Secrets from the Deep

Taiwan, it seems, really loves museums. An aquarium is not just an aquarium but the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (國立海洋生物博物館). Naturally, touring the museum is like a crash course in Marine Ecology 101; starting from the Waters of Taiwan, you make your way through to Coral Kingdom Pavilion, then go global in Waters of the World.

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Cultural Crossroads

The National Taiwan Museum is the sort of museum you can finish exploring in 2 hours, or less, and gleefully check off your must-visit list. While you’re at it, cross off the Taiwan Land Bank Exhibition Hall as well; it’s located right across the street and you can enter using the same admission ticket.

Even so, there’s a reason why the National Taiwan Museum is one of Taiwan’s most beloved museums. Built nearly a century ago in the Doric-style architecture popular during the Renaissance Period, the museum brings to mind visions of the Parthenon, nestled in the serenity of the 228 Peace Park.

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Great Snakes!

With yellow sloping roofs, hanging red lanterns and an imposing traditional Chinese style gate, the Huaxi Street Night Market (華西街夜市) certainly looked every bit of her fifty years, and more. This grand old dame of Taiwan’s night markets is home to several massage parlours, clothing stores and most famously, snakes.  Continue reading “Great Snakes!”

The One with The Library

My visit to Jingmei was the result of pure chance; on a whim I had closed my eyes and traced my finger along the MRT line, ultimately landing upon Jingmei.

Even though the name Jingmei (景美) suggests beautiful scenery, the town itself is quite ordinary, containing all the things you’d expect: schools, restaurants, a night market, temples. What I was surprised and excited to see though was a public library.  Continue reading “The One with The Library”

At the End of the Line

Over the weekend I explored Danshui and I must say that the Danshui Old Street (淡水老街) is hands down the best night market I’ve visited so far. If you like spectacular sunsets and strolling along charming old world streets, Danshui is a definite must-visit. Located at the end of the Tamsui Train Line, it’s also convenient if you just want to zip out of town for some fresh air and good food. Continue reading “At the End of the Line”

Hello Taiwan!

If Thailand is the land of a thousand smiles, Taiwan has got to be the land of a thousand welcomes.

I’ve been in Taipei for three days now and I’m continuously blown away by the irrepressible warmth of the city and the people. From the student volunteers who met me at Tao Yuan International Airport to the helpful storekeepers who have to put up with my terrible Chinese, everyone I’ve met had megawatt smiles permanently affixed to their faces! Continue reading “Hello Taiwan!”