What's so Good about Taiwan: Tourism

I finally had the chance to visit 花蓮 (HuaLian), Taiwan, which, of course, brought about the typical traveling experiences:

Limited personal time, loss of the normal routine, sleeping with strangers, trying new foods and visiting new places.

Most of the places you travel may feel almost the same to some degree because there are always people from around the world visiting there too.

I got lost... a lot... so I had to try to find some locals to help me with directions.

After asking three random strangers who I thought might be locals, I was stuck. None of them were from 花蓮 and I kept thinking, 'Is anyone even from here?'

Finally I started asking if they knew where the train station was, whether they were local or not. I asked three people while on my way just to make sure I was going the right direction, but was a little nervous because they all gave me very different time schedules.

The first person said it wasn't walkable and I needed to call a taxi.

The second person said it was about a 10-15 minute walk if I was willing to make the trip.

The third person (at this point I was 15 minutes away) said it was way over half an hour and thought the idea of walking there was crazy.

Later I made it back to the hostel and asked how far away the night market was.

The girl at the desk said under a half hour for sure and I gave a look that simply said, 'too far for me', to which she responded, "Are you an American? All the other Americans hear under half an hour and think it's no problem."

I said I'm becoming Taiwanese, but actually I was way too tired to make another long trip that day.

There's one thing I noticed that's different from the US and Taiwan during the trip.

It's when you're lost and you reach into your pocket to pull out your map, stop, unfold it, and reconfigure your directions.

If you do this almost anywhere in Taiwan, people will go out of their way to help you (this maybe because I'm a westerner though).

If you do this in the wrong part of the US however, people will know you're a tourist and possibly try to take advantage of you or even rob you.

Point being: I didn't use my map that much, just in case.

Let me know about your traveling experiences. Was it different in different countries?

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