Category Archives: Taiwan

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The Differences between Taiwan and China

6th January 2015

 

cks7 China and Taiwan have shared a long history. There is still on going issues today that have separated both the countries and it’s people.

I am not going to go into the politics of the situations since I am just a traveler and not in tune enough with both societies to make those kind of statements but I did find it interesting to visit both China and Taiwan in a short space of time. There were lots of quirks that separated each country and there were also many traits that showed their important linked past. This is a a few things we noticed that differed between these two incredible countries .

The Train Stations 

China is one of the most populated countries in the world so you kind of expect their public transport to be packed to the rafters, but nothing can really prepare you for the game that is getting onto the subway. The elbows, pushing and craziness that accompanies every trip is a little over whelming but it is quick and it is efficient. The other weird aspect of being in China is having to go through security every time you enter a subway station. You can’t take certain items on board. It’s a strange thing to get use to even if it does mean the subways are safer. Taiwan on the other hand is like a different world. Straight lines everywhere, queues to get on trains, queues to get on escalators and even queues to queue. It’s fantastic. As British people who have lived in Korea for a while and got use to the pushing and shoving, it was heaven. The etiquette on the trains is also fantastic. There are signs all over asking you to text instead of call and reminders for you to be courteous…it actually says ‘courteous and thoughtful’ on the poster. We felt like the rude ones. Taiwan public transport is like a dream.

rsz_dsc_0393 The Food

Oh China and Taiwan, how happy you have made me. It isn’t much of a secret that Lee and I LOVE food and for me at the top of that list is Chinese food.

I had always grown up being warned that food in actual China isn’t like the Chinese food in the UK. I was worried that the tastes i’d come to love were an illusion and I would be eating nothing familiar but you know what, it was the same but just ten times better. We started in Beijing , the home of Peking duck then made our way to Shanghai for noodles and pork galore. We ate so many dumplings that I had to re buy my entire wardrobe. We boarded the plane, leaving China behind and headed to Taiwan wondering what we would find. Taiwan did not disappoint. A combination of night markets, breakfast restaurants and mango ices made our bellies very happy. Each day it was tough trying to decide what we would eat since we didn’t want to waste our bellies. The only reason I’m glad I don’t live in China and Taiwan is that I would weigh three million stone.

china5 china20 china21 rsz_2dsc_0105 rsz_dsc_1832 The Traditional vs The Modern 

China has history everywhere. The buildings, the people and the traditions can be seen on every inch of this country. The Great Wall, The Temple of Heaven and The Forbidden City ooze history. It is a shame that so many touristy things have been built up around them but they are still beautiful and you can imagine what it was like to be there when they were first built.

Taiwan has a lot of history too but it also has a huge modern artistic influence that wasn’t as prominent in China. When people left Taiwan they wanted a bit more freedom (It’s obviously a lot more complicated than that but for simplicity sake….) this meant they were probably the artistic, creative people. This can be seen everywhere, from the animated road signs to the statues that litter the streets. Art is a way of life here.

There isn’t one place I prefer more than the other because tradition has always influenced the modern so it’s impossible to separate them. It was great to go to China first to see the history and then be in Taiwan to experience what people had done with that knowledge. It was a great blend of worlds. I think seeing these two countries in close proximity to each other made each one better.

rsz_cks8 rsz_dsc_0211 rsz_dsc_0060 rsz_dsc_0024 The People 

Chinese people and Taiwanese people have been through a lot .They have seen extreme poverty, strife and change but they have come out as  happy and kind people. The Chinese as a whole were a little more pushy and sometimes rude but after being there for a period of time and meeting many lovely individuals it became clearer that what we interpret as rude is actually just ingrained culture.

China is a collectivist country which means it puts a large importance on the family and sharing. Taiwanese people are individualists which means they see the importance of being your own person. Both of these have their merits and their downfalls. The best analogy I can compare the good and bad aspects of a collectivist society is this:

Imagine a large family with lots of brothers and sisters. If things go wrong you have a massive support system and people to look out for you, you all have something in common.  The flip side to this is that it also means you have to fight to be heard. If you are sat with your family for dinner and your mum puts a plate of pizza on the table, everyone grabs for it to make sure they get some. Everyone is equal so there is no one apart from grabbing for the biggest piece to decide who deserves it.  The smallest person normally doesn’t get a look in….but this may just be my experience from being the youngest cousin in a very large family.

