An Island of Festivals – Exciting Music Events Around Taiwan

Taiwan might not yet have the summer open-air music-festival culture of Europe, nor do its major cities yet boast the 24/7, all-genres-all-the-time live-music culture of aural hubs such as New York, London, or Berlin. However, recent years have witnessed a surge in the number of fests, which are being put on all over the island. …

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Sky High-Climbing Up to the Roof of Taiwan: A Wushe to Mt. Hehuan Excursion

On a three-day adventure along the Central Cross-Island Highway in the Nantou County section of the soaring Central Mountain Range, I visit Wushe, an indigenous town best known for being at the center of the last great uprising against the Japanese during the 1895-1945 Japanese colonial period; enjoy the eagle-view scenery and ranch experience at mountainside-hugging Qingjing Farm; revel in the grand experience of being at eye level with scores of peaks above 3,000 meters at Wuling, Taiwan’s highest paved-road point; hike and walk high-mountain trails; lose myself in a sunrise perched on a spot over 3,200 meters up; feast on the culinary inventions of mainland China’s Baiyi people; visit a Baiyi settlement; watch Taiwan’s Sediq tribe members weave cloth the traditional way; watch thrilling horse-riding acrobatics performed by an outer Mongolian troupe; visit local museums, …

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The ghosts were out in Keelung

We heard it before we saw it, the fireworks, chanting and singing. Before we’d even left the highway tunnel marking where the jungle-filled mountains between Taipei city abruptly becomes the bustling harbor city of Keelung we were being greeted by cacophony.

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Bicycling in Sun Moon Lake

Offering crystal blue water surrounded by amazing temples, bamboo forests and mountains on all sides, Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s most visited attraction. The waters are blue and deep (it’s the largest body of water on the island), and the reflection of the mountains and clouds dancing across the lake itself have inspired poets for generations.

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Three Taipei spots for a leisurely stroll

Ella Fitzgerald famously sang “Summertime and the living’s easy.”  But the combined heat and humidity in Taiwan’s capital city can sometimes make leisure of the outdoor variety a chore, and unless you plan to spend your daylight hours underground (totally possible in Taipei; the mall under Taipei Station heads north for about a mile), you’ll have to face the heat.

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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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Summertime City Cycling and Unstable Weather

Summer seems to be peaking here on the Beautiful Island, though perhaps this is wishful thinking on my part. Daytime temperatures have hovered in the low 30s°C or in the mid-90s°F (for readers who don’t do Celsius). No matter what scale you use it’s hot, the sort of heat that makes wise people stay indoors or head out to the beach or into the mountains. But wisdom has never been my strong suit and having just discovered a newly installed Youbike station around the corner from my new apartment in Taipei’s Muzha district, my main form of outdoor activity this week has taken the form of short, intense rides through the streets of Taipei.

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Xiao Liuqiu Island: Pearl of Taiwan’s Southwest Coast

Coral filled seas, salty air and beautiful beaches as far as the eye can see. All this and more await visitors on Xiao Liuqiu, a charming little island is located about 15 KM west of Taiwan’s southwestern coast in Pingtung county. Looking to get off the beaten path? First, you have to get there.

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