Discovering the Taiwanese Bento Box

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Living in Los Angeles and having Taiwanese friends from college, I was aware of how some Taiwanese food was packaged for an on-the-go meal. More specifically, I knew that bento boxes existed in Taiwan, but I thought they mostly took the form of railroad box meals (台鐵便當 / tai tie bian dang). Granted, I was eating at sit-down restaurants, many…

Where East Meets West: Steak and Noodles

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One thing Taiwanese people like is their steak. From giant chicken steak (雞排 / ji pai) to beef steak with noodles (牛排鐵板麵 / niu pai tie ban mian), a huge slab of meat is never really far away in most major Taiwanese cities. I previously wrote about some of these experiences in Taichung. Here’s a deeper dive into the steak meal…

Trying the Taiwanese Version of Imagawayaki

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One of the best ways I’ve found of exploring the larger cities in Taiwan is simply choosing a location and walking around. It’s through this method that I’ve discovered places like Shuanglian Castella Cake, amazing bakeries, and all kinds of cool stationary stores. Recently, I stumbled upon a shop selling a food dish that I only expected to find in…

Uncovering Board Game Culture in Taiwan

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As tabletop games (桌遊 / zhuo you) are a pretty big deal to me, I’m always on the lookout to see how board gaming looks through the lens of various places I travel to. I recently wrote about some of my insights on board gaming culture in Taiwan. Here are a few quick tips! Board games are everywhere, if you…

How to Buy Things in Taiwan

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If you needed to buy a new shirt, you probably would know how to go about that process. Even if you shopped online, you would probably understand any deals and the number of articles of clothing you would be getting. In Taiwan, there are some slight differences when it comes to buying things. From purchasing food to getting a good…

Exploring the Grand Canyon of Taiwan

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On the east coast of Taiwan sits a sleeping giant, Taroko Gorge (太魯閣 / tai lu ge). Taroko Gorge is an almost 12 mile long (19 kilometer) canyon with a river that spills out into the Pacific Ocean. Because of its immense size, it’s been likened to the Grand Canyon. Local indigenous people even named it “Taroko” meaning magnificent and splendid…

Getting My Cold Noodle Fix in Downtown Chiayi

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Given the choice between a warm or cold dish of the same kind, I will often default to wanting the cold version. I also love eating different types of noodles. It’s no surprise, consequently, that I love Taiwanese sesame paste noodles (涼麵 / liang mian). Liang mian is a cold dish that combines savory, sweet, and refreshing elements for a…

What Happens in Taiwan When Malls Open

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Most of the time, I don’t wake up early enough to catch stores opening. Each time I have woken up early enough to be one of the first to enter large stores, I’ve noticed a big difference from the US. In the US, store workers are often in the background or at the cash registers when a shop opens. In…

A $400 Mistake in Jiufen

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Traveling in Taiwan, I’m lucky to have Mandarin speakers around me. If it was just me exploring the island, I’m not sure that I would have seen all the things I have so far. I’m grateful for this. That said sometimes, having a decent understanding of a language is not enough—case in point, what happened in Jiufen (九份 / jiu…