A surprise adventure

Hello travellers

We’re so sorry it’s been nearly a year since our last blog. 2019 turned out to be a surprising and busy year. We’ve added a new member to the Benson family. We can’t wait to travel with our little man (Teniola Benson) and get him hooked to this travel lifestyle.

We’re kickstarting 2020 with a unique location that I’m sure isn’t on most people’s list: Taipei (capital of Taiwan). November 2018 we decided to dabble into the Asia’s, into Hong Kong. But being the galavanter that I am, I had to make the most of travelling that distance. So began our trip in Taipei, on to Macau, and ended in Hong Kong. What an amazing trip that was, and Taipei was a brilliant surprise. We had no expectations which made it all the better.

Accommodation in Taipei was relatively cheap. We stayed in a 4* hotel and the facilities was still high tech (see the video of our beautiful toilet that washed things for us!), so we could imagine what we would have found if 5*!

In the Benson household, we love food, and Taipei did us proud. The night markets were to die for. Street food made freshly by locals, was simply the best. Clearly that was my highlight! But I’ll quickly go through our itinerary, everyday being genuinely awesome:

1. Taipei main station – we were close to the station so were able to get around easily. You can also catch the hop on hop off bus here; and if you know me well, I love this bus. It really is the easiest way to see all the key landmarks in a city

2. National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
3. National palace museum 
4. Night market – we did the famous Raohe street night market. Around this area, you’ll find the Ciyou temple. It was amazing for me to see their monuments – one in particular that looked like the devil! Which for us Christians is a negative but for them, had different meanings, with the snake not also being the cursed symbol we know it to be!
5. Taipei 101 observatory – the highest viewpoint. A must for us! I like going up the tallest buildings in cities. I think my husband is now a little bored of all that!
6. Shi-men Ting – this is the shopping district and worth a stroll 
After our night out at the Street market, we got a taxi back to our hotel and the driver we got made it our lucky night. He did tours too so we changed our plans for the last day to go outside Taipei with Tim, our driver, to see other beautiful spots Taiwan had to offer, and we’re so glad we did it, as we got to stop off along the way for some great photo shots too. Below is where Tim took us: 
7. Shifen waterfall – natural beauty, as it states. The waterfall was relaxing to see
8. Pingxi – just wow, and a definite must if you can get outside of Taipei. Casually strolling / standing on the train tracks (as you do), to set off a lantern (different colour lanterns meant different things you were wishing for). This was one of my best experiences for sure 
9. Gold museum in Jiufen – as it was on route, Tim did a stop over for us 
10. Yehliu geopark – to see how the rocks naturally formed into these heads was actually quite phenomenal. It was also a place for patience, with the Chinese touching my hair often (I’d like to think they were just being inquisitive)!

That’s just a few things we did as we only spent 3 days, but there was more to do, and would most certainly come back. So, if this secret gem wasn’t on your list before, it wouldn’t do you any harm to get it on your list! You can watch our video here: https://youtu.be/8nst3e6rCTs

See you next month

Tina Benson
T&T Consultancy

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