Shaping the Memories of a Century: Master Guo Gengfu’s Life of Mortar Shaping

As one visits temples in Taiwan, the traditional architecture and the decorative crafts of the interior always leave one in awe. Each temple looks and feels like a huge art installation made by way of extraordinary skills, and each of them showcases the devotion and uniqueness of the craftsman.

The Guo-Chen family is one of the few families specializing in the craft of mortar shaping in Taiwan today, and at the head of the family is Master Guo Gengfu (郭亘富).

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Breakfast in Taipei: Start Your Day Like a Local!

If you’re visiting Taipei, there’s no better (or culturally appropriate) way to start your day than with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast. First-time visitors to Taipei are often amazed at the breadth and depth of what’s available for breakfast on the streets of Taipei (not to mention how early breakfast joints start opening – the Taiwanese tend to rise early).

Some traditional Taiwanese breakfast items have western counterparts, while others will be familiar to anyone who’s traveled in China, Japan or Korea. But a few items are definitely uniquely Taiwanese. In this article, we’ll be looking at a few dishes that Taipei people eat in the mornings and suggesting a few spots for visitors to find them during their early-morning journeys around Taipei.

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Adagio hotel, Jinguashi: Experience the five senses with slow travel

For the environmentally-conscious traveler, slow travel has become the new way to see the world. With a belief that travel should be sustainable and leave a positive impact on the environment and surrounding communities, globe trekkers are now choosing to visit places that practice environmental conservation, sustainable development, and the preservation of local culture and traditions.
For the founders of the Adagio hotel in Jinguashi, Taiwan, (“Adagio” meaning “in a slow tempo”) slow travel is also an art meant to be experienced leisurely with all five senses. Throughout the month of March, Adagio holds a series of events that allow guests to enjoy a sensory experience for the ears (musical performances), the eyes (art classes), the nose (fragrance and incense workshops), the mouth (wine tasting, for example), and the hands (plant designing classes).
The hotel is located high up in the mountainous roads, not far from the Golden Waterfall. A cozy vicinity with no cable, Adagio is a hotel that creates a sense of community, with a limited number of rooms and group activities that allow you to meet other guests.

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Why Dadaocheng should be your first stop in Taipei

Why Dadaocheng should be your first stop in Taipei? This charming neighborhood, sometimes referred to as Old Taipei, is smaller, quieter, and way more manageable. Filled with tea shops, traditional apothecaries, artist’s boutiques, temples big and small, and of course, the area’s most pronounced feature of Japanese colonial-era buildings (and a few homes and shops dating back to the Qing dynasty), you’ll find no more charming a neighborhood in which to base yourself in Taipei than the Dadaocheng neighborhood.
Though there are plenty of hotels in the Dadaocheng neighborhood, if it’s history and local charm you’re after, you can’t do better than the DG, a quirky boutique hotel on the northern end of Dihua Street in a restored Japanese-era Colonial building.
What’s more, there are no shortage of places to eat, drink and be merry in Dadaocheng, with the majority of these being along the main drag (Dihua Street). From traditional Taiwanese noodle and rice dishes to fried chicken and thick squid soup, Dadaocheng is definitely a spot where locals come for comfort food.

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15 suggestions for a day in Dadaocheng

If strolling through scenic history-drenched streets filled with cultural attractions, unique shopping venues and an abundance of great food is your thing, Taipei’s Dadaocheng neighborhood is well worth a visit. The neighborhood just north of Taipei’s Bei Men , or north gate station become increasingly popular with travelers over the past few years (much to the bemusement of locals, who’ve been hanging out here since the late Qing dynasty).

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The Living History of Dadaocheng

Modern Taipei is a massive city overlaid by a spider web of intercrossing metro lines on which you can spend 90 minutes getting from one end of town to the other. But Old Taipei, which sprang alongside the eastern bank of the Danshui river, was a smaller place, and much of it fit neatly inside the confines of a city wall, among the last built in the waning days of the Qing dynasty.

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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.

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6 things to do in Taipei that should be on every visitor’s bucket list

There’s no shortage of things to do in Taipei’s dynamic capital city, but if you’re only here for a short time and need to winnow it down to six must have experiences, these are our picks:  

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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.  

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