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View Poll Results: Taiwan or Yunnan Province?
Taiwan 6 60.00%
Yunnan 4 40.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:57 PM
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,377,277 times
Reputation: 11862


Thanks for the exhaustive guide/comparison sponger. The bit about the old buildings in Yunnan all being reconstruction and the destruction of the monastery really makes me sad but doesn't surprise me. China doesn't seem to care that a big reason tourists come is to see the 'Old China'. I've actually already been to China, I should mention, in 2006, and was able to see the hutongs as they were demolishing them before the Olympics. It is a fascinating country but despite the fact it gets 50 million plus tourists a year didn't feel very tourist friendly.

Taiwan seems more tourist-friendly/easier to get around, despite not getting that many visitors. It sounds like a hidden gem, actually. It looks like we'll probably be going to Taiwan this time. It seems actually fairly cheap, considering it's approaching a first world sort of country. How much did you spend per day on average?

I'm most interested in natural scenery but Taipei looks interesting.

Old 10-01-2012, 08:41 PM
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,941,187 times
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NP. I love Taiwan! I wish I was going!

For a spartan room in a small town (not during CNY), maybe 800 NTD per night. Like $30. That was in Kenting down south. Taipei, probably double that. For a real experience, stay at the Grand Hotel. It's the huge Chinese-roofed one on the hill overlooking the whole city and surrounding mountains. Outstanding scenery from your balcony and HUGE rooms. The hotel is kinda dated, but still very nice. Walking distance to the famous Shilin Night Market and MRT of course.

Food... from $1 to $100 depending on what you want. Street food is good and cheap. Hole-in-the-wall resturants can be good and cheap. If it's busy, it's probably good. Definitely get shaved ice. Milk shaved ice in Shilin Night Market if you can find it (down an alley full of earring, shoe, and necktie vendors, ask).

Transportation; the MRT goes everywhere. Longer rides cost more. I think the max is around $1. Most fairly-long taxi rides are under 200 NTD, so $5-6 or so. Trains aren't bad, intra-city busses are cheaper. HSR isn't bad either. Probably skip the Taipei local bus system unless you can read Mandarin or have someone guiding you, though stops are clearly announced in English.

For scenery;
+ Ride the Maokong Gondola up to the mountain teahouses. It's part of the Taipei transportation system.
+ near Gold Mountain in the north. There's a town famous for tea shops with great views of the north coast.
+ Go see the black sand beach of Ilyan near Wai'o train station.
+Taroko Gorge is a must. You'll pass (I mean cling to) the sea cliffs on the way there if you take a bus/road (dangerous!) I've driven it, but it's pretty and pretty scary. The train to Hua'Lien is safer but less scenic.
+Foreigners like Hua'Lien area and rift valley. Yeah, it's nice but I've been there a lot. I go for the surfing on the nearby East Coast instead. The coastal road (highway 11) is very scenic, but sometimes in bad shape due to typhoons.
+Kenting is a blast. Pretty coastline, pointy mountains, golden sand beaches. Plus a fun (but not crazy) party scene. Oh, and a lighthouse and a nuke plant and wind turbines. Great sushi at the fish market in the harbor by the nuke plant, if you are very brave. It looks (is) dirty but it's delicious. Eat there whenever I'm in town, haven't got sick yet.
+Ali Shan as you come up the other side. Sunrise or sunset.
+Skip the rest of the West Coast (lots of heavy industry) and take the HSR (High Speed Rail) back to Taipei in 90 minutes.
Old 10-03-2012, 06:37 AM
Location: Brisbane
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I loved Yunnan Trimac have being to the province 3 times, and if we get to china again which my wife does desperatly want to, I would go agian,
As mentioned it is of a bit rough and difficult place to get around no worse than vietnam however, hopefully the highways have improved since i was there last in 2006.
I have not being to Taiwan sorry mate.

Last edited by danielsa1775; 10-03-2012 at 06:50 AM..
Old 10-15-2012, 04:37 PM
6,056 posts, read 10,844,519 times
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I know more about Taiwan compared to Yunnan Province, but I gained more knowledge about Yunnan Province recently too.

Both have plenty to offer for tourists, but Taiwan offers more, especially with urban bigger cities kind of activities, and beaches.

Yunnan Province appears quite separate from the rest of China. It is more of a nature scenery area kind of place with the Chinese/Tibetan Himalayas and high diversity in nature scenery/landscapes/vegetation, and that is a contrast to the more urban areas of China to the north and east of Yunnan.

Yunnan has more Asian minority cultures in the demographics other than the majority Han Chinese such as Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Maio, Hui, Tibetan, etc. Yunnan Province also borders Vietnam, Laos, and Burma.

Taiwan used to be part of China but over time shows plenty of unique cultural identity that is separate from China. The Taiwanese enjoy showing that they are not part of China anymore and to peacefully assert their independence.

I overall prefer Taiwan for visiting, even though Yunnan province is still fascinating and intriguing to visit.

For Taiwan, I would visit Taipei, Jiufen, Suao-Hualien coast/Northern/Eastern coastline beaches, Yushan mountains, Taichung, and Kaohsiung.

Taichung and Kaohsiung are other heavily populated cities in Taiwan, and they actually have almost the same population as Taipei for city limits, with plenty of urban vibrancy.

Jiufen is a scenic and impressive small town with a unique vibe one hour away from Taipei.

For activities in Taiwan, I would visit restaurants, historic architecture sites, temples, night markets, tea houses with a nice ambience, bars/clubs, shopping districts, museums, festivals, music concerts, movie/film events, and take long walks in the best neighborhoods. Also, hike in some of the mountains, and go whitewater rafting there. Swimming, surfing, wind surfing, jet skiing, and lounging at the beaches.
Old 10-15-2012, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
We might be visiting either one soon, just wondering for those who've been to both how they compare.

Both have spectacular scenery - it's hard to really compare since they're different, but both have towering peaks (I'd say Yunnan edges out in the mountains, valleys, gorges department), roaring rivers.etc, and different biomes. Taiwan of course has a varied coastline which is interesting.

For urban life Taipei probably beats Kunming. I'm not sure how Kunming is like but it seems like any large Chinese city.

Personally though I like the towns/cities of Dali, Lijiang, Shangri-La more because they have more history/look more quaint, while Taiwan has a shorter history apart from the aboriginal culture, which is interesting.

I'm more interested in Yunnan but my parents suggested Taiwan. I never thought much of visiting but it'd be interesting to see what it's like, since I've also been to the PRC.

If you've been, which did you prefer?

If you haven't, which would you rather visit?
I noticed you decided on Taiwan. Good luck with the trip in Taiwan! I am sure you are going to find the trip satisfying and an exciting adventure. I am also sure you are going to write about your trip to Taiwan when you come back.
Old 10-15-2012, 07:31 PM
Location: Austin
1,663 posts, read 3,086,800 times
Reputation: 1062
Yes, do write up your trip. I've been thinking about doing independent travel in Taiwan for a week or so in spring or fall.
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