This is sometimes the feeling in China. When you get on a bus it definitely is every man for himself and when you see people driving it is definitely a competition. In Taiwan , like the US or the UK I imagine people can be more lonely since family isn’t the centre of the country as much as it is in a collective society, but it also means people have more personality shining through and tend to express themselves a lot more. Individualism sounds like it might be a selfish society but from my (very little experience) it seems the exact opposite. It seems to follow the line of ‘how would I want to be treated as an individual?’…or of course there is the old adage ’treat others as you would like to be treated’.

Both are really interesting ways to live, neither are wholly bad or wholly good.  I love the people in both countries and it was an honor to experience their ways of life.

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This lovely Taiwanese man heard Lee’s accent. Found out he liked rugby and that we are from the heart of rugby country….he ran off at full speed to bring Lee a Taiwanese scarf to wear and to have some pictures.

Babies 

This is one that mainly concerns China but twins are EVERYWHERE . I slowly started to notice it when we were in Beijing and then I couldn’t not see it. Lots of the littlest, cutest kids you’ve ever seen in matching clothes and squeaky shoes. So cute. The only theory Lee and I had on this is that since Chinese people can only have one child that IVF must be quite popular. (this is based on nothing but our odd brains though so don’t take that as fact).

The other thing that China likes to do with its babies is give them little arse-less chaps…yes you read that right. They don’t wear nappies (diapers for all you American lovelies out there) they save the environment and let the kiddies go to the toilet when they need to. It was an odd thing the first time I saw it but after a while I got use to it. It’s just another one of those weird things you discover when you travel. Although I have heard from Chinese people that this is more of a Chinese country tradition and is dying out. It was definitely more popular around the tourist attractions like The Forbidden City and things, which would make sense.

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There isn't a photo of the babies in arse-less chaps but believe me it's true

There isn’t a photo of the babies in arse-less chaps but believe me it’s true

So there are many differences between each country. Some born out of being far away from each other and other from their history and past but they are both fantastic places with fantastic elements to get excited about. If you are looking for something to add to your 2015 travel bucket list then China and Taiwan will not disappoint.

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Taiwan Oddities

5th January 2015

market7 I love travel…well duh, right! And one of the reason I love travel is those tiny oddities that jump out at you in a new country and stick out as something completely unique. When I go to a new country I always carry a little notebook and I jot down things to remember , tiny memories I might lose if I didn’t make a note. Lee and I always sit down at some point on the holiday and jot things down…normally over cocktails.

What we normally forget though is where we put those notes. Today I found a scribbled note listing some of the fantastic oddities we discovered in Taiwan.

This was such a rarity after living in Korea that we took a photo

This was such a rarity after living in Korea that we took a photo

  1. No Bins –

Just like Korea, there’s NO BINS…ahhh! I don’t understand why or how a country doesn’t have them. It’s bizarre to me, especially coming from a country where my mum would kill me for even thinking of dropping a piece of litter. I think it’s for safety reasons and also because they look messy but tis odd.

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  1. In Taiwan the English word for Limes seems to be Lemons.

There might be an official term for them but on all posters and in all pictures they were called lemons. I honestly didn’t care since I love limes with a passion and they don’t have them in Korea. That’s not true, they do but they cost an arm and a leg (and another leg too). Fresh lime/lemon juice…I miss you.

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  1. People are super polite.

I have mentioned it time and time again but the Taiwanese are so nice. Always smiling, always cheerful, helpful, and chatty. It was a pleasure to be in their presence and in their country. Take us back!!

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  1. Breakfast restaurants

What’s the best meal of the day? If you didn’t say breakfast then you are wrong, unless you said lunch or dinner. Those are good too. In Taiwan they love breakfast, in fact they love it so much that there are tons of restaurants especially open just to provide you with breakfast. Pancakes, egg rolls, bacon burritos you name it, they’ve got it. They open at about 5am and are closed by 12. You can normally tell it’s a breakfast restaurant from the long doughnut like pastries hung up outside and the fact they are the only places open that early. The only problem you may find is there is no English but we had no problem pointing at what others had just saying ‘best’ at the lovely man serving us.  We sadly only discovered one on our last day in Taiwan so make sure you get in there every day if you visit. You won’t regret it.

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We made a little video – Taiwan

17th October 2014

cks9 This is our entry into the Taiwan video contest ‘Anytime Taiwan’

We happened to see an advert for this contest when we were about to enter Taipei 101 and since I love making little videos of our trips anyway it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

If you get a spare minute have a looksie and head to THIS SITE to vote for your favourite. You don’t have to vote for our one (which is ‘A vacation made in Taiwan’ ) but if you did we would be very happy bunnies.

