Formosa. That’s what the Dutch called Taiwan when they first fell in love with this unimposing, little, tropical island. Like I mentioned in my post about Hualien, I hated Taiwan when I first went. My mom still laughs about the time I first rode a Taiwanese taxi cab and spent the entire hour-long ride from the airport to our apartment in Taipei complaining to the patient and good-humoured taxi driver how terrible his country was and questioning him about how he managed to live in such an awful place his whole life.

Yet somehow when I returned to America, I began to miss the smell of mildew that permeated our little shanty of an apartment in Taipei, and even the stickiness and suffocating warmth of the Taiwanese climate. Fortunately, my mom and I have made it a point to go back to Taiwan every other summer (or consecutive summers if time and money allow!). It’s been wonderful.

My humble tourist’s guide of Taiwan–a work in progress:

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