Landing in Taipei on Taiwanese Valentine’s Day, Israeli supermodel Bar Zomer had no idea what the week had in-store for her. After being invited by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (TTB) on a promotional familiarization tour of some of the the most popular sites and foods Taiwan has to offer, TTB had in fact worked in secret with Aviv Cohen (her boyfriend of 5 years), to plan the perfect proposal in Taiwan.
Starting with a “surprise” upgrade on her Cathay Pacific flight from Tel Aviv to Taipei was just the beginning. TTB also secured an upgraded room for the couple from Regent Taipei, one of the finest hotels in the country. The hotel also arranged for a photoshoot to take place for Bar and Aviv on their first day, in which they both wore traditional Taiwanese clothing – A Qipao dress for Bar, and a Changpao with Magua (Men’s robe and jacket) for Aviv.
Following the photoshoot, the couple were taken around parts of old Taipei, such as Dihua Street, Yongle Fabric Market and the Dadaocheng Dock, where Bar and Aviv saw the beautifully restored architecture and many of the stores that continue to operate in the traditions of generations past.
Bar and Aviv then walked around Ximending shopping district, arguably the most popular area in Taipei for young people and tourists alike. There they browsed the many vendors of hand-crafted gifts and fashion accessories, whose boutiques adjoin the Red House Theater. A recent trend that has swept the nation is the prevalence of claw machine stores, where players insert a coin to test their skill (or luck) in grabbing a prize. The young duo were quick to jump in, playing a dozen rounds before Aviv managed to win a Dragonball Z keychain.
After lunch, was a visit to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, one of Taiwan’s old factory areas that have been converted into trendy art spaces, cafes and retail. This was followed by a trip to Songshan Ciyou Temple, a decadent temple dedicated to the worship of Mazu, a sea goddess, then a walk around Raohe Street Night Market.
On the second day of Bar and Aviv’s trip, the couple took Taiwan’s High Speed Rail from Taipei to Taichung in less than an hour.
Taiwan is a paradise of beautiful landscapes, natural hot and cold springs, many beaches and stunning sites that make it a popular destination as a romantic getaway for people, while many others travel to and around Taiwan for their wedding photos. One particularly popular location for couples to take their photos is Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. This picturesque place was chosen by Aviv as the site for his proposal to Bar. Working with The Lalu, a hotel that overlooks Sun Moon Lake, TTB booked an upgraded room for the lovebirds.
It was in the afternoon at The Lalu that Aviv’s proposal took place. Staging a photoshoot at one of the outdoor walkways at their hotel, the ring had been hidden in in a lotus in a pond at the hotel, so when Aviv removed his shoes and waded into the water to get it, Bar was naturally confused as to what was happening. However, coming out of the water and getting down on one knee made everything clear, and of course she said “Yes!”, releasing much of the stress Aviv had pent up trying to avoid her discovering the engagement ring he bought and hid with him throughout their journey! The newly engaged couple still have a few more days in Taiwan, which they can now fully enjoy under their upgraded relationship status.
Dr. Trust H.J. Lin, Director of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s office in charge of the Middle East had this to say about the “The Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and our partners Cathay Pacific, Regent Taipei and The Lalu all wish Bar and Aviv a long and happy life together, and invite other couples from Israel and around the world to come to Taiwan for their own trips of love, discovery and adventure.”
Follow her on Instagram @BarZomer
Alex Trup | Purple Media (紫色多媒體) | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.purple.media
Photos courtesy of Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Singapore Office)