Taroko Gorge – The Hidden Secret in Hualien – Taiwan

15th September 2014

taroko Ask anyone that’s been to Taiwan ‘What should we see while we are there?’ And Taroko Gorge in Hualien seems to be shouted out of their mouths before you finish the question. So what is Taroko Gorge?

beach3 gorge2 Taroko Gorge is a marble gorge in the aptly named Taroko national park. It is located in the city of Hualien. This master piece of nature consists of towering mountains and peaks that will blow you away. Photos really don’t do this place justice. Many people said that to me before we came here but I didn’t believe them since their photos were spectacular but they were right.

train3 We were staying in Taipei so to get to Hualien we needed to take a train. There are two types of train. This site explains the train system better than I ever could:

http://taiwan-itinerary.blogspot.kr/2013/04/HualienTaipeiTransportation.html

trainride1 trainride2 The important thing to note is it’s cheap and fast. The main piece of advice I would give is buy your tickets in advance if possible. We bought them just under 12 hours before our train and didn’t get seats which meant two and a half hours sat in a corridor, we entertained ourselves but a air-conned cabin would have been nice.

When you go you will have three main options of seeing the gorge;

1. Scooter

2. Bus Tour

3. Private Taxi

All of these have their ups and downs.

bears bridge2 buddha1 gorge3 I have never rode a scooter but I have many friends that decided on this option. Some loved it, some were terrified and some had to turn back because of bad weather. If you have experience with scooters or are confident that you won’t get lost then this is a great and cheap option. Especially if you are staying overnight in Hualien. There are many scooter rental places near Hualien station.

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Roadslide

temple3 The option I would tell you to avoid like the plague is the bus tour .Not only is it extremely expensive but every bus seems to have the exact same schedule. This means that you will be stuck in traffic all day. Our taxi guide knew the bus route exactly so tailored our trip around avoiding the crowds. This meant we had most of the gorge to ourselves the whole day and didn’t sit in a bit of traffic. It was disconcerting on the way home to ride past this traffic and see over 60 huge coaches sat at a standstill.  As well as traffic the small roads in the gorge mean that a lot of the sights aren’t assessable by bus so you will miss out. If there has been a storm recently (As there had been when we arrived) you will be forced to see even less. Don’t do it!

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Lee just loves heights

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Even Coke thinks Taroko is beautiful

gorge4 moneyshottaiwan2 rock2 As mentioned above we took a taxi guide. For a 7 hour tour it cost us £30 for two people. Our guide met us at the station and despite telling us she didn’t speak much English, her language skills were fantastic. She took us to all the prime locations, we had the best views and she loved taking photos for us. They were some of the only photos  Lee and I had together all trip. She took us to a quiet , cheap and delicious restaurant for lunch and left us to our own devices. She knew exactly how much to interact and when to step back. It was the perfect way to see the gorge. We learnt lots of great facts about the gorge and Taiwan itself. I have heard that many taxi tours are similar and I’d recommend it. Especially since we had a lovely air conditioned car to zip around in and avoided the 40 degree heat. (if you would like the tour guides info please send me a message and I’ll send it on to you). I would advice contacting her in advance since the taxi’s do book up quickly.

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Rock Nose

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Kissing the nose

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Our guide getting Lee to pose

jump1 us1 waterfall Unfortunately, as I mentioned, when we arrived at the gorge there had just been a typoon so many roads were closed for repairs and some trails weren’t open. You’ll notice in most photos that the river is grey from the marble clay. The lovely Kaleena (a fantastic travel blogger) went there recently and had the chance to do some amazing activities in the gorge so stay tuned for her posts about this place.

moneyshotTaiwan us3 us4 Our necks hurt from craning up to look at the amazing views, our eyes hurt from squinting at the sun and my cheeks hurt from smiling. It was breathtaking. Each temple was more beautiful than the next and our taxi guide made sure we were the only people around.

tania1 There was some risky aspects such as having to wear a helmet to walk through the trails since so many stones fall on the paths but we loved it. In fact we loved it so much that we are planning to make a return visit one day and take one of the many exclusive walking trails. To keep its natural beauty the Taiwanese government have decided that only 16 people a day can walk certain trails. You need a special permit and a guide. They were all closed due to the storm when we were there but it’s now on our bucket list. I swear that I add more to my bucket list than I take off when I go on vacations.

