Amazing Kids! Magazine

Taiwan

By Dana Chiueh, age 11, Hsinchu, Taiwan

 

It would be very hard to find Taiwan on a map if you didn’t already know it was next to China. That’s right, I said next to China, not part of China. This is an especially sensitive topic to Taiwanese people, because we are not part of China.

Taiwan may be small, but it is unbelievably crowded and friendly. The capital city of Taipei is ranked seventh in the world for population density, which means that there’s a lot, lot, lot of people who live in this small space.

There are a lot of small gems to be found in Taipei and all of Taiwan if you know where to look. At night in many areas on the East Coast you can find “night markets,” which are fun places to explore and buy food, drinks, and small items, as well as play games like “fishing” for tadpoles with a net made of tissue paper.  (It is an insanely hard game to play, as the tissue paper always breaks, but very fun nonetheless!) In addition, there are many small shops hidden in every nook and cranny, and food is readily available on literally every street—well, not in the residential areas, but you know what I mean.

Speaking of food, the variety is dazzling! You can find some American chain store staples such as Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, and Pizza Hut, but there are also many bakeries, and Japanese food such as gyudon stores (thinly-sliced seasoned meat over rice) like Yoshinoya (also in the United States). A curious thing is that Taiwanese people really like noodles. There are a lot of different kinds of noodles, such as Hsinchu rice noodles (the thinnest!), vermicelli or glass noodles, egg noodles, udon, you name it. Last of all, there is spaghetti. Yes, you heard me correctly. I don’t know what the Taiwanese fascination with noodles is all about, but I can tell you that we really like to eat spaghetti!

One cool thing about Taiwan is the convenience stores. Local people in Taiwan like to say that “there’s a 7-Eleven on every block,” but when they say it, it’s not only limited to 7-Eleven; they mean FamilyMart, HiLife, OK-mart, and all the other convenience stores too! The saying’s there for a reason; there really are a lot of convenience stores in Taiwan, which makes life, well, convenient!

Taiwan is a very charming little island with lots to explore, and it has a lot of beautiful nature sites. For example, there’s Ali Mountain, where farmers grow delicious Oolong tea leaves. In addition, you can take a trip by boat to see any one of the little islands. I myself have only personally been on Xiaoliuqiu (Literally: Little Okinawa), where the waters are fantastic for swimming and most importantly, snorkeling, but I have been on a boat trip to see Turtle Island, which is a cute island shaped a little like a turtle. (Hence, the name.)

Before you go, take a look at the pictures below. They were taken at the northernmost part of Taiwan. It’s a very rocky landform by the sea, and I climbed it!


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