I’ve spent the last three days exploring the island nation of Taiwan.
Why? Well, hmmm … that’s interesting. I had a major birthday this weekend and I decided to give myself the gift of a new country visited. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time away (saving vacation for later in the year) and the list of new countries I could visit via non-stop flight from Seattle is relatively short. Of those, Taiwan seemed most viable for a long-weekend trip, so off I went.
Once in Taipei, I rented a car and drove for three days around the island. As you’ll see from the map below, I got a pretty thorough overview. I made extra time to visit Taroko National Park, and found it well worth the view.
I also made time to visit Sun Moon Lake, which was fairly touristy, but did offer up the dramatic cloudscape you see above.
Mother Nature threw me a little middle-of-the-night party on my birthday night in the form of a magnitude 4.8 earthquake with its epicenter very close to my hotel (1.4 km / 0.9 mi).
I have to give a lot of credit to Google and high-quality internet service for making this trip viable. Without Google Maps and Google Translate, there’s no way I would have been able to compete several of my purchases nor navigate 1220 km / 758 miles of solo driving, given that I have no ability to speak or read Chinese. Both worked very well for me throughout the trip.
Here are 30 of my favorite photos from the trip. (Click on any of them to see larger versions; use your arrow keys or swipe to move among them.)