Wulai was without a doubt my favorite part of Taiwan. Sure I only had a long weekend to explore but everything I loved about Taipei was in this quaint mountain town’s market too. But the real attraction of Wulai isn’t the night market you can find in the capitol, its the lush natural surroundings & friendly locals.
Directions to Wulai
849 bus from Xindian station (end of the green line.)
Bus fare – $15 NTD ($.50US)
Taxi fare – $600 NTD ($20US)
Upon first arriving in Wulai its impossible to miss the stunning bridges criss-crossing across the river augmented by the Wulai Waterfall. A column of water 80 meters high plummets to the river (making it Taiwan’s largest waterfall) just across from the natural hot springs where you’ll find locals inviting you to join them for an afternoon soak.
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Even if you only have a half day in Taipei make sure you get to the Longshan Temple! Its a stunning Buddhist temple with regular visitors and local parishoners. Founded in 1738 as a haven for Chinese immigrants from Fujian the settlers built Longshan in honor of Kuan-in the Buddhist goddess of mercy.
How to get to Longshan Temple
MRT Station: Longshan Station
Hours: 6am to 10pm
Longshan (alternately spelled Lungshan) was erected in the Manka district of Taipei. It was dedicated after the Lungshan temple in their home town and aptly named for the root temple.
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After spending the best week of my life exploring Son Doong (The World’s Largest Cave) I ventured southward towards Hoi An, Vietnam. It began with a Boomerang Bus trip to Hue City where I spent one night before jumping on a motorbike for a day of cruising which delivered me to Hoi An. I heard wonderful things about Hoi An before arriving and couldn’t wait to find out for myself. Friends from home told me it was a must see hidden gem. Friends in Korea informed me it was a tailoring capital of the world and new buddies in Vietnam told me I could be there in time for the full moon lantern festival!
The motorbike ride was an exhilarating experience that I highly recommend to any backpackers in Vietnam. From Hue to Hoi An or vice versa you can cheaply rent a motor bike with a group of backpackers and deliver it to the next hostel. For a few extra bucks they’ll ship your bags on the bus with less adventurous travelers. The trip south from Hue takes you over the Hai Van pass commanding a stunning view of the ocean with northern Vietnam above and Danang City to the south. (Danang City houses the closest airport to Hoi An & is only a $10 cab ride away).
Once you arrive in Hoi An you’ll be sure to enjoy a relaxing stay whether for few days or a weeks. I thought I’d only be there a few days and stayed all week! So, what is there to do in Hoi An?
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