Breakfast in Taiwan

The English saying "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, supper like a pauper" has a Taiwanese equivalent: "早頓食飽,中晝頓食巧,暗頓半枵飽". Taiwan was primarily an agricultural society not too long ago and people had to eat a big breakfast to have enough energy for farming. This helped develop a diverse breakfast cuisine in Taiwan. Rice used to be the main food staple but we now have a diverse set of options for the modern Taiwanese breakfast.

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Road Trip Taiwan: Kenting National Park

Taiwan's Kenting National Park (墾丁國家公園) is a great place to enjoy the beautiful island's mountains, shores and the ocean.

Recommended adventure trip route with RideWithGPS

 

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Unusual Taiwan History: Your Grandfather's Maid Cafe

According to Wikipedia, the first maid cafe (女僕咖啡店) opened in 2001 in Tokyo. But, do you know that Taiwanese people's grandfathers might have already been to a maid cafe in the 1930s?

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Taipei 228 Peace Park

The Taipei 228 Peace Park (228紀念公園) reminds us of the horrible events surrounding February 28 1947, how precious the democracy Taiwan now enjoys is, and the long road to freedom paved by the sacrifice of many.

 

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2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival @ Yunlin

In Taiwan, the Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Every year local governments in Taiwan take turns hosting the national lantern festival, displaying many lanterns and organizing various activities. This year the festival was held in Yunlin (雲林).

Below we show a few highlights from the various themes in the lantern festival.
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Road Trip Taiwan: Into Hsinchu's Aboriginal Mountain Villages

Although Hsinchu (新竹) city is better known for its high-tech semiconductor industry, it also has a very rural mountainous area at the city's east. Historically, the east side of the city flourished with timber and mining industries. Now it becomes famous for mountain towns, hot springs and camping.

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The great HsinChu's east mountain valleys, absolutely not a trace of high-tech.

One of the major roads to eastern Hsinchu's beautiful mountains is Route 60 (竹60). The route features a Hakka historical district, great valleys & gorges, a vista point and mountainside aboriginal villages. 

HsinChu Route 60 on Ride With GPS

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Taiwan Indie Game Detention (返校): Horror @ Supernature and Real Life

Introduction

The new Taiwanese Indie Game Detention (返校) is a 2D point-and-click horror game depicting 1960s Taiwan's White Terror and folk beliefs.

Taiwan indie horror game Detention
A White Terror poster asking student to rat out communists and receive huge rewards.
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Towards Safer Traffic In Taiwan – It's Not The Culture That Kills

Illustration By Benjamin

Living in Taiwan, as with any country, comes with its own particular advantages and challenges. One mundane but high frequency challenge is getting around. Outside of trains and mass transport there's the choice of facing the hazards of using the roads as a pedestrian, cyclist, or a motorist. The risks of doing so is a topic that frequently pops up – a common denominator amongst foreign residents and Taiwanese alike. Complaining about the traffic is almost a cultural tradition here, a past time the author himself has contributed to in various fora including serious and satirical blog posts, Twitter, and in letters to newspapers. Much of the debate about why Taiwanese traffic is so hazardous has focused on the particular quirks of how the Taiwanese use the roads, often with a slight Orientalist tone. Taiwanese, many of us conclude, are bad drivers and have little inclination to follow the rules and laws of the highway most of the time. A running internet joke of foreigners states “you know you’ve been in Taiwan too long when you look both ways before going through a green light”. A variation of the same joke only swaps ‘green’ for ‘red’. When in Rome.

Photo by damon jah
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Winter Taiwan Cycling Trip: Eat, Cycle, Hot Spring, Repeat

Having enough of the icy and freezing winter? Consider a refreshing cycling trip in Taiwan! While Taiwan already has some of the best cycling routes in the world and supremely good food, cycling Taiwan during the winter has yet another enjoyable aspect not found in many other places: enjoying hot spring before or after the ride.  

Hot Spring & Flames Coming From the Same Source (水火同源) 

Since hot springs are naturally located in mountainous areas, many cycling routes in Taiwan have hot spring hotels nearby. Here we introduce two unique hot spring area and great cycling route combos:

  1. Taipei Beitou's Sulfur Hot Spring + Yangmingshan (台北北投硫磺泉 + 陽明山).
  2. Tainan Guanziling Muddy Hot Spring + Zengwen Dam (台南關子嶺泥漿泉 + 曾文水庫). 

 

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My Life with Formosan Dogs

Growing up in Taiwan in the 1980s, hardly anyone I knew kept dogs as pets. The only people I knew with a dog were my grandparents who lived a farm about 90 minutes south of Taipei. Kuro (Japanese for “black”) was basically a guard dog that roamed through the rice fields that surround my grandparents’ traditional U-shaped farmhouse. He spent his days sleeping outside, eating our leftovers, playing with us grandkids whenever we visited, and lounging around while my grandfather worked the fields.
Kuro with the author's mother and brother. Her grandfather is in the background.
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Taiwan's Cast of Characters

As an American who lived in Taiwan for five years, I became fascinated with the history of the Chinese characters that I would see on street signs and menus. It’s not often possible to understand the meaning of a character just by looking at it, but some characters have meanings that are related in clever ways to the character’s appearance. Here are some of my favorites:

Taiwan Streets by J Aaron Farr licensed under CC by 2.0

 

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Food Hunting in Anping Old Street (Tainan)

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan. However, the capital of Taiwanese heritage and food is Tainan, one of the oldest cities with a history dating back to 1600s. In this post we will hunt for some Taiwanese seafood cuisine in the streets of Tainan's historic harbor area, Anping Old Street (安平老街). 

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