Published: Aug. 3, 2023

As part of a Tang-funded global seminar this summer, a group of 14 undergraduate students from CU embarked on a three-week program immersing themselves in Taiwanese life, culture, politics, and history. We'll be showcasing a series of blog posts from these students to share what the experience has been like in their words.

Best day in Taiwan -- post # 11 Ericka Peacock

My experience in Taiwan has been incredible so far. We’ve done so much, from day trips using the high speed railway to local cooking classes in Taipei. However, what I’ve really enjoyed while being here are the student led activities.

These projects allow us to research a topic we find interesting about Taiwan or Taiwanese culture, present our findings to the class, and take the class out on an excursion to learn more about the topic. For one of our groups, we went to Wulai to learn about the Atayal people, as well as other aboriginal tribes of Taiwan.

We started the day by Ubering over to Wulai in small groups. Even just the drive over was breath-taking; a good change in scenery from the cityscape we’ve all grown used to. When we arrived, you could feel how small and close-knit Wulai was. For the hour we had of free time, I walked around the whole town twice, taking pictures and enjoying the quietness of meandering about on my own.

After some free time, we met at a local business right in the city center to participate in a weaving class. A local woman from the Atayal tribe demonstrated how to weave a simple pattern, then let all of us students try our hand at it on some bookmarks. Some of us were natural born weavers and, according to Atayal tradition, would be granted a facial tattoo for our talents and deemed worthy of marriage. Others were not as fortunate (myself being one of those people). While I might not be the best weaver, I had a great time enjoying this experience with my fellow classmates.

After the class was over, the owners of the business gave us tea and mountain pepper ice cream, a flavor which may be my new all time favorite because it was so delicious! We were free to explore the area on our own or make the trek back to the hotel. Thankfully, a group of us were all interested in seeing the waterfall, so that’s how I spent the rest of my day. We hiked over to the waterfall and took tons of pictures while there. I only wish the camera could capture just how phenomenal the sight was. On our way back to the bus station, we found a local swimming hole and decided to make a small detour. It was the perfect way to cool off after a long day. Overall, the day was amazing and really helped open my eyes to the natural beauty of Taiwan.

river and mountains

Photo 1: A picture I took of the river while I was walking around town.

hand made weaving and jewlery

Photo 2: The end product of my weaving work, as well as some local turquoise jewelry I purchased while in Wulai.


Photo 3: A quick photo of the waterfall we saw after our hike. The camera does not do it justice!