Hualien is one of those charming interstitial cities, a place we visited not for its own sake, but as a means to reach Taiwan’s famous Taroko National Park. Hualien, a mid-sized city in Eastern Taiwan, doesn’t have any jaw dropping tourist attractions, but this ended up being the city that solidified my growing envy of […]

There was this guy I used to run into at parties and before concerts who loved to humblebrag about all the celebrities he knew.  He referred to these celebrity acquaintances, without flinching, as Boldface Names.  As in “I was having coffee with a dear friend recently, well, I can’t tell you who but let’s just say […]

If you have the chance to visit either Taiwan’s Taroko National Park or to tour the National Palace Museum, try to see both. At the same time. HOB and I have a friend named Paul.  He’s the best sort of friend: an Art Friend, a friend whose eyes sparkle when he talks about art, live performance and books. […]

  As soon as the man with the top-knot hairstyle dropped us off at the entry to the Bunan farm he took off to join in a performance.  We left our bags and followed close behind, where other members of the tribe, wearing similar embroidered outfits, began a program of traditional Bunan singing and dance. The Bunan […]

Here’s the formula for a excellent city; a strong engagement in cultural heritage, great transportation connections and superior street food. Tainan, on the Southern end of Taiwan, is one of the very best cities.  Tainan is just bursting with vitality, beautiful art and architecture, and an intense snacking culture.  Realizing we were in a street food mecca, HOB and I got down […]

The next time you’re in Taiwan find a temple and look at the roofline: dragons! There are always dragons on the Taiwan’s temple rooflines and they are fantastic.  Go ahead and click on this beauty (I put a high res shot in just so you can appreciate the detail.) Notice the dragon’s dynamically twisting form, […]

I’m fairly certain that there’s a state department in Taiwan called “The Department of Giving People Things the Really Want.”  Case in point: Napkins In Taiwan they let you have napkins, as many as you need. There are napkins everywhere.  When people get up from a table, they might hand you their packet of napkins, […]

My niece Ayla, who is almost four, has travelled to Taiwan three times, so I asked her advice about what we do during our trip there.  “Jump on the couch with Kai Kai and Chen Chen!” she replied with a giggle. Kai Kai and Chen Chen live in Chutung, about a 20 minute ride from Hsinchu City in Western […]

People, I am loving Taiwan so much.  Not only is this country busting out all over with gorgeous cultural heritage, but it is a traveler’s dream.  THERE ARE PUBLIC BATHROOMS EVERYWHERE.  Clean, safe, public bathrooms (heart heart heart smiley face exclamation point).  The transportation system is a snap with low prices and an easy-to-understand system […]

After a day with our extraordinarily nice relatives in Chutung, we have checked in to our hotel in Hsinchu, on the North East side of Taiwan. The décor of our room is a bit…surprising.  And while the room is small, it comes with lots of freebies.  Such as condoms. (Cough “Peak Warrior” cough). People, we […]