October 1st is China's National Day and from this day and a week forth it is Golden Week in China! This means one week of holiday with travel opportunity and I am currently back in Taiwan to take advantage of that.
Taiwan is the small beautiful country and island located just south-east of China. A country which most people don't know much about - is it independent or part of China and what about that Japanese influence? The country has a very interesting and intense history as well as a very confusing and quite tense situation when it comes to the current status of the country... I'm not going to dig into that but if you want to know more hit google, talk to some Taiwanese people and don't forget to visit the National Museum of Taiwan History if you come by the city Tainan in the South-west part of Taiwan.
Taiwan is also a country which is not ranked very high on most people's travel destination lists (it's probably not even on most peoples list) and this is truly a shame. But to be honest, before I ended up here last year for what was my first real travel experience with my better half I had not given much thought to Taiwan. I'm super happy to now be able to share my excitement and love for this country with you.
My First Visit to Taiwan
In May 2013 me and my boyfriend traveled from Shanghai to Taipei in the north of Taiwan. Taiwan's capital Taipei is definitely worth a visit when you travel to Taiwan but make sure to keep it a visit and not a final destination - Taiwan has so much more to it and the vibrant capital is definitely not the best thing about this beautiful country.
After a couple of days in the country's colorful & bustling capital we traveled with local transport down the east coast to Kenting in the far south of Taiwan for beaching, surfing, hiking & chilling. We traveled for one week and following that I continued with a solo travel adventure to a Taiwanese Yoga and fasting retreat outside Taiwan's old capital Tainan.
A Cleanse For Body & Mind
I love challenging myself, I love trying new things and I love holistic health stuff so when I found Ananda Marga Yoga Detox Retreat in South Taiwan and discovered that I could combine my first Taiwan travel experience with a local retreat experience I was sold!
Ananda Marga offer you either a 5 or a 7 days retreat where you through fasting, yoga and mediation can
- Detox & relax your body, cleanse & calm your mind
- See the benefits of fasting, on digestion, allergies, skin disorders, back pain, etc.
- Change your relationship to food with daily inspirational talks on food, nutrition and healthy living
This year Ananda Marga started offering 3 days mediation and yoga retreats with no awful fasting included (yes fasting is awful but also very powerful and very beneficial). You still get yoga classes & group meditation as well as fresh homemade juices & healthy vegetarian food as with the longer retreats. So don't be scared away if you don't like the sound of fasting...
I had the most intense, interesting and fantastic days at Ananda Marga last year together with my 19 Taiwanese fellow retreaters. From dust at 5.30 where our intensive lemon/salt cleanse started, to our midday yoga & meditation classes, to our healthy juicing & alternative singing sessions I can truly say it was an experience I wouldn't be without.
Check out the schedule and concept here and check out the pictures from my fasting retreat experience in rural, tranquil Taiwan below. Why I can highly recommend this retreat is because it is alternative, non-commercial, simple-living, based on holistic health philosophy and super budget friendly (though from China you still have to buy a ticket to Taiwan but try to combine it with some traveling in the country and I promise you it is worth it!). Check Ananada Marga's prices and future scheduled retreats here.
I am definitely coming back to this place to revitalize my body & mind!
And what else?
I have much more Taiwan experiences to share with you as I am currently here seeing, finding, trying & doing new stuff every day with my boyfriend and his lovely parents. So stay subscribed and I'll make sure you'll get all my Taiwan write ups soon!