Darren went on exchange to National Sun Yat Sen University (NSYSU), Taiwan

Hey there fans of exchangebuddy! My name is Darren (@darreniisan) and I will be bringing you back to Asia. I went on my exchange in National Sun Yat Sen University (NSYSU), Taiwan.

Within a month in Taiwan, I learnt that it is definitely MORE than just the touristy Taipei (REALLY..duh). Short weekend trips to different parts of the country are a must and do keep a lookout for the amazing sceneries and 夜市s (night markets)! The most memorable experience off my mind now is probably witnessing two typhoons and it’s AWESOME ?. Don’t worry about safety though, the government and locals are really well prepared for them and all I have to do was to follow instructions! Bear with me as I give you a sneak peak of how exchange life in Taiwan is like!

中社花市 (Zhong She Flower Market)

Took a 3hr bus ride to Taichung for a weekend trip and this picture was taken at 中社花市 (Zhong She Flower Market). Flowers were blooming at this time of the year and it was really pretty! Caught a beautiful view of a mountain (couldn’t manage to get the name) that looks to be half green and half brown. Pretty cool right! 

Rice boxes (便当) in Taiwan

Guess what is for day 2? SCHOOL. Yes of course exchange students do go for classes! ? Afraid that you will go hungry in between classes when the queue is crazy? This is another thing Taiwan is famous for … its RICE BOXES (便当) ?. There is a huge variety of on-the-go lunch boxes sold in convenience stores for you to choose from, and they are affordable! You’ll never go hungry again! YUMZ ?

Sunset over GaoMei Wetlands

Sunrise and Sunset are earlier here over in Taiwan. It gets really bright as early as 6am and you can catch the sunset when it is 5.30-ish. Caught mine in GaoMei Wetlands over in Taichung and it was really refreshing ? p.s. Be careful not to fly away though! The breeze here is SUPERRRRR STRONGGGG ?

The Old Sheng Xing Train Station

If you have an entire day to spare, do consider renting a cab (包). Most cabbies will be willing to be your tour guide and the market rate is approximately 500TWD/hr. Ask the cabbie politely for any recommended places to visit and you could be discovering more than what Google tells you. Our Taichung cabby brought us to this old Sheng Xing Train Station that is no longer in service and this is a picture with the 1km long tunnel (can you see the light at the end?) Don’t worry there ain’t zombies here! ?

Fo Guang Shan Monastery

We don’t really get to see huge attractions in our land-scarce Singapore, so travelling around Kaohsiung is an eye opener even though it might seem boring. These attractions are places with great picture opportunities too! This beautiful landscape is Fo Guang Shan Monastery, KaoHsiung, Taiwan’s largest Buddhist Monastery.

Kenting beaches

Was in Kenting for a weekend and the first thing that came to mind is … the BEACHES OHYEAHHHH!!! This area feels like Bali and it’s so happening at night! Excited for the next couple of days ?

Nan Wan Beach

Started the day feeling excited but it short lived when the weather took a turn for the worse. Nan Wan Beach was closed for all water activities due to the choppy waves. But somehow we managed to get a vendor to facilitate our water activities and we went out #likeaboss. ? It was exhilarating to be the only ones in the usually-packed touristy beach and even crazier when the aggressive waves hit us. Glad we took a calculated risk and went on despite the worries (and also because the Instructors were really experienced). Feel free to pm me if you guys want their contact! If you want to experience some exciting water sports action as well, you can try searching online for something like wakeboarding rental.

Smile, even through setbacks says Darren

So I ended my weekend trip to Kenting. Had my fair share of DOWNS (rainy period, scammed by a taxi uncle) and UPS (water sports, huge night market, nice people), which is precisely how exchange is like. Just a simple advice to those going on exchange, go with an open mind. Exchange isn’t necessarily about having fun all the time and it is common to face little setbacks along the way. Just step out of your comfort zone and carpe diem. Signing off~ 

About the author

Name: Darren

Home University: National University of Singapore (NUS)

Exchange at: National Sun Yat Sen University (NSYSU), Taiwan

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