Jiufen Old Street: Things to Do on this Classic Taipei Day Trip

Red lanterns on Jiufen Old Street at night

Jiufen (九份 or Jioufen), a mountaintop former gold mining town on the northeast coast of Taiwan, is one of the most popular day trips from Taipei. Visitors and people who live in Taipei flock to Jiufen Old Street because it encapsulates the best of Taiwan in one small package: rich history, atmospheric lanes and teahouses, …

Read moreJiufen Old Street: Things to Do on this Classic Taipei Day Trip

Tea in Thailand: On Thai teas, ChaTraMue, counterfeit teas, and more

Tea in Thailand

When most people think of tea in Thailand, they envision sweet, milky, bizarrely orange-colored “Thai iced tea.” But there’s more to Thai tea than that. Curious to learn more, and wanting to move beyond this website’s usual focus on tea in Taiwan, I asked my friend John Bickel, prolific tea blogger at Tea in the …

Read moreTea in Thailand: On Thai teas, ChaTraMue, counterfeit teas, and more

A Day Trip to Yingge Old Street, Taiwan’s Pottery Capital

Yingge, Taiwan is the country’s undisputed center of pottery and ceramics, and one of the most interesting day trips from Taipei for anyone interested in ceramics and the arts. Taiwanese ceramics range from perfect renditions of ancient Chinese styles to creative, modern innovations. For a country that is one of the world’s great producers of …

Read moreA Day Trip to Yingge Old Street, Taiwan’s Pottery Capital

A Guide to Luye & the Taitung Hot Air Balloon Festival 2021

Hot air ballooning, one of the best things to do in in Taiwan!

Luye is a gorgeous, rural town in Taitung county, in the southeast corner of Taiwan. It is famous for the International Taitung Hot Air Balloon Festival, one of the most visually impressive festivals in Taiwan. The festival takes place there every summer in Taiwan, but I think it’s a fabulously scenic and laid-back place to …

Read moreA Guide to Luye & the Taitung Hot Air Balloon Festival 2021

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 small county capital in Central-Western Taiwan. At first …

Read moreVisiting Global Tea Hut: Zen and the Art of Cha Dao

A Dadaocheng & Dihua Street Walking Tour

Dadaocheng (大稻埕) is undoubtedly one of Taipei’s most compelling neighborhoods and best places to explore on foot. While Wanhua, the historical Old City to the south, is a magnet for tourists, serious history, food & culture fans can’t miss Dadaocheng. Twatutia, as Dadaocheng is pronounced in the Hokkien (Taiwanese) language, was once the second largest …

Read moreA Dadaocheng & Dihua Street Walking Tour

Sun Moon Lake Tea: Why is it so good?

Sun Moon Lake Tea

When it comes to Taiwanese tea, oolongs like Alishan High Mountain Tea, Dong Ding, and Oriental Beauty are internationally renowned, but fewer people are aware that the country also produces some excellent black teas. While many of Taiwan’s tea growing regions do produce a limited amount of black tea, Sun Moon Lake is practically synonymous …

Read moreSun Moon Lake Tea: Why is it so good?