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.

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Picturing Japan

Many years ago, when our friends Shawn and Laura saw their friend’s photos from a trip to Japan, they became curious about the country; by the time they saw the 2003 movie Lost in Translation, set in a moody, glittering version of Tokyo, they were hooked.

A Los Angeles-based movie trailer editor and real estate agent respectively, the couple works almost constantly. It took a few years to carve out the time and money, but in late May 2009, they were finally able to put aside 10 days to celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary with their own trip to Japan:

6 nights in Tokyo, 3 nights in Kyoto and 1 (amazing) night in Koyasan.

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Adventures in Layover Land: Taipei

Photo by Alex Lin

Photo by Alex Lin

Enroute to Bali, our China Airlines journey required two flights and an overnight in (well, near, anyway) Taipei, Taiwan.

By the time we’d flown 13 hours from LAX, picked up our baggage and cleared customs at Taoyuan Airport, it was 9 pm. Sure, we were exhausted, but still hungry to explore a (tiny) slice of this (huge) neon-filled city.

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TWT Travel Binder: China

For us, China is a series of colorful, dissolving images:
The Great Wall, chalky mountains like castle towers,
endless feasts, ancient fishing boats, lacquered scrollwork,
enormous golden buddhas and of course, panda bears.

Here are some resources to help you plan your own “travels with two” to China.

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TWT Travel Binder: Taiwan

Here are some resources to help you plan your own “travels with two” to Taiwan.

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