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Danshui and Bali

Some of my favourite times in Taipei this trip were on the foreshore of Danshui, and across the river in the neighbouring town of Bali. Danshui, at the far end of the Northern suburban train line, is one of the city’s weekend hangouts. 285 more words

Taiwan: What I learned

- The spirit of protest is alive and well. For several weeks prior to my trip student protestors had succeeded in occupying the Parliament building, in protest against a trade agreement with China. 289 more words

Taipei nights

Taipei nights are warm, buzzing with the rush of scooters and workers returning home on foot, shops thronged and brightly lit and  multicolored neon lights flashing above the glass booths of the “betel nut girls”, bored-looking ladies in skimpy clothing who sit by the roadside selling betel, Taiwan’s indigenous stimulant which is chewed and then spat out, leaving red blood-like stains on the footpaths. 71 more words


Taipei is home to quite a burgeoning cafe scene, with lots of cute little places serving OK (if not quite-Melbourne standard) coffee and names like “Mother’s Mouth”, “Emptiness of Cats”, “Kafka by the Shore” (Murakami reference!) and my favourite, “Eat Shit and Die is Not Allowed”. 33 more words


Flying above the forest in the crystal-floored cable car that travels 300 metres up from Taipei’s impressive zoo (home to pandas and koalas among other things) to the summit of a wild green mountain and the tea-farming village and weekend getaway of Maokong. 48 more words