Gay Taipei & Tainan

Author: , March 2nd, 2016

W Taipei - gay Taipei

Not so long ago, the label “Made in Taiwan” inferred mass-produced products that were made quickly, sold cheaply, and exported globally–typical fodder for our throwaway society. Then Taiwan made a seismic shift away from cheap, labor-intensive things like toys and textiles, to become the world’s biggest manufacturer of notebook computers.

A report in 2013 estimated that 89% of the world’s notebooks and 46% of desktop PCs were manufactured by Taiwanese companies, with global brands like Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo utilizing Taiwan’s technological and creative talents. Taiwanese brands such as Acer, ASUS, and smartphone manufacturer HTC have also become major players.

This change isn’t restricted to hi-tech industries. Taipei, the capital city, has been named World Design Capital for 2016 by the ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), a great honor for Taiwan’s growing design scene.

Amid the gleaming architecture of Taipei’s Xinyi financial district, a historic tobacco factory built in 1937 during the Japanese Imperial Era has become the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, its modernist-style warehouses now converted into exhibition spaces, cafes, and design studios. Here, you’ll find the Taiwan Design Museum, whose galleries showcase the best of Taiwanese and international design, including recipients of the Golden Pin Design Award, a mark of innovative Taiwanese design that’s been awarded to products including bikes, teapots, and computer disk drives.

]Full Story at Passport

Globetrotter Girls – A Culinary Journey Through Taiwan

Author: , October 16th, 2015

Taiwan Cuisine - Dani

You all know how much I love food and how food for me is a vital aspect of visiting a new country. I know people who don’t really care about food when they travel (something that is completely incomprehensible to me) but I am the contrary: before I visit a new country, I research the local specialties, find out what the locals eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and which dishes I have to try before leaving the country. After visiting a country, I am always excited to share my foodie finds with you, telling you which dishes I loved.

One country that has enough culinary delights to keep a foodie busy for weeks is Taiwan. The small island nation of the coast of China is not only known for its stunning scenery that spans from lush green mountain ranges to sandy beaches has the reputation to have one of the most delicious cuisines in Asia, and people do not only flock here to eat from China but also from Japan and the nearby Philippines. Talk to someone who’s visited Taiwan and the glorious Taiwanese food will come up for sure!

Taiwanese food derived from the various cuisines in mainland China (like Cantonese or Szechuan food), but you also find Japanese influences in Taiwanese cooking. And like in most island nations, seafood plays a big role in Taiwan’s cuisine.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Taiwan’s Bubble Tea

Author: , October 13th, 2014

Bubble Tea - Image by Christine WeiIn Taiwan, where bubble tea was invented, making this beverage is much more complicated than simply adding tapioca pearls, sugar, and ice to a glass of tea. For an out-of-the-box travel excursion, take a class at the Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House in Taichung, a 90-minute drive outside of Taipei in central Taiwan, to learn the traditional way. You might be surprised to learn that the process is as precise and choreographed as a traditional hot tea ceremony.

First things first: Taiwanese bubble tea is traditionally made with freshly brewed Assam black tea and sugar syrup (not powder sugar), with black tapioca pearls (not white) and powdered milk (not liquid). It’s shaken in a martini shaker, not stirred in a glass, to produce a foam head reminiscent of a properly poured glass of ale or stout.

The hands-on classes are held in the tea house inside the National Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an excellent collection of Western and Chinese art. The tea house also offers traditional classes for brewing and serving green and black hot teas. Angela Liu manages the classes and has an impressive bubble tea pedigree of her own: she’s the daughter of Liu Han-Chieh, the man generally regarded as the food’s creator, whose family operates more than 30 Chun Shui Tang Culture Tea House locations in the country. They have plans to expand the stores internationally in Asia and to open a bubble tea museum in Taichung.

By Evelyn Kanter – Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Image by Christine Wei

Taiwan Goes Big With Gay Films – 60 Movies, Two Weekends, Two Cities

Author: , September 27th, 2014

Night FlightWhile Taiwan is noted for producing numerous LGBTI-themed films for over a decade, the inaugural Taiwan International Queer Film Festival is said to be the first international queer film festival to be organized.

It will showcase 60 feature, documentary and short films from 30 countries in Taipei from Sep 26 to 30 and in Kaohsiung from Oct 3 to 7.

The LGBTI-themed films will cover a wide range of issues including family, aging, relationships and HIV/AIDS.

By Sylvia Tan – Full Story at Gay Star News

Traveling While Transgender – A Nightmare in Hong Kong

Author: , September 6th, 2014

Transgender FlagCrossing borders as a transgender woman is always a challenge. There are many reasons immigration authorities reject you, but sometimes it’s simply because they don’t seem to understand who we are.

My name is Eliana Rubashkyn and I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I’m a trained pharmacist and speak five languages fluently, and until recently, I was studying for an MBA in Health Administration in Taiwan on a government scholarship. I also used to be a man.

