Being an international student has its ups and downs. For sure, you feel you are far from home, but studying abroad is the best opportunity to enjoy other places and to know other people. I have been here in Taiwan for almost three years and all the people and knowledge that I gained here represent a treasure for me.

During my stay in Taiwan, I tried to visit as many places as I can. When I have time I travel to the south, then in my next vacations I travel to the east, and so on. In the south, you will find important cities like: Kaoshiong and Tainan, the previous capital of Taiwan. In the south coast you will also find one of the most popular places to visit, Kenting. There in Kenting you will find a mixture of nightlife and pretty sand beaches. And if you go through the mountains that are situated in the center of Formosa Island you get to the east coast, here you can enjoy Taroko Caves in Hualien or the hot springs of Ilan.

Now I moved to Hsinchu, also called the windy city, to study in National Tsing Hua University. Here with new friends whenever we have some free time, we like very much to travel around. The International Division of NTHU is in share of foreign students affairs in this university, and they organized some trips for us. Last time during the Spring Break, we went to Sun Moon Lake, which is located at the center of Taiwan. And as student of ICDF Program we also had some cultural visits with our Program Manager. At May we visited Peng-Hu or Isla Pescadores, The Peng-Hu archipelago, lying in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, is the only island whose coastlines are formed of basalt magma.

Peng-Hu archipelago consists of 64 islands. If you like natural and unpolluted white sandy beach, fresh air of sea and dozens of natural beauty of rocks then definitely you will like this place. Peng-Hu shows its uniqueness in its cultural resources, thanks to the influences of its environment as well as Chinese culture and history. Peng-Hu has many important temples and there are also many important sites with great historical value. If you like seafood, Peng-Hu is the right place to try Chinese Cuisine style in the preparation of seafood such as groupers, abalone, lobsters, clams, and shellfish.

To get to Peng-Hu archipelago, we took airplane from Taipei Song-Shan Domestic Airport to Makong Airport. Makong island is the main island of Peng-Hu and there it is the city of Makong which is the most heavily populated, most bustling place in all of the Peng-Hu Islands. This city boasts a high concentration of cultural, scenic, and historic sites. Among the most popular of the tourist spots in the city are the old Zhongyang Street, Four-Eyed Well, as well as the first Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) temple in Taiwan, the Queen of Heaven Temple. We also went to the great bridge of Peng-Hu that is located on the north of Makong. This bridge has the peculiarity that it looks like a rainbow and walking the length of the bridge, viewing the awesome ocean, listening to the roaring tides, and feeling the bracing sea breezes, is a uniquely refreshing experience.

Then from Makong Island we took a boat and traveled around the neighboring islands to enjoy the sea views and savor a wonderful vacation at sea. Shiaumen is a small island located at the edge of Houmen Channel, just off Siyu Island. On the northwestern coast of the island is Whale Hole, a large hole in an eroded columnar basalt formation that is said to resemble a whale when viewed from a distance.

If you have any chance to get to Peng-Hu don’t miss the opportunity to bath in the pure white-sand beach of Baisha, take a picture with one of the most famous attraction in the Chimei Island, the twin hearts rock formation, and you should also try the cactus ice-cream, which has a peculiar fuchsia color. Another activity to do in Peng-Hu is to watch the brilliant late-afternoon colors as the sun sets.

Now it doesn’t matter where you go, it is just to learn how to appreciate the wonderfulness of each singular place and enjoy the company of good friends that makes any time that you spend here in Taiwan, an experience that is stored as the sweetest memories.