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Action & Adventure

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Three Days on Xiao Liuqiu (were not enough)

Astute readers of my regular weekend column may have noted that there was no column last weekend, and this was because I was off for three days enjoying myself on Xiao Liuqiu island. MyTaiwanTour published a previous article on this barely discovered gem here  a few months back, but this was the first time I’d gotten to experience the place firsthand. Readers, brace yourselves, because you’re going to be hearing more about Xiao Liuqiu in the months to come. Because if Taiwan is Asia’s best kept travel secret, then Xiao Liuqiu is definitely Taiwan’s best kept travel secret. And if nearly two decades in travel writing has taught me anything it’s this: “best kept travel secrets” don’t stay secrets long. So before the cat gets too far out of the bag, let me create some hype of my own by telling you why I’ve fallen in love with this island off…

Pingtung: Expect the Unexpected (Part one of two)

One of these days the good folks in the Taiwan Motto Making & Sloganeering Bureau will listen to me and adopt Taiwan: Expect the Unexpected as the official slogan of Taiwan tourism. For now I’ll just have to appropriate it as the title for this story about three surprise-filled days I spent in Pingtung, Taiwan’s southernmost county. I’d come with a group of Internet Media professionals from Malaysia and Hong Kong. Like me, my fellow journalists knew Pingtung primarily as that part of Taiwan where Kenting is, and as such were mostly expecting beach oriented activities. I’ll get to the sea kayaking in a bit, after listing a few of the activities that I didn’t expect to encounter out of the way: I did not expect to find myself riding a four wheel ATV across sand dunes in a chunk of Taiwan so remote it might well have been the…

Customizing travel, or Infinite diversity in infinite combination

As an exceptionally warm and eventful September gives way to a (presumably) cooler October, I find myself reflecting on two important events of the past month, events that are on the surface unrelated but that I, in true gonzo journalist tradition, plan to not merely connect, but to do so in a way that makes sense. The first of the two events is that September has seen MyTaiwanTour busily creating customized tours for a series of bloggers, journalists and other influencers visiting Taiwan as part of an ongoing program sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. The program, called Live Like a Local, differs from standard FAM trips (of which I’ve done plenty as a travel writer) in a few ways. Rather than coming as a group, the influencers are all visiting individually. And Instead of being carted around on group tours, they’re traveling independently, charting their own courses based on…

Jiufen and Jinguashi: Taiwan’s Golden Getaways

The story of Jiufen is in many ways a riches to rags (and back to riches, but of a different sort) tale. The small town about an hour away north of Taipei was built just outside of an active gold mine during the Japanese occupation, and it’s said that gold was plentiful during the good days. But the town is also remembered for a darker history during the later days of occupation when it was the site of a POW camp whose prisoners were made to labor under hard conditions. Go Ahead And Find It(@filmoviebelongstoyou)分享的貼文 於 2017 年 5月 月 16 8:41上午 PDT 張貼 Jiufen became associated with historical darkness of a different sort when Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien used the scenic mountain town as setting for much of the action in 1989’s “A City of Sadness”. The film focused on the then still taboo topic of Taiwan’s 228…

Visiting Taipei with Children (Summertime Edition)

Taipei is a year-round kid-friendly city, and finding places that will keep the little ones cool and entertained isn’t difficult. The trick, of course, is finding a few kid friendly spots that the grownups will enjoy – or at least be able to endure without too much difficulty.   MyTaiwanTour offers six spots for your summertime fun: 1. Taipei Zoo (臺北市立動物園) Kids love zoos, and there’s a lot to love about the Taipei Zoo. It’s big, built over 165 hectares sprawling up the side of a hill, there are plenty of animals to look at and interact with from every corner of the globe, including indigenous residents like Formosan Sika Deer, Rock Macaques and Black Bears to obvious transplants like Chinese Pandas and Antarctic Penguins. There’s a great reptile and amphibian house, a petting zoo, an aquarium, an insectarium, a butterfly house and more. The zoo is well-laid out…