Jul 31, 2013

[Our Tours] Non-touristic Sight-seeing - Puli Town

Known to be a lotus-shaped landscape, Puli Town at central Taiwan has attracted many slow-living enthusiasts, retirees and of course, the city dwellers who would like to escape the bustle and hustles. The entire town is surrounded by spectacular mountains and situated on an abundant plain, where the top quality water resource cultivates the best living environment in Taiwan.

The town is all surrounded by layers and layers of mountains, allowing people in Puli to enjoy the best weather all year round.


Jul 26, 2013

[Our Tours] Taiwan's Most Unique Travel Destinations - Bouncing Land in Nantou

Have you heard of any lands that can actually DANCE?

During an actual visit in Nantou, where the world-known Sun Moon Lake is located, we're very much honored to introduce one of the most world unique travel destinations-Toushur living basin 南投頭社活盆地- to visitors who visit central Taiwan. Beside Giethoorn in Amsterdam 荷蘭羊角村, the living basin is one of the rarest geological landscapes you could witness on earth.



 The 'dancing land'  looks just like normal paddy field. What's so special?
This is what we do in the central Taiwan. Don't miss out these places if you're visiting here!

Jul 25, 2013

[Our Value] Our Ideal Partnership in Tourism Industry


"Treating guests as friends." When we hear this promising idea, our eyes shine bright.

This is exactly one of the initial ideas that we have hold on tight when we provide our service, and when we are searching for like-minded partners such as hostels, restaurants, tour guides, travel service providers or trustworthy cooperators. We are determined to offer an extraordinary experience when the guests are using the service.


The clip shows how our beloved hostel's owner think about how about "treating guests as friends"

[Our Value] Encountering the Locals in Taiwan


You must have heard of how people conclude their trip experience with such expression "the local people are the best tour guides". So, we would strongly encourage you to "make friends" and look for chances talking to the locals when you travel in Taiwan. We believe that the best attraction of a trip should be PEOPLE, not great views or beautiful scenery. 


Let's be TALKATIVE!

Talk to local shop or stall owners. Some find it convincing that Taiwanese are friendly because they've experienced shop owners' genuity. When we're taking our guests to taste the local delicacies, we tend to introduce the owners to our guests so that they can talk a bit. Our guests might then feel more comfortable and feel like being well-hosted.


When the local food owners see that their guests are from abroad,
they're very much likely willing to chat with you. 

Jul 23, 2013

[Our Tours] A Hands-on Experience in Puli Town

A large part of Topology Travel's guests very often travel as a family. We've long been trying to organize a trip that includes some events that suit a family with young kids, beside just sight-seeing. We believe that people tend to gain a deep impression from taking part in "hands-on" experience while traveling.  Take the package tours we offer in the central Taiwan as example:




Traditional hand made paper factory at Puli. Beside factory, there is an exhibition center that display the history of invention of paper.

Jul 16, 2013

[Our Team] Front-line Hospitality - Tour Guides of Topology Travel

"A good travel partner is hard to find." But once you find one, the whole trip would be worth it.

The same thing goes with the tour guides when people are looking for a package trip or a guided tour. Topology's philosophy is simple, our guests always our first priority. We stand in guests' show and take care of their need. That's our idea to offer customized trip and things should be as accommodating as possible.


Our tour guides are often in red

A short clip that explains how we hunt for like-minded tour guides

Jul 1, 2013

Non-touristic Qingjing Farm

Qingjing Veteran Farm is a well-known tourist spot for the locals and travelers. It’s one of the greatest summer getaways for all visitors because it’s so much cooler staying in the mountain valleys than in the cities!


However, we always think there should be something more here, waiting to be explored...

A highlight of Qingjing Veteran Farm--- friendly herds. Visitors love to take picture with sheep

Jun 26, 2013

A Worthwhile Trip?

Just last week, a team of Topology Travel went on a field trip to Nantou, where Sun Moon Lake is located, and where a huge number of tourists would aim to leave their footprints. Yet we put mostly all our effort in this trip to make the "touristic area" extraordinary, with a little of our creativity and curiosity.


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Maintaining the quality of the most ordered package tour, we set our foot on a 5-day journey to closely re-examine and document the whole itinerary and travel route in central Taiwan, including Nantou's Sun Moon Lake, Puli, Jhushan and  Qingjing Farm (南投日月潭、埔里、竹山、清境農場), right before the high tourism season begins.

Having an Off-Trail Experience - Although Sun Moon Lake and Qingjing Farm are the two most visited touristic attractions, during this field trip we aim to search for some hidden or "unusual" spot for visitors from abroad. We believe that while witnessing the charm of the known places, those only known to the locals should also be included during the trip.


May 31, 2013

[Non-Touristic] Danshui Old Street? We Expect More.

