Warsaw Day 1: Picturesque Old Town

Note: All pictures are mine unless otherwise stated                                                                               Disclaimer: I’m not commissioned by any businesses or services below

I apologize for the lack of blog posts for the past month. I have been busy traveling and dealing with school. After working full-time over summer break, the day I had long been waiting for had finally arrived – the day for me to depart Chicago and to start my journey in Europe. Moving out from my apartment was a pain, the monthly storage price for all my stuff was passable. Nonetheless, 8 hours later, I landed in Warsaw, Poland. First stop right out of the airport was Old Town of Warsaw, not that I particularly wanted to see the neighborhood right away, but because I was starving. After some delicious pierogies, I walked around Old Town to check it out.

Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

Old Town, Warsaw, Poland

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Breakfast Culture In Taiwan

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You have heard a lot about how good the Taiwanese street food are. Breakfast as known as the most important meal of the day takes a special place in a Taiwanese’s daily life. There are restaurants in Taiwan specifically just for breakfast; they are called Zao Can Dian, or Breakfast store selling either Taiwanese or “Western” breakfast. A Taiwanese’s daily life can be very busy, so it becomes a habit for people just to get breakfast outside and then start the day.

What one of thousands of breakfast restaurants in Taiwan looks like

What one of thousands of breakfast restaurants in Taiwan looks like

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Taiwan: Xitou Monster Village in Nantou, Taiwan

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Xitou Monster Village is an interesting Japanese style village located in Nantou, Taiwan. This kooky Japanese style attraction is one of the hottest tourism spots in Nantou, attracting more than 200,000 visitors a month. My fear turned into pure glee when I realized Xitou Monster Village wasn’t a scary or haunted place. The village is full of playful monster statues. Xitou Monster Village can be said as a Japanese monsters themed village.

Xitou Monster Village in Nantou, Taiwan

Xitou Monster Village in Nantou, Taiwan

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Taiwan: Sihcao Green Tunnel & Qigu Salt Mountain in Tainan

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Sihcao Green Tunnel is a part of Sihcao Wetland which is located within the Taijiang National Park in Tainan, Taiwan. The Sihcao Wetland area used to be salt farms for more than 200 years. With this history, the natural Sihcao Green Tunnel was used as a salt canal to transport salt products from the drying field back to storages. Today, Sihcao Green Tunnel is a popular attraction features educational raft tours around the Green Tunnel. Taijiang National Park is a conservation area for endangered birds; the park has the most diverse plants and animals in the entire Taiwan!

Sihcao Green Tunnel in Tainan, Taiwan

Sihcao Green Tunnel in Tainan, Taiwan

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Taiwan: Taroko Gorge in Hualien

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Taroko Gorge, an impressive 19 KM long canyon, has long been Taiwan’s top destination. Suited in Taroko National Park, which is named after the landmark gorge, Taroko Gorge is carved by the Liwu River. Taroko Gorge is most famous for its natural marble landscape.

Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge

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Taiwan: Jiufen Real Life Spirited Away

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Jiufen is a village sits on the mountain at the northeast side of Taipei, Taiwan. The name Jiufen in Chinese means “Nine Portions”, which comes from back in time when this village was inhabited by nine families, so every time the goods brought back from the market were divided into nine portions. Jiufen was a gold mining town from the late 1800s well into 1970s. I have to make a statement here, although Jiufen resembles the town in Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away a lot, however, contrary to popular beliefs which you see everywhere on the internet, Jiufen did not inspire Miyazaki for his Spirited Away. Miyazaki said it himself in an interview. The streets of Jiufen are filled with restaurants, eateries, hawkers, stores selling unique retail merchandises, and what Jiufen is known for, tea houses.

Jiufen (Photo courtesy of travelandescape.ca)

Jiufen (Photo courtesy of travelandescape.ca)

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Taiwan: Shifen Waterfall & Pingxi Sky Lantern

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Shifen and Pingxi are two historical small towns located in eastern Taipei in the mountains. Both towns are only an hour drive away from Taipei, making them a great day trip. Shifen is best known for the waterfall, Shifen Waterfall. Shifen Waterfall is perhaps the most visited waterfall in Taiwan. Nicknamed Niagara of Taiwan, Shifen Waterfall is 20m high by 40m wide, making it the broadest waterfall in Taiwan.

Shifen Waterfall

Shifen Waterfall

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