2014 – Taiwan’s Year of the Horse,

2014 – Taiwan’s Year of the Horse, Your Year for Taiwan Travel

Text: Editorial Department
Photos: Vision Int’l

When CNN Go, The New York Times, and The Guardian speak, people listen. They are in the business of telling people “where to go” – travel-wise – and of late these three, among the most highly respected voices in global travel reporting, have been trumpeting Taiwan as one of the world’s hottest places to spend your travel dollars in 2014.

Travel in Taiwan is, of course, in agreement – but we’ll let them do all the talking here.

What is it that CNN Go likes best about the island? In its report ‘10 things that Taiwan does better than anywhere else,’ among the 10 (in order of appearance) are the night markets, themed restaurants, Chinese artifacts, mock meat (great vegetarian food), and little dumplings.

Night markets – “Taiwan’s 300-plus night markets await your midnight cravings … These open-air bazaars are particularly loved for street food, referred to locally as … ‘small eats.’ Perennial favorites are oyster omelets, stinky tofu and an assortment of snacks on a stick straight from the grill.”

Themed restaurants – “Taiwan is home to the world's first Barbie-themed restaurant, with Mattel-approved smotherings of pink plastic and frilly tutus. [Other] themed restaurants in Taiwan have included a café based on an Airbus A380, complete with trolly dollies serving food and drinks from a cart, as well as restaurants with jail, hospital and school-inspired themes.”

Chinese artifacts – “… the National Palace Museum in Taipei houses the largest collection of Chinese artifacts and artwork in the world. The impressive permanent collection comprises more than 650,000 items. Chinese history is told through bronze statues, jade carvings, calligraphy, lacquerware and other historical pieces – many of which belonged to Chinese imperial families …”

Mock meat/vegetarian food – “One of the world's most vegetarian-friendly destinations, Taiwan offers 6,000 or so restaurants serving an impressive variety of delicious vegetarian fare to feed the 10% of the country that shuns meat … Taiwan is the best place to hit when you're craving meat but don't actually want to eat any … Taiwan's fake meat – usually made of soy protein or wheat gluten – can fool even hardcore carnivores.”

Little dumplings – “… Taiwan is slowly taking over the dumpling world, one broth-filled bite at a time. Din Tai Fung now serves its famed xiaolongbao in destinations as far flung as Australia, Thailand and the United States. CNN put Din Tai Fung at number two on its list of best franchises for travelers.”

For the full report, visit: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/15/travel/10-things-taiwan/index.html

In its report ‘52 Places to Go in 2014,’ The New York Times highlights Taiwan’s “urban and outdoor pursuits in one (reasonably) compact package,” declaring that the “traveler who wants to do it all should consider Taiwan” because of “its easy-to-navigate public transport network that links a cosmopolitan capital with a bounty of natural and man-made wonders.” Taking special note of Taipei’s thriving art scene, 2016 World Design Capital designation, web of bike trails, and vibrant street-food scene, as well as Kenting National Park’s wetlands, white sands, and fishing villages, it notes “And it all becomes cheaper to get to later this year, with the launch of budget carriers from China Airlines and TransAsia Airways.”

For the full report, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/01/10/travel/2014-places-to-go.html?hp&_r=2

In ‘Holiday hotspots: where to go in 2014,’ The Guardian asks “Ever tried gua bao, the Taiwanese dish of pork belly in a steamed bun? … (It’s won) accolades from Young British Foodies and the British Street Food Awards (people's choice award).” You learn about a new Taiwan foodies tour, are advised to visit the southern city of Tainan, “the true capital of street food – and definitely not made for tourists,” and informed that “From oyster omelettes in Taipei's night markets to tea in a Maokong plantation, Taiwan is a fascinating place to eat and drink your way around.”

For the full report, visit: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jan/03/holiday-hotspots-where-to-go-in-2014

Yes, the powers that be in the travel world have spoken – this is your year for Taiwan travel. When shall we be expecting you?