Exploring Tokyo Haneda

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Stopped by Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) on the way to Taiwan. It was everything I thought a Japanese airport would be and more. It was clean, cute, and cold (outside). If you have a layover here and have some time to kill, I highly recommend exploring the public area of the international terminal. The 4th and 5th floor, EDO KO-JI…

Experiencing The Best Restaurant in Taiwan, Raw

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After many failed attempts, I recently got to experience RAW in Zhongshan District, a stones throw from the Miramar Ferris Wheel in Taipei. It’s hard to think of a meal in Taiwan that’s been bad. More of it has been surprisingly good and even amazing. For what it’s worth, I feel like I have to put RAW in a class of…

On a Quest for the Best Papaya Milk

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One of the drinks I was told I needed to try in Taiwan was papaya milk (木瓜牛奶 / mu gua niu nai). After a mediocre experience at Raohe Night Market, I sought better. Hearing that some of the best papayas come from the eastern part of the island near Hualien, I was excited when I learned that I would be…

Pinglin: Where Tea is Everything

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Located on Highway 9 between Taipei and Yilan (宜蘭 / yi lan) is the humble district of Pinglin (坪林 / ping lin). Due to the terrain and climate, much of the area is dedicated towards the production of tea. With over 80% of the population working in or with tea, it’s hard to understate just how much there is to…

Making Waves Across Taiwan: Claw Machines

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Wandering around the streets of Taiwan, you don’t have to walk very far before you find a bubble tea shop. Like Starbucks in the United States, they’re everywhere. Recently, claw machine (抓物機 / zhua wu ji) shops have been popping up in similar numbers—tripling in numbers even between 2016 and 2017. It’s not too hard to find one, even if…

Stopping to Smell the Roses: Taichung Flower Market

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Located a 30 minute drive north of Taichung right before the Miaoli county border is a humble but scenic tourist attraction, Taichung Flower Market (中社觀光花市 / zhong she guan guan hua shi). As I was around during the early summer, I thought it would be a nice time to stop by and see what flowers were in bloom. I was…

Making Pineapple Cake in Taipei

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Whenever I come back stateside, one thing I have to bring back is pineapple cake (鳳梨酥 / feng li su). Pineapple cake, is about as ubiquitous in Taiwanese gift shops as boba shops across the island. Various gift shops and grocery stores offer different brands of pineapple cake with Chia Te and Sunnyhill being some of the top brands. I…

A Little Taste of Japan in Taichung

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I’m a sucker for cute, Japanese-dessert places, even if they’re not located in Japan—case in point, Croquant Chou ZakuZaku (棒棒泡芙 / bang bang pao fu) located in the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi mall in Taichung. I was recently wandering around the mall when I stumbled upon this curiosity. It looked like a thick, cream-filled churro with crunchy bits on it. Seeing the…

Experiencing New Year’s Eve in Taipei

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I’ve done the Rose Parade in Pasadena, fireworks on The Bay, and house parties; but nothing has compared to the spectacle of celebrating the beginning of the new year (除夕 / chu xi) near Taipei 101. We got to the area around Taipei 101, earlier in the day as we needed to pick up tickets for a party we were…