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Inaccessible Road 159

Accessing the best of Alishan

The high-altitude resort of Alishan has long been one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist destinations, thanks to an alluring blend of mountain scenery, pristine forests, indigenous culture and temperatures appreciably lower than the 30-plus degrees Celsius often experienced on the lowlands. For some, the narrow-gauge railway that climbs from 30 m (98 ft) above sea […]

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Traditional Shop in Taiwan

Shopping for tradition in Taiwan

International brands are every bit as popular in Taiwan as they are in the West, yet wander around any of Taiwan’s cities and you’re sure to come across photogenic shops selling products which hark back to an era before mass marketing and containerisation. In many old neighbourhoods there are businesses which specialise in rice. In […]

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joshua-samuel-brown-3

Joshua Samuel Brown: Lonely Planet Author

American travel writer Joshua Samuel Brown has covered places as far away as Belize and Singapore for Lonely Planet, but Taiwan has long held a special place in his heart. He’ll be heading back to Taiwan in January 2017 to begin work on his fourteenth book, a hybrid travelogue/guidebook titled Formosa Moon for Things Asian […]

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Visiting Taiwan in Autumn

Visiting Taiwan in the Autumn

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile…” wrote William Cullen Bryant. The 19th-century American poet never visited Taiwan, but his words are just as true for East Asia’s most alluring island as they are for the New England he knew and loved. The main reason is, of course, the weather. In October and November it’s dependably […]

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Japanese Architecture - Old Tainan Martial Arts Academy

Japanese Era Architecture in Tainan and Chiayi

Between 1895 and 1945, Taiwan was a colony of the Japanese Empire. During that half century, the island changed beyond recognition as the Japanese authorities built roads, railways and schools, while Japanese corporations invested heavily in industries such as sugar and power generation. Despite World War II air raids and the breakneck growth of Taiwan’s […]

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Bamboo house decays in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Versatile and Wonderful Bamboo

If you visit Taiwan, you’ll notice bamboo is used in countless different ways. Bamboo scaffolding is put up when houses are being repaired or repainted. Alongside highways, bamboo poles hold up advertisements. On the southwestern coast, oysters are raised on bamboo frames. Effigies of gods, carried through the streets during folk-religion processions, are held aloft […]

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Confucian Temples Taiwan

Taiwan’s Confucian Temples

Each of Taiwan’s cities and counties has at least one Confucian Temple, not to mention several other places of worship where Confucius is worshipped alongside popular deities such as Mazu and Guan Gong. But who was Confucius? The name of this educator and philosopher is known to every person of Chinese descent, wherever they are […]

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