Things to do in Taiwan (Part 2)

In this post, I’ll describe some of my favorite places to visit in Taiwan. All of these places are accessible by public transportation but if you are short on time, cabs are fairly cheap in Taiwan.

In Taipei:

Longshan Temple – Buddhism is the common religion in Taiwan and you will see multiple altars in stores as well as small temples in houses as you walk along the street but the biggest temple in Taipei is Longshan Temple. It’s an interesting place to visit and easily accessible on the MRT (Longshan Station). There are lots of vendors outside offering packages of offerings (usually incense, candles, and fruits). The temple is huge and intricate and always full of people (at any given time many people will be praying at the large offering table in the center or at the many small incense pots). I love just hanging out here and people-watching. One fun thing is that in the MRT station you can also get your fortune told by fortunetellers who use birds as their guides.

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Food in Taiwan (Part 1)

I was reading the NYTimes and there was an article highlighting the virtues of Taipei. It definitely made me remember the many awesome adventures I had in Taiwan while visiting my family there. Taiwan has some of the most amazing food I’ve ever tasted as well as beautiful and extremely varied landscapes. Plus, the transportation system is very well-developed so you can basically get around without a car (though I recommend renting a motor scooter for a few hours, just to see how fun it is to ride one). In this post, I’ll highlight some of my favorite things to eat (things to do will be in the next post).

Taiwan has the coolest fruits; be sure to go to a fruit and vegetable market and try all of the foreign looking fruits. Taiwanese guava usually has white flesh and is very crunchy and refreshing. I love the lian wu, which looks like a waxy red pear, and tastes crisp and sweet. Starfruit is a juicy, yellow fruit that looks like a star when you cut it. Somehow my parents always cut off the edges of each fin but I don’t know if you have to do that. Also get some asian pears, which have a similar texture to Bosc pears. The flesh is crunchy and very sweet.

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