Bringing Back a Sweet Gift

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Omiyage is a gift or souvenir that you bring back home for friends, family, co-workers, etc. It’s a thoughtful way of saying to someone that they matter and that you care. Searching for the perfect omiyage to bring back from Taiwan, I settled on a few items including tea from Linhuatai and honey from Green in Hand (掌生穀粒糧商號 / jiang…

Street Art Around the Island

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One of the ways I strive to understand a culture is through art. Art communicates ideas and expressions in ways that words cannot. I’m a big fan of modern art, but some of the coolest art I’ve found is art that can be found off the beaten path, along facades, and in alleys, waiting to be discovered. I expanded on…

Turning the Old into Something New: Cultural Centers

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Wandering around Taiwan, you’ll eventually come across something known as a cultural creative park or cultural creative center. These sites are often old businesses that have been transformed into creative spaces. I had an opportunity to check out one of the largest centers in Taipei, Songshan Cultural Creative Park (松山文創園區 / song shan wen chuang wuan qu). Located across the…

Getting the Point Across Through Signage

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One of the main things that you’ll notice in any large city in Taiwan, are the signs. They’re everywhere, hanging off the sides of buildings, on top of stands, in front of temples even; in all sizes and colors–all trying to get your attention. Especially when you can’t read it all, the signage can become a bit dizzying. Having spent…

A Blending of Cultures: Tonkatsu

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Knowing how much Taiwan loves Japanese culture, I wanted to give their tonkatsu (吉列豬排 / ji lie zhu pai) a try. We went to a katsu place in Taipei called… Tonkatsu (品田牧場 / pin tian mu chang). The restaurant, located upstairs, was fairly busy at the time. Still, we were quickly seated and given menus. We ordered a more traditional…

Kenting During the Day

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Located at the southernmost tip of Taiwan sits a small but fun area, Kenting (墾丁 / ken ding). Because of its proximity to the equator, the area experiences more wet, tropical weather year round compared to the rest of the island. Due to the harsh winter weather on the east coast, we elected to go all the way down the…

Where to Pick Up Groceries in Taiwan

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In the US, it’s typical of people to go to a grocery story to pick up food to prepare or cook. Although Taiwan has its share of grocery-type stores, including Carrefour, more of my experience with fresh and dry foods has been through what are called traditional markets (傳統市場 / chuan tong shi chang). Quite simply, they’re like the farmer’s…

What it Feels Like to be a Gamer in Taiwan

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In eSports (電子競技 / dian zi jing ji), many Asian countries remain supreme. It wasn’t a surprise, thus, to see gaming references scattered around Taiwan. I wasn’t prepared for the volume though. Where gaming references and advertisements are largely focused on online platforms like reddit and television shows geared towards youth in the United States, these same messages are much…

Ximending: A Jump into the Future

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One of my favorite parts of Taipei has to be the Ximending (西門町 / xi men ding) area, located in Wanhua District (萬華區 / wan hua qu). Before going, I knew it to be the queerest area of the city as well as the “Harajuku of Taipei”—thanks Wikipedia. I expected lots of young people walking around, being themselves. I wasn’t prepared…

Old But Not Forgotten: Raohe Night Market

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In a quest to explore the many night markets around Taipei, I ventured to Raohe Night Market (饒河夜市 / rao he ye shi). Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest in Taipei. It sits right next to the Keelung River in Songshan District. To get there, you can easily take the green line all the way east to Songshan…