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There are no direct flights from South Africa to Taiwan are from Johannesburg to Bangkok with Thai Air. There are also 1-stop flights to Taoyuan International Airport:
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15 Nov 2013 : My favourite holiday had to have been travelling to the beautiful island of Taiwan. Not quite
China, but borrowing largely from the Chinese Han culture, Taiwan is a delight to all the senses.
We landed at Taoyuan International Airport and were immediately struck by how rural the place
seemed. That quickly changed when we hopped on an ultra-modern train and sped off towards the bright lights of the great city of Taipei. Taipei is a sprawling metropolis with a mixture of
high-tech East Asian infrastructure and seedy underworld. Although the infrastructure was amazing, we didn’t go there to stare at the skyscrapers alone. As awe-inspiring as the Taipei 101 was - it is the tallest building in the country – we went to experience the country in all its glory. For that, we needed to taste what the country had to offer. The Shilin Night Market is the largest and most famed night market in the country. Boasting a mesmerizing array of food stalls offering a mind-numbing variety of delicacies at obscenely low prices, it became our nightly dining spot. Feasting on oyster omelettes, stinky tofu (definitely lives up to its reputation, eat it with your nose closed, sniff it at your own peril), craft beer, fried crabs, dumplings and bizarre fruits and vegetables, we ate until we couldn’t anymore and vowed to go back the next day to try out what we couldn’t the night before.
The Maokong gondola was a breathtaking cable ride up and down the hills surrounding the south east of Taipei city. Serene and green environs make it a great escape from the frantic city. At the end of the line we opted to take a walk through the hills in search of a golden temple, which we never found, but instead enjoyed wandering around the tranquil natural settings. To get some more culture in, we spent some time exploring the port of Keelung, a northern city easily accessible using the railway line from Taipei. Giant Buddhist statues and demons adorn
this salty city and inexpensive local delicacies are ubiquitous. Other culturally significant sites visited included the Chiang Kai-Sek Memorial Hall, the spectacular National Palace Museum, the National Taiwan Museum that gave us a glimpse into the indigenous population’s history, and the serene gardens encompassing the Peace Memorial Park. If I could go back and explore more of Taiwan I would. Taipei was an amazing trip with never a dull moment. The people were friendly, transport reliable, food delicious, and compared to other big cities we felt perfectly safe wandering around in and around the hustle and bustle.
You can fly from Johannesburg to Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) with Qatar Airways/Cathay Pacific (via Johannesburg & Doha), SAA/China Airlines (via Hong Kong), Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong). Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Thai Airways (via Bangkok), Emirates (via Dubai) or KLM (via Amsterdam).