From Ukraine With Love

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Taiwan

Ni Hao!

Welcome to Taiwan! A beautiful little country where people primarily speak Taiwanese and Mandarin (yes, there's a difference). Due to the fact that my husband is Taiwanese, it gives us a reason to keep going back to this beautiful place. When I hear the word "Taiwan", there are a few words that instantly pop into my head: Night Markets, Mosquitos, Food, and Boba. Did you know that Bubble Tea actually originated in Taiwan? You haven't lived until you've had Taiwanese Teas, and they're super cheap too!

For the most part, It's really hot here year round (the peak of summer is almost unbearable), so the hustle and bustle of the city and the markets usually come to life in the late afternoons/evenings and continue late into the night.

Have you ever been to a Night Market in Taiwan? It's a food and fashion lovers paradise! The best part, if you buy clothes here, chances are not many people will have what you have, so it really makes for a style unique to only you.

The food is amazing too, and the fruit is the freshest. Nothing like some freshly blended watermelon juice or papaya milk to cool you down on a hot day.

The countryside is very beautiful, so if you really want to experience Taiwan like a local, stray away from more touristy places like Taipei (although I LOVE Taipei), and hop on the nearest train. I will say, having someone that speaks the language with you will make your life a whole lot easier if you wander into the countryside where there are almost no foreigners. We typically stay in Taichung whenever we go back,

One of the times we were there, we got to experience the Panda Festival. There were hundreds of pandas (not real), and traditional performances that were put on by students. It was pretty cool, especially for a panda lover like me.

I also got to experience some traditional Chinese medicine, where suction cups were placed on my body. It felt really weird, and my skin was so tight during the "procedure", that I thought it would rip open. This practice helps to rid the body of stress and toxins and help relieve pain. I guess it's supposed to help boost blood circulation as well. Have you ever seen those Olympic swimmers with pepperoni looking circles on their arms, shoulders and back? Well, that's exactly what I looked like afterwards. A giant pepperoni pizza.

We also had a chance to eat at the infamous Toilet Restaurant in Taichung, where EVERYTHING was shaped like a toilet/bathroom, including the food. Even the chairs you sit on are actual toilets. I never thought I could enjoy ice cream that looked like poo (it was delicious btw). And you have to try their baked pastas! YUM!

I'm a city girl at heart. I live for the hustle and bustle of city life, so naturally, I always really look forward to visiting Taipei. On our most recent trip, we got to spend Valentine's day here, and it was great. We hung out at the 101 Tower (the tallest building in Taiwan), did some shopping, and of course, ate yummy food and drank boba.

If you're a huge fan of hazelnut things such as nutella or ferrero rocher chocolate, but you also love coffee, you HAVE to pop into the nearest Haagen Dazs and get one of their hazelnut coffees. It's a bit on the pricier side compared to what things normally cost in Taiwan, but it's worth every penny! Best coffee I ever had!

I could go on and on about all of the cool things Taiwan has to offer, but I guess you'll just have to pop on over to my vlog channel(ogpuzik) to really get the inside scoop. :)

Check out some of the vlogs from our most recent trip here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11