Taiwan was called the Ilha Formosa, or the beautiful island, because the Portuguese sailors who first saw Taiwan thought it beautiful. That it still is, but for those of us who are avid tea drinkers, this is more like the Teashop island.
I just got here yesterday for a very quick trip, and stayinag in the heart of Taipei last night, we went out for dinner around our hotel. Just on the pre and post dinner walk alone, in the space of about a few blocks, I think I saw a dozen teashops. Not all of them are necessarily worth visiting, especially when there are many fine shops to go to, but I think it is safe to say that nobody will die of caffeine deprivation here. In fact, I wonder if Taiwan might not have the highest concentration of teashop per capita in the world.
Now I am sitting here in the middle of Taroko national park. It is stunning, and more than validates Taiwan’s former name. More on that later.