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10 reasons to visit Xiao Liuqiu, Taiwan’s Hidden Island Gem

Located off the coast of Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung county, Xiao Liuqiu (also known as Little Okinawa) exists in that perfect mid-point of “known to locals” and “largely overlooked by international travelers.” Unlike well-trammeled Taiwan scenic spots like Sun Moon Lake, Taroko Gorge and Alishan, Xiao Liuqiu hasn’t gotten much international press. Indeed, outside of a few intrepid international travelers who find their way to the island, most westerner visitors to Xiao Liuqiu are local expats who’d likely prefer that the island remain a secret. ( Xiao Liuqiu Island 3- Day Free & Easy Package) To the aforementioned group, apologies: Awesome destinations never stay secret for long, so take solace in having found the place first. For everyone else, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag (so to speak). Here are 10 reasons to visit Taiwan’s (mostly) hidden Island Gem. 1. Xiao Liuqiu easy to reach… Liuqiu is by…

Cycling the East Coast with MyTaiwanTour (part two of two)

Day three: Monkeys, mountains, and a mild crash Waking up to the sound of rain on the roof is never a great omen on a cycling tour, and was even less so for me as guide since I knew that the first half of the day would be filled with winding mountain roads. But the group was in good spirits nonetheless as we rolled down the hill from Ruisui heights, rain gear flapping wetly as we rode. The rain slowed to a drizzle around the time we reached the bottom of a road which, for my money, is one of the finest in Taiwan: Route 64, AKA Monkey Mountain Road. It’s a glorious winding road, rising high above a river that spans from the central valley to the ocean, and we’d not even gotten to the highest point when two auspicious things happened. First, the rain stopped. And second, we…

Running Up 101: The Ultimate Taipei Experience

  Editor’s Note: The Taiwan Scene editorial board would like to apologize for our post of April 1, 2018, Taipei 101 to Begin Multi-Nation Tour . That post was obviously false. The editor responsible has been sent for retraining. The following post, however, is absolutely true. Want to enjoy the spectacular 360 degree view from the observation deck of Taipei 101 without having to wait in line for the elevator? Have you considered taking the stairs? Before answering that question, keep in mind that there are 2,046 of them between the ground floor and the observation deck. Crazy, challenging, and for the out of shape potentially suicidal, but if you’re looking for an Ultimate Taipei Experience, the Annual Taipei 101 Run Up may be your cup of tea. The History of the Taipei 101 Run Up The run up Taipei 101 belongs to the category of extreme sports known as Tower Running,…

We Support and Empower You: An Interview with Womany’s Wei Shuan Chang

From the moment we meet it’s clear that Womany Media Group founder and CEO Wei Shuan Chang is an earnest woman. Regarded as one of Taiwan’s thought leaders in the field of female empowerment and entrepreneurship, Wei Shuan answers my first question (“Tell me a little about Womany”) not with an answer, but with a request: “Actually, I’d like to know a little about you first, if you don’t mind.” Only after I’ve satisfied her with details of my bona fides as a writer, along with some light back and forth establishing my history in Taiwan and Chinese language ability (though the interview is held in English at her request and my convenience), does she begin telling me about Womany. “In a nutshell, Womany Media Group was established in 2011 as a gender-friendly media community group, with a vision of leading programs to empower women,” she begins. “Gender, feminism, empowering…

Give Me Back My Name

Before coming to Taiwan to study Chinese, my language school required me to give them a Chinese name. I didn’t put much thought into coming up with a new name. Indeed, I just asked Google for a phonetic approximation of my English name, Ellie Olcott, in Chinese. It spat out敖恩靈, and thus I became Áo En Líng.   In hindsight, perhaps blindly placing faith in Google for something so important was not the best idea. “Your name has too many strokes”, I kept hearing from Taiwanese friends, “you should definitely change it.” This kindly advice did not just stem from concern that I wouldn’t be able to remember how to write my name. It also came from the fact that in Taiwan, the practice of changing one’s name is pretty common. What would be considered unusual, even raise a few eyebrows back home in Britain, is normalised in Taiwan. So…