I felt close enough to Taiwan before I traveled there. Growing up watching tv dramas and movies, following stars and singers from Taiwan, and later on getting to know friends who came from there…… I’d always had this weird nostalgic feeling for the place without having visited for even once. So needless to say, I was mega excited about visiting Taiwan, finally. And to many of our friends’ surprise, we based ourselves in the quiet countryside of Yilan rather than the busy metropolitan of Taipei.
Visiting Yilan has been a real travel back in time. The newly established Westin onsen resort is surrounded by beautiful, glistening rice fields. The locals were laid back, happy and friendly, all the time. Not one single meal costed more than 20 pounds per head(well a lot of them costed 20 pounds for all 4). The resourceful countryside of Yilan is filled with humble country roads with the occasional surprise of a extravagant temple, lively ports with the freshest seafood coming directly from the fishing boats to your table…
The luxury in the lifestyle there comes not in the form of designer goodies and lush interior styles. Rather, it’s in a much more organic form: the slow way you live the days, the freshest local produce that’s presented(unbelievably cheaply) at your dinner table, the untainted sunshine and pure volcanic onsen water that you get to bath your skin in on a daily basis.
These are the kind of things that puts a genuine, wholehearted smile on my face.
Having said all that above though, Yilan has much more to offer than what the nature’s given it. There are plenty of young and new energy being injected into the life in Yilan. Places that have really took me by surprise that would have been cool to have even in London, were the Lanyang Museum(great architecture that really blended in with the landscape), the National Center for Traditional Arts(fun, modern retail and cultural experience to celebrate traditional craftsmanship and arts) : and, surprise surprise, a barber shop(in a really east London, Shoreditch kind of style) called Engrave, just to name a few… …
SHOP THE FIRST LOOK
SHOP THE LOOK BELOW
SHOP THE WINGED SUNNIES(tried and approved!)
No, in case you wondered, Engrave doesn’t offer haircuts for ladies. I only went in waiting for my husband’s trim. But the coffee served there was a solid cup.