From Taiwan

Republic of China (ROC)

Exploring Tainan

After visiting Green Island earlier in the year I took the train around the southern coast and back inland to Tainan (台南), the oldest city in Taiwan and former capital during imperial times. Being mid-spring the weather was pretty much perfect. Read more

Green Island Penal Colony

Earlier in the year (before moving to Tokyo) I visited Taiwan for the third time and spent a very enjoyable week travelling down the east cost by train. Along the way I stopped off at Taitung (台東市) – a rather unremarkable small city but the gateway to my intended destination of Green Island (綠島). Read more

Shanghai vs Taipei Xiaolongbao

A recent article published by CNNGo on ‘40 Taiwanese foods we can’t live without‘ garnered over 90,000 Facebook likes and many passionate comments within a few days of being published, proving that if there’s one thing you can count on throughout Asia, it’s that people really like their food. I’d go as far as to say they’re even territorial about who makes what best so it can be a touchy topic of conversation! Read more

Ningxia Night Market

As any visitor to Taipei discovers, one of the cities main attractions are its many night markets. On my previous trip I covered some of the big ones – Shida, Shilin, and Ximending, but on a recent trip to Taiwan I paid a visit to one of the smaller and more traditional ones, namely Ningxia Night Market (寧夏夜市). Read more

Getting Lost in Haruki Murakami’s ‘Town of Cats’

Book reviews are not usually my thing, but having recently finished Haruki Murakami’s epic three-volume novel, 1Q84, events conspired which were a little too coincidental to pass over. For those unfamiliar with Murakami’s work, he is one of Japan’s most famous authors whose work is humorous and surreal, often focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness. Many of his novels focus on the mundane lives of ordinary people who are suddenly catapulted into deranged circumstances. Read more

A Date For Your Diary

On my final evening in Taipei we headed out from the hotel in search of dinner and quite by accident stumbled across a wonderful little restaurant called “Diary” on Dongfeng street in Da-an district (台北市東豐街53號). Attracted by its striking interior of exposed concrete walls and roof beams, softened by wooden tables and subtle lighting, we ventured inside… Read more

Ximending Night Market

Another day, another night market in Taipei, this time Ximending in the Wanhua District where the lights shine bright and every other person was riding a bike! In comparison to Shida and Shilin night markets Ximending had a more modern feeling and definitely seemed to be catering to a younger crowd. Read more

Louis XIV in Taipei

I’ve had some pretty good food in my time but rarely do my exploits extend to multi-course fine dining. Whilst I was in Taiwan I had the pleasure of experiencing some excellent haute cuisine curtsey of some very generous friends. One place in particular which stood out was Louis XIV, located in Taipei’s Da-an district, which serves exceptional French provencal cuisine. Here’s some pics to whet your appetite. Read more

Baoan Temple 保安宮

Over the past few years I’ve visited many temples in the region and while each has its own charm,  like with Churches in the UK, there is a certain point at which they all begin to look-alike. Most traditional buildings in Asia exhibit the same basic design elements – thick wooden columns serve as the load-bearing element of the structure which sit atop a large stone base, anchoring the building. The walls, floors, and complex bracketed roof structure are then built around these columns. Read more