New Year Traditions in Old Taipei

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

Taiwan is Ridiculously Beautiful

Last week I went on one of the most epic of roadtrips I’ve had for a long while. And with none other but my elderly parents! Though less nimble as they were, we were able to circle Taiwan in just over a week. I think it was quite a feat for them to have seen so much as first-timers to this little island. Small it may be, there is plenty to see and do in Taiwan, and I am so glad they’ve had the chance to appreciate its diversity. For me this getaway was doubly special because not only did I get to show my parents how wonderful life could be in Taiwan, I again witnessed some ridiculously beautiful scenes, only to further reinforce my will to stay. Continue reading

The Sky Lanterns of Pingxi

Once a year, the quiet little valley of Pingxi (平溪) is abuzz with festive spirit as glowing orbs light up the night sky. While Lantern Festivals elsewhere in Taiwan often meant spectacular exhibits of modern pyrotechnics and live concerts, the most popular light event to welcome the Lunar New Year is still based on the humble floating lantern known as tian deng (天燈), in a little county just a small distance away from Taipei. Continue reading