Things To Do: Taiwan, Part I

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Just because it's Sunday and this made me smile, I'm posting it in hopes it'll put a smile on your face as the weekend ends.

Since I'll be in Taiwan for the next while, I'm probably going to be making several of these lists. This is my first list of things I want to try or do, having done only very preliminary research ...

1. Snow King Ice Cream
I've already had my late-fall/early-winter ice cream cravings thanks to my time in Massachusetts. Snow King is supposed to have really unique flavors. It's a bit out of the way, but I've definitely got to pay this place a visit at least once. I've seen the menu and they have flavors like sesame chicken and fluffy pork (!?) ... in addition to slightly more traditional ones like cinnamon and basil (my kind of flavors).

source: USA Today

2. Lantern Festival
If you watched the last season of "The Bachelorette," you might know what this is. (You probably didn't, and I have now admitted to watching a show no one else watches.) Each year (in February, I believe), a different Taiwanese city hosts the Taiwanese Lantern Festival, during which thousands of paper lanterns are lit then set off into the sky. I highly doubt I'll be able to travel to the city where this will be happening in 2012, but I'm sure there will be some sort of local celebration I can attend or some form of tradition I can partake in (there is a story behind the festival, rooted in folklore). Apparently in some parts of Asia, this day doubles as Valentine's Day, though I'm not sure if that's the case in Taiwan.

3. LDS Temple
As you may already know, I have been fascinated by Mormonism for the past handful of years ... I've seen (at least bits of the exterior) several LDS temples in various American cities [New York, of course, Baltimore, Belmont (suburb of Boston), Salt Lake City]. I found out that I live in the same district of Taipei as the LDS Temple, so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle for me to take a peek.

4. Miniatures Museum
This just looks fun -- an entire museum of miniature landmarks and architecture? The site seems to indicate that it will be closed for at least part of 2012, but Google Translate has not been kind to the Chinese language so I'm not sure exactly what is actually going on. Maybe in a few weeks my Chinese will be good enough to read that website.


5. Yangmingshan National Park
Well, it's a national park and it's got mountains ("shan" in the name means mountains, actually) and lakes and flora and fauna ... all within Taipei City itself. It's reachable by public transportation which I think is absolutely awesome and also means I can definitely get to it.

Oh, and I did a little shopping on Friday afternoon. Look what I got for under $3!

It doesn't feel right to brush Christmas off (it doesn't seem to be a big deal here), so I thought I'd bring Christmas into my room. This little guy sits atop my television set ... and it snows its plastic snow down onto my television every once in a while.

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