Road trip in Taiwan – Driving to Tainan

Last November, we went to Taiwan for two weeks and we did a road trip around the island and it was fabulous ! The weather, the people.. and the food, oh the food…. it was just amazing ! We landed in Taipei and we started to drive clockwise around the island. Previous parts can be found here : Taiwan 

Our exploration of the East was coming slowly to an end and we were ready to drive towards the West. That day was the longest drive ever and everything went a bit wrong distance-wise… I didn’t think it would take us that long to go there ! It took us nearly 6 hours to reach Tainan, with a few stops along the way. It would have been wiser to split the journey in two legs and stay 1 day in Kenting National Park in the South. When we visited the island last November, it was not the best period to go snorkelling or go to the beach in the far South so we thought we would skip it.

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This was the last bit of blue sky for a very long time but we didn’t know that at that time !

The West is extremely polluted and you cannot see a patch a blue sky when driving close to big cities, that was really shocking.. compared to the pristine East Coast. The sky was really grey and it was so hot outside ! We had a good noodle beef soup that cheered us up a little bit.

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The reason we wanted to visit the West was for Taijiang National Park and its wetlands. Since the drive really took us most of the day we knew we wouldn’t have time to visit everything that was planned so we decided to focus on the salt fields. We tried to find the salt fields near Tainan and it was a real struggle. We first ended up at the salt museum who was more like a theme park with no salt fields at all ! It was a real tourist trap. We failed to find the Salt Mountain, so it was a bit of a disappointment.

Salt museum

After asking around where to find some salt fields, we finally ended up in a wonderful place just on time for sunset. I don’t really know the name of that place since we were given directions by locals but it was wonderful.

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Salt fields

Sunset at the salt fields

The day really ended better than it has started for sure ! When we went back to Tainan, we had great food at the night market ! The hotel we stayed in was also fabulous and had a toilet that was cleaning your bum ! So funny :D There was also some free buffet in the evening, with plenty of different drinks. also for free. Best accommodation of the stay I think :-)

Lesson learnt, we definitively rushed ourselves for that part and at least 2 or 3 days extra would have been perfect to allow us to explore the West coast better…

 

 

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72 responses to “Road trip in Taiwan – Driving to Tainan

  1. Absolutely love Taiwan, and love your salt field pictures <3
    Will definitely go see them next time we are there.
    It seems that the distance/time spent moving around a country takes up a considerable amount of time and requires attention when planning.

    I was in Sri Lanka for 4 nights last week and spent 18 hours (return) in a train :roll:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taiwan is such an amazing country, I have fond memories of this trip. Sometimes the distances look really short on a map but once you do it in the car, you realise you cannot drive at the maximum speed limit and it may take you a while… but we all learn from our mistakes :-) I’m sure you will be careful next time you book a train journey :D

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  2. It’s a shame that there’s so much pollution. When we lived in Alaska, sometimes pollution from China would be carried north by the winds and create a brown smudge on the horizon. Amazing how widespread its effects can be.

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  3. Salt fields look beautiful. Couldn’t help laughing at the last photo. I remember using these in Japan (almost every apartment, hotel, and local restroom). Try using one in an electronics store and you know how much research has been invested into a toilet! Haha! High end apartments have the same style in Korea. :)
    How have you been?

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    • haha ! I remembered the different speed and they had different patterns of cleaning it was amazing :D

      I’ve been good thanks ! Summer has been hot here in the uk and I’m not used to that so it was a bit painful in our flat. I’ve been busy with work and I’ve started planning our wedding so it takes a bit of time as well :-) Not holiday planned until November where we go to China. How about you ?

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      • Congratulations to both of you! I’m happy! :) Lot’s happening. That’s good. November will be good to visit China. It’s very hot before that. We’ve shifted to Seoul, three weeks back and summer is pretty warm here as well. We don’t have any trip planned and most of our trips are around the city. :) Re-settling in a new city does take it toll. :)

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        • Thanks :-) I hope there won’t be too many mosquitoes and midges in November and that the temperature won’t be too hot, fingers crossed.

          I know, re-settling does take its toll, it’s always like that but it has to be done sometimes

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          • I haven’t visited China in November. But, I think it is going to be pretty cool at that time of the year. I didn’t see mosquitoes even in the warm months of April. But, it depends where you’re travelling I guess. :) Have a good week!

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  4. One of the best pieces of Taiwan is the food ~ all of my mainland friends who have visited Taiwan say the same thing: food and culture. They are all amazed at how friendly the people are and how they have held onto traditions that the large cities in China have all but forgotten. While most of my time in Taiwan has been spend in Taipei, I did manage to get out to Kenting National Park, and it was incredible…thanks for taking me down memory lane :-)

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    • Food is really amazing, with all the night markets everywhere. My boyfriend’s mum who is Chinese says that Taiwan is the best China has to offer and I think she is right. It’s all the nice aspects of the Chinese culture condensed in this little island :-)

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  5. haha, in Thailand they have bum guns–a separate little manual device that sprays water for your bum. :)
    Sounds like an absolutely fabulous adventure! I’d love to visit Taiwan someday!

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    • Oh dear yes, it was so long and so hot. Thankfully we had air con in the car but still. When you plan the itinerary on a map all the distances seems shorter and you don’t take in consideration the road works or the sat nav glitches ;-)

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  6. Sometimes things work out for the best … I think seeing those salt fields under the setting sun was a big bonus! I had a chuckle at the toilet; it seems that in Asia fancy toilets are a big thing!

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    • I know something you just have to follow the flow and not think too much. But I suppose less driving would have been great ;-)

      I think Japanese people love their toilets. This hotel was quite “Luxurious” but to be honest, same price as a bed and breakfast in the uk. It welcomed a lot of buses, some of them full of Japanese people. Maybe that’s why they have implemented these toilets in the hotel ;-)

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  7. It does the heart and soul good to travel and visit other lands and people. Thrilling to read about your adventures and see the beautiful photos collected along the way. Thank you so much for sharing it all with us.

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    • It was gathering so many people from all over the place. Most of them had special filters and proper equipment. I think it’s an iconic spot and photographers seems to enjoy it !

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  8. So lucky you managed to see the salt fields at sunset. Love the orange glow, and the locals are even still working on shoveling the salt. Those are really big pounds of salt. And you wonder why many Chinese like to use MSG in their cooking :D Lol at the toilet that cleans your bum. It looks like a small toilet, but it sounds powerful :D

    Liked by 2 people

    • So lucky indeed after such a busy day full of driving and getting lost due to the sat nav ;-)

      It was very nice to see them working like that, almost soothing, even if I know it must be such a hard job to do ! Very physical !

      The toilet was amazing :D Never felt that clean :D I loved every minute of it :D

      Liked by 1 person

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