Musings on Taiwan

6 08 2007

When I was growing up, there was almost no information on Taiwan in English in the public domain.  The only way for me to find anything about Taiwan was through family or from visiting the country.  The information in English that did exist was minimal in reference books.  In fact, there were not a lot of text books on Asian history in general outside of college-level history.  It wasn’t until high school that we had a one month section on Asian history.  Needless to say, the part about Taiwan took about 2 minutes.  I know that a lot of this lack of information is because I can’t read Chinese, though.  Even when I was a kid, my parents had a subscription to the World Journal, a Taiwanese American newspaper.  My Chinese has gotten a little bit better though, since I took some classes in college.  Anyway, I digress.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that the internet really exploded in terms of information on Taiwan.  Not only have Taiwan’s government and tourism boards stepped up their web presence, but the advent of personal blogs has significantly enriched the volume of information out there on people’s experiences on the island.  There are even pictures of the tiny town next to my grandparents’ plantation in the middle of nowhere!  Since discovering these Taiwan English blogs, I have eagerly read them almost every day.  Below I have listed some Taiwan blogs that I read that are helpful for anyone planning a trip to Taiwan.  Most of the blogs are written by English teachers in Taiwan, which makes up a significant portion of the English speaking community on the island.

The View From Taiwan, by Michael Turton.  This is the best Taiwan blog, hands down.  It is written by an American professor who has lived in Taiwan for years and years, and has a great mix of every day Taiwan life, interesting observations, and most of all, great large pics of Taiwan.  I especially enjoy the huge pics of Taiwanese food he puts up.  He also is a close observer of the crazy political machinations of the KMT and DPP political parties.  Michael also has a separate page about Teaching English in Taiwan/Life in Taiwan. 

The Daily Bubble Tea, by Todd Alperovitz.  Todd has a great photo blog that chronicles his travels around Taiwan.  Be sure to click on the Travel Taiwan page.  The blog is also conveniently categorized by travel location.

What’s Up in Taiwan was a great podcast that featured interviews of people living in and visiting Taiwan.  Although they have stopped producing podcasts, you can still listen to their past interviews on their web page.

Isla Formosa is a funny blog that makes fun of some of the quirks of living in Taiwan.

The Taiwan Chronicles, by Holly.  Holly blogs about daily life as a teacher in Taiwan.  I really enjoy reading her blog, and she posts nice pictures too.

There are a bunch of other Taiwan blogs that I read, but these are the ones I recommend for anyone wanting to travel to Taiwan or just learn about Taiwan in general.

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One response

7 08 2007
Todd Alperovitz

Thanks for the mention! I’m always a little surprised when I makes lists like this… I recently added the travel section as a means of consolidating all those old posts… in the future I would like to add information as to getting to all those places I talked about… something that I overlooked in just about all of my old posts…

Anyways, enjoy Taiwan!

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