The Sweet and Creamy Taste of Taiwanese Snow

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One of the more popular desserts in the United States, to come out of Taiwan recently, is shaved snow. Shaved snow, unlike shaved ice is primarily frozen milk. Probably one of the most talked about shaved snow places in Taiwan is Ice Monster. I got a chance to see what all of this hype was about after visiting the flagship…

Cycling Around Sun Moon Lake

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One of the more unique ways people in Taiwan enjoy great weather is heading to Sun Moon Lake to cycle around the 3.06 square mile lake. Sun Moon Lake (日月潭 / ri yue tan) is located in the hills of Nantou County and is the largest lake in Taiwan. The name comes from how the lake looks like a sun…

Perusing Contemporary Art at MOCA Taipei

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Located in an old school building built around the turn of the 20th century, the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei features the latest and greatest when it comes to, contemporary art (當代藝術 / dang dai yi shu). As a contemporary art lover myself, I was excited to experience more of what Taiwanese culture perceives as modern art. The art itself isn’t…

Walking Through Memories and Strife at Rainbow Village

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One of the more peculiar sights I saw in Taiwan has to be Rainbow Village (彩虹眷村 / cai hong juan cun). Rainbow Village is a cluster of buildings that have been painted all around with colorful artwork, people, and characters. The artwork was created by Huang Yung-Fu, a Kuomintang soldier, in 1924 as a means of saving his village from…

My First Themed Cafe, Pompompurin Cafe

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Located in the Att 4 Fun building on the food court level is a cafe dedicated to Pompompurin (布丁狗 / bu ding gou), the happy Golden Retriever from Sanrio with a beatnik hat. This was my first experience with a themed cafe. I had heard about their rising popularity especially in other parts of Asia, like Japan. Nevertheless, I was…

Experiencing Taiwan’s Largest Night Market

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In the north-western part of Taichung City sits one of the largest night markets in Taiwan, Fengchia Night Market (逢甲夜市 / feng jia ye shi). It takes its name from the nearby Fengchia University and spans dozens of blocks. As parking is pretty hard to come by, each time I’ve visited has been by bus. You know you’re on the…

Stopping by Totoro’s Bus Stop

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On the way back up to Taichung from Tainan, I stopped by what has been called “Danei Totoro Bus Stop” (大內龍貓公車站 / da nei long mao gong che zhan) It’s a slight detour on the 3, between Tainan and Chiayi. It is a magical place full of beautifully painted murals and whimsical characters. Coming up to the location, you’ll feel…

Copy That, Copycat

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As much as Taiwan loves its Japanese culture, it also loves a lot of Western things. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the branding of stores and items for sale. Specifically, there’s a sizable culture behind copying and remixing popular brands. Regardless of the legality or morality behind all of this, it is interesting to note how concepts…

A World Apart, But Still Familiar

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In another post, I explored some contrasts between US and Taiwan culture. While there are differences, there are a lot of reminders of how prevalent western culture still is. Here are some of my observations: The really popular mobile games in the US are also popular in Taiwan. Most notably, I came across a Candy Crush-themed candy store in Jiufen…

Mascot Love

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With so many brands competing for attention in Taiwan, logos often take the back seat to adorable mascots (吉祥物 / ji xiang wu). It’s hard to walk around without seeing a mascot emblazoned over windows, walls, and street signage—each, gently coercing you to come in. Even now, I don’t remember a lot of the store logos, but I do recall…