Gods Rush In at the King Boat Festival

A swath of fireworks exploded simultaneously. The drums began banging together, joined by gongs and cymbals. A thousand balloons were suddenly released from a spot on the southern end of the beach as people clapped. The drumming stopped. Those still possessed began to come out of their trances, all at once, and reverted to being human. Red sashes were shed.

The Thousand Year Grandfather had arrived!

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Holy Conflagrations: Boat Burnings at Taiwan’s King Boat Festival

Pingtung County’s Donggang Township will be the scene of the King Boat Festival, held every three years, from October 28 to November 4 this autumn, 2018.

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Getting the Most from Ghost Month in Taiwan

Ghost Month, as the name implies, lasts a full thirty days and has several associated festivals. In this article, we’ll be talking about the traditions, taboos and individual festivals associated with Ghost Month in Taiwan.

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Ways to Explore Taroko Gorge

Ah, Taroko! Even the name, which means “human being” in the language of the indigenous Truku tribe evokes magic.Best known for its gorgeous gorge, the park itself is known collectively as Taroko Gorge National Park.

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Firewalking in Taiwan for Beginners

Six years ago, I walked over a bed of hot coals. While I didn’t burn myself that night, I’ve been raking myself over the coals since.

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5 ways to experience Tainan, Taiwan’s Ancient Capital

Tainan is an Taiwan’s oldest city, and (some say) Taiwan’s most “Chinese” city.  Without getting too political, we think it’s safe to say that visitors looking for either a true taste of Taiwanese Culture or something approaching the classic Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon vibe of ancient China (the two intersect many places) will find what…

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Lord of Formosa: A Traveler’s Review

Taiwan Scene reviews Joyce Bergvelt’s Lord of Formosa, a sweeping historical novel about Taiwan’s Dutch colonial period and the life of Admiral Koxinga.

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Exploring the History, Handicrafts and Culture of Tainan City

Not long ago my partner Stephanie and I were invited to take part in a two day tour of Tainan by the Tainan City Tourism Bureau. They offered us a few suggestions for places to check out, but were also genuinely interested in customizing the tour to fit our desires.

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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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