In search of the elusive Formosan black bear

Hualien from the airplane window was lovely enough to warrant a full day’s exploration, but on that day we would only be passing through. We were headed further down south in search of the elusive Formosan black bear (台灣黑熊). Without even stopping for coffee, we left the city by train, bound for the town of Yuli.

Read More

The Taipei Tai Chi Experience

If you’ve spent any time at all in Taiwan or China, you’ve probably seen Tai Chi being practiced in parks, usually in the early morning by anything from single practitioners to large, semi-choreographed groups. For the past month or so I’ve been practicing Tai Chi myself three mornings a week, and I thought I’d use this week’s column to share my experience.

Read More

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.

Read More

Ten Festivals Worth Planning your Taiwan Holiday around (Part two)

Last week we talked about a few of Taiwanese festivals happening during the first half of the year. (If you haven’t already read that post, check it out first.) We continue this week with the festivals of the year’s second half.

Read More

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.

Read More

Ten Festivals Worth Planning your Taiwan Holiday around (Part one)

From religious to secular, local to national, pious to irreverent, Taiwan is an island of festivals.Some are ancient, with origins stretching back in time into the days when history and legend begin to blur, while others have their origins in more modern events.

Read More

Branding Taiwan’s Cities

It’s Mid-September and the unusually oppressive heat of summer is fading at last, replaced by the rich, windy weather (and occasional typhoon) for which Taiwan autumns are known. As a cyclist, it’s my favorite time of the year, and this week’s column would probably be about my upcoming weekend cycling plans, if I’d not been…

Read More

“A stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet” (A Conversation between MyTaiwanTour and Chu Ping)

Chu Ping is not your typical interview subject. Our conversation (which at times crossed the line from Ted Talk to Tony Robbins seminar) ranged from tourism to art, capitalism to futurism, poetry to human rights. Chu Ping (or simply Ping to friends, and since Ping regards friendship as a most cherished value that’s how I’ll be referring to him here on in) is a modern-day Renaissance man, with a field of interest as difficult to summarize as that of revered American theorist, author and and designer Buckminster Fuller.

Read More

A brief guide to shopping (and bargaining) in Taipei

If Taiwan had a national pastime, shopping would be it. To say that our cities are filled with shopping districts is an understatement. In some parts of Taipei, for example, it’s impossible to state with any real certainty where one particular shopping district ends and the next one begins.

Read More