Travel Guides February 19

This week Travel Guides delivers a trip that prompts laughter, tears, and in one case, fainting.

Escaping to their quirkiest destination yet, the guides begin their journey in the kooky capital, Taipei, home to seven million people.

After checking into the Chinese-style Grand Hotel they head to the city’s landmark tower Taipei 101, which stands more than 500 metres high. Our guides attempt to take in the dizzying heights of its 101 storeys.

As night falls, it’s time for sensory overload in the city’s beating neon heart, the Ximending district. The Target Boys all decide to get their first tattoo, but it ends in disaster. And newlyweds Deepesh and Sage experience a far dodgier “couples massage” than they ever expected.

Then it’s off to experience one of Taiwan’s strangest and most popular pastimes, our guides try their hand at urban shrimping. In their quest for a seafood bounty, one guide experiences a nasty accident.

There’s even more kookiness around the corner – a visit to (would you believe it) Taipei’s Modern Toilet Restaurant. The toilet-themed menu leaves our guides absolutely gob smacked. Will it leave a bad taste in their mouth?

To flush the city out of their system, our travellers take the fast train two hours south to the magnificent Taroko National Park, where soaring mountains and deep marble gorges are the backdrop to their stay in a traditional hotel owned by the local indigenous tribe.

For their next adventure they go hiking in Taiwan’s greatest natural wonder, the Taroko Gorge, where they traverse the valley with glorious views but despise the confronting encounters with bats.

On the final day of their seven-day Taiwan trip, the guides visit some of Taipei’s animal cafes, dining with feline friends and even alpacas, leaving them delighted and dismayed.

Taiwan provides first-time encounters, random expeditions and bizarre experiences, from the bustling city to the tranquil countryside that’s a sight to behold. But what do our Travel Guides rate it out of five stars?

9pm Tuesday February 19 on Nine.