history

Church, temple and childhood

(photo by Joyce Tay)Before I was 30, I never enjoyed entering a Taiwanese temple. The Gods looked weird, wearing strange clothes and hats, some of them were even very dark. They were frightening to me. They were not God. 
They were not kind like my God.

The burning incense in the temple was even worse. It made the whole temple smoky, the smell of the incense pushed me away from the whole religion. I didn’t understand why those people were holding the incense and talking to those wooden idols.


I thought everything about the temple was just stupid: the Gods were not real, incense smelled terrible, the people were ignorant. I didn’t even agree with the way Taiwanese offered the food to their idol God and their ancestors.

Exploring Taiwan's history, culture and cuisine

Old Taipei Tour - Dadaocheng and Dihua StreetIn the near future we will start offering this tour of historic Di Hua Street, and the Da Dao Cheng Area in Taipei. The tour will cover the morning market, temples, the traditional food stands and small restaurants.

Scooter Diary: Everything is art

Juming museum and art gallery, Taiwan - Outdoor taichi sculptureSeptember 4th, 2012: I got up very early. The bright sun light shining through the guest house window woke me before 7am, even though that cup of fresh coffee I had yesterday kept me awake till very late.

Scooter Diary: Sweet potato history in Jinshan

We keep on driving on Route 106 through Pingxi district. There are many brightly-colored sky lanterns flying up into the clouds from the village of Shihfen, trailing smoke. There's nothing to slow us down – we only spend a minute waiting for a long traffic light and then continue our journey. I wanted to take a photo of the sky lanterns flying above the mountains while waiting for the lights, but the camera is never as good as my eyes.

From Shifen to Wanli to Jinshan

Scooter Diary: From Coal to Coffee in Jingtong, Pingxi

Photo by Joyce Tay September 3rd , 2012: Well, I am packed, and the scooter is ready – no more doubts. We left by 1pm, the sun was above us all the time when we were driving on Route 106. We left Taipei city and Shenkeng behind, and drove up into the mountains.

Scooter Diary: leaving

This summer we are in love with scooter traveling -- traveling safely and having fun. I spent some time and money getting my old scooter repaired and ready for a long trip.

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Visiting the coal mining villages of Pingxi

If you are bored of Taipei city, take the train to Pingxi. In 40 minutes, it will take you back 40 years.

Pingxi (pronounced 'ping shee') was built about a hundred years ago. The coal mining industry attracted young people from all over Taiwan to dig black money from deep under the earth. The railway came: winding and climbing into the mountains. And so the remote town developed, deep inside the Keelung river valley. 

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: 228 Peace Park and Museum

Following the change of governing party, the 228 Museum was closed down and then completely rennovated and redesigned after this article was written, so the exhibits described here are no longer available, and the description of it here is no longer accurate (2012).

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