Why Shopping Malls in Taiwan are Better

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Malls are amazing, at least in Taiwan. In the US, they’re places that many people have moved on from. Where once they were hotbeds of activity, with technology, they’re often places that people reluctantly go to for movies or when they have nothing else better to do. Taiwanese malls (商場 / shang chang) are different. If you’re looking for a particular…

Exploring the Best Croissants in Taiwan

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As I previously mentioned, bakeries are a big deal in Taiwan. What’s also big are Japanese and French things (perhaps some of this love for French culture comes by extension for Japan’s own adoration). Not surprisingly, a delicious croissant (羊角麵包 / yang jiao mian bao) is never really far away, especially in the larger cities like Taipei (台北市 / tai…

What McDonald’s is Like in Taiwan

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Coming from the US, it’s fun to see McDonald’s scattered about Taiwan. Because I don’t really stop by the fast food joint in the United States, I didn’t think much about the restaurant except that it was cool that they had penetrated the Taiwan market. Craving a quick snack while walking in Hualien, though, the timing was just right to…

Turning the Crank for Something Cool, Hopefully

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Adding to the list of Japanese things Taiwan likes, is Gachapon (轉蛋 / zhuai dan). Gachapon (ガチャポン), gashapon (ガシャポン), and gacha (ガチャ) are similar terms used to describe the highly popularized vending machines and their contents. Unlike most vending machines which exist for distributing food, gachapon machines are used to produce toys and small trinkets. Like many of the machines…

Giving Taiwanese-Style Fast Food a Try

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While exploring Tainan, a large pelican mascot called to me. It said, “Look! Look inside. I’m like a McDonald’s.” Wanting to experience something new, and having been away from American-style food, we stopped by this fast food shop to find a really interesting eatery called Dandan Hamburger (丹丹漢堡 / dan dan han bao). The interior closely resembled an older McDonald’s…

Engrish, Remixing English for the Sake of Design

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What’s the opposite of Japanese or Chinese characters emblazoned on clothing in the western world? English on eastern-sold clothing. One of the things you’ll notice, walking around Taiwan, is the sheer number of clothing sellers. Clothing shops are especially prominent at night markets where they often bookmark the ends of these markets with loud pop and EDM music. Step into…

Checking Out One of the Top Bakeries in Taiwan

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I previously wrote about how bakeries are big thing in Taiwan. With just how many good bakeries there are across the island, I’m always surprised when one manages to stand out. Driving back from dinner, we made a pit stop at a bakery called Wu Pao Chun (吳寶春麥方店 / wu bao chun mai fang dian). I didn’t know anything about…

The Sandwich Reinvented in Taipei

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Ever since having a sandwich (三明治 / san ming zhi) for breakfast, I’ve been fascinated by how Taiwan has elevated the humble food item into a statement of its connection to the West. Many time over, I’ve found even simple white bread sandwiches remixed into something delicious and even unique. Case in point, located a short walk from Gongguan Station…

Strolling Through Aisles of Kawaii

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Is there anything cuter than the packaging for Asian foods?! Well, maybe mascots are a little cuter. Still, there’s something definitely different about the look of, say, a candy package in the US versus Taiwan. Taking a walk around Poya, a kind of Taiwanese Walgreens, it becomes apparent just how different packaging is in the East versus the West. For…

The Place That Made Me Question All Other Buffets

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Towards the top of best meals I’ve had in Taiwan sits places like RAW (a fine dining establishment combining French and Taiwanese cuisine) and Aquatic Addiction Development (a series of restaurants preparing fresh seafood). What else I would add to this list is a buffet in a mall in Taichung called, Eat Together Buffet (饗食天堂 自助美饌 / xiang shi tian tang…