Have been travelling SOLO for work in May. And it kind of reminded me of my first solo trip to Taiwan in February, and I guess it’s time to press about it. Took me a few times to complete the press though! Sigh.

I have been toying with the idea of travelling SOLO for a while but never got down to doing it. For some reasons, I did it in the midst of turning 33 (and I’m glad I did it)!

If you have travelled SOLO before, I’m sure you would have felt the freedom and peace I experienced. It’s kind of difficult to put it down into words, definitely a journey you need to experience for yourself. There are many things to press about – and one of the first thing that came to my mind was self-portraits. Travelling SOLO means that there is no one to take pictures for you – you either approach someone for help or 自拍. It’s kind of challenging but interesting how the pictures turn out sometimes.

Black and white self-shot vs. color shot of the zebra at the Taipei Zoo 😛 Picture was taken on my first day in Taipei (arrived late the night before) – feeling kind of lonely on the cold rainy day. Guess I was adjusting to travelling SOLO 😛

Rainy day excursion to Mao Kong 猫空, a tea town. Lunch was tea-infused fried rice – it was quite special. I kind of like it. The sad thing about travelling SOLO is you only get to try 1 or 2 (3 max) dishes. The happy thing is you always feel full 😛 I want to re-visit Mao Kong in better weather one day – it was too cold and misty to enjoy the high altitude.

指南山城寺. Huge temple. Was tempted to stop mid-way down from Mao Kong by the cherry blossoms which looked beautiful from the cable car. But not so pretty close-up. That’s life, right? For some things/people, you have to get closer to really get to know them…

Had some time in the morning before I went to Hualien. Decided to check out a local market 南门市场 in Taipei. This is a stall selling local dishes (something like 饭菜) in Singapore. I presume locals buy them home to go with rice/porridge for breakfast…

Also went to the nearby 中正纪念堂. Awesome weather makes you feel awesome too. It was such as contrast to the day before.

Stayed at a minsu (Roseland B&B) in Hualien, which provided guests bicycles. My host gave me directions to cycle to the nearby beach. It was my first time cycling on the road amongst cars and buses. Was I scared? Not really. Actually the scariest moment of my trip was discovering that my phone and camera chargers were missing (and I cannot remember if I packed them into my luggage left in the Taipei hotel). This means I cannot take as many self portraits because I had to ration my shots 😛

Joined guided tour to Taroko National Park 太鲁阁 the next day in great weather 🙂 Had to wear a safety helmet because stones/rocks may fall anytime. Almost everyone in my tour group is from Singapore, so I did not really feel I was travelling SOLO. Haha.

At Cisingtan 七星谭. Was surprised to find that it was a beach of stones, not sand. Favourite moment? Lying on the beach (feels a bit like hot stone massage), looking into the sky, listening to the waves lapping onto the stones…

Roseland B&B in Hualien, where I stayed for two nights. Cosy and comfortable room. But I did not really sleep well. I wonder why….

On my way to Jiufen. Stopped by Yehliu 野柳. Was really lucky to enjoy another day of great weather, and see the art of nature.

Stopped at Kee Lung for dinner before going up to Jiufen. I really like the Kee Lung Night Market where I had one of my best meals of the trip (highly recommended). By the time I continued my way to Jiufen, it was really dark… Day starts very early and ends very early too in Winter…

The only one exploring the mines at Jinguashi, 金瓜石, a mining town turned into a tourist attraction. Kind of eerie. Haha. Rainy again. Really misty and cold and deserted in Jinguashi.

Back in Jiufen. Beautiful quaint town. There is some Japanese influence on Jiufen and Jinguashi. The rain was a real damper though. I kind of escaped to my minsu early and just watched TV for the rest of my trip in Jiufen. Haha. That’s one of the perks of travelling SOLO – I can change my travel itinerary at my own whim and fancy. Haha.

The minsu (Windsor B&B) that I stayed in Jiufen. Kind of cosy with its own balcony – supposed to be able to see fantastic views when the weather is good. Kind of rustic – it was raining all day and night in Jiufen and I could hear the aluminum roof going di-da-di-da all the time….

At RuiFang station. Wanted to explore the Pingxi line and go to Shifen which was near to Jiufen. But it was really wet and cold (all I can remember of Jiufen is the rain!) So I decided to skip back to Taipei….  Another example of how flexible my travel schedule was when I travelled SOLO.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. Can you spot me in the picture? This piece was interesting because I was kind of part of the art, thanks to video technology.

85-degree celsius cafe next to the museum. Read about this Taiwan-brand cafe and decided to try. Not bad…

Morning of my 33rd birthday. Decide to have salty bean curd for breakfast at Fu Hang Dou Jiang-阜杭豆漿. My 2nd time there in a week. I like it! Cheap and good.

Went to Wulai for hotspring (really enjoyable birthday bath in cold weather, yes it was raining again). Behind me is a famous water spring in Wulai.

 Spent the rest of my birthday shopping at Sogo. Dinner at a restaurant (Afternoon Tea, I think) at Sogo.

This press is kind of fun but a bit 自恋。But well, travelling SOLO is about enjoying your own company, right? 🙂


About cyndichan

Write for a living. Live for travel, run and art. Just back from the snow festival in Hokkaido!
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10 Responses to Solo

  1. xerith says:

    I think I would love the freedom, but I would end up wasting my time doing something like staying one spot for ages to try to take one photo instead of moving along… And I’ll regret it later for all the things I missed. But I think travelling solo helps force me to talk to people / strangers where I’m usually too shy to do so.

    • cyndichan says:

      KW! You are on wordpress too!? Actually I found I had more time when travelling alone because I don’t have to wait for anyone for any reasons. Ya you are right, a good number of people (locals/foreigners alike) did chat with me so that was quite interesting 😛

      • xerith says:

        Yep, just started not too long ago because I wanted somewhere to talk about photography without boring my friends who are not interested in it like on my facebook… haha (BTW, I was worried you wouldn’t know who I was) 🙂

  2. xerith says:

    Looks like you had great fun btw

  3. OMG! I’m traveling solo starting in May and I just realized how many selfsies I’m going to have to take. ahahah! Oh well!

  4. Sartenada says:

    Awesome post with great photos.

  5. Pingback: Cijin Island | ilovelongvacation

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