Waking up in Taichung, we headed out before sunrise in search of breakfast. While the local breakfast meals weren’t necessarily our comfort food, they were very cheap and tasty. Our plan was to spend a full day exploring Taichung — the third largest city in Taiwan after Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Perhaps this is the southernmost city we visited in Taiwan, or perhaps this city is shielded by the Central mountain range on the east and mainland China on the west, the weather was the warmest and driest compared to our first 10 days on this island. We visited several attractions, including Rainbow Village, 921 Earthquake Museum, Xinshe Sea of Flowers, and Lavender Cottage. After visiting Gaomei Wetlands at sunset, we departed for Taoyuan — a 2-hour drive from Taichung. Taoyuan is not a touristy town per se, but we chose to spend a night there due to its proximity to the international airport where we would take the 4.5-hour flight to Malaysia the following day.
Our Taiwan trip was very enjoyable and memorable. Even though the first part of the trip was much wetter than expected, it didn’t stop us from exploring the important landmarks and trying many interesting local dishes. We had a great private driver that indirectly served as our tour guide. It helped that the Taiwanese people are generally very nice and well behaved people. They truly understand the concept of queuing even in crowded areas. It also helped that each of us brought a particular skill set to the trip. While I handled all the trip bookings and plannings, we also had 2 of us who could speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese fluently, which made it very painless to converse with the locals. We certainly look forward to exploring the bottom half of Taiwan in the near future.