A Photo Essay of Thai Street Markets

When you're visiting a Thai street market (especially the Damnoen Saduak floating market, which you'll find about 100 miles south of Bangkok), leave your notebook at home. It's a camera and a nose you'll want to bring with you on this trip. Enjoy this photo essay of some of my favorite shots from our trip to Damnoen Saduak, which is, of course, … [Read more...]

Life Lessons at Wat Po Monastery

I did something forbidden today simply because I’m clumsy. Ask anyone who knows me (Ryan, my fiancé, could certainly attest to this): come near me and I’m bound to bump into you. It’s like I have some sort of people-radar (or wall-radar, or door-radar, or anything-else-radar). If I’m walking next to, toward, behind, or in front of something, I will … [Read more...]

The Seeing-Eye Girl Sees Bangkok for the First Time

I am doing something I know I should feel shameful about, but I'm not sure how to remedy it. This has been happening a lot, actually, since I started reading critically about the practice of travel writing. So what am I doing that seems so shameful? Well, I'm merely looking outside the window of my hotel at the beautiful, haunting Chao Phraya … [Read more...]

Finance Lessons and Taiwanese Dollars

While I’m more or less getting used to the conversion between the New Taiwanese Dollar and the U.S. dollar, I do have my moments. One moment was this morning. Generally, the standard conversion rate is 1 USD to every 32 New Taiwanese Dollar. Therefore, something that should cost one dollar—a bottle of water, a bowl of noodles, something from a … [Read more...]

The Emperors Are a Strange Breed, Indeed

I have recently come to the conclusion that a prerequisite to being an emperor in China is that you must have a weird quirk. The type of quirk is quite open for interpretation, but there must be something that makes you odd, unusual, and at least a little bit eccentric. Otherwise, and I say this very seriously, you will not be fit to run one of the … [Read more...]

Xiao Liuqiu and a Seafood Medley

If you ever find yourself traveling in rural Taiwan, you might want to bring someone who can tell you what you're eating. Let me clarify: if you ever find yourself on the lovely little tropical island of Xiao Liuqiu (off the coast of Donngang), and you'd like to know what you're eating, you'll NEED to bring someone who can tell you what you're … [Read more...]

The Mona Lisa of the East

As our English-speaking tour guide at the National Palace Museum, a nice docent who introduced herself as Rosalyn, walked our motley crew of 12 I-have-no-idea-how-to-read-Chinese tourists up three flights of stairs, she warned us that the lines to the museum's most prized possession could be long, so if we could please cultivate a sense of … [Read more...]

Learning Mandarin…And A Slip of the Tongue

I have just discovered, after a full day of being so proud of myself for jumping in and attempting to speak Chinese from the very first moment I arrived in Taiwan, that I have actually been telling everyone I meet, everywhere, that I have to urinate. You can imagine my mortification, especially since I didn't realize this until I'd already … [Read more...]

Planning a Trip to Taiwan: Tips From the Girl Who Hasn’t Been There Yet

Starting tomorrow, I will be in Taiwan for one week on a special FAM trip. I am being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and will be traveling, blogging, and writing about my experiences in an effort to promote Taiwan to twenty-and-thirty-something travelers who are less familiar with Taiwan and its culture, cuisine, landscape, and outdoor … [Read more...]