Blogs from Taiwan, Asia


Asia » Taiwan » Kinmen Island September 30th 2015

After a month and a half of school, it was nice to finally get a break. The Moon Festival gave us a long week-end, so we booked a trip to Kinmen Island through Vivien at the school. She booked our flights, 60 hours of scooter time and a homestay in a typical Fujian B&B. We left for the airport Saturday around 7:30AM and landed in Kinmen at 10AM. We made our way to the Visitor Information Desk in the airport were called by the scooter rental agency. The English speaking Visitor Information lady explained the 4 half day tourist tours. The scooter people came and got us from the airport, filled out the paper work, then took us to a 125 Sym scooter. He gave us maps and a couple of helmets. Using our iPhone maps, ... read more
Fujian Village
Piano Piano, Our B&B
Very Comfortable

Asia » Taiwan » Nantou County September 24th 2015

If you are brave enough to tangle with the lack of English at the train station in Taichung, you can grab a train to Chacheng, the last stop on the Jiji branch railway. You get to travel through amazing mountain scenery and then you find yourself immersed in the history of the lumber and coal industries, with views of the Mingtan Dam (which is within walking distance). I admit that the history didn't mean as much as the lovely people and their dogs and cats (yes, cats) that I met on the train. The fact we didn't share a language meant nothing as I showed them photos of my dog while cuddling theirs. Smiles and laughter broke down minor barriers such as the language difficulties! And then there was the shopping. There are plenty of tiny ... read more
Mingtan Dam
Piano stairs

Asia » Taiwan » Hualien » Taroko September 1st 2015

Taiwan is an island state south of Okinawa also known as the Republic of China. It has a population of 23 million, is half the size of Tasmania and the capital city, Taipei seems as busy and crowded as Shanghai or Tokyo. Taiwanese people are colorful, noisy, polite and demonstrative. The food is spicy, with lots of tofu and vegetables sizzled in woks. English is spoken everywhere and signs are in Chinese and English. The east coast of Taiwan has miles and miles of black sand beaches and rolling surf and is heavily fished. There is a resurgence of the indigenous culture of Taiwan, but like in many places, they have suffered from economic disadvantage and cultural annihilation. The landscape is spectacular, with a huge, colourful marble gorge and well set up bike paths, to cycle ... read more
Truku Aboriginal Village - 11
Ketagalan Culture Centre - 23
Truku Aboriginal Village - 07

Asia » Taiwan August 29th 2015

On my very first night of travelling I was in a hostel room in Poland, talking to a South Korean girl and a Taiwanese guy telling them what my world travels involved. When I mentioned that in Asia I would be going to both of their countries, the South Korean told me where to go to and what to see, however the Taiwanese guy looked at me and with a serious expression said that his country I should miss it out as it wasn’t that exciting and not much to do. 7 months later I’m on my last night in Taipei after a whistle stop tour of just over a week in Taiwan and to be honest I sort of agree with what he said, to a certain agree. Whilst in Korea I had a message ... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taipei » Zhongzheng August 26th 2015

Kinda late with this post, but well as they say, better late than never! After leaving Japan en route back home to Singapore I decided to pop by Taipei in Taiwan for a bit. I'd been there just a few years ago, but that was a really short two day stay so I thought I'd re-visit and check things out at a more leisurely pace. I have to say for some reason I had rather high expectations for Taipei -- everyone talks about the friendly people, the great food in the night markets, and the cute and pretty girls with their pleasant Mandarin accents. And they're all true. But for some reason Taiwan just didn't quite grab me like Korea and Japan did. Taipei reminded me a lot of Chongqing on the mainland -- old, rather ... read more
National Palace Museum
Taipei 101
Addicted to Capsules

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 23rd 2015

Hey everyone! After a hectic week of tests, presentations, and retaking the crazy difficult placement test we took at the beginning to evaluate our improvement, the Tunghai program has come to an end. On Friday, we retook the placement test. I think it was a different version of the same test, but the listening portion this time felt more difficult, as the topics were less familiar and used more of the newer vocab we learned, and they spoke faster. The recordings were also only played once, with the actual question at the end, which definitely didn't make things any easier! Having the question first would have given more context to the dialogue; for some of them I had no idea what was even happening until they got to the question, by which point the entire dialogue ... read more
All of us with Molly laoshi
Farewell dinner
With our certificates!

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 19th 2015

Hi everyone! I promised that if I were to post different posts on the Alliance blog, I would link them to you all. I'm not sure how else to do that then add a separate blog entry. So anyways, here is that post: I will still write another post this weekend! Until next time!... read more

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 15th 2015

Hey everyone! First of all, I can't believe that this coming week is my last week of classes here! WHAT?! It seems like no time at all has passed, and on top of that, this week is definitely going to go fast! Anyways, as I mentioned last week, this week was pretty stressful. We had two tests, calligraphy, and a presentation (which Yu laoshi FILMED. I'm pretty sure she intends to send them to Sun laoshi, the Chinese professor back at UPS that set up this program, but knowing that you will be filmed for a presentation is horrifying!) But I'm getting ahead of myself. Besides the tests, on Tuesday Bai Laoshi (our calligraphy teacher), cooked us dinner. Have I mentioned before that he's good at everything? Using only the few things in the CLC, the ... read more
Bai laoshi taking the perfect picture
Our group (plus a few) with Bai laoshi
The center of Taiwan during Japanese colonization

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 9th 2015

Hi everyone! I'm not sure how many of you were aware of this, but on Friday the biggest typhoon of the year hit Taiwan. Because Taichung is protected by mountains to the east, we didn't feel the effects of the typhoon until Friday night, and even then they were weakened by having to go through the mountains first. Weakened maybe, but still ferocious in their intensity. Our teachers warned us of the typhoon, so we prepared by buying food in preparation to stay in all day Saturday. Instant noodles, chips, and other snacks were very popular at the convenience stores as students around campus prepared for a weekend inside. On Friday afternoon after class, I joined three other girls on a trip to the bookstore (one of the girls wanted to find a book in case ... read more
This courtyard is usually very clean
Significant damage

Asia » Taiwan » Taichung August 8th 2015

Wow, I think it's been about a month since I've written a blog post. I think it's time for an update. So much has happened since I've last written. Right now I'm experiencing my first natural disaster! It's pretty exciting, but more on that a little later. I think I'm going to start with my most recent adventure, our trip to Kenting. Let me say that I can't believe we went to a vacation spot and got to call it school. It was the greatest thing ever! If you can picture those screen savers or backgrounds of the tropical beaches that come with your computer, that is what Kenting looked like. It was so beautiful. The water was a clear blue and the temperature was luke warm. We were only there for three days, but I ... read more

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