Monthly Archives: August 2014

Xinshe Castle 新社莊園: Faux Fortress

Xinshe Castle 新社莊園 certainly doesn't look like your typical Taiwanese site.

Xinshe Castle 新社莊園 certainly doesn’t look like your typical Taiwanese site.

If you go a bit outside of Taichung, you may find yourself in Europe.  At least it looks that way at first glance, as Xinshe Castle 新社莊園 (also known as Summit Resort or 新社古堡) looks like it an old European castle was transplanted right into the Taiwanese countryside.  Though an odd sight, it is a beautiful local and a unique place to visit.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林: Purple Mountain

Rows and rows of lavender await at Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 in Taichung.

Rows and rows of lavender await at Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 in Taichung.

High in the mountains hides Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林, an aromatic recreation area outside of Taichung.  You can walk through rows of lavender flowers, dance with the butterflies, make lavender soap, and eat some much-needed ice cream (guess what flavor it is).  It’s a serene and beautiful local that is just ripe for photos.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Taipei 台北 vs. Kansai 関西: The Bear and the Deer

Heavy rains pound a temple in Kyoto.

Heavy rains pound a temple in Kyoto.

Several weeks ago, I visited Japan’s Kansai region for vacation.  Kansai is home to the urban centers Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and more.  The area is mostly known for its traditional culture and laid back atmosphere when compared to the megalopolis Tokyo.  But how does it compare to Taipei?  There are some interesting similarities and surprising differences.  Check out my  knee jerk analysis after the jump.

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Xiaoyoukeng 小油坑 and Seven Star Mountain 七星山: A Steamy Hike

A somewhat clear view from one of Seven Star Mountain's 七星山 peaks.

A somewhat clear view from one of Seven Star Mountain’s 七星山 peaks.

Yangmingshan is one of my favorite places to visit in Taipei.  It is hard to believe that an expansive national park with mountains, hot springs, volcanoes, and dozens of hiking trails can be so accessible from the city.  Even though I have been here several times, there is always something new to see and experience.  This time I decided to check out the steaming fumaroles of Xiaoyoukeng 小油坑 and make my way through Seven Star Mountain 七星山, which has Taipei’s tallest peak.  Check out more info and pictures after the jump.

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