Taiwan is the first stop to kick off my month long Asia trip. It is my second times visiting Taiwan after 20 years. My first visit was a very short business trip and stayed for two days only vs I planned for a seven days trip to experience the Taiwanese life and culture this time. Travelling light is good, so I take along the X-T1 with the 14mm, 23mm and 50-140mm lenses only.

Lit up like the pinball machines and full of carnival atmosphere, the night markets of Taiwan are the brightest lights in town after the sun goes down. Night markets are one of the attractions you must visit in order to experiencing the Taiwanese life. Every city in Taiwan has a number of night markets. You can buy anything, from clothing to toys, and the main attraction is food. Fulfilling the need for both food and entertainment, the markets bring happy crowds almost every night of the week to gorge on a bewildering array of snacks and dishes.

Taipei 101, a financial centre skyscraper with the Taipei 101 Mall at its base and quality restaurants and cafes with breath breaking views on the higher floors. Soaring 101 stories and for a time the world’s highest building, this is a wonder of engineering that offers tremendous view from its observation decks that located on floors 89 to 91. I decided to save it for my next visit due to the long lineup for the observation decks.

The members of the Taiwanese honour guards stand motionless at the The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Formed by the collision of two major tectonic plates, Taiwan’s surface has plenty of cracks and fissures and the abundance of spring sources is hard to match anywhere else in the world. The people of Taiwan have a passion for hot springs and believing the mineral water do wonders for the body and the scenic settings do wonders for the spirit. There are over 100 hot spring locations in the country. I spent two days at Jiaoxi Township that is famous for its hot springs.

Taipei city is home to an impressively diverse coffee scene, it wasn’t the case 10 years ago. Within a couple kilometers radius, you can taste American style latte, Italian double espresso or Norwegian style Aeropress. All in cafes where people talk as much about single origins and roasting as in parts of Brooklyn or San Francisco.

18:30, Feb 1, 2016, Monday, sipping my coffee at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about to fly out to Hong Kong — super excited to see all my friends and families.

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