Alishan, Taiwan: Best Sunrise Spots, Hiking Trails and Tea Farms

Alishan Taiwan sunrises

Alishan (Mt. Ali) is one of Taiwan’s top scenic attractions, along with Sun Moon Lake and Taroko Gorge. The Alishan National Scenic Area is renowned for its famed Alishan sunrises over seas of clouds, small gauge Alishan Forest Railway, and Taiwan’s most sought after teas (here’s my full post on Alishan High Mountain Tea).   …

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Pilgrimage Travel: Inspiring Sacred Walks around the World

Pilgrimage is act of devotion. In many religions, these sacred walks are prescribed, even considered a must in one’s lifetime, and followers from all of world’s major faiths make holy pilgrimages. For most, non-believers are accepted or even welcome. Pilgrimage travel can be a meaningful, moving experience in which travelers can enrich their understanding of …

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10 Close-Up Spots to Seek the Best View of Mt. Fuji (and how to get to them)

10 best spots to see Mt. Fuji

There are already as many “best views of Mount Fuji” LISTS as there are claimed best places to see Mt. Fuji. Personally, I don’t think any single one is best, but for this list, I have focused on the best places to see Mount Fuji if you want a good chance to ACTUALLY SEE Mt. …

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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 Wakayam, 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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Wenshan Hot Spring: Taroko Gorge’s Spectacular Secret

Wenshan Hot Spring, Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

I’ve been in Taiwan for eight years, and I recently got to check one destination off my Taiwan bucket list: Taroko Gorge‘s Wenshan Hot Spring (文山溫泉, also spelled Wunshan). The scenery, famous location, and inaccessibility of this Hualien hot spring make it, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing hot springs in Taiwan.   …

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