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Monkey

gorge5 templ1 temple4 us2 One thing we did get to knock off our bucket list  this trip however was seeing a wild monkey. We had asked our guide if there were monkeys in the hills. We haven’t been to a country yet such as Indonesia or Malaysia where monkeys roam freely so we crossed our fingers and hoped this would be our chance but our guide informed us that it is extremely rare to glimpse one. This sadden Lee since not only does his love for animals rival even David Attenbourgh’s interest in all things furry but monkeys are one of his favourites. Therefore you can only imagine Lee’s happy face when we spotted a Wild Formosan macaque (aka, rock monkey) eating fruit in the temple garden. We stalked it like we thought we were safari ninja’s and tried our best to get a good shot. It was obviously use to people and didn’t seem bothered by us at all but all the same we kept a little bit of distance. To say we were happy is an understatement.

beach1 beach2 beach5 beach6 There are two tours you can take around Hualien, one is just the gorge and the other is the gorge and the beaches. We added on the extra hour and I’m glad we did. We saw some of the most spectacular views of the beaches. It looks more like French Polynesia than what I expected of Taiwan. We ended the day watching dusk fall over the local beach before getting our train. The aboriginal tribes that still live in the Philippines have put their stamp on this tiny island and the culture feels almost Hawaiian like. We danced to some traditional music on the beach and both agreed this was the best place we’d ever been.

beach4 Our guide summed up our feelings when she told us that every person she meets on these tours ends the day by saying ‘ No one should come to Asia without seeing Taiwan and no one should go to Taiwan without seeing Taroko. ‘ We couldn’t agree more.

Have you been to Taroko? Would you go again? Have you walked the trails? Tell us your thoughts on Hualien or Taiwan itself. We are on the look out for other places to visit in this spectacular country.

5 Reasons to visit Taipei – Taiwan

12th September 2014

taipei Oh Taiwan you sweet mysterious country. The first time I ever even considered Taiwan as a destination was when I arrived in Korea and people were spending their long weekends there. The first thing I heard about it was that it was very similar to Korea so we put a visit on the back burner since we were seeking something a little different for our holidays but the more that people went there and the more they spoke to us about this magical country the more we wanted to go. Since we were in China for the summer we added it onto our trip and were ready to spend 4 days there.

cks7 We arrived into Taipei to brilliant sunshine. It was impossible not to be in a fantastic mood when we walked around the city mainly because the Taiwanese people were incredibly kind. They were smiling, courteous, friendly and patient. People make special queues to get on the subway, they create lines to join escalators and there are signs asking you to text instead of making a phone call if you can while on the underground (but if you do text, please turn the button noises off) …I mean who are these people. It was amazing.

phone This feeling may have been heightened  since we had just come from China but either way it definitely made a difference to our stay. I won’t go into every detail of our trip but I will tell you a little about our favourite elements of the city.

market7 The Night Markets

Taiwanese night markets are everywhere. It’s actually confusing trying to choose which one to go to. There are some great blogs that have reviewed a few such as:

. The Goverment’s Site.

. http://farsicknessblog.com/night-markets-in-taiwan/

. http://hungryintaipei.blogspot.kr/2013/06/night-markettaiwanese-i-still-strongly.html

We were lucky enough to have one near us so we tried that. It was called Nanya Night Market 南雅夜市 and it is a 10 minute walk from Fuzhong MRT Station. Head out of Exit 1.

market3 market4 market5 Although the reviews weren’t fantastic, we loved it. I think there is so much variation in Taipei that people can afford to be choosie. We drank stupidly cheap fruit juice (Hello limes! I’ve missed you while I’ve been in these Korean lands), ate noodles till we popped and Lee showed me his shooting skills on one of the many games arcades.

market market2 shoot The other night market we visited was Shihlin market which is the most famous market in Taipei. It was stupidly busy but that just added to the market feel. We had cheese sticks, spring rolls and the most poignant item to note…cheesy potatoes. A potato covered in sweetcorn, bacon, chicken, other salad and LOTS of cheese. I was in my happy place. Lee and I battled over whack-a-mole (to which Lee won) and he won me a lovely little green Stitch toy, which unfortunately couldn’t fit in our suitcase so it lives on , on a bed somewhere in a Taipei hotel.

