Off to Taiwan

Can you say, “dream trip,” boys and girls? Well, I’m leaving tonight to take one of mine.

Ever since I had a brief layover in Taipei (well, technically in the neighboring city of Taoyuan, which is a lot closer to the airport), I’ve been curious about Taiwan, an island country off the southeastern coast of China. It’s full of ornate temples and mountain gorges, hot springs and tea fields, the 2,000-year history of the Hakka tribe and some of the best food to be found in Asia — or possibly anywhere on the planet.

Earlier this year, I was impressed by Taiwan’s vibrant presence at the Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show, which further stoked my desire to see the country; the subsequent post I wrote about the show was read by some folks at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, and well…here I go to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Taiwanese republic.

Never doubt the power of declaring your intentions, and of the internet.

Tonight I’ll fly out of Los Angeles with several other travel and food writers on Eva Air, and will spend the next eight days touring the island’s western edges and interior.

I’ll visit:

Taipei’s famous dumpling house, Din Tai Fung
Restaurants that specialize in everything from beef noodle soup to suncakes
Taipei 101, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world
The Taipei Culinary Exhibition, which will focus on Taiwan’s melting pot of food traditions
Night markets from north to south, including the romantic-sounding Flower Garden Night Market in Tainan
Temples that honor a sea goddess, Confucius and more
The Puli Shaoxing rice wine brewery and museum
Sun Moon Lake, which seems to have the whole clock covered
An assam tea farm in central Nantou County
A tiny village known for its traditional wood carving
The City of Sadness Restaurant

…and a great deal more.

My plan is to start writing about this trip in mid-September, so please stick around for all kinds of Taiwan action.

Back soon with posts on Tanzania’s spectacular Serengeti; Vancouver’s food heaven, the Granville Island Market; an ubër-cool hotel in New York City…and, well, a great deal more!

– Melanie


My food and culture tour of Taiwan is being sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau,
but all opinions and observations about my experiences in the country will be my own.


See also
2011 Los Angeles Times Travel & Adventure Show
Adventures in Layover Land: Taipei
TWT Travel Binder: Taiwan


  1. Jealous! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  2. “The City of Sadness Restaurant?” Either that’s an unbearably horrible translation or there’s a story there I need to hear more about.

  3. I just saw your Dazzling Cafe photos. The desserts look amazing– almost too beautiful to eat! Emphasis on the almost. Hope they were tasty and you are having a good time!

  4. Wow, sounds like a fun trip! Looking forward to reading your posts in September.

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