Monthly Archives: March 2014

Junjianyan Hiking Trail 軍艦岩親山步道: A Brief Trek

A funky bench on the Junjianyan Hiking Trail 軍艦岩親山步道.

A funky bench on the Junjianyan Hiking Trail 軍艦岩親山步道.

Close to hot spring attractions of Xinbeitou lies the Junjianyan Hiking Trail 軍艦岩親山步道.  The often-visited Battleship Rock is actually part of the trail, which has many alternate routes for the adventurous.  I decided to walk the main path, which treats hikers with diverse sights.  I’ve been up here twice and neither time was crowded at all, so hikers who want to avoid people may enjoy this trail.  Check out some pictures from my walk.

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Tiger Mountain 虎山: The Other Beast

Tiger Mountain 虎山 offers some of the best views Taipei has to offer.

Tiger Mountain 虎山 offers some of the best views Taipei has to offer.

While Elephant Mountain is the most famed place to get a great view of Taipei 101, Tiger Mountain 虎山 allows for a pleasant hike, fantastic views, and all without the crowds!  Part of the Four Beasts Mountains, Tiger Mountain is perhaps one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in Taipei.  Enjoy some pictures from my visit.

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The Magic of Plants 植物的魔法特展: Your Chance to Smell a Corpse Flower

A view of the creative interior at the Magic of Plants 植物的魔法特展 exhibit in the National Taiwan Museum.

A view of the creative interior at The Magic of Plants 植物的魔法特展 exhibit in the National Taiwan Museum.

Not only is the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei a beautiful piece of architecture, it also constantly has fascinating exhibits.  One currently featured is The Magic of Plants 植物的魔法特展 which highlights the unique survival aspects of plants and how they manage to survive using some truly unbelievable methods.  I know, plants are not exactly the most exhilarating subject for some people, but the hands-on activities, inventive layout, and surprising information makes it worth a visit.  Check out some pictures after the jump.

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Fantasy Ice World 台北冰雪世界: Frozen in Spring

An overview of the ice sculptures from the slide at Fantasy Ice World 台北冰雪世界.

An overview of the ice sculptures from the slide at Fantasy Ice World 台北冰雪世界.

Ever wish it was -4 C/25 F at the dawn of spring?  The Taipei exhibit Fantasy Ice World 台北冰雪世界 will help you live those dreams.  Several sculptures imported from Harbin, China, are making their temporary home in a freezing warehouse in Taipei’s technology center.  Look over the scene from the icy Great Wall, stroll through a frozen pyramid, or have a rest in an all-ice cafe after the jump.

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Yang Shin Vegetarian Restaurant 養心茶樓蔬食飲茶: A Cantonese Vegetarian Feast

Mushrooms on a stick, a convincing meat imposter at Yang Shin.

Mushrooms on a stick, a convincing meat imposter at Yang Shin.

My vegetarian adventures continue.  After trying potato hamburgers, tofu sashimi, and peperoni-less peperoni pizza, it’s time to see what Hong Kong has to offer.  Yang Shin Vegetarian Restaurant 養心茶樓蔬食飲茶 in Taipei is an all-vegetarian Cantonese restaurant with a large selection.  There’s almost too much to choose from, but certain dishes turned out to be a highlight.  Check out some pictures and info after the jump.

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Superheroes in Taiwan: Photos of Imported Defenders

Spider-Man getting ready to swing through Taipei's Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store.

Spider-Man getting ready to swing through Taipei’s Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store.

As a kid, superheroes were mostly constrained to comic books and Saturday morning cartoons.  Now, they are the focus of $250 million films and you can find them plastered on anything.  They are also incredibly popular in Taiwan, which has led to finding them in some unexpected places.  I’ve always found Taiwan to be a safe country, but it’s good to have some watchful protectors just in case.  Here are some photos of unusual appearances by various masked heroes all over Taiwan.

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Pinglin 坪林: A World of Tea

Tea is everywhere in Pinglin 坪林.

Tea is everywhere in Pinglin 坪林.

There are few places in Taiwan as tea crazy as Pinglin 坪林 in New Taipei City.  I don’t think I saw a single building that didn’t have the Chinese character for tea on it while I was there.  What better place for a tea museum?  Pinglin is a definite must-do for anyone obsessed with the beverage.  Even if you’re not, you will be wowed by the beautiful scenery.  Check out more from my visits.

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The V:F 舞蔬弄果: Dancing Vegetables

Cupid strikes in this dessert from the vegetarian restaurant The V:F.

Cupid strikes in this dessert from the vegetarian restaurant The V:F .

I’m getting more acquainted with Taipei’s vegetarian restaurants than I would have imagined.  But with so much diversity and quality, even a carnivore would find something worth trying.  My latest all veggie escaped led me to the oddly named The V:F 舞蔬弄果 (yes, you NEED that colon).  Owned by the same folks that created the much-loved Thaipanyaki, The V:F is a Western-inspired eatery where you can watch the chefs make bread from hand and most importantly, scan through their large selection of desserts.  Here are some pictures from my latest visit.

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Pandas World Tour – Taipei 1600貓熊世界之旅-臺北 Part 2: Black Bear Brigade

Formosan black bears join the parade at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Formosan black bears join the parade at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Recently I posted about hundreds of paper pandas coming to Taipei.  The final stop for Pandas World Tour – Taipei 1600貓熊世界之旅-臺北 is at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, but this time they’ve brought 200 paper Formosan black bears with them.  Though the exhibition is almost identical to the earlier one at Taipei City Hall, there are a few differences that stand out.  Check out some pictures from my visit.

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Dancing Chili 李雪辣嬌: Cleanse Your Palate with Chocolate Dumplings

Dancing Chili 李雪辣嬌 shows off their celebrity patrons.

Dancing Chili 李雪辣嬌 shows off their celebrity patrons.

There’s no shortage of intriguing restaurants in Taipei’s ATT 4 Fun department store, but how many of them can say they have chocolate dumplings?  Only Dancing Chili 李雪辣嬌 to my knowledge.  Though the restaurant flaunts its spicy dishes (you can even buy some of their peppers and spices), you can also find some eclectic options like the aforementioned chocolate xiaolongbao and hedgehog-shaped buns.  I take on some pork covered in fungus and see if chocolate and dumplings are a tasty alliance in my visit.

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