Category

Voices From Taiwan

Category

We Never Made it to Jiufen

Having overstayed its welcome here as in much of the rest of the northern hemisphere, Summer is finally over in Taiwan. The forecast is for heavy rain over most of Northern Taiwan through the weekend, which means movies and Netflix, and maybe a wet bicycle ride. So it’s a good thing I made the most out of last week’s four day weekend by spending much of it outdoors, bringing a friend from Singapore on a personalized tour of Taipei including a food tour of the Raohe Night Market, a tea hike through Maokong, and the all-night art, music and culture party that was the 2017 Nuit Blanche Taipei festival. We were also supposed to go to Jiufen, only we never made it. We tried, though. We had every reason to go. I’d not visited Jiufen for several years, and my partner Stephanie had never been. Tony, like most Singaporean men,…

Taiwan Rolls Out the Welcome Mat

Though our blog is centered on things Taiwan I’ll be starting this post on another island, one which I called home only briefly. I’ll wind it back to Taiwan, I promise. In the summer of 2001, I found myself living in Newfoundland. I was following Lao Tzu’s maxim on travel, the one about a good traveler having no fixed plans and not being intent on arriving, and spent a month or so just hitchhiking around before finally settling for a spell in the city of St. John’s. I wound up sticking around longer than intended, partially because the place was so beautiful, and partially because I found the people of Newfoundland so overwhelmingly friendly. Newfoundlanders have a unique charm, and as a Come From Away (which is what Newfoundlanders call visitors), I was treated quite well. Strangers bought me dinner (fish and chips, and a few more exotic dishes like…

Summarizing the Taiwan Travel Experience

Hong Kong… “The Harbor, Dim Sum, Double decker busses.” France…   “The Eiffel Tower, Wine and Cheese, Romance.” Taiwan…   “Er…let me get back to you on that!” Our weekly MyTaiwanTour team got lively this week as we sat down to fine tune existing tours and discuss creating new ones. As the editor of the MyTaiwanTour Journal, I’d come to the meeting both to give feedback and to answer a question that I’ve long found tricky, namely how to summarize the Taiwan Travel Experience? The first thing we did was to draw a map of Taiwan on the whiteboard, labeling various cities up and down both coasts. Then the fun started as we began yelling out  points of interests around each area, and activities associated specifically with particular areas. In general, Taiwanese work environments tend to be pretty relaxed, and since ours is a company whose main mission is to facilitate…