While I am a bonified city slicker, sometimes I need to escape. After all who doesn’t like a place where public transport is ideal, everything is convenient and there are new, trendy things to check out? Sometimes the constant hustle and bustle breaks us down and we yearn for a getaway from the fast life. I know I crave the clean air, long for the embrace of nature, and wish to frolic along flowers every once in awhile. Cue in Wulai, a town surrounded by mountains and doused in traditional Taiwanese cultures.
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Nothing compares to the beauty of the country and the brightly colored temples surrounded by nature. I was completely taken while exploring Wulai’s beauty.
Eat Local food
My motto is don’t knock it until you try it. Wouldn’t you love to sink your teeth into delicious shrimp stir fry, bamboo soup or bamboo rice? The bamboo rice was my favorite as the rice is steamed in the bamboo shoot and takes the delicate flavor from there. Seriously. It’s a must try.
During my day long stay in Taiwan, I had my first mountain hiking experience. For those of us who come from primarily flat landscapes (much like my home state Illinois) you most likely have never gone hiking as an extracurricular.Did you know hiking makes you stronger, promotes balance and good heart health? Start hiking today! For my very first hike, I did not enjoy the arduous hike up the Wulai Mountain at the Wulai Park, but I did admire the view and the fresh country air. I’m happy I climbed the mountain because at least I can say, “That’s one off the bucket list!”
Make Taiwanese Tea
When my companions and I got off the mountain, we met a few gentleman brewing tea and drinking water from the Wulai Mountain. Yes, that’s right. They were taking nature’s finest and becoming one with it. They boiled the water and we were able to indulge in Taiwanese tea. Whatever was in the tea, it cleared up my skin because I had zero acne during my stay in Taiwan and after returning to Okinawa. Besides, the dirty air from the city doesn’t help there. Tea gives you antioxidants and purges the body.
Free hot springs & River Jump
Hiking such a steep mountain will make your legs incredibly sore. Man, oh man. Whatever is one to do then? A nice, hot bath would sound awesome right after. Well, Wulai has got you covered because they offer a free hot spring to the public. Unlike Japan, these hot springs require a swimsuit because they are public and outdoors.
While soaking, we met an older gentleman who spoke English and recommended we go swimming in the Wulai River. While Lake Michigan is frigid the majority of the year, I believe the Wulai River is on equal playing grounds. Jumping into the river shocked my body and I kept yelling, “Yeah buddy!” I am proud to say I have conquered the Wulai River…twice. If you ever make it to the Wulai River, I challenge you to conquer it more times than I.
Buy a souvenir
I brought a treasure with me back from Wulai. In many cultures, owls have been known for wisdom and knowledge. The owl is believed to be a respected creature. I am in love with sparkles and I could not bear to leave the emerald colored owl behind. According to the aboriginal people of Wulai, the owl is meant to bring the wearer good luck and love. So far, no romance, but I can say I’ve had impeccable good luck!
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How to get there: Public transportation is amazing in Taiwan! One only need buy an Easy Card and each transportation mode has an electronic system. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get there and costs 45 New Taiwan Dollars. From Xindian Station, take bus 849 which is in front of the station. The bus leaves every 15 minutes.
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