The Politics of “Chinese Taipei”

Firstly, “Chinese Taipei”=Taiwan. The title “Chinese Taipei” appears at international sporting events, conferences, and beauty pageants, carried largely by Mandarin-speakers of Chinese descent from the island of Taiwan. It was designed by the People’s Republic of China (mainland China) to deliberately cause confusion in its continued efforts to maintain international belief that Taiwan is a […]

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The Market Built on an Active Railroad in Bangkok

The Maeklong Railway Market is a rather unique attraction in that multiple trains pass through the center of the busy market every day. What is probably the most surprising part about the market is that the shops and vendors aren’t set up around it rather than right on the railway tracks. When there is no train passing through, […]

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Amphawa Floating Market and a Sunset Firefly Cruise

The Amphawa Floating Market is a series of shops, bridges, and walkways along the Amphawa Canal and is the second largest floating market in Bankok, located some 50 km outside of the city. As opposed to the touristy Damnoen Saduak, Amphawa draws mostly local visitors. I boarded an organized minivan tour on Khaosan Street that […]

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Visits To Balinese Temples

Balinese Hinduism is a form of Hinduism practiced by the majority of people in Bali and religious events are often observed in Balinese temples known as Puras. Temples of varying sizes can be found around the island, thus earning it the nickname “The Island of a Thousand Puras.” One thing to note when visiting Balinese […]

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Kopi Luwak Coffee AKA Cat Poop Coffee

I had heard stories before that the supposed best coffee in the world is made out of coffee beans eaten and then pooped out by a weasel/cat-like creature. I immediately wrinkled and nose and said there was no way I was drinking anything derived from poop no matter how good it’s claimed to taste. However, […]

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A Tiny Kitten At Tegalalang Rice Terrace

It’s hard to picture Bali without thinking about its characteristic rice terraces. Of the numerous rice terraces on the island, the one at Tegalalang Village between Ubud and Kintamani is most well-known. I stopped by the Tegalalang Rice Terrance as the first stop on a day tour provided by one of the many private drivers on the […]

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My (Sketchy) First Attempt At Scuba-Diving

Looking back, my first experience scuba-diving was in no way safe and in no way followed standard diving safety protocols. I don’t recommend anyone do this although I’m not one to talk since I actually partook. YOLO I guess? I found a small shop that offers scuba diving in Kuta and decided to give it […]

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A Bike Ride Around Bali

My stay at the Kamandalu Ubud came with a local guided bike tour. I was met at the hotel by a local guide then led around the local villages around Ubud and shown the birds, rice paddies, and temples that are characteristic of all of Bali. To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a whole […]

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Kamandalu Ubud AKA Paradise On Earth

I had the great pleasure of staying at the Kamandalu Ubud for 5 nights during my vacation in Bali and cannot say enough good things about this place. I had found a vacation package on Luxury Link, a website dedicated to helping hotels fill rooms during off-season. As a result, dates are rather particular but […]

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The National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum is a museum of antiques from the Forbidden City nestled in the lush forests of Shilin District in Taipei. The museum was first established in 1925 at the Forbidden City after the expulsion of the last emperor of China and consists of valuable items from the Chinese imperial family. A large portion […]

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Tienanmen Square and The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

I visited the infamous Tienanmen Square, located next to the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and the Forbidden City on a smoggy and chilly December day in 2009. Beijing has its own version the guards at Buckingham Palace: soldiers standing perfectly still on roped-off or glass-encased platforms in windy -20 degree Celsius weather. Freezing to death […]

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Views From The Forbidden City

It was a cold, cold December day in 2009 when I visited the vast Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is located adjacent to Tienanmen Square and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. Built in the early 1400s, the Forbidden City served as the home to the Chinese emperor and his household, and as the ceremonial and political center […]

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