When it comes to traveling, I believe throughout everyone's lifetime, we must have asked ourselves one question --- how to learn more about a placeWe might do research a lot before the trip begins. We might call for a local guidance. We might stay at a certain place for a longer period, if our budget or our boss permits. However while making so much effort, we might end up facing a struggle: Is it possible that we avoid the major tourist attractions, but still get the essence of a local community?

Our guests walking through a silent trail where an old community tells stories of the past. 

Apr 29, 2013

[TopSelect] Taipei Day Trip: Jiufen - Travel Unique


This is like my 10th time visiting Jiufen, a town often titled differently, a town of sadness, of hills, and of gold. I can understand why it has something to do with hills and gold, as its geological location and guide books tell us, but the “sadness” confused me all the time. And clearing the confusion makes a huge difference for me to get a much deeper knowledge about Jiufen.


Apr 22, 2013

[Core Value] What is "Travel in Real Taiwan"?

Topology Travel was founded by travel lovers who are young at heart, and share a common vision: authentic experience by exploring Taiwan through the eyes of locals. While we have all grown up in Taiwan and understand the culture as native Taiwanese, our passion, our goal, is presenting a first hand experience of authentic Taiwan to every single person who we meet. We aim to create unique travel experiences for people based on their style, their interests, and their preferred pace of travel.

“He treats every guest as a friend. That’s what tourism business means to him.” By he, it refers to Peter Lin, our 30-year-old founder of Topology Travel.  The comment is given by30》, a visionary Taiwanese magazine publisher aiming to offer young generation new perspectives and innovative insights.

On Topology’s webpage, Peter has a few words as his self-introduction. “A journey is not about the sights I see, but about the insights of my experiences and the people I meet. These are what make a journey unique and unforgettable. I want to remember my life, by the connections I have made with friends, worldwide.”


Our team having a company trip in Jiufen

Apr 9, 2013

[Useful Info] Tour Around Taiwan in 24 Hours?

"Ilha Formosa!" (beautiful island) admired the Portuguese when they were sailing through the Taiwan Strait during the Great Age of Sail. While the Portuguese spent a couple of days sailing over the strait, how long do you think it takes to drive around the Beautiful Island of Taiwan nowadays? A few hours? One day? Two days? 

For quite a few times our guests have wished to travel in depth in Taiwan by touring around the Island. But the vacation might not be long enough for them to have an extended and relaxing trip. Very Often there would be guests who are not into a long ride. Or, some family or friends of our guests don't feel comfortable when the car goes through curvy roadways in the mountains. So how do we cope with these issues when we are hoping for a pleasant car ride?




Therefore we offer the map here! Find yourself an possible answer in the picture beside! What the numbers in the picture tell you is the length of a ride between two places. For example, it takes an hour to travel from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei. As for the colors, they show different level of the roadway conditions:

Green - comfortable and smooth
Orange - might be a bit bumpy 
Red - mostly curvy all the way in the mountains



While some guests might decide not to spend too much time commuting, some may prefer having an overall experience through a distant traveling. From years of driving experience, our driver guides have come up with the map above to offer the much-preferred routes-and they mostly cover many of the main highlighted attractions in Taiwan. 

Feel free to study your own itinerary with the map here!  

Mar 14, 2013

[Experience] Sweet Potato Mama Project

I don't regret any tiny bit joining Sweet Potato Mama Project run by Genesis Social Welfare Foundation and Topology Travel, a travel company whose core value and visions are to capture the essence of Taiwan for all visitors from abroad. This project affected me in a way to believe we are all living in a world where we are very much connected to the community we are traveling to. It also aims to support single-mothers to live financially independently by teaching them how to roast sweet potatoes. 

拓撲私人導遊, 台北的照片
拓撲私人導遊 的照片由 TripAdvisor 免費提供

On the day we did the project, there were a few other volunteers joining the project under Topology Travel's guidance and pre-training. Most of them were travelers, exchange students from abroad or people who have lived in Taiwan for years. There was also a group of local people too, and I was one of them.

It is not exactly correct to say that traveling can change a person, because it not only changes an individual but everyone who is engaged in the community. That includes the volunteers, the potato mamas, the residence who works and lives nearby, or even the passersby. All of us had a mutual sense of satisfaction when we gave each other feedback at the end of the day --- we all felt that there was something adding up to our lives, something invaluable. We come from different places with different backgrounds but we come to achieve something altogether. Native or not, we grasped a bit of sweet potato mamas’ life by doing what they do every day. 

What we did for the sweet potato mamas basically doesn't require professional skills. Besides repetition work such as cutting off the yams, fitting them into all sizes of twisted steel wires (to roast the yams more efficiently through the heated wires) and touting the yams for passerby, the mamas, who usually wake up very early, have already cleaned the yams and managed the charcoal at the bottom of the portable traditional oven that shaped like a big drum (weighted at least 50kg). So we didn't need to deal with the fire and temperature. 

