Five destinations I’d like to revisit

Some travellers like to check places off a list and never return. I actually love returning to places that I've been before: it's interesting to see what has changed, to compare it to my memories, to catch up with people I met there. I also love visiting brand new places, of course - that's how … [Read more...]

Taipei and the case of the false ceiling

When people who haven't travelled much ask me about my travel experiences, for some reason they often expect me to have terrible tales of missed flights, lost luggage, pickpockets, stolen cameras, nights out in the rain and who knows what else. The simple fact is that travel is mostly safe, most of … [Read more...]

Happy 100th birthday, Taiwan

One of my former Taiwanese students (thanks David!) alerted me to the fact that yesterday was the 100th birthday of Taiwan (aka the Republic of China). I don't want to get all controversial about whether or not Taiwan is a country in its own right, but surely nobody will argue with me that it is … [Read more...]

Passport pirouette: Taiwan lets me in without a visa

I don't believe I've ever been to China, but my passport says I have. Yep, I spent six days in Taiwan and of course, the passport stamps say R.O.C. - Republic of China, the official Chinese name for Taiwan. I've been mentioning the Taiwan/China thing for a few years now - right back to when China … [Read more...]

Made in Taiwan, seen in Taiwan

While I was living in Japan, I was keen to visit nearby countries, and none more so than Taiwan. Why? That's easy - it's because when I was a kid, pretty much everything I owned had a label saying Made in Taiwan. It's only natural that as an adult, I'd still have the curiosity to go visit the place … [Read more...]

Picture pirouette: A cat and its portrait, Hualien, Taiwan

During the week I caught up with a lovely Taiwanese ex-student of mine (hi Maggie!) and this meeting sent me reminiscing back to my folder of photos from a brief visit to Taiwan. Although most of the time was spent in the bustle of Taipei, eating fantastic Taiwan-style Chinese food, I also spent a … [Read more...]

Hide your Lonely Planet China guide

An entry in the "is China OK?" files ... The Age reported that travellers have had their Lonely Planet Guidebooks confiscated on entry to China. The problem is they breach Chinese law by making it appear that Taiwan and China are separate countries.I checked my 2002 8th edition LP for China and sure … [Read more...]