Sunday Snapshot | Street Side Gaming | Fengyuan, Taiwan

Sunday Snapshot | Street Side Gaming | Fengyuan, Taiwan

This post was last updated on May 18th, 2014 I took this photo while we were on our way to the Dragon Valley Resort & Paradise. The name of the game is Xiangqi (Chinese Checkers). I’m not sure how to play or who is winning, but my friend here looks a bit concerned. They were great sports about the game and us snapping pictures of them. Their taxi-driving friend (not shown here) even shared his chicken skewers with us before we gave a ‘jia you’ cheer and parted...
Taiwanese Hot Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taiwan’s Hottest Attraction

Taiwanese Hot Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taiwan’s Hottest Attraction

This post was last updated on July 30th, 2017 I’m not really a huge fan of hot springs. I mean, I like them enough. They’re relaxing and rejuvenating and don’t require any physical exertion. It’s mostly that I can’t manage to stay in them longer than five minutes because of the sweat that begins to pour down my face. That being said, Dan and I just got back from a hot spring hotel in Central Taiwan, and I loved it. It probably helped that we had a private hot spring bath in our room that overlooked the adjacent valley and mountains. And I must admit, even if I don’t normally get excited about hot springs, I always feel amazing afterwards. In Asia, hot springs are believed to raise energy levels while possibly treating chronic fatigue, eczema and arthritis—a pretty good reason to give the popular Taiwanese pastime a go.     There are two main things to remember before visiting Taiwan’s hot springs:   1)    If hot spring baths are separated by gender, you’re expected to bathe nude. I was bit worried it would be totally awkward sporting by birthday suit with a bunch of old Taiwanese women, but it’s not actually that bad. Plus, these “nude” hot springs are typically a bit nicer, with various showerheads, more variety in water temperature, steam rooms, and no obnoxious children splashing sulfur water in your face. 2)    You must wear a shower cap before entering the hot springs. Sometimes these will be provided, other times you are expected to bring your own. Beyond that, just follow common sense. Don’t bathe if you...

World Baseball Classic: Chinese Taipei

This post was last updated on October 14th, 2013“Quan Lei Da” (Home run) “Zhong Hua Dui, Jia You” (Chinese Taipei, Let’s Go) OOOOHHHH  SEE YA (that one’s the same) Taiwanese people love them some baseball. And even though Linsanity was huge over here for a while, baseball still takes the prize as national sport of choice. Obviously there was just a little bit of excitement for the World Baseball Classic, especially when the first round was held in Taichung (about an hour south of us). I’m not a huge sports person (unless it’s Tarheel basketball) but I can’t deny their incredible ability to foster friendship and unity. The excitement and pride in your team, the pure joy when they win, and the shared disappointment when they don’t—it’s a beautiful thing. And I think we all can agree that no matter how many times you watch Remember the Titans, you always end up holding back tears. When it comes to baseball and the World Baseball Classic, if anyone knows how to come together and cheer for their team, it’s Taiwan. A Taiwanese flag in one hand and a Taiwan Beer in the other, we attended the Taiwan vs. Netherlands game just about two weeks back.  It was unreal. Normally I don’t find myself completely riveted by baseball, but this time the Taiwanese crowd had me jumping out of my seat and anticipating the next ‘wave’ the entire game. There was barely a moment when the stadium wasn’t erupting in cheers of “Hit a homerun” or “See ya”, while pumping their fists into the air. With a sold out crowd and...

Rainbow Village of Taichung: Paint the Town

This post was last updated on October 15th, 2013The other day I was sitting around ‘pinning’. (If you’re not sure what this is yet, you need to get on Pinterest ASAP—that’s all I’ll say.) Anyway, in between pinning pictures of houses I’ll never be able to afford and DIY projects I’m never going to do, I stumbled upon a picture of the Rainbow Village. It looked a little something like this: How could anyone not be instantly drawn to such a vibrant and cheerful place? I immediately pinned it to my Travel Board and filed the image away for future trip planning. Some point later, I realized that this Rainbow Village was actually located in Taichung City, Taiwan, just about an hour south of Hsinchu. Talk about convenience! In actually, the Rainbow Village is a military dependents village, founded over 50 years ago. It has been transformed into the unique attraction it is today as a result of the talented Huang Yung-Fu, an 86 year old who picked up his paintbrushes just a few years ago and personally covered the buildings with colorful animals and aboriginal-like people. Military dependents villages were originally built in Taiwan to house Nationalist soldiers when the KMT retreated to Taiwan. Much more information can be found on good ‘ol Wiki if you’re interested. The majority of these drab, concrete houses have been demolished to make way for modern, high-rise complexes so common in cities across Taiwan. Luckily, thanks to the efforts of Huang Yung-Fu, the Rainbow Village will continue to be preserved. We would definitely recommend stopping by if you are in the Taichung...