Travel to Taiwan from Amami Part2

Moving to the retro city of Taichung

I headed to Taichung, the main destination of this trip. Taichung was the first city I visited when I came to Taiwan 9 years ago, and many of my friends live there. This is my third time visiting Taichung. I traveled from Jiufen to Taichung by bus, train, and Taiwan High Speed Rail.

The first thing that surprised me was that Taichung Station had been renovated and had a modern design. I heard that Taiwan’s railway network has been undergoing renovations in recent years. I walked from the station to the hotel. While the area around Taichung Station had a modern look similar to Japanese cities, the retro streetscape remained unchanged as I walked through the city.

The hotel I stayed at this time was called “Mr. Mantter,” and I could stay in a comfortable twin room.

Meet with friends

I contacted several friends for this trip and made plans to meet them. First, I reunited with my friend “Nokki” and visited two night markets with his guidance.

He is fluent in Japanese, so conversations flowed easily during our long-awaited reunion. While strolling through the Daqian Night Market, I stumbled upon a nostalgic shop called “Devil’s Fried Chicken,” which left a lasting impression on me 9 years ago.

The fried chicken here is exquisite. Following Nokki’s recommendation, we also tried “Meatballs,” a dish featured in the film “Spirited Away,” which is like meatballs wrapped in starch. It looked unique but tasted delicious.

The most beautiful lake in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake

The most beautiful lake in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake On the third day of my trip to Taiwan, I visited Sun Moon Lake with another friend’s guidance. Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful lake with milky blue water, and you can visit several spots by boat cruising.

The high altitude made it cool, and the breeze on the boat was very refreshing. We visited temples and shops around the lake. This area is the residence of the indigenous Sao tribe, so there are many souvenirs related to indigenous people. We also indulged in delicious food.

Youthful city, Fengjia Night Market

I met with another friends here. Fengjia Night Market is one of the largest night markets in Taichung and is bustling with many young people. After enjoying various foods, we visited a bar. This bar recreated a camping ground indoors and was cozy. We enjoyed board games while chatting. It was a very happy time to catch up with friends after a long time. It’s amazing how, despite living in different countries, we can meet and have fun like this occasionally. I felt it was something wonderful.

Great building and show, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

On the last day of my trip to Taiwan, I visited a dessert shop called “Miyahara Optometry” in the morning and had gelato.

I said goodbye to my friend and headed to Taipei. The highlight of the last day was Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. The hall is a huge building that honors Chiang Kai-shek, the first president of Taiwan. Here, there is a changing of the guard ceremony every hour. At 4:00 in the afternoon, the changing ceremony of the two guards in front of Chiang Kai-shek’s statue began. Two replacement personnel and three leaders appeared, showcasing the ceremony flawlessly. The show lasted for about 10 minutes and was impressive.

Reflections on My Trip to Taiwan

This trip was meaningful, with visits to Jiufen for the first time, reunions with old friends, and more. With the end of the pandemic, Taiwan seems to be regaining its vitality, and the city appears to be progressing further. What impressed me was that many young people could speak Japanese or English, and there were many foreign-made cars on the streets, indicating that globalization is advancing. I believe Taiwan will continue to develop even more in the coming decades.

Taiwan and Amami Oshima are relatively close in distance, and there are direct flights to Kagoshima and Okinawa, making access easy. I hope for more exchanges between Amami Oshima and Taiwan in the future.