Why Filipinos must visit Taiwan

Taiwan is just 2 hours away from Manila.

The colossal mascots of the 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition. Photo by Charito Nario

Geographically, Taiwan is one of the closest countries to the Philippines and the flight going there takes around 2 hours from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). There are many airlines that offer flights to different major cities of Taiwan. 

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Photo by Charito Nario

If you want to visit the capital city of Taipei, you can book a round-trip flight through Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Air, or Air Asia. If Kaohsiung is your destination, Air Asia recently launched their new flight to the city last October 30, 2018. China Airlines is another option.  


Taiwan is visa-free and a new destination for Filipinos


I casually asked several Filipino friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who have been outside the Philippines why they would consider visiting Taiwan, aside from the fact that it is visa-free, and most of them answered, “Maiba naman” (For a change).  "Maiba naman" is what you normally hear from a Filipino commenting on trying something new, different or out of the ordinary. 


The author at the Rainbow Village, Taichung. Photo by Charito Nario

Filipinos’ favorite travel destinations are Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and other SEA countries since visas are not required upon entry to these countries. But when Taiwan’s visa policy for Filipino travelers was temporarily lifted, Filipinos started to consider Taiwan as their next travel destination. Thus, Taiwan is a new destination for Filipinos. 


Taiwan is home to Taichung World Flora Exposition


The 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition gives people the opportunity to marvel at the beauty of the various species of flora. Apart from that, the expo also promotes environment-friendly activities which involve several local industries like agriculture, biotechnology, tourism, and academic research. 


2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition. Waipu Park Area Entrance Gate. Photo by Charito Nario

The expo covers 3 huge areas that feature 3 specific themes.

 (1) Waipu Park Area (14.32 hectares) - features the flower and fruit village with the theme Production, Green, and Sharing. It teaches the value of sharing with nature and that Taiwan has been and will continue to be an agricultural country. 


Harvest Blessing Pavilion at the Waipu Park Area. Photo by Charito Nario 

They call this section as 'the March of Inheriting Agriculture' inside the Agri-tech and Conservation Pavilion. Photo by Charito Nario

 (2) Houli Horse Ranch and Forest Park Area (30.04 hectares) – presents the core value of symbiosis which features the ecosystem, nature, and its coexistence.  

The Ranch Stable. Photo by Charito Nario
Photo by Charito Nario

Horse Riding Area. Photo by Charito Nario

 (3) Fengyuan Huludun Park Expo Site (16.52 hectares) – displays the theme Floral Metropolis by the Water. The area features life, people, and their harmony. 

The Cinderella inspired carriage at the Fengyuan Huludun Park Expo Site. Photo by Charito Nario

Photo by Charito Nario

The Glass Art at the Fengyuan Huludun Park Expo Site. Photo by Charito Nario

Unfortunately, the exposition will last only for a certain period of time. The Taichung Floral Exposition started last November 3, 2018, and will end on April 24, 2019.    

Taiwan offers a fusion of gastronomic delights


Photo by Charito Nario

Food is what every traveler looks forward to when they schedule their trip. If you are into culinary tourism, Taiwan is the perfect place to start your exploration. Taiwan offers a blend of cuisines from various foreign countries. 

Photo by Charito Nario

Photo by Charito Nario

They were once part of the mainland China so the culture of the Chinese people can be seen in the local cooking. Of course, dumplings and noodles are very popular and well-loved. You will not see only Chinese elements in the local dishes for Taiwan’s food is also influenced by the Japanese, Dutch and Spanish cuisines since Taiwan was once colonized by these countries.

Photo by Charito Nario

Taiwan is the go-to place for TEA.


Filipino's favorite alternative to coffee is tea. In fact, many tea cafes have popped up and gained popularity among tea lovers. One of their favorites is pearl milk tea, also known as bubble milk tea.


Ingredients for the workshop at the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse. Photo by Charito Nario

But did you know that bubble milk tea originated in Taiwan?


I learned the history of this yummy drink after listening to some stories during our stopover at the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse in Taichung.


The bubble milk tea do it yourself workshop at the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse. Photo by Charito Nario 

In 1983, Liu Han-Chieh founded the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse. He incorporated the Japanese style of serving cold coffee into his way of preparing tea, and that’s how cold tea came into existence. Then, in 1987, Lin Hsui Hui, the product development manager, introduced cold tea with tapioca pearls. And that was the starting point of the business’ success which allowed it to expand to many branches.

Photo by Charito Nario

By the way, the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse also offers workshops that teach you how to make pearl milk tea and create your own version.     

Ready to taste my DIY pearl milk tea at the Chun Chui Tang Teahouse. Photo by Charito Nario

Special thanks to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Rakso Travel for this amazing trip. You can check the available tour packages to Taiwan here

Stay tuned for more interesting places to see in Taiwan.

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