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TotalAdventure’s Final Stop On September’s East Asia Voyage Was Taiwan – Republic of China. I have been to Mainland China 5 times and several times to Hong Kong and Macau , including when they were British and Portuguese Colonies. Taiwan was different in two ways – it is a Democracy, though not on the level of Europe or the USA. It is also uncrowded – only 30 million people – which is far smaller than several Mainland Cities. For several years Taiwan has been “on the list” but now due to increasing tensions across the Straits ( as little as 80 miles ,120 km) ) the time to go might be now. TotalAdventure thinks it’s highly unlikely that that Beijing would attack Taipei – the economic and political fallout would be massive – but the same was said about Putin and Ukraine. Unfortunately the rule of travel these days, for many parts of the world, is to go now, while one has the chance. TotalAdventure explored Tigray extensively in early 2020- just before COVID and then a horrific genocidal war later that year. Of course , War Tourism is now a thing – a dangerous form of adventure. On this trip – Taiwan was peaceful – though often with the roar of fighter jets in the background. The island is surrounded by PRC Battleships and Coast Guard – sometimes only 30 miles, 50 km from the shore.
Money Cat is revered all over the Chinese Diaspora.
Tower 101 was the tallest building in the world 20 years ago. It is now the 10th tallest.
Some interesting architecture from 553 meters.
The Taiwanese Dollar is 31 to the US Dollar. Prices are moderately lower than the USA. Simple meals as low as $ 6 , comfortable hotel is $ 80 and luxury hotel about $ 140. (US) 100 mile 160 km fast train,$ 5.
Confucius centered Buddhism is the main religion.
Old teachings are adapted for modern life – the pursuit of success.
One of the main reasons to explore Taiwan is for the food – different , and not as exotic as Sichuanese or Cantonese , but equally as tasty. Above,Black Meat Chicken.
Very Spicy pork noodle soup.
Shrimp That Were Jumping 10 Minutes Before.
Looking a lot like Ballyhoo bait fish from Florida and the Bahamas. But very tasty grilled.
A strange fruity dessert.
The Nationalist Flag of Kuomintang China.
From Taipei , TotalAdventure traveled by train to Xincheng, on the East Coast. The Deep Blue Pacific was calm and beautiful.
The local population, having experienced many typhoons and a few tsunamis is quite fearful of the sea, and few swim. It is a pity , because the sea, in late September , is clear and warm. TotalAdventure did swim, albeit with some caution.
Near Xincheng is Taroko National Park. One needs a car to explore – TotalAdventure hired a taxi for the whole day for 2500 NT$, about 80 US.
Massive water volume bursts through the canyons . Though the weather was dry – the rivers run fast from the ending rainy season.
The climate is subtropical with hot summers and mild winters. On the highest mountain tops some snow falls in winter.
On the last evening in Taipei, TotalAdventure climbed the Tomb of Chiang Kai-shek. He ruled the breakaway Republic until his death at age 87 in 1975.
The Long Flight To SFO. 11 Hours. Left Sunday Night and Arrived Sunday Afternoon.