gugong museum. Interested in seeing if there’s any difference; a change from soul-crushingly brutal to perhaps merely unpleasant would be most welcome.
Just go where tour buses can’t go, or a bit beyond walking distance of major car parks.
Funny, a relative just went there 1 week ago and had the opposite experience. Are you going to the right places? Or running into a small crew of mainlanders at the beginning of the Shakadang Trail means the end of the world for you and the bf.
Wuling Farm. Yu Shan Peak.
Head to places that require lots of rigorous hiking and climbing and you’ll find yourself surrounded by nothing, but nature.
You could also try Green Island.
I pass by there on a weekly basis and I can say that the amount of tour buses has decreased by tenfold. I remember getting bombarded by buses left and right at 8-9AM about 8 months ago. I can’t really say first hand if there’s less mainlanders, but can say there’s less tourists.
Sorry for the typos. My laptop is down and I am using my phone. Didn’t spot all of them.
Yes, I can go to a remote place and then what? How will I travel there? I can’t drive a scooter. I can, but I don’t have the license. I can’t drive a car. I just took a tour yesterday in Hualian which was supposed to be international but there were no Taiwanese , just me , two Indonesians and the rest were mainlanders. The driver - guide was a mainlander too. He yelled into a microphone for 10 hours about food. Why would anyone need to yell if they have a microphone . I don’t want to and up like this again. I still had a headache this morning.
Any ideas for a mobility challenged person like me?
As for taroko- no, there weren’t many of them in the beginning of that trail. There were a lot of them in swallows grotto and by those commemorative temples.
It’s hard to explain my reactions but I will try . Imagine you are in prison and they beat you with bamboo stick every day . So you try not to notice url some days you tell yourself that it wasn’t even that bad. Most days you try not to pay attention. But then you leave the prison and the anger is still there and it gets released every time you see a bamboo stick. Even atached to a broom. You weren’t angry before or else you’re more your mind . But you get angry now. And can’t hold it down.
Does it make sense to visit the island in the winter? I read that it can get windy and planes get cancelled.
I am fond of local tour groups. I am lazy and I do not drive, so take me, lodge me in a 5 star hotel, feed me 3 meals a day plus snacks, I will be happy as an oyster in its shell and give you a generous tip.
That said, I do speak Chinese and the experience has been mamahuhu. Most good with occassional pitfalls. But you cannot argue with the price. You can argue with the shopping stops, though. Not when they give you the whole tour in Taiwanese.
I have also taken the international, English spoken tours. Never with Mainlanders. But all tours have included the shopping stops.
That said, another option, for instance, is what we did when we went to Hualien: you can book a local guide to take you around, like a private driver. Ours was with the mingtzu/B&B where we stayed. Taidong was also very easy to move around. The B&B had bikes and maps. Most destinations you can get to by train or taxiu, and the taxi drivers will pick you up say after your swim and take you somewhere local. Definetively recommend Taidong … take the plane, though. Book B&B on the Internet and get airport pick up.
Look for a B&B around Wuling farm with pick up. Maybe Kaohsiung or Tainan, Southern destinations untouched by Mainlanders. Take the HSR, then taxi/get picked up by hotel/hostel. I want to stay in that Batman themed hotel down South.
Now your question is how do I get to these places, not where can I go.
Sorry to hear about your experience with the tour. I know I would feel pretty annoyed and on edge if I listened to someone yell into a microphone for 10 hours. I’m not sure how an international tour should have Taiwanese?
How did you get to Hualien in the first place? You make it sound like you teleported to Taiwan. This is Taiwan, quite possibly the most convenient place on the planet to live. Call me a monkey’s uncle if there was no bus to the top of He Huan Shan or to Yu Shan National Park visitor center.
A taxi can get you almost anywhere as long as you’re willing to pay for it. Bus/train/bike if you don’t have a license to operate a scooter or any other motor vehicle.
In my experience, traisn are nearly imposible to book as a furriner. I usually buy from a travel agency, along with booking whatever connection -bus, hostel or hotel, tour, etc.
yes, there are buses anywhere. The schedule is tight, though. I love the Junming Museum, but I have never been able to catch their bus. I always have a pal with a car drive us there. Then you can stop on teh way back in Jinshan for a dip in the hot springs.
Something elsoe I have been meaning to do and some have recommended is to spend the night at Jiufen or Jinghuashi.
I heard those BnBs are near impossible to book.
Yep, as everything else in this friggin Island. I mean, I have never been able to buy a concert ticket here. But if you book ahead of time, you can look for one a bit further from the main roads, overlooking expanses of green, not crowds battling for space to breathe.
