Head south-east out of central Taipei for a short 20 minute drive, and you’ll be in the foothills of Wenshan district, which offers much more than gondolas and tea. With historical towns, trails that seem to never end, night markets, and well-hidden spaces, Wenshan is a quirky respite from Taipei city life that offers plenty without sacrificing convenience. In fact, my love for Taiwan started here almost 6 years ago when I first arrived, and it’s all thanks to a number of hidden gems I’ve found while moseying about understated Wenshan. Continue reading
Happiest Lunar New Year to my readers! To celebrate the first day of the lunar calendar, why not ring in some blessings, and spend time observing the wonderful temple traditions. Here I am at the UNESCO Cultural Heritage listed Dalongdong Bao An Temple (大龍峒保安宮), probably at its busiest and most vivacious during this time of the year.
First day of the Lunar New Year (初一) is dedicated to family, and families will gather in temples to start the year auspiciously – with good thoughts and well-wishes that comes with praying to ancestors and the gods. A visit here at Bao An though, is not complete without a customary side trip to the nearby Confucius Temple (台北孔廟), and savouring favourite street eats down the road!
Just like for me, I hope this year will bring you to new roads and kingdoms, and satiate some of your relentless curiosities!
Happy Year of the Playful Dog!
My adventures with Taiwan’s folk traditions continues and this time I head to the usually quiet town of Toucheng, Yilan（頭城,宜蘭）to go see some burly men climb some very high spires. Continue reading
Mazu, Goddess of the Sea and protector of fishermen and seafarers is not your average folk legend. Arguably the most worshipped deity with 1500 temples and over 100 million devotees, Mazu’s legend is almost as varied as the 26 countries she is reported to be worshipped in. Continue reading
If you are a visitor to Taipei during around February, without a doubt you would have heard to hit up Dihua Street in Dadaocheng (迪化街,大稻埕) for its hustle and bustle as locals prepare for the new year. The usual quiet and calm of old Dadaocheng will abruptly change, becoming loud and spritely of people eager to prepare for Taiwan’s most important celebration. I was one with the throng of people yesterday, sampling all sorts of delicacies that would only be be found this time of the year. Continue reading
I scanned the page of the last chapter of my Chinese textbook and smiled to myself. The characters for ‘hug, embrace’ jumped out at me, and I was instantly reminded of Andy, a Taiwanese local who has come to be one of my closest friends, and also my tutor in more matters than just the Chinese language alone. Continue reading
Part 1 – The Hitchhiking Adventures that Ensued
While most people in Taipei were busying themselves with Taiwan’s National Day celebrations, I stayed up late one night to finish a sign. A sign which hopefully will guarantee me a lift when I attempt to hitchhike for the first time. Continue reading