A friend who’s going to Taiwan for the first time asked me, what is the “must-do” thing for me. I’ve lived in Taiwan in the 90s, and recently was there for a holiday with my husband. Her question stunned me for a second. My surprise caught me by surprise as it was a question I had pondered for weeks, struggling to put up a decent itinerary for L and me. I wanted to show him Taiwan, and for most men in Singapore who went through physical training in Taiwan, they have a prefixed idea.
There’re so many things to do in Taiwan, the Natural rock formations, notably in Yeliu, to see Nefertti’s sculpture, carved by the sea-salt wind. Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake. The night-markets, bustling with young entrepreneurs and people who want to see and be seen.
For me, Taiwan, and especially Taipei, is the land of aromatic beverages, beautiful Japanese-inspired bread and exceptional bookstores —- and friendships.
Eslite, Hsinyi branch, is the must-go to place for me. When I want to hang out late at night, and the Jenai branch was walkable from my apartment. In the days when Taiwan represented China to the world, you could pick up 7 volumes of “The Science and Civilisation of China” detailing the invention of paper and printing etc, and the glories of China in the field of science and technology. If you, like me, had mistakenly attributed the West for the inventions of all smart things, then call me for a copy. My mom would be happy to be relieved of the dust-collecting tomes.