A few months ago I decided to cycle from Xindian to Tamsui on YouBike. Why? I’m not particularly sure.  Read More

Dihua Street is a charming traditional area of Dadaocheng, which according to some, is the oldest street in Taipei. Some sections of the street have existed since the period of Dutch rule (1624 – 1661) and a lot of the architecture has been preserved by the city – albeit this is mainly from the 1850s. Interestingly, Dadaocheng was once the second largest city in Taiwan, after Tainan, the country’s traditional capital.

The varied and colourful history of Dihua Street means that you have traditional Qing Dynasty style-homes, alongside the modernist Baroque flavours brought to Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. Almost every building tells a story too – and I’m happy to share a couple of my favourites below. Read More

I read somewhere that Taipei is the kind of city that people love to leave – not because there’s anything wrong with it (it’s a fantastic place to live and explore) – but because it’s so well-connected to wonderful places all over the north of Taiwan. Hell, if you get up early enough you could even do a day trip to the south of the island thanks to the High Speed Rail.

Whilst I’m sure I’ll eventually get around to writing blogs on some of the most popular day-trips to the likes of Jiufen, Shifen, Wulai and Yamingshan National Park, this blog will focus on one of the lesser-taken options – a day (or half day) trip to Keelung. Read More

Climbing Elephant Mountain was the first thing I did on my first morning-off during my first business trip to Taiwan. Why?

Well, if you’ve read pretty much any review site, blog or guide to Taipei, you’ll find a hike up Elephant Mountain is usually in the top 3 things people recommend you to do – often taking the top spot.

Once you take a look at the views this short hike rewards you with, I’m sure you’ll understand why.  Read More

Taiwan is FULL of temples – over 4,000 of them. I think I even read somewhere that it has the highest number of temples per square mile anywhere in the world. This post is about one of the most famous of these – Longshan Temple in Taipei.

Built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian during the Qing rule, this temple is visited by thousands of people everyday; some of them worshippers, many of them tourists. This does mean it is almost impossible to take a photo of the temple without a lot of people in it. Thankfully, even this doesn’t detract from the beautiful architecture, incredibly intricate wood carvings and atmospheric feel of the place. Read More

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is one of the most spectacular landmarks in Taipei. It’s also one of the most visited, with thousands of tourists descending onto the site every day.

However, for a lot of the people of Taiwan, this landmark is extremely contentious. It serves as a reminder of the Chiang Kai-shek’s White Terror, a time when political dissidents were suppressed as Taiwan was held under martial law (for what was, at the time, the longest period of martial law in history). Read More