Taiwan earthquake

Beyond broadening the mind, travel has a remarkable ability to forge profound connections to distant places. Through firsthand experience, you can cultivate a deeper sense of empathy and compassion towards the people and cultures encountered along the way. Before my visit to Taiwan, I admittedly knew little about the island. And if it had remained … Continue reading Taiwan earthquake

East Asia itinerary

My trip to East Asia lasted three months. In the region, I travelled about 15,000km. It started in Tokyo from where I went to Kyoto and Hiroshima. Taiwan was next and it was a very pleasant surprise. I had little knowledge of the country and zero expectations. I visited Taipei, Taichung, Chiayi, Fenqihu, Alishan, Kaohsiung, … Continue reading / view photos East Asia itinerary

Jackwell Cafe and Guang Hua Digital Plaza

Kerry, #AccordianKerry on Instagram, was the person who befriended lots of people at the Taipei hostel and brought them together. She knew everyone’s story. Formerly a teacher in Canada, Kerry had sold her house and now travelled around, busking where she could. She was in Taipei to see her sons, who lived here. When I … Continue reading / view photos Jackwell Cafe and Guang Hua Digital Plaza

Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen

When I first arrived in Taipei, I came across a day tour to three popular places just outside Taipei. Normally, I make my own way to places I want to visit because quite often you come across other interesting places on the way. However, seeing these three places would require more than one day trip. … Continue reading / view photos Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen and Shifen

Art and stinky tofu

On another supposedly quiet day, I went to the Fine Arts Museum. It was only whilst writing this post that I saw the museum’s resemblance to the shipping container Starbucks I went to in Hualien a few days ago. The highlight for me was a retrospective of RenĂ© Burri’s work and life. The name rang … Continue reading / view photos Art and stinky tofu

A wooden library in Beitou

On my second day back in Taipei, I took the train to Beitou. Beitou is at the northern end of Taipei and is famous for its hot springs. It still has a Japanese feel to it even though Japan handed over Taiwan to China in 1945. I went to Beitou to chillout at the wooden … Continue reading / view photos A wooden library in Beitou

Return to Taipei

I returned to Taipei after my stay in Hualien. My circumnavigation of Taiwan was complete. I’d initially wondered what I would do for three and a half weeks. Now I realised I needed much more time to see this beautiful country. It repeatedly surprised me. My plan was to take it easy in Taipei, to … Continue reading / view photos Return to Taipei

Coffee and books

I took it easy on my last day in Hualien. I went to Starbucks. But not an ordinary Starbucks. It was built from recycled shipping containers and designed by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. Afterwards, I went to the central library. It had themed reading areas (e.g., a Japanese area had tatami mats and you sat … Continue reading / view photos Coffee and books

Taroko Gorge

I bought a two-day bus pass at the central bus station, which was next to the train station. The staff at the station were helpful. I decided, on the bus journey, that I would take the bus to the terminus, which was the highest point in the gorge the bus reached. This would give me, … Continue reading / view photos Taroko Gorge


The fast train journey from Chishang to Hualien is about an hour. The main reason people come to Hualien, on the east coast of Taiwan, is to visit Taroko Gorge. It’s a stunning, dramatic, product of nature and testament to what slight changes over millions of years can produce. When I got to my hostel, … Continue reading / view photos Hualien