“I truly enjoyed my stay at Stig and Renee's beautifully renovated, cozy, clean and comfortable apartment in Taipei. The e-mail exchanges we had prior to our simultaneous exchange were helpful in getting to know them, their home and their neighborhood. This contributed greatly to a relaxing, peaceful stay there. I was well informed by the detailed instructions they left for living in their home and venturing out. I soon felt quite at home--a good thing since the weather was not very cooperative during my week there. There is excellent shopping and public transportation nearby. The National Palace Museum (not to be missed!) is less than 10 minutes by taxi. Songshan airport is two MRT stops away; downtown Taipei about 15-20 minutes. The Keelung River is across from their housing area and has walking/jogging/biking paths to enjoy. I can highly recommend exchanging with Stig and Renee.”
Stig's reviewsAs a host (1)
Where is it?
As a westerner Stig feels Taiwan is the perfect place to learn to know Chinese Culture and History. It is a safe, well organized country. 98% of the population came originally from China over the past few hundred years. They cherish their Chinese ancestry, belief's and traditions but are very happy not to live on the mainland. As Mao built his communist dictatorship over many decades he was eager to destroy as much as possible of China's old traditions, culture, art and religions. He also simplified the unique written language while Taiwan is still keeping and valuing the traditional Chinese alphabet. Everyone in Taiwan speaks Mandarin Chinese and almost all also speak a local Taiwanese language. When Chiang kai-shek and his losing Nationalist army fled the mainland in 1949 for Taiwan he managed to ship thousands of crates of priceless art objects and historical treasures to Taiwan. They now form the foundation for the incredible collections you can enjoy at the National Palace Museum in Taipei.
You have to be a little bit adventurous to go to Taiwan. While especially young people have studied English in school they are usually very shy about speaking it. Taxis are surprisingly cheap but you must show the driver your desired destination in Chinese writing. Public transportation is excellent with the Metro-system (MRT) very easy to navigate even without any knowledge of spoken Mandarin or written Chinese. The nearest MRT station is 10 min. walk from our apartment. The bus system is very extensive but is harder to use. Walking is very safe and fun. The city has three rivers flowing through it and wonderful, safe bike trails are often built on both sides of the river - over 111 kilometers (60 miles). One bike trail entrance is about one minute by bike from our building.
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