I had always been advised to travel to Taiwan instead of China. Taiwan is a sensitive political issue for many Chinese people and I do not wish to upset anyone or push any buttons by posting this. I had heard that Taiwan was incredible and more scenic than China. Additionally, the upper classes and affluent members of society fled to Taiwan, following Chiang-kai Shek’s exodus from China. The upper classes fleeing to the small beautiful island has led to enormous tensions with the mainland, which they left a humble mountain.
Taipei is so special and lovely due to its history. The standard of living and the quality of life there is better because more intelligent people flocked there and developed it into a modern metropolis in the subtropics. It’s beautiful setting and landscape and its precise and manicured development has made it one of the most modern, beautiful and oddly enough, under-rated unheard of cities in the world. Taiwan does not attract droves of Western tourists, who are stuck and fixated on the idea that mainland China is the “real” China and the most authentic place to be. Taiwan is reminiscent of the past glories and grandeur of ancient Chinese civilization. China is not. China is competing with Taiwan for status in the world. That is why Shanghai’s skyline is designed to imitate Taipei 101.
Taipei has a sleepy feel to it. It does not have the hustle and bustle feel that Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong have. Perhaps it is the mist-shrounding the National Palace museum, the delicate magenta flowers of the Langhsan temple or the peaceful sounds of frogs cooing in the overgrown leaves in the subtropical paradise of the public parks. This is all in contrast, or, in harmony with, Taipei 101, the world’s second tallest building.
The airport was also world-class. I enjoyed the hanging gardens in the terminal. I wish I could go back to Taiwan and explore more of the island. Taiwan is a hidden gem in Asia.