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Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

10 Must-Dos in Taipei

May 11th, 2011 by

Frenetic, dynamic, food-mad Taipei is a manic metropolis with much to see, much to do and much to eat. Read on as we break down the Taiwanese capital in ten stops.

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Tapei 101

The former titan of world skyscrapers is the most dominant landmark in Taipei. Though Burj Khalifa now dwarfs Taipei 101 by a mile, what sets the Taiwan wonder apart is careful focus on aesthetic details: numerology, cultural symbolism, feng shui precepts, nods to Buddhism and traditional folklore all highlight the extraordinary typhoon and earthquake-proof tower. Read the rest of this entry »

Hungry? How about a Midnight Snack in Taipei?

April 28th, 2010 by

After a long day of touring the sites in and around Taipei, you may be tempted to simply rush back to your hotel room, grab a quick bite at a local convenience store, and crawl under the covers for a few hours of rest.

Night market seafood at keelung taipei night market

If you’re really hungry, and adventurous, you’ll want to stay out a little while longer to explore one of the most interesting parts of the city – the midnight snack markets. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Things You May Not Know About Betel Nut Culture

February 25th, 2010 by

Betel nuts come from the betel palm, which is prevalent in Asian countries and is used in the same way as tobacco is used in Western countries. The walnut-sized growths come in bundles of 250 to 500 pieces. It is a mild stimulant, and is primarily consumed by chewing., which various Asian cultures creating their own practices and belief systems around this habit-forming nut.

Here are 10 facts you may not know about Betel Nut culture:

betel leaf

*Betel nuts are shaved into slivers for easier chewing, often combined with spices and tobacco by producers to give a more appealing flavor. These are usually wrapped in betel leaves (which comes from the unrelated plant evergreen Piper Betle) before being distributed to shops.

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Have A Romantic Time Along Love River

February 11th, 2010 by

The Love River is as historically important to Kaohsiung, Southern Taiwan, as the River Thames is for London. Formerly called Kaohsiung River, the 12-kilometer river passes through 7 prosperous urban districts and ends in Kaohsiung Harbor, and has undergone several renovations to become a beloved part of the city’s tourism.

Love River

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5 Must-Visit Hot Springs In Taiwan

August 31st, 2009 by

Taiwan acquired a taste for Japanese-style hot spring spas back when the Japanese occupied the island and missed the onsen of their home country, and started developing the existing hot springs for their personal use. Nowadays, many Taiwanese enjoy a long dip in the many spas in their country while sipping ice-cold beer and engaging in conversation with friends.

Taiwan Hot Springs

Here are 5 must-visit hot springs in Taiwan to include in your travel there.

Lisong Hot Springs: Considered by many to be the most beautiful in the island, Lisong is somewhat remote, nestled by the mineral-stained cliffs of the Sinwulu River. The hot mineral water cascading down the colorful side of the gorge while clouds of steam rise up all highlight the green, white, orange, yellow and brown minerals, creating a wonderful effect as you dip into the waters. The river besides the hot springs is at least 4 meters deep and surrounded by sheer cliffs, making it perfect for cooling off after a long soak in the hot springs. Only determined aficionados venture into Lisong, and they are well-rewarded with such an immersive experience.

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Get Your Splash On During The Yilan Rain Festival

July 20th, 2009 by

YilanThe dry season has passed in Asia, and the monsoon months have drenched the eastern nations in torrential rains. But instead of letting rain ruin your parade, why not make rain the center of the parade? This is the idea behind the Yilan Rain Festival, one of Taiwan‘s biggest annual events. A showcase of the east coast county’s beauty and culture, the festival is held at 3 locations: Dongshan River Park, Wulaokeng Scenic Area and Toucheng-Suao Area, focusing on the mountain, river and ocean vistas all present in Yilan. The festival attracted over 890,000 visitors last year, and this year’s event is planned to be even bigger, with more goings-on to keep the celebration at full blast for two whole months.

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Ghost Festival In Taiwan

March 19th, 2009 by

Josh burningIf Western countries have Halloween, then the Chinese have the Ghost Festival, a religious observance of ghosts, spirits, and long-dead ancestors that last for an entire month. The Ghost Festival starts on the 15th month of the seventh lunar month, when it is believed the gates of the underworld are opened and its ethereal occupants are set loose upon the living world. In Taiwan, there are two major ghost festivals – the Buddhist one called Ullambana and the Taoist one called Jhongyuan. Both events are cause to perform religious ceremonies throughout the island, from the burning of paper “spirit” money and offerings of food and drink to monks chanting the necessary prayers to ease the suffering of the dead.

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Trendy Shopping In The Malls Of Taiwan

March 6th, 2009 by

Core Pacific City Living Mall People who are not too familiar with Taiwan would surely be surprised to find out that shopping is also one of the top activities that the Taiwanese prefer to do during their free time.  It is surprising in the sense that shopaholics hardly put Taiwan at the top of their list of destinations to visit whenever they go on a shopping spree in Asia.  The favorite shopping destinations would still have to be Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and exotic India.

Yes, the Taiwanese surely love to sing their favorite tunes in KTV bars and they also enjoy relaxing by catching the latest blockbuster movies.  But it cannot be denied that the Taiwanese, most especially the women in Taiwan, also use up a lot of time spending their dollars on fashionable clothes, chic shoes, trendy bags, and really stylish accessories.

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Ximending: The Harajuku Of Taiwan

February 27th, 2009 by

I was on my way out of the Royal Taipei Hotel and was just fresh from the forty-minute ride from the airport.  In one hand, I was holding my dependable tote bag containing my camera, a bottle of water, calculator and my wallet filled with crisp Taiwan dollars that I just exchanged at a nearby bank.  In my other hand, I held a piece of paper with the Chinese name of my destination.  You see, I had to sweetly request the hotel’s concierge to write the Chinese name for me to make sure that the taxi cab driver would know where to take me. I went out the hotel’s door, hailed a cab and confidently handed over the piece of paper to the driver.  The driver nodded and I sighed in relief.  I thought giddily to myself: “Ximending, here I come!”

Ximending Billboards

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Soy To The World

December 22nd, 2008 by

Soy Bean ProductsAfter rice, soy beans have become a staple in many Asian societies. First cultivated in China some 5,000 years ago, this legume became a favorite among Buddhists, whose religion forbade milk or meat. They discovered that processed soy beans can become a substitute for these forbidden food, and so help spread the consumption of soy beans throughout the rest of Asia. Today, soy bean products have become an all-around substitute for milk and meat products, being low in calories, no cholesterol or saturated fats, and rich in protein and iron. It can be stewed, fried, steamed, or barbequed; it can be served as a main dish, additives, snack, dessert, side dish, and/or beverage. Its health benefits are a delight among nutritionists and vegetarians: soy beans help fight prostate and breast cancer as well as reduce cholesterol. Soy bean products are well-associated with the vegetarian and new age movements in Western countries, many of whom propagate soy culture by borrowing recipes from the East.

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