The Stunning East Coast of Taiwan Part 1: Yilan to Hualien and Taroko Gorge

East Coast Taiwan, Yilan to Hualien

Where should you go if only visiting Taiwan for 1-2 weeks? Most say that if you like history and culture, stick to the west coast. If you like scenery and nature, head to the east coast of Taiwan. While this is a simplistic breakdown of Taiwan’s diverse and abundant attractions, but there’s no denying that …

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Japan’s Sacred Kumano Kodo Walk in Winter

Kumano Kodo in winter

The Kumano Kodo is a network of pilgrimage trails that connect various Shinto-Buddhist sites in the mountainous Kii Peninsula south of Osaka and Nagoya, and is considered one of the world’s great pilgrimages that travelers can easily join. These expansive tracts of wilderness are replete with spiritual sights that have attracted pilgrims for 1000+ years, …

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Kumano Sanzan and Ise Grand Shrine: 4 Gorgeous Temples on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage

Kumano Sanzan and the Ise Grand Shrine

In 2018 I visited Wakayama, a remote and wild region of Japan south of Osaka and Nagoya, to walk parts of the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient pilgrimage trails. These trails are easily accessible, making them one of the best pilgrimages in the world for travelers. Besides these amazing hot springs at the eastern …

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A Night on the Peak of Tai Shan, China’s Holiest Mountain

Hiking Taishan China

Almost exactly 10 years ago as I write this, I left my home in Canada to go traveling and teach English in China. I had traveled extensively before that, but this was the first time I was leaving on a one-way ticket. It was a path that eventually led me to Taiwan, where I still …

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Eko In Koyasan: An Unforgettable Temple Stay in Koyasan in Winter

Staying at Eko In Koyasan in winter

On my recent 10-day winter trip to Japan, my plan was to not step foot in a single city, hike parts of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage, one of the world’s best pilgrimages that travelers can easily embark on, and only stay in traditional minshuku, ryokan, and temples. For the latter, doing a temple stay in …

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A Dad’s Guide to Yoga for Toddlers (with expert tips for traveling parents)

As a working couple who take turns staying at home with our two-year old son and nine-month old daughter, we are a busy family. As any parent knows, you have to give up many things when you first have kids. For me, one of the things I stopped doing much of was exercise, and my …

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Visiting Global Tea Hut: Zen and the Art of Cha Dao

Global Tea Hut Taiwan

After I wrote an article introducing tea in Taiwan in 2016, I was contacted by representatives from several Taiwanese tea-related companies and organizations. One of these was Sam, one of three permanent residents at Global Tea Hut (國際茶亭)’s headquarters, “Tea Sage Hut (通聖亭),” in Miaoli (苗栗), a smallish county capital in Central-Western Taiwan. At first …

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