All posts by schen

Top 5 things to do in Taipei

Taipei is not really visited by tourists – more popular Asian cities such as Bangkok and Hong Kong are picked over the capital of the sweet-potato-shaped island of Taiwan. However, if you do find yourself in Taipei, here are 5 things you should do.

5 things to do in Taipei

1. Night markets

Taiwan has fantastic food – it is a mixture of influences from southern Mainland China, Japan, Beijing, Sichuan, Hunan and Shanghai and Guangdong (among others) and there’s no better place to try it out – cheaply – than at a night market. Some night markets sell clothes and souvenirs, but there are food-dedicated ones, like Shilin, that offer all of Taiwan’s culinary influences in bite-sized morsels.

Where: Shilin Night Market, Shilin – take the MRT to Shilin

2. Karaoke

Karaoke is one of Taiwan’s biggest hobbies. Unlike in the West, lots of Taiwanese people enjoy doing karaoke stone-cold sober.

Where: Party World, Ximending – take the MRT to Ximen station
The red light district of Taipei is in Wan-Hua District

3. Taipei 101

Once the tallest building in the world, the Taipei 101 offers some pretty vertigo-inducing views from its top floor.

Side note: There’s a great food court at the bottom of the building, where you’ll find Jason’s, an upmarket grocery store that sells, among other exotic products, rooibos tea.

Where: Xinyi District – take the MRT to Taipei City Hall Station

4. Themed restaurants

The themed restaurants in Taipei include an airplane, hospital (where alcoholic shots come in syringes), and a Hello Kitty palace.

Where: Modern Toilet, Xi-Ning South Road, Ximending – take the MRT to Ximen Station

5. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

The hall has become a landmark of the city, with its grand, imposing architecture and historic symbolism (Chiang Kai-shek was the former president of Taiwan). There are often performances taking place in the square by artists and musicians, and groups of teenagers practising their choreographed dance moves. In the landscaped gardens, tai chi and kung fu lessons take place.

Where: Zhongzheng District – take the MRT to CKS Memorial Hall Station and take exit 5 out of the station

Photo credit: taiwan.net.tw, lonelyplanet.com/taiwan

 

Why Japan is awesome and you have to see yourself

1. Japanese Culture

Japan is well known for its politeness and good manners. Not only that, but Japanese culture also include efficiency. Japan is a busy country but is well organised. I was already impressed with the work efficiency at the immigration gate at Narita International Airport.

2. Japanese Foods

Do I need to say any more on Japanese food?

3. Japan is a super clean country

The Japanese take hygiene seriously. You will hardly see any rubbish on the roadsides – even the trains are clean!! In Japan, not only they are clean, everything is in perfect order and neat as well – well trimmed trees, for example.

4. Ancient Buddhist Temples and Shinto Shrines

Beautiful ancient Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan is one good reason that you should visit and see them yourself. Shrines which are located up the mountains will not disappoint in term of beautiful scenery. The Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, Shrines and Temples of Nikkō and Buddhist Monuments in the Hōryū-ji Area are also awarded as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

5. Japanese Anime and Cosplay

No matter where you are, you must have read, watched, or at least heard of soe Japanese animation. Wouldn’t you be curious to see all these characters walking around the streets?

Photo credit: us.jnto.go.jp, japan-guide.com

Never miss it!3 big questions for The 2017 Formula One

It’s the start of a new year and in F1 factories across the world preparations are well underway for the coming season – a season that will bring with it the biggest technical changes in three years. To whet your appetite, we’ve compiled a list of 3 of the most intriguing storylines heading into the new F1 campaign…

1. Will other teams come to the fore under the new regulations?

 

With wider tyres and significantly revised bodywork, F1 cars will look and behave very differently in 2017. The first indication of how things will play out will come in testing, which gets underway in Barcelona at the end of February.

2. how much faster will F1 racing be in 2017?

How much will we see lap times drop by in 2017? The initial idea of the wider tyres and revised aero was to make the cars three-to-five seconds per lap faster, which in turn would make them more challenging to drive. But given the fact that many teams are expecting rapid development throughout the season, could we see even bigger performance gains? One thing’s for sure, the drivers won’t be complaining. “Higher corner speeds are always nice,” said Valtteri Bottas after sampling Williams’ 2017 car in the simulator.

3. Which version of Ferrari will we see in 2017?

In 2015, Ferrari were a growing force, with Sebastian Vettel winning three races and proving a constant thorn in Mercedes’ side. But when a 2016 title challenge failed to materialise, the Prancing Horse seemed to lose its way, with the departure of tech chief James Allison symptomatic of apparent behind-the-scenes instability. The big question now is which Ferrari we’ll see in 2017 – one that has regrouped and regalvanised over the winter and can fight for Grand Prix victories and the title, or the somewhat blunt version we saw in 2016. What’s certain is that another winless season will not be tolerated.

Photo Credit: Formula1.com