Monthly Archives: June 2014

Hoshina 穗科: The Perfect Noodle

Hoshina 穗科 has veggie udon dishes that are too good to ignore.

Hoshina 穗科 has veggie udon dishes that are too good to ignore.

Taipei is often celebrated for its diversity of food.  From small snacks to big banquets, from local traditional eats to modern western dishes, Taipei has a lot to offer.  Outside of Taiwanese and Chinese food, I would have to say the city’s Japanese options are hard to top.  Hoshina 穗科 is an udon shop looks like it was lifted straight out of Japan, and it may be the best udon I’ve ever had.  As an added bonus (or penalty depending on who you are), it’s completely vegetarian!  Check out more info after the jump.

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Farglory Ocean Park 遠雄海洋公園: Over the Sea

Enjoy all sorts of water-related leisure activities at Farglory Ocean Park 遠雄海洋公園 in Hualien.

Enjoy all sorts of water-related leisure activities at Farglory Ocean Park 遠雄海洋公園 in Hualien.

There are a few amusement parks scattered around Taiwan, but only one in Hualien.  However, Hualien’s Farglory Ocean Park 遠雄海洋公園 is one of the more famous ones in the country.  Located right near the coast, you can enjoy beautiful scenery and some fun activities.  While it may not impress those who have been to America’s more massive and overwhelming theme parks, it is still easy to have fun here.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Neidong National Forest Recreation Area 內洞國家森林遊樂區: Nature’s Omnibus

Just one of the many waterfalls at Neidong National Forest Recreation Area 內洞國家森林遊樂區 in New Taipei City.

Just one of the many waterfalls at Neidong National Forest Recreation Area 內洞國家森林遊樂區 in New Taipei City.

I have been to Wulai several times to enjoy the sites, but little did I know that there was a stunning “forest recreation area” nearby.  The moniker of “forest recreation area” seems a bit ambiguous at first.  It is somewhat between a forest and a national park.  There are about twenty of them across Taiwan, with the most famous being Alishan (I promise to make a post on that!).  Neidong National Forest Recreation Area 內洞國家森林遊樂區 is the closest of these to Taipei.  The highlight of the area is not actually the forest, but the impressive three tier waterfall and abundance of insect life.  Check out some photos after the jump.

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King Join 京兆尹: Imperial Veggies

King Join 京兆尹sets the tone with their storefront.

King Join 京兆尹sets the tone with their storefront.

Travel back to the Imperial Court of China at King Join 京兆尹 in Taipei.  However, there’s a twist… it’s all vegetarian!  The Manchu inspired dishes abolish meat for a more animal friendly alternative.  It may sound strange to see these classic dishes without any meat, but your stomach won’t mind at all.  Check out some pictures from my recent visit.

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Tzu Chi University 慈濟大學: A Green and Grey Campus

Jing Si Hall is the most striking site at Tzu Chi University 慈濟大學 in Hualien.

Jing Si Hall is the most striking site at Tzu Chi University 慈濟大學 in Hualien.

I’ve been impressed by the diversity of Taiwan’s campuses.  While they may not be humongous, they are often uniquely designed and filled with interesting architecture or activities even if you aren’t a student.  Tzu Chi University 慈濟大學 in Hualien isn’t your typical campus, as it was founded by the Buddhist humanitarian organization Tzu Chi.  Ergo, you’ll see a lot of Buddhist imagery and a lack of meat.  Though small, it’s a beautiful campus to walk around in.  Check out some photos after the jump.

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Flower Space 花草空間: Clay Vegetables

A mini clay shop selling shaved ice is one of the very Taiwanese sights you can see at Flower Space 花草空間  in Hualien.

A mini clay shop selling shaved ice is one of the very Taiwanese sights you can see at Flower Space 花草空間 in Hualien.

Hidden among all the mochi in Hualien is an interesting restaurant/museum/art gallery hybrid known as Flower Space 花草空間.  I came here for the vegetarian food, but little did I know that inside was a very fanciful art gallery of very small settings all made of clay.  The craftsmanship is incredible, and the food wasn’t so bad either.  Check out some more photos after the jump.

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