By Arlene S. Chua
Taipei City – I just concluded the happiest vacation in my life so far – in the tiny but beautiful island capital of the Republic of China, or Taiwan as it is popularly known. This great reunion with my family took a four-month planning period which entailed emailing back and forth from Cebu to the cruise ship where I worked for six months.
My niece did a great job preparing for our itinerary and researching for the cheapest airline tickets and accommodation. At first, there was just five of us in the vacation: my niece, two nephews and my big sister. Our round trip tickets were only for PhP 5000 on Air Asia. That was a bargain.
When my big brother arrived in Cebu in March, his family decided to come with us. Could you believe we only spent PhP 21,000 for four days including food and accommodation? It was affordable and truly fun, definitely the happiest vacation of my life so far.
We went to the Taipei Zoo and natural parks, climbed the highest building of the city, the Taipei 101 Skyscraper, enjoyed the ancient temples, and loved eating all the tasty street food at the Shilin market.
Taipei is so small, much smaller than Cebu island where I was born. But it is a modern and clean metropolis which has preserved a bit of its Japanese colonial lanes and Chinese religious heritage.
(The featured photo is Arlene, the photojournalist, 4th from left, with her family in Taipei.)