Russian travel bloggers say Taiwan is 'completely different' from China

Russian travel bloggers Alexander Belenkiy, Sergei Anashkevich praise Taiwan as 'heart of Asia'

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 Belenkiy and Anashkevich. (MOFA image)

 Belenkiy and Anashkevich. (MOFA image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two popular travel bloggers from Russia have described Taiwan as "completely different" from China and the "heart of Asia," CNA reports.

Alexander Belenkiy and Sergei Anashkevich who, respectively, reside in Berlin and Moscow, typically post whimsical photographs and written accounts of their adventures. They are very popular in their native Russia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) invited the two bloggers to travel to northern, central, and southern Taiwan. The aim was to enhance awareness of Taiwan in the Russian-speaking world and promote tourism.

From March 15-19 the bloggers visited Kenting National Park, an Indigenous village in Mudan township, Sicao Green Tunnel, Shennong Street, Maokong, Jiufen, Ximending and Taipei 101. Belenkiy described the visit in his blog as "real life, much more interesting than a museum."


Belenkiy (left) and Anashkevich (right) enjoy their dumplings. (CNA image)

In an interview with CNA, Belenkiy and Anashkevich said Taiwan seems to sum up the characteristics of many Asian countries, but is very approachable. Visitors will experience “less culture shock,” they added, and find the situation here is "a little familiar but not too familiar."

The bloggers told CNA they thought Taiwan and China were "similar" before visiting but now think they are "completely different." The main differences, they said, were the overall atmosphere and attitude of the people.

Both bloggers said Taiwan has a "human touch" and is a great place to live. Belenkiy said he may visit Taiwan again this year with his wife, after she was wowed by his photos and account of his trip.

Belenkiy said that compared with other Asian countries, Taiwan has few restrictions on foreigners driving and the roads are safer. He believes this makes Taiwan great for road trips and in-depth tourism.

Belenkiy also said that he insisted on visiting scenic spots he discovered on the internet, including New Taipei City’s Houtong Station and Houtong Cat Village, and Kaohsiung's Kubic Container Mall.