Monthly Archives: April 2014

Republic of Chocolate 巧克力共和國: From Cocoa Bean to Your Hands

Museum or giant piece of chocolate?  It's hard to tell at the Republic of Chocolate 巧克力共和國 in Taoyuan.

Museum or giant piece of chocolate? It’s hard to tell at the Republic of Chocolate 巧克力共和國 in Taoyuan.

Taiwan isn’t exactly known for chocolate, so it’s a bit strange to find a chocolate museum in Taoyuan.  Republic of Chocolate 巧克力共和國 (also known as the Chotty & Cotty Republic of Chocolate) is run by Hunya, a chocolate company in Taiwan.  While you probably won’t see their products abroad, you’ll see 7-11s stuffed with their sweets.  Not only can you learn how chocolate goes from bean to bar, but you there are also DIY workshops that let you go hands-on with everyone’s favorite snack.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Vege Creek 蔬河: Customize Your Vegan Dinner

Pick your own ingredients at Vege Creek 蔬河.

Pick your own ingredients at Vege Creek 蔬河.

The vegan eatery Vege Creek 蔬河 has mix of interesting gimmicks.  Is it a hot pot restaurant?  A ramen place?  A supermarket?  The restaurant cherry picks some aspects from all of these places while mixing in some other creative ideas, such as having only one long table in the entire restaurant that everyone eats around.  It is definitely one of the more distinctive restaurants I’ve been to in Taiwan.  Check out some info after the jump.

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Heping Island Park 和平島公園: A Whole Island for a Playground

Walk among some interesting rock formations on the coast at Heping Island Park 和平島公園.

Walk among some interesting rock formations on the coast at Heping Island Park 和平島公園.

I always found Taiwan’s coasts to be mysterious and almost alien.  With bizarre rock formations and creepy silverfish crawling around, it’s hard to believe you’re on earth.  The most famous coastal scenic area is probably Yehliu, famous for the Queen’s Head rock formation.  Heping Island Park 和平島公園 (also known as Peace Island Park) in Keelung reminds me a lot of that area, yet is interesting in its own right.  Check out more info after the jump.

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National Museum of Natural Science 國立自然科學博物館: Dinosaurs in Taiwan

There are more dinosaurs than you can count at the National Museum of Natural Science 國立自然科學博物館 in Taichung.

There are more dinosaurs than you can count at the National Museum of Natural Science 國立自然科學博物館 in Taichung.

One of Taichung’s most famous attractions is the immense National Museum of Natural Science 國立自然科學博物館.  The expansive museum is one of the most revered in Taiwan, and it is overflowing with exhibits ranging from geology to archeology to space travel.  I cannot overstate how much there is to see here, and that’s not including other complexes the museum has throughout Taiwan.  Check out more information after the jump.

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Loving Hut 愛家國際餐飲: Welcome to Planet Vegan

A delicious vegan brownie you can bite into at Loving Hut 愛家國際餐飲.

A delicious vegan brownie you can bite into at Loving Hut 愛家國際餐飲.

Unbeknownst to me, Loving Hut  愛家國際餐飲 is a worldwide vegan restaurant chain, with many stores located in Taiwan.  There are many different types as well, ranging from fast food to international fusion to hot pot.  After doing some research, I was quite surprised to learn that the chain was so massive and there were actually a few near my home in America.  Thankfully, I am no longer woefully ignorant as I made my first trip to a Loving Hut recently.  Check out some photos after the jump.

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Easy House Vegetarian Cuisine 寬心園: Meditate with Mushrooms

Spicy tofu stew at Easy House 寬心園 in Taipei.

Spicy tofu stew at Easy House 寬心園 in Taipei.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian restaurant that also provides a very zen atmosphere, Easy House 寬心園 has you covered.  You can find numerous Easy Houses throughout Taiwan and a few in Taipei.  I had been to one in Banqiao that closely resembled an American restaurant, but the most recent one I visited traded in kitschy road signs for Buddha statues and a more traditional menu.  I feel that if I am eating vegetarian food, I want the ambiance to match.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Tunghai University 東海大學: Architectural Intrigue and Fresh Ice Cream

The Luce Chapel in Tunghai University 東海大學 is its most famous landmark.

The Luce Chapel in Tunghai University 東海大學 is its most famous landmark.

I always feel a bit strange walking around college campuses.  After being so accustomed to my own universities layout, secret spots, and hang outs, seeing an alternate take is always jarring.  It feels like I shouldn’t be there.  I mean, you can’t just walk around a random high school, right?  If you can get past these feelings, you’ll find that college campuses are often a great place to check out, even if you’re not paying tuition.  Tunghai University 東海大學 in Taichung (also spelled as Donghai) is a sprawling campus with beautiful greenery and even some livestock.  Check out some photos from my visit.

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The Story of Fortune Telling 算命的故事: Find Your Fate

Find out what lies in store for your future at Taipei Story House's "The Story of Fortune Telling" 算命的故事 exhibit.

Find out what lies in store for your future at Taipei Story House’s “The Story of Fortune Telling” 算命的故事 exhibit.

The fortune telling business is prevalent throughout Taiwan.  You can find entire streets dedicated to the practice of telling the future and help you meet your fate.  The Story of Fortune Telling 算命的故事 is an exhibit at the Taipei Story House that walks you through the history of the practice, and you can even (supposedly) discover what lies ahead in your life.  Check out some photos from my visit after the jump.

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The Top 屋頂上: Relax Above the City

The Top 屋頂上 is overflowing with atmosphere.

The Top 屋頂上 is overflowing with atmosphere.

Nestled right under Chinese Culture University in Taipei is The Top 屋頂上, an island-themed restaurant with an impressive view.  On a cool night, it’s easy to let hours pass by as you relax on a comfy couch with your stomach full of food and a clear view of the city.  Though you’ll undoubtedly wait for your turn, the atmosphere alone merits a visit.  Check out some photos from my visit.

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Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市: Taiwan’s Largest Night Market

Prepare to meet hordes of people at Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市.

Prepare to meet hordes of people at Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市.

Shilin Night Market may be Taiwan’s most famous, but the biggest night market in Taiwan rests in Taichung.  The Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市 (it may also be written as Fengjia) will certainly overwhelm anyone with its number of stalls and people.  If you don’t fear crowds or mind a wait, you can definitely find a lot of things worth eating.  Check out some pictures from my visit.

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