Taiwan had been on our travel list for a long time but tickets were always more expensive than other places in Asia. We eventually decided to just bite the bullet and bought some tickets for over Lunar New Year. We were able to redeem points for one of the round trip flights so it wasn't quite as big of a blow financially. Taiwan was amazing so the moral of this story is: just buy the tickets, money be damned!
Whenever we gush about Taiwan (because we do anytime anyone asks us about our favourite trips in Asia!), people are always a bit surprised. It is definitely a bit off the radar, but absolutely worth checking out. There's so much going on in Taipei (especially in regards to food & markets!) and tons of amazing day trips out of Taipei. It is also really affordable compared to its hip cousin Hong Kong (I think our train ride down to Taroko National Park was $12!). We found Taipei to be really clean and had a cool, artsy vibe.
Additionally, it was just one of those trips where everything just went so well. We rode trains, buses, and taxis with ease and the weather was great (cloudy sometimes but never rainy). People were so friendly and we saw some really beautiful stuff. After our trip to Sri Lanka at Christmas, we were just so appreciative of how smoothly everything went.
So here are some photos of the first place we checked out. If you want to lose twenty minutes of your life, check out Yehliu Geo Park on instagram. That's how I first came across the park and immediately decided we needed to visit. Yehliu Geo Park, located on the coast, is home to many strangely shaped rock formations, formed as a result of years of geological movement. It really feels like a different planet! We took a 90 minute bus ride to the park and admission was under $4. More info here!