13 Tips for having a deeper Taiwan Temple experience

Taiwan has thousands of temples, ranging from large multi-story buildings bearing multiple shrines and countless deities to small single-shrine structures barely big enough to fit a single god. Taiwanese temples can be dedicated to Taoist, Buddhist or Confucian beliefs, and often times multiple faiths (and deities) coexist peacefully under one roof.

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Remembering Taiwan’s Kinkaseki POW Camp on Tomb Sweeping Day

ost people visiting the northernmost tip of Taiwan come to see Jiufen or Jinguashi, two of the area’s most popular tourist destinations. Few take the time to visit the monument lying just a few minute’s walk from Jinguashi marking the site of Kinkaseki, one of the most notorious Japanese POW camps of WW2.

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Taipei 101 to Begin Multi-Nation Tour

Taipei, Taiwan (4/1/2018) – In a press conference held earlier today, Taiwan Minister of Unspecified Services Kai Wan-xiao announced that Taiwan’s landmark Taipei 101 building would be sent on a year-long, multi-nation tour beginning this month.

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Eight Taiwan Lantern Festivals (that aren’t the one you think)

In Chinese, Yuánxiāo jié means Lantern Festival, and while most visitors associate the term with the town of Pingxi (which has turned the annual event into a year-long cottage industry), in fact the festival is a specific happening meant to denote the end of the annual Lunar New Year’s festival.

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Retrieving Sky Lanterns in Pingxi

It would be a stretch to say that anyone was happy about the weather when the MyTaiwanTour team – along with a couple of friends from the local expat community – reached Pingxi for our lantern cleanup hike. Though it had merely been cool and overcast when we left Taipei, which some might call perfect hiking weather, when we crossed the mountain to Pingxi the rain was coming down pretty heavily.

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Chinese New Year in Taiwan : The Six Days of Chinese New Year, 2018 (part one)

If you’re in Taiwan over the Chinese New Year Holiday, congratulations: You couldn’t have picked a more festive time of the year for your visit. And if you find yourself invited into a local home over the holidays, 雙贏! (Shuangying, or double win) because you’re about to experience Taiwanese culture from an insider’s perspective to which few casual visitors are ever privy.

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The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival: Color, Culture and Controversy

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of the most popular things to do in Taiwan. Each day, hundreds of visitors visit northern Taiwan’s Pingxi township to take part in the creation, decoration and launching of DIY Sky Lanterns. Once part of a broader celebration held specifically as part of the greater Lunar New Year festival, in recent years the festival has morphed into more of a destination based activity rather than an annual festival available only at certain times during the year. Launching a sky lantern with a few thoughts and prayers has become (like a night market stroll, dumplings at Din Tai Fung or visit to the National Palace Museum) a Taiwan bucket list experience.

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Chinese New Year in Taiwan part two: Gift giving, etiquette and more

Last week  we talked about the logistics of experiencing Chinese New Year in Taiwan (Part one : Chinese New Year in Taiwan : The Six Days of Chinese New Year). This week, we’ll get down to the business of giving gifts, visiting etiquette and stuff like that. It might get confusing, so stick with us!

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Why you need to put the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival on your bucket list in 2018

Picture dozens of traditional Chinese lanterns, angels of flame and light, each bearing individual wishes skyward into the heavens. That’s Pingxi, a small town in Taiwan on most evenings of the year.

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Christmas in Taiwan

Though Christmas isn’t an official holiday in Taiwan, folks around these parts are generally up for any excuse to engage in festivities so it hardly comes as a surprise that this most festive of western holidays has caught on somewhat on our predominantly Buddhist / Taoist / Tribal island nation. Signs of holiday festivities abound, from piped-in Christmas carols in most supermarkets (usually starting with typical Taiwanese decorum in early December, as opposed to the day after Halloween as is increasingly the case in the USA) to holiday decorations hung casually in coffee shop windows.

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