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  • - Hello from Taiwan.

  • (upbeat music)

  • ♪ I said let go

  • ♪ I ♪

  • Oh

  • ♪ I said let go

  • ♪ I ♪

  • Oh

  • - I've made it to Taiwan, thanks to Taiwan Tourism

  • who is hosting me for this trip.

  • It's my first time here,

  • and I'm going to be spending the next week exploring

  • and road tripping around the main island with a guide,

  • and I am so excited because the itinerary looks incredible.

  • I'm currently in Taipei, which is the capital city.

  • It's really pretty.

  • It's surrounded by these rolling, green hills.

  • And yesterday after I got in, I went on a little walk

  • and hiked up to an area called Elephant Mountain

  • that has really nice city skyline views.

  • I found that Taipei has a bit of everything

  • depending on what you're looking for.

  • There are both new and old areas of the city

  • so you get everything from luxury shopping and skyscrapers

  • to historic temples like Lungshan Temple,

  • which is nearly 300 years old

  • and decorated with beautiful dragons.

  • Taipei is also home to Taipei 101,

  • the iconic skyscraper of the city's skyline.

  • This was the tallest building in the world from 2004

  • to 2010, and the design is really interesting

  • because the building is stabilized by a ball.

  • It has the largest damper ball in the world,

  • suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor that sways

  • to offset movements caused by strong winds and earthquakes.

  • And the observatory is really nice.

  • It has a very sleek aesthetic

  • with little dreamy sets to take pictures.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Around sunset, we headed over to Dadaocheng,

  • which is a vibrant historic neighborhood

  • buzzing with people and shops.

  • This was at the tail end of the Lantern Festival, too,

  • so there were lanterns everywhere.

  • This was probably my favorite area of Taipei.

  • And after a stroll past the shops, we cut a couple blocks

  • over to the Pier 5 Riverside Wharf,

  • which is full of food and drink vendors

  • overlooking the river, and it's the perfect spot

  • to grab some food and watch the sunset.

  • (upbeat music)

  • This morning we're at the Bitoujiao Trail,

  • which is this beautiful hiking area right on the coast.

  • It has this staircase that's rolling through the hills,

  • and it's one of the most scenic places I've ever been.

  • Before this trip, when I thought of Taiwan,

  • I just thought of the city of Taipei,

  • so I really underestimated how much nature there is here,

  • especially on the east coast

  • of the main island where we're driving.

  • 2/3 of this island is forested mountains

  • so there are tons of hiking trails and huge waterfalls

  • and a lot of scenic coastline.

  • One morning we pulled over to watch the waves crashing

  • into the shore and there was this lone fisherman

  • standing out on a rock repeatedly getting sprayed,

  • and he seemed totally cool with it

  • lie this didn't faze him at all.

  • Taiwan also has nine national parks.

  • We spent a day exploring Taroko National Park,

  • which is so beautiful.

  • We visited Qingshui Cliff,

  • which is known for its incredible ocean colors,

  • and it really is spectacular the way the bright blue

  • abruptly changes to deep navy here.

  • ♪ I just wanna bring you down, down

  • (singer vocalizing) (uplifting electronic music)

  • Oh, I ♪

  • ♪ I just wanna bring you down, down

  • (uplifting electronic music)

  • - I am currently staying at the CHU Resort and FLOW Retreat

  • which is a resort and wellness retreat

  • with an environment designed to help you unplug,

  • to de-stress, to disconnect.

  • Everything has a very zen, minimalist, earthy design.

  • They have these beautiful cottage rooms.

  • They have beautiful hot springs you can relax in.

  • They even offer art therapy here.

  • Yesterday I got to take a piece of snake stripped stone,

  • which is a local marble found here,

  • and I smashed it up with a hammer.

  • And then I took the pieces and assembled them

  • with dried botanicals to make a coaster.

  • It was so nice and it had me thinking, when is the last time

  • I did something creative with no expectations?

  • Because like, making videos and taking pictures,

  • there's definitely something creative to that,

  • but I always have an expectation for it

  • like I'm making something I'm going to post

  • so I have like these things that have to be perfect

  • or have to be done a certain way.

  • But I can't remember the last time I just sat down and like,

  • did some art or created without any pressure on myself.

  • And it reminded me that I need to do things

  • like that more often.

  • And then after that, I headed over to FLOW Retreat

  • and had a sound therapy session, which was incredible.

  • The birds are chirping, the grounds are beautiful.

  • It's a wonderful morning.

  • Next, we headed further south to Taitung

  • to go cycling along Mr. Brown Avenue.

  • This is a road reserved exclusively for cyclists

  • that runs through rice fields, and it was so lovely.

  • And then we headed into town to grab lunch

  • at a restaurant called Vegetarian Boy.

  • And speaking of food in Taiwan,

  • for starters, all of the food is good.

  • We went to Fu Hang Soy Milk,

  • which is a Michelin-starred breakfast restaurant in Taipei.

  • Highly recommend adding it to your itinerary.

  • It is very popular, though, so prepare to wait in line.

  • But another thing that's a must is the night markets.

  • You'll find them all over,

  • and they're a collection of street food vendors

  • with the best food.

  • And it's also a great way to sample a variety of foods

  • because a lot of vendors will let you choose your portions.

  • (upbeat music)

  • Our last stop on the trip was the sunny city of Kaohsiung,

  • and I could tell right away

  • that this was a cool city to live in.

  • Like, they transformed the old shipping warehouses

  • on the waterfront into an art center and a food hall.

  • There's beaches to hang out at, cool hotels.

  • I stayed at H2O Hotel,

  • which was super nice and had great city views.

  • And for sunset, we took the ferry across the harbor.

  • This is like a five-minute ferry ride. It's super fast.

  • And then we walked up to the Kaohsiung Lighthouse,

  • and this was one of my favorite stops of the entire trip.

  • This lighthouse is gorgeous.

  • I took so many photos here,

  • and it's up on a hill so you get incredible views

  • across the ocean, across the skyline.

  • It's a great place for sunset.

  • And then after the sun went down,

  • fireworks started going across the river,

  • and it was the perfect sendoff for my final night in Taiwan.

  • Well, this is the end of my trip.

  • I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of Taiwan.

  • It's so beautiful.

  • One of the things that stood out to me the most

  • during my time here, it's something very small

  • but the day that we were bicycling and stopped for lunch,

  • when we left our bikes outside of the restaurant

  • I asked my guide, "Are they okay here?

  • Do we need to lock them up?"

  • And she was like, "Oh, no, theft isn't a problem here."

  • And then in the coming days, I noticed

  • as we walked through neighborhoods and down city streets

  • that people don't lock their bikes up here.

  • Like, you just leave your bike outside a restaurant

  • or outside your house and it's totally fine even at night.

  • And there are so many places in the world

  • that you would not do that.

  • Like most of the cities I've lived in,

  • you would not leave a bike out on the street

  • that's not locked up.

  • And I just thought that was really nice

  • and speaks to the culture and the community here.

  • Thanks for watching.

  • I hope you all are doing well,

  • and I'll see you next time, bye.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

- Hello from Taiwan.