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Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival 福隆沙雕藝術季: Golden Art

You can see elaborate sand sculptures of all types at the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival 福隆沙雕藝術季 in New Taipei City.

You can see elaborate sand sculptures of all types at the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival 福隆沙雕藝術季 in New Taipei City.

While we’re in the midst of winter in Taiwan, it’s never too early to think about summer.  While most people head to the beach for some R&R, you can also enjoy an art show right by the ocean.  The canvas at the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival 福隆沙雕藝術季 is the beach itself.  These incredible sculptures top any paltry sand castle I’ve ever made, and showcase a variety of different themes and subjects.  Check out more info after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館: Sculpting Memories

Hundreds of incredible sculptures await at the Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City.

Hundreds of incredible sculptures await at the Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City.

I’m always impressed at the quality and diversity of Taiwan’s museums.  Some people find museums to be too droll, but I love exploring them.  The Ju Ming Museum 朱銘美術館 in New Taipei City may sound like a typical art museum at first, but it is a far cry from many others.  The museum houses the sculptures and artwork of Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming, whose career has spanned nearly 50 years.  In that time, he has created hundreds of sculptures from bronze, metal, stone, and probably dozens of other materials.  Not only are the pieces ambitious and stunning, but the museum also serves as a nice outdoor activity on a clear day.  Check out more info after the jump.

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Thousand Island Lake 千島湖: Tea Time with a View

Though there are no islands or lakes, Thousand Island Lake 千島湖 in New Taipei City offers some great visuals.

Though there are no islands or lakes, Thousand Island Lake 千島湖 in New Taipei City offers some great visuals.

When you hear the name “Thousand Island Lake” you would probably expect some islands.  Or at least a lake.  Not so here.  Though you won’t find any of the titular sights, you will still experience some amazing views which including endless rows of mountains, terraced tea fields, and cerulean water.  Though there aren’t many activities at this destination, it’s still worth checking out for fans of scenic outposts and tea junkies.  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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435 Art Zone 435藝文特區: A Splash of Color in Banqiao

You'll find a lot of graffiti and public art at 435 Art Zone 435藝文特區 in New Taipei City.

You’ll find a lot of graffiti and public art at 435 Art Zone 435藝文特區 in New Taipei City.

You can easily find many museums, studios, and public spaces dedicated to art in Taiwan.  There are countless old factories that are now trendy art galleries, and there are constant exhibitions and festivals.    435 Art Zone 435藝文特區 in New Taipei City isn’t exactly dense with art work, but it is a fun place to take photos.  It’s also a great place for kids, as there are many hands-on art activities for children and a toy museum.  Check out more photos from my visit after the jump.

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Waterfront Restaurant 水灣餐廳: On the Riverside

You may find a familiar aesthetic at the Waterfront Restaurant 水灣餐廳.

You may find a familiar aesthetic at the Waterfront Restaurant 水灣餐廳.

Most people who visit Tamsui hang around the old street and fill up on snacks and other vendor food.  It’s hard to make it fifty yards past the MRT station before you find yourself waiting in line for some fried mushrooms or a-gei.  If you do manage to fend off the temptations, you’ll find restaurants trying to take advantage of Tamsui’s riverside by offering clear views of scenery.  One of these is the Waterfront Restaurant 水灣餐廳, a Bali-themed restaurant located so close to the river that the crashing waves may drown out your conversation.  Check out more photos after the jump.

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Part Time Su 偶爾素一下: Full Time Vegan Pizza

Five types of veggies crammed onto a pizza at Part Time Su 偶爾素一下 in Taipei.

Five types of veggies crammed onto a pizza at Part Time Su 偶爾素一下 in Taipei.

Every time I get pizza, I always opt for whichever has the most meat.  Sometimes it may be called meat lover’s pizza, or four sausage pizza, but as long as it’s covered with meat I’m up for it.  I had to change my strategy at Part Time Su 偶爾素一下  in Taipei since it’s a vegan pizza place.  Can a pizza be called such without a quarter pound of sausage lathered on top?  I enter a disturbing, yet tasty world of meatless pizza after the jump.

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Wulai 烏來: A Mountainous Sausage Paradise

The 80m tall waterfall at Wulai 烏來 is just one of the many sights to see.

The 80m tall waterfall at Wulai 烏來 is just one of the many sights to see.

Wulai 烏來 in New Taipei City attracts visitors for a host of reasons.  Some come for the old street, some come for the scenery, some come for the hot springs, and some come to learn about aboriginal culture and chow down on traditional food.  You can dabble in whatever you like, and I doubt you’ll be disappointed.  Check out some photos from my visit after the jump.

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Yehliu 野柳: The Queendom of Taiwan

Yehliu 野柳 has a very distinctive landscape.

Yehliu 野柳 has a very distinctive landscape.

One of the most striking places I’ve visited in Taiwan, or perhaps visited ever, is Yehliu 野柳, a cape in New Taipei City.  The area is a geological marvel filled with unusually shaped rocks formed by erosion and tectonics.  It is most famously known as the location of the Queen’s Head, a rock that has a very feminine visage.  Most people come to visit Yehliu Geopark and take pictures with the charmingly named rocks, but if you come on a clear day you can see some beautiful scenery.  Check out some photos after the jump.

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Hohaiyan Rock Festival 貢寮國際海洋音樂祭: Bands on the Beach

People settle in for the Hohaiyan Rock Festival 貢寮國際海洋音樂祭.

People settle in for the Hohaiyan Rock Festival 貢寮國際海洋音樂祭.

Is there a better place for a music festival than on a beach?  It’s hard to beat warm sand, cool waves, fried food, and loud music.  In the year 2000, some brilliant men and women got together and decided to combine all these things into the Hohaiyan Rock Festival (also known as the Hohaiyan Gongliao Rock Festival) 貢寮國際海洋音樂祭, located on Fulong Beach in New Taipei City.  I visited the festival in 2012 and loved it, but couldn’t make it in 2013 because a typhoon delayed part of the festival and I was busy on the new date.  Summer is inching closer, so I will see if I can make it again.  Here are some pictures from my visit.

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