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cks cks2 The History

The Taiwanese history is fascinating. The people here have been through so much and they are fighting to stay cordial and hold on to their history and traditions. When China decided to start their communist rule many people left China. In my opinion, the people that left China were free thinkers and artists that didn’t want to be put into a box. This means that Taiwan is full of art on every corner and the people have embraced religion. Taiwanese temples are some of the most intricate, detailed buildings you’ll find. It made me want to become an instant Buddhist. Not just that but their memorials are incredible. cks3 cks4 history The CKS memorial honouring the man that made this country possible blew us away, mainly because I’d never heard about it or seen a photo of it. And why is that? Why is it that this incredible city is unknown? It seems that many countries rightly fear China and want good relations with them so it seems everyone is jumping through hoops to keep China happy. I had never even see the Taiwanese flag before I arrived due to the fact that even in the Olympics this country isn’t allowed to officially compete. They have to carry the Olympic flag. This quiet unassuming country with its kind people touched our hearts and we became kind of Taiwanese fan boys/girls. I now own almost everything with a Taiwanese flag on it. Come to this country now before everyone figures out how great it is.

Taiwan Man!

Taiwan Man!

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The Food

The night markets were our main source of food while we were here but there was a special meal we had that made my belly happy. The restaurant Din Tai Fung is a Michelin star dumpling restaurant in the base of Taipei 101. If you are lucky and turn up at the right time you will only have to wait about 15mins. I’d advice a weekday in-between lunch and dinner. We arrived at 3:30 and we were sat down before we’d seen the menu. When we left an hour later there was a 40 min queue. food1 food3 food4 We ordered way too much but it’s a holiday after all. We learnt the proper way to eat a dumpling which in case you were wondering is put it on your spoon, poke the dumpling and let the broth pour out and then eat your dumpling and suck up the broth. A huge meal cost only about 15 pound which is ludicrous for a Michelin star restaurant. This was just one such instance of great food. There are also countless theme restaurants such as a hospital restaurant, ninja restaurant and a barbie cafe. We headed to Modern Toilet  which is exactly what it sounds like, a toilet themed restaurant. The idea was so absurd that it was worth the trip. The food wasn’t anything to write home about but it made us giggle and if you are in Taipei for a few days its worth popping in. toilet toilet2 toilet3 There was also countless noodles as well as delicious breakfast restaurants. Just basically eat everything and then eat some more.

 

taipei2 The Outskirts of Taipei

A quick train ride away and you will end up on the outskirts of Taipei where you can ride the Maokong Gondola (貓空纜車).

outside The Maokong Gondola travels between Taipei Zoo and Maokong station. Here you can take a cable car up to the top of the mountain and see the tiny traditional villages that are still there or maybe try some traditional tea. My advice for the cable car would be to buy a ticket for the glass bottom cars since they are the exact same price and don’t require queuing. You just arrive at the time you were allocated. You can even use your subway pass to pay for it since it’s counted as a stop.I would advice not to head on the cable car if the weather isn’t great. When we were on the cable car the weather turned and a thunder storm attacked. I had one of those lovely film moments where I turned to a terrified Lee and said ‘At least there isn’t Thunder’ only for the air to shake all around us. Opphs.This was the only portion of our holiday that had rain so we were very lucky but still I wish it hadn’t  been when we were hundreds of meters off the ground in a metal box. When we made it to the top we wandered the hills and stared out at the misty city below us. We didn’t get to try any tea since everyone had run inside to hide from the rain and it was very busy. So after a lovely walk we headed down by taxi.

cks8 night The Nightlife

Now we didn’t get to see much of the nightlife but what we did see was a few choice bars that were really unique. I was determined to head to Ounce, a speak easy cocktail bar in central Taipei, ever since I heard about it from friends. As I may have mentioned before, I’m a sucker for jazz, swing and all things vintage so the idea of an actual speakeasy got me very excited indeed. Unfortunately by the time we finally tracked it down we were very late and had to wait a while for a table. We waited about half hour.

So why is this place worth the wait? Well, to find this bar you will need to first enter the ‘Relax’ coffee shop. Once inside you will have to track down the working button for that evening. This will be hidden on the wall. Once you have put your names down, drank a coffee (or beer) in the café a secret back door will open to reveal a candle lit bar hidden away. Once inside the bar staff will tend to your every need and make specialists cocktails to your exact tastes. A word of warning – this bar is expensive. These cocktails are London prices. But they are delicious (and very alcoholic) Would I advice people to head here? I would if they are cocktail people. I love nothing more than a good cocktail so I appreciated it but if you just want some beers with friends this isn’t the place. My biggest disappointment with the place was that I thought it would be a 1930’s speakeasy. I was expecting jazz music and themed décor but it is more of a hidden bar than a place to Charleston the night away.

cks9 There is so much we loved about this city that it’s hard to list just a few things but it is definitely somewhere everyone should experience. Lee and I got really excited to see the place featured in the film ‘Lucy’ recently and it got us all excited all over again, hense adding it to our Asia tour next year. We will see you soon Taiwan.

