Macanese trek leads to ‘oasis’ in a concrete jungle

By Fong Nga Tat

This Chinese New Year holiday I took my mom on a trip along the western cities in Taiwan. We started in Taipei, where I have been living and working for years. I like the Shilin Night Market for the variety of food and other interesting small things sold there.The place is easy to get to and is always bustling and full of energy. It is among the most recommended attractions in many Hong Kong-published guide books of Taiwan. I also enjoy going to Bitan in New Taipei City a lot. It is one of the rare places where you can find both green scenery and lakeside recreation in Taipei, right outside the metro station. For me it’s like an oasis in the concrete jungle.

Tainan is the place to go over the Chinese New Year. The whole city is so basked in festive atmosphere that it seems like one big New Year theme park. We went to the no-brainer attractions like the Confucius Temple and other historical sites, but to be honest we were more drawn to the little market streets around the tourist hotspots selling Tainan food and souvenirs. The food was so good! Now that I think about it, maybe we were less attracted by the historical sites because we come from Macau, which is itself an old city and was a European colony for centuries, so we have seen our share of Chinese historical and colonial-themed sites. I mostly enjoy traveling in Tainan but if I had to make a suggestion I wish the city could provide better public transportation. Local buses are few and far between. We were still relying on taxis to get around. It would be much nicer if there could be more shuttle bus lines.