Exploring Taipei


The first week of the CNY break was amazing. It was the first time I ventured out of Taipei alone since my trip to Yangmingshan back in November. I visited two areas: the Pingxi line, in the foothills near Taipei; Jinguashi, an old mining town near Keelung. I was interested in visiting the former primarily for the scenery, the latter primarily for the history of “old” Taiwan—particularly as a colony of Japan, and the site of one of Japan’s most notorious POW camps, Kinkaseki (Jinguashi).

Each visit was incredibly refreshing. Relying solely on my Lonely Planet book, I navigated my way to these places using slow (but cheap) public transportation. While on the buses and trains heading to these places, I thought about my upcoming trip to Southeast Asia. Although I can’t wait to head out on the road alone, apart of me still is concerned about loneliness. Will I meet people? Is it actually safe? How will I get by since I don’t speak the language?