Taiwan - An Unexpected Pleasure


I've never had any strong desire to go to Taiwan.   Not because I had good or bad feelings about this island nation, but it just simply was never on my "travel radar."  I didn't know much about it.   But since I always like to go to new places, I happily accepted an invitation in September, 2019 to head to the place that is officially called "The Republic of China."

It was a great decision.  Rarely have I been so impressed.  The country is clean, has efficient transportation, a low crime rate and even though it has 23 million residents, the lack of major congestion made it feel much smaller.

And there is the food!  Wow!  

Javier Curaca is a Peruvian who lives in Taiwan where he is a pilot for EVA Air.   As we were interviewing him for the Peruvian TV show "Peruanos en el Mundo,"  I learned, that like me,  he also has a passion for street food.   And there is no better place in Taipei to find it than at the Shilin Night Market.

Javier Curaca with a food vendor at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei, Taiwan

The market is one big pedestrian-only street.  Both sides crammed with almost every kind of food you can imagine.   Lots of juicy meats, tasty dumplings and decadent desserts.   And the food choices are not limited to just Taiwanese dishes.  There are vendors featuring all kinds of International Asian food.
(You can see our food tour of the market beginning at 14:26 in the video below.)   Next to the street is a huge indoor market with more than 500 additional food booths.   

I wanted to try everything, but there was simply too much.  We walked, I shot some video, we ate and then we repeated these steps over and over.  Everything I tried was delicious.

The market isn't just about food.  It's a gathering spot.  Here you get to see the culture first hand.  People interacting with each other, greeting friends and hanging out with their families.  The market is a small part of this country, but it's a big window into the heart of the Taiwanese people.   

If I ever go back to Taiwan, and I would love to go back, the Shilin Night Market will be where I head first.


One of the other highlights of the time in Taiwan was getting to go inside the operations center of EVA Air where Javier checks in for all of his flights.  As an aviation geek, it was cool to see all the people who work behind the scenes to make each flight successful.

I've linked our entire program from Taiwan below.   The segment with Javier begins at 10:33

Dates of Travel

  • September, 2019

Places Visited

  • Taipei




This post is part of my series "One Photo - One Country."  I'm am selecting one photo and writing one story from every country I have visited.   Your comments and questions are welcome.  

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