I especially love the selling part. It was fun to see how passerby reacted when they saw a cluster of people working on cooking sweet potatoes. It was, well, a bad analogy, like doing a flash-mob event (of course we didn't dress in the same color or disappear in the end all of a sudden!). What a flash-mob event usually functions is to draw people's attention in an unaggressive way in at public place. Yet if the stories behind the event worth opening up a discussion for larger audience, a demand for specific social awareness will highly possibly appeals to people. I do believe what we did in Live as a Local Program then meets its purpose to arouse people’s care and attention to the minority groups. 

I believe that the act of selling the yams has another layer of meaning. The places where the mamas sell the yams are quite close to business districts and schools. Normally the customers are office workers and students (sometimes there will be bigger order directly from companies or big fans of sweet potatoes). Almost every day, while people walk pass the sweet potato mama's vendors and see the mamas, of course sometimes with friendly volunteers from all over the globe, such picture would make them feel that “the yams” are becoming part of their lives. Because yams in fact symbolize as a part of Taiwanese food tradition, every Taiwanese must have tasted it some time before. Every time when the mamas let the words out loud "Sweet potatos! Just got roasted!", people would be possibly get touched by heart to hear such familiar voice. If such delicious snack is there every day, there's no reason for people not to stop by and get a bag or two of yams from the mamas! People love eating sweet potatoes anyways!

拓撲私人導遊, 台北的照片
拓撲私人導遊 的照片由 TripAdvisor 免費提供

The most important thing is that Live as a Local Program also changes the mamas' lives too. When it wasn't during lunch time, we actually talked a lot. We would exchange stories and share traveling ideas with the mamas. And I could see that they are used to having volunteers who keep them company. To our surprise, sweet potato mamas are in fact very sociable and willing to share their stories with us. They would tell us how they come to sell yams and how they got supported from Genesis Social Welfare Foundation, and the most cheerful thing is --- how they would support their own children and to fulfill their dreams altogether as a family.

Mar 11, 2013

[TopSelect] Must-Stay Excellent Accommodation

A real timeout from work, or a break from the norm, is probably what people call for while planning a trip, either short or extended, domestic or foreign. To the many, accommodation arrangement matters so much that it might decide whether a trip is a full success. Hotels with stars, luxuriously furnished rooms, full facilities, good location, guest-centered room services might sound attractive. However, when we are arranging accommodation for our guests, we’ve asked ourselves many times: What can be an excellent accommodation? 

We came up with an idea to make each of our guest’s stay-overnight experience exceptionally special --- by introducing them "homestay" as an option that makes access to learn how local life functions. We would like our guests to get a home-away-from-home feeling as much as possible.


We believe that by providing our guests a different way of traveling, they won’t be just visiting Taiwan as ordinary travelers. (Picture taken in Linsu, one of our best-loved homestays in Jiufen 九份)

Mar 5, 2013

[Our Travel Journal] Travel Photography Tips


National Yehliu Geo Park
We were greatly honored to travel with a winner of a photography competition as our guest!

During his second time visit, Gary, who is an American professor from Ohio, and was introduced by Craig, a friend of ours, altogether made an extra 5-day in depth trip in Taiwan before Gary attended an academic conference just to capture the beauty of Taiwan by photographing. 

Gary's request for the entire customized trip was simple. Being very much impressed by a unique diversified ecological environment and geological scenery, he asked for suggestions about places where travelers can find diverse fun out in natural or cultural landscape.


Feb 21, 2013

[Alternative] Besides Sun Moon Lake - Jhushan


If you ask Taiwanese people “What is the first tourist attraction that comes to your mind when you hear Nantou 南投?” 

Nine out of ten would toss their answer “Sun Moon Lake”. And the last one would probably murmur with a rather rare answer --- Jhushan 竹山. 


Sunrise with cloud sea (Photo by Unlimited Sky)

Feb 20, 2013

[InnerCity] Walkabout Tour in Sansia


God, I’m all wet!”

“Of course you are all wet.  It's been raining like crazy!"

Before I became one of the staff in Topology Travel,  there it was my first Walkabout Tour experience, hanging out with other like-minded WALKERS in Sansia. A brilliant idea that I once saw while I was traveling in Europe. The tour is meant to make its visitors travel mostly by foot to produce zero negative effect on the environment. By doing so visitors would get an authentic experience with the local community, and would never travel only as a tourist. What a philosophy!

There we went anyways regardless of the rain!
It was quite a trip. People are so nice and the guide, Jun, obviously has done so much homework about Sansia. The flow was nice and I felt completely comfortable under his guidance.