So I went to Taiwan. I got engaged there. It was pretty dope. I have a cousin who lives down there, I researched a bunch of cool things to do all over the country from Taipei to Kenting. And somehow some things managed to escape me and I only found out about them as I went there. So now, along with some pictures of our sweet ass trip I present to you: Stuff About Taiwan I Didn’t Know About (Part 1).

IMG_20150728_152226Bring Water and Drink It Constantly

S0 I’m from Montreal and I thought that I knew a thing or two about humidity. I didn’t. If you plan on visiting Taipei in the summertime holy cow do you need water. All the time. Fortunately, there is always a 7-11 nearby. I mean always. That could practically be its own item on the list. 7-11’s are all over the place. But guess what? There’s no Slurpees at any of them. So that’s a bit of a bummer. If you travel to Taiwan with a friend who hasn’t read this article and want to freak them out you can go to a 7-11 and buy a hard-boiled egg that’s floating in that dark fluid and then eat it without fear. It looks weird as shit but it’s just a hard-boiled egg floating in tea. Not that weird at all.

Back to water. Drink it and bring it with you. Don’t ever assume there will be water anywhere. There might be, but there also might not be. It’s kind of a crap shoot. So ere on the side of water. Always.

Why am I so adamant about this? Because we ended up going on a 6 km hike up Mt. Qixing in Yangmingshan National Park with only a water bottle each. 6 km! That’s not that far. Oh wait, but it’s also about a km up. And did I mention it was 40 degrees Celsius in the humidity? Take a look at that picture. Notice that my shirt is translucent? It’s because I sweat right through my clothes.

On the upside, every hotel we stayed in, even the cheapest ones, gave you 2 water bottles a day for free. So there’s that. Speaking of hotels.

IMG_20150727_161556Love Hotels Are Cheap And Not As Weird As You Think

Sure sometimes there’s weird bamboo wallpaper. Sure sometimes there are no windows. Sure sometimes there’s a weird little nob on beside the bed that is a volume control for funky ass music (and that in one of the rooms you couldn’t actually turn that music off completely, you could only make it play really softly). But the fact remains that in terms of location and cleanliness you really can’t beat a Taiwanese Love Hotel. We were staying right downtown in Taipei for between 40$ and 75$ CAD.

You might think that these Love Hotels would be gross considering what their primary function is (which is obviously to rent by the hour to make love in) and in North America, you’d probably be 100% right.

Not so in Taiwan. See, in order for the eldest son to lay his claim to the family house and assets, he needs to live in that home until his father dies. That might mean living with your parents until your in your 50s. If you move out, you basically forfeit your entire inheritance. As a result, it’s quite normal and respectable for Taiwanese to go to these Love Hotels for their sexy times. These aren’t (just) rooms for illicit sexy hookups, they’re also rooms for people in their 40s and 50s to go after a date because who wants to have sex in a tiny little apartment with their 80 year old parents sleeping in the next room over? Nobody.

So don’t be freaked out by the fact that you’re spending a night in a hotel that basically exists so that people can have sex. They are extremely clean and well maintained. So just suck it up and enjoy a nice clean room at a discount price that may or not have a little control panel next to the bed to control the bed and the lights. Be cool.

IMG_20150806_161212 (1)Delicious Fried Chicken and No Regard For Copyright

The food in Taiwan is fantastic. At various stages they’ve been controlled by China and Japan and their proximity to Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines come together to mean that they’ve got a pretty sweet sampling of all kinds of foods from all over Oceania and they’ve modified and perfected that food to their own standards.

Honestly, Sarah would probably do it more justice than I would and there’s probably several articles that we could do just on the food (in some future Taiwan entry of the blog there will be more about the food).

However, the one thing I wasn’t really expecting to be amazing was the fried chicken. People told us it was pretty good and I was very skeptical. I’ve been to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles. Was I really going to get amazing fried chicken in Taiwan?

It was great. There’s a little man on the package proclaiming “It’s Delicious”. This is a pretty normal little food package in Taiwan. We had various snacks all in that same generic little bag. And by generic I mean quite clearly Mario in a chef’s hat.

So that’s it for this entry. I’ve got another couple of these in the works but I don’t want to bore you with anything too wordy. Pow.

Keith does all sorts of things here on, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

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