If I want to wake up, open the window and find a group of elderly people staring at me in all my glory, I’d stay home.
Sorry if my questions sound too vague. I ask specifically how can I travel in certain places in Taiwan you guys would possibly recommend given that I can’t drive a scooter or a car and given my dislike for mainlanders and their shaningans.
Of course I didn’t teleport to Taiwan and I have had my share of travelling done one the last, 50 countries and counting . I just didn’t have to avoid anyone before. Now I plan my holidays anywhere I go so I can avoid the mainlanders. And it’s difficult given that there days they have wedding parties in Antarctica.
About the tour : I booked it at a hostel. They told me the customers who take this trip can be local, international, including mainlanders and the language is Mandarin because most customers are usually taiwanese. And as it turned out the driver was mainland Chinese, 9 out of12 were mainlanders and the driver spoke Mandarin to the Indonesian couple although theybdidnt speak any mandarin and took the tour because there were no other options , he didn’t speak mandarin to me even though I spoke to him and he told everyone that I didn’t understand anything which resulted in everyone talkingb louldly about me in front of me and there were no taiwanese in sight.
So it kind of scared me that in such a touristy and famous place the only option was the one tailor made tour for foreigners I took the day before and all other tours were in fact targeted at the mainland people.Now I’m thinking how poor can be the options anywhere else.
Sorry if my questions about mobility sound dumb. I didn’t travel much in Taiwan before.
Taroko gorge and alishan and the museum are mainlanders central.
Taiwan simply isn’t very international as you have been finding out. I have a friend who refuses to ever come back to Taiwan after being subjected to one of those bus tours.
What I used to do was head down South to kending and lounge around camping for a week. Of course there are mainlanders there now as well but not everywhere. Head into hengchun area won’t bump into many.
Taiwan’s Ross and trains get busy during new year. What you need to do is take local trains to local places or fly. Avoid long road trips on highways.
If you want to get anywhere efficiently that is a long distance during CNY you must take the high speed train or fly. DO NOT try to save money by traveling some other way.
Personally I have a lot of experience of Chinese New Year in Taiwan…some have been memorable but the best experience is getting out of Taiwan for it
—ah you said New Year not Chinese New Year…need to be clear on that…
The tour I took of Taroko was in English with English spoken guide -local food at that hotel inside the park, buffet style, not too good. I booked it with an agency in Taipei, one at the Main Station, Easy Travel or Lion I think.
You can also book private tours, plenty of independent guides available, which is better because then you can choose where to go. The Shinlong Resort is a good option. Ther are other resorts -the Butterfly farm, for instance- with plenty of services inside. Even teh Taroko Park Hotel has many amenities, you do not need to move much.
I would avoid famous places. A really bad tour I took was in Sun Moon lake, basially they are used to squeezing money out of people, too many pushing you to buy buy buy crappy stuff. That is why they focus on Mainlanders and even pull that trick on them.
The worse tour I have been was one in Penghu. Aside from the fact that the guide refused to speak Mandarin -even after my companions from Hong Kong asked him to speak Mandarin as they did not understand- it was that whole “riding a horse through flower fields experince”, but not too quick as not to notice when they dropped hordes of cats locked in cages into the sea.
Honestly, there are gorgeous places around Taiwan. However, the usual crap that is pushed to tourists only benefits a handful of, well, not even local operators. Luckily for us, those places are the most uninteresting to anyone who has lived here a while.
I have never been to Alishan and I do not think I am missing anything after hearing some horror stories or crowds and being shepherded around at 4am to watch the sunrise. Heck, last time I was battling crowds at 4am it was for the Taj Mahal!
I take people to teh History Museum instead of teh Palace Museum. A shopping trip down ZhengZheng market is quite the thrill for bargain seekers.
Talking about thrill, there is this foreign guy who organizes tours like jumping off cliffs and river tracking, if you are into that kind of thing. There are tours where you can live among aboriginals, do like a camp experience for a week, learn to hunt and draw a bow. Focus on what you like.
I know so many great places but you need to get out there and also be introduced to them. English resource are very poor though.
TripAdvisor can five some pointers as many south East Asian visitors.
Facebook has follow hsiao guy … you can search on Facebook for the waterfall guy looks amazing.
Big holidays are always a bit shitty to get around though.
Oh no. No no no. No travel in Taiwan or China during CNY. I want to travel next week. For CNY we already have tickets booked for Palawan. We are staying in the South, mainlanders don’t go there. Lol.
Thanks everyone for good suggestions.
I was thinking about visiting aborigines but again, I read that they are converting more and more places into Disneylands for mainlanders. Are there any places I can go for a day or to and not make people uncomfortable?