A trip to Taiwan can mean many things: personally visiting some of its 368 districts and townships, tasting local specialties, uploading photos to Instagram and Facebook…. Regardless of how you plan your visit, you will certainly want physical reminders of the scenes and scenery you experience, souvenirs that embody something of Taiwan’s character and can be shared with friends.
Cycling through the Chianan Plain along Taiwan’s oldest highway—Provincial Highway 1—the places we pass are bastions of prosperity pioneered by our forebears: irrigation reservoirs, cattle markets, bustling districts around train stations…. This journey follows the central artery through the area known as “Taiwan’s granary,” the main source of food for this island. As our bicycles cross geographical latitudes, we also encounter stories from across the years.
When foreigners travel in Taiwan, they experience the island with fresh and different perspectives. In so doing they remind locals of what is beautiful about this land and its people. Here we invite two foreign nationals who are Taiwan travel experts to share their experiences of “Taiwan-style hospitality.”
Good things spring from altruistic deeds. Kuo Su-jen, chairwoman of both Rich Development Co. and the Kuo Mu Sheng Foundation, has devoted herself passionately to the renovation of old houses, in order to renew their faded splendor.
Majestic natural landscapes and deep human warmth are typical features of Taiwan, but its cuisine is not to be missed either. In fact, we are overwhelmed in deciding what to offer our guests! This is because on this small island, from north to south, from west to east, from Hokkien to Hakka, from indigenous peoples to immigrants, from the great regional culinary traditions to backstreet eateries, the food will make you want to linger.
We all know how superhero movies work: Superman, Spider-Man, Thor and the rest use their superpowers to fly through the air or bore through the earth to rescue ordinary mortals. But superheroes don’t exist. In the real world, the day-to-day efforts of regular joes—utility maintenance workers, trash collectors, high-rise window cleaners, and others—are what keep the “plot” moving. Their diligent execution of their duties keeps the world running.
When it comes to service, the British emphasize elegance, while the Japanese focus on meticulousness, but both tend to generate a sense of aloofness. But in Taiwan, this little Pacific island off the coast of East Asia, friendliness does not need to be “unzipped,” and personable hospitality is in endless supply. This is what makes visitors into regulars, eager to come back over and over. So how does one get to feel this hospitality for oneself? Come stay a night in Taiwan!
By encouraging consumption and continually increasing production, the fashion industry has reached a new peak in its historical development. But this has given rise to a many environmental problems.
Now in its seventh year, the Overseas Art Travel Program sponsored by Taiwan’s National Culture and Arts Foundation (NCAF) functions as a pivotal promoter that helps budding artists realize their dreams. Temporarily immersed within an alien social milieu, funded artists free themselves of inhibited thinking, and emerge freshly energized.
In this age of excessive materialism, we tend to prefer new to old and quickly dispose of anything used. We’ve traveled this path for so long that we’ve stuffed Nature’s gullet with trash. With the natural world now rebelling at last, humanity is slowly awakening to the problem. We have been far too comfortable with the production-consumption cycle, with simply throwing away anything “old.” But can we change our attitudes? What if waste weren’t simply waste?