Smell That? The Taste of Lunar New Year on its Way!

It's that time of the Lunar New Year again! Have you been summoned to help on New Year's shopping?

Speaking of New Year Essentials, it's gotta be the DiHua Street of Taipei's Dadaocheng business district.
Dadaocheng's trading activity started around the end of Qing dynasty to the early stage of Japanese Occupation, mainly focusing on North&South groceries and teas. After 1945, the street becomes the wholesaler center for Groceries, Chinese Medicine, and Textiles. Most of the buildings still have their traditional looks, not only recording the history of Taipei but also Taiwan's history of international trading and business development. Now Dadaocheng has integrated the traditional structure and it's culturally creative content, the area has attracted a new crowd of tourist coming for its historic and archaic vibe. Not to mention the craziness of families doing New Year's Shopping around the Lunar New Year week. Barely any room to even turn your shoulders, DiHua Street's crowd of people and the different dried goods sold in the store can definitely represent something unique of Taipei.

迪化街 春聯

Whether you're a prepared buyer with lists and deals ready, or a demo person that's hopping in at the right time, or even just a tourist stopping by to experience the Lunar New Year feel, DiHua Street has something for everyone. Rows after rows of cooked food and dried goods ready to lure you, store shouting out sale and bargaining on this side, countless signature items and tastings, all of these asking you the customer to stop and pay with every dime you've got in the wallet. In my honest opinion, it's going to take some effort for you and your wallet to survive DiHua Street during the Festival and New Year times.

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Traveling in Taiwan: Taxis

Last Updated: 201601

這計程車也太亮了吧

Backpackers will usually choose public transportations such as metros or buses when it comes to traveling abroad due to the budget issue. But if you are more of a night owl or traveling a more remote area, then you might still run into the situation of riding a taxi. So we're going to introduce in this article the rates of taxis and things to watch out for in Taiwan.
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A Match Made in Heaven: Yue Lao in Taipei

Relationships and marriage tends to be something that Asian people look to the deities for a definite answer. Even though the younger generations have successfully gained their freedom on choosing partners, the deities and the praying process is still considered as a boost to your luck in love.

133/365  Cupid
Who said the love of god has to be a baby half naked? Image by martinak15. CC:BY-SA

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7-Eleven and FamilyMart Wifi Sign-Up Tutorial

In our last article, we've introduced Taiwan's Free WiFis. Unfortunately, both the FamilyMart and 7-Eleven's Wifi Registration page doesn't provide an English version. Therefore we've written this article in the hopes of helping out our friends that doesn't read Mandarin to enjoy such an awesome free service. This ultimate guide will ensure you're able to signup without knowing Mandarin.

7-Eleven ibon-WiFi

Step 1: Connect to the ibon-WiFi on your device then it will be automatically transfer to the Login/Register page. First time users please click the register button.
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Traveling in Taiwan: MRT Metro

Last Updated: 201601

For tourists, subways are probably the most reliable and convenient tools to ride within Taipei and Kaosiung two major urban area. Taiwanese people categorize the public transportation by TRA, THSR, and other rail systems that move within the city area is commonly called MRT (Metro Rapid Transit).

Kaohsiung Metro Formosa Boulevard StationKaohsiung Metro Formosa Boulevard Station Dome of Light。Photo by Chi-Hung Lin, CC: BY-SA

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Traveling in Taiwan: Car Rentals

Last Updated: 201601

photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli
photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Taipei is commonly recognized as the capital and the place to go for foreign travelers due to its convenient public transportation system and population density. However, for the adventurous spirit and advanced backpackers, the rest of the island is actually not as hard as imagined to be reached. Taiwan’s Highway system is rather complete and sophisticated, almost any sights and parks can be reached through the road system. With the added benefits of acceptable gasoline prices and well maintained surface, driving could be a good alternative when planning your travel to this beautiful island.

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Backpacker's Tool Pack: Customized Off-Line Map

On the rare occasion you've found out that you have a good length vacation, when thinking about flying out of the country for a quick escape
What would you do next?

Some people visit travel forums such as Tripadvisor for inspirations; some people use keywords to google travel journeys; others refer to the itinerary of the travel agents. All of this work and channels are for the first and foremost important step of traveling: choosing a destination.
As for me who's busy but always bored enough to think about where I'd go on the next trip, of course there's a bucket list ready for different types of vacations I get at work. Then? It's off to plan a virtual map of my travel itinerary!

Therefore, this article will mainly be about me sharing some of my favorite map tools when planning a backpacking get away. It's my effort of initiation for our readers to join the discussion and share their favorite tools and tips. We also hope other map creating fans can share their tips. The items introduced below will be in the trip planning order and the time where you'd use it.
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Beitou: The Gem of Taipei Beyond Hot Springs

Beitou is right on the border between the city limit and the suburban area of Tamsui for those who’ve already had experiences traveling in Taipei. With various hot spring hotels and a convenient access through Taipei Metro, Beitou has quickly becomes the new go-to place for those looking to explore the nature without the hassle of driving or taking long distance shuttle bus. But, did you ever know that Beitou has its own history of being occupied by many different groups of people? 

We’re going to tour you some spots of Beitou with important traces of history marks left on them, and things to do other than your regular itinerary of hot spring and food.

Sunny day in Beitou Hot Springs #taiwan #latergram #travelphotography

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