GO and GO NOW!

Have you been to Taipei? Did you love it as much as us? What should we do next time we go? How do you find teaching in Taiwan? We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

Taiwan -An Instagram glimpse

17th August 2014

We are in Taiwan! We are in love. At first glimpse this city is just amazing. We have spent the day in Hualian at Taroko gorge. It was incredible. My poor camera has once again taken a beating. It is going to need it’s own vacation after this. We have 2 more days in Taipei and we can’t wait to see more of this polite, bright and delicious city.

 

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We spotted a monkey!!!!!

We spotted a monkey!!!!!

Our To-Do list in China and Taiwan

29th July 2014

IMG_8640 Only 8 days now and we will be winging our way to China! I have all of the Bruce Lee classics as well as Mulan and Kung Pow ready to be watched over the next week just to get me a little bit more excited. Yes, those cultural classics.

We will only be in each location for a few days so I’ve gone into crazy planning mode to make sure we get the most out of our trip. We aren’t ones for packed schedules but we do like to have a few things we know we will see.

So here is our rough list:

China – Beijing

  • The Great Wall – obviously this is on the list and we’ve decided to visit the Mutianyu section of the wall as it promises to be less crowded (there is also a sled ride down the mountain which swayed us slightly) . It’s almost a little daunting to imagine standing on a wall I’ve seen so many times in pictures and movies. I think until we are stood on it and taking silly touristy photos it won’t feel real.
  • The Forbidden City – Again this was always going to be on the list. It’s such an iconic place and it will feel like we’ve stepped into every image of China we’ve seen our whole lives once we are there.
  • Eat Peking duck – Obviously food is a huge part of our holidays and China will definitely not be any different. I have had a soft place in my heart for Chinese food since I can remember and I plan on eating dumplings until I resemble one but this tasty duck is going to be a treat. Get in our bellies.
  • Mongolian Lamb – Although we won’t be in Mongolia we are excited to see the influences from this mysterious country. In Korea you can’t get lamb unless you really hunt it down so we plan on filling up on the stuff while we can.

China – Shanghai

  • The Maglev train – this is something Lee introduced me to. It’s a train that signals the future has arrived. It runs on magnets and is suspended above the air so it doesn’t need a conventional. It displays a technique that could stop air travel all together. If you put a maglev train in a vacuumed tunnel there would be no friction and there for no limit to its speed. Theoretically you could travel around the world in two hours. If we could find a way for our fragile bodies to handle those speeds that is. At the moment it’s just a train between Shanghai airport and the city but it’s a start.
  • Antique markets – I can’t wait to find some interesting objects here from old China and the surrounding countries. Hopefully I may find some vintage clothes shops dotted around too.
  • The Bund – This is the waterfront area that surrounds the Huangpu River. It is meant to be beautiful and provides great views on a lazy day. We are hoping to find a nice spot to sit and sip a lychee martini; after all, we are in China.

Taiwan – Taipei

  • Taipei 101 – I love the views from the tops of high buildings in cities, it always puts the city into perspective. Lee isn’t a huge fan of heights, ironically for a tall man. But he loves the views (if he’s not looking down). It will really feel we have arrived in Taiwan once we are up here.
  • Ounce – A weird edition to the list but this speakeasy bar is right up our street. A small coffee shop with a secret button leading to a 1930’s themed cocktail bar. We will be running there to spend many hours drinking unique cocktails and to dance the night away.
  • Modern Toilet – Part of what excites me about Taiwan is its kookiness. There are many themed restaurants in Taipei and this seems like this is the most bizarre end of the scale. Chocolate poop shaped ice cream served in toilet bowls anyone?
  • Breakfast food – When I’ve been reading about Taiwan, especially on Tom’s fantastic blog found here , the food items that excites me more than most is the Taiwanese breakfast food. I love breakfast. Bacon, pancakes, pastry, eggs…all of it. Taiwan promises lots of different exciting things to try.
  • STREET FOOD! – This goes for the entire trip. We want to eat Szechwan chicken, lamb curries, bacon pancakes, red pork, beggars chicken…all of it. Come on week. Go quicker!

For anyone thinking of traveling to these places please check out these fantastic blogs :

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