Last year, I was forced to travel to Hong Kong to renew my passport because of my altered gender. Hong Kong — a one-hour flight away — is the nearest Colombian consulate from Taiwan. The trip was also necessary to allow me to apply for the second year of my graduate degree.

Little did I know my life would be turned upside down when I boarded that plane.

By Eliana Rubashkyn – Full Story at WPTZ | China Gay Travel Resources

Taiwan Woos Gay Tourists

Author: , September 3rd, 2014

Taiwan - Apple MapsTaiwan is officially wooing gay tourists in the hope of becoming Asia’s top tourist destination in a region that is often openly hostile toward gay people, reports GayAsiaNews.com.

In its bid to raise its presence on the world stage, Taiwan has been pushing hard to increase tourist numbers. Lagging behind rivals Japan and China, Taiwan’s tourism bureau has teamed up with Google to create a personalized ad campaign to promote itself as a gay and lesbian haven by promoting “G5” as the largest gay circuit party in East Asia, according to chinatopix.com.

The G5 party, set to take place over the New Year, is being promoted on the Internet with dazzling music shows and scantily-clad men.

Full Story at LGBT Weekly

Image via Apple Maps

Twelve Surprising Gay Friendly Destinations

Author: , April 5th, 2014

Stockholm, SwedenThe gay travel industry is booming, in large part because of the increased worldwide acceptance of the LGBT community. From LGBT travel associations like Alt and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), to LGBT cruise lines like Atlantis, Olivia and R Family Vacations, the gay and lesbian communities are becoming highly prized markets for the travel industry.

According to Merryn Johns, travel writer and Curve Magazine’s editor-in-chief, “[G]ay men and lesbians take at least four leisure trips per year, which is higher than their heterosexual counterparts, and fewer than 10% of LGBTs take organized trips of any kind. This makes gays and lesbians more frequent and more adventurous travelers than straight people.”

But LGBT travelers also seek different comforts. “Romance, seclusion and nature are important to lesbians when they travel, whereas gay men often seek out a scene or bars and clubs. While safety is important to lesbians when they travel, they … seek romance, outdoor adventure, culture and value for money,” she said in an interview with PolicyMic. “Not to mention some great beaches, which means they may seek out more exotic and far-flung destinations than other travelers.”

Authored By -Marcie Bianco See the Full Story at PolicyMic

Click here for gay travel resources.

Taipei, Taiwan Two Ways

Author: , March 6th, 2014

Taipei, Taiwan - Apple Maps

Apple Maps

As one of our favorite under-rated cities in Asia, Taipei has only recently started to get mainstream attention. (Case in point: The New York Times chose it as one of the 52 Places to Go in 2014). If you’re considering a trip, here are some popular highlights, including where to eat, where to shop, what to do, and where to stay. Plus we’ve included our favorite places where you’ll find fewer tourists and lots of locals.

EAT & SHOP

Popular Eats: Shilin Night Market is one of the most widely known – and therefore most tourist-packed – night market in the city. Since the relocation of most its food vendors into one building close to the main network of shops, it’s become even more of a tourist trap. To go where the locals go…

Under-the-Radar Eats: Raohe Night Market is more far-flung among the city’s night markets, but it’s arguably the best for food. Any of the typical dishes found here – stinky tofu, oyster omelettes, crispy chicken – make it worth the trek. If it’s browsing that interests you, try the less-crowded Tonghua Night Market (also known as Linjiang Night Market, because it’s located on Linjiang Street). There, enjoy Korean imports galore alongside cheap but delicious teppanyaki.

Authored By Christine Wei – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources.

Corporations Support Taiwan Pride

Author: , October 28th, 2013

taiwanFortune 500 companies welcomed Taipei Pride as a sign of Asia’s progress on LGBT rights.

Gay Star News reported an overwhelming show of support for the Taiwanese LGBT community this weekend. An estimated 60,000 attendees took to Taipei’s streets to celebrate what is being called Asia’s biggest gay pride event.

Now global companies join local community representatives who endorsed the pride parade saying it shows a growing ‘LGBT inclusiveness’ in Taiwan. Taiwan’s representative for the Mr Gay World 2013 Darien Chen told Gay Star News: ‘Taiwan Pride is the biggest in Asia because of our accepting social atmosphere.’

Authored By Jean Paul Zapata – See the Full Story at Gay Star News

Click here for gay travel resources.

Tantalizing Taipei, Taiwan

Author: , April 1st, 2013

taiwanPlanning a trip to Taiwan, China’s island cousin? Passport Magazine has you covered, with details on visiting this Asian nation for gay travelers:

Bears lumber in packs down the streets of Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city. I watch from a sidewalk, snapping away with my trusty PowerShot camera. One of those bears, wearing a Hollister T-shirt, waves a furry paw at me, while with the other he clasps the hand of a grinning, lanky monkey.

Perhaps I should clarify what’s going on here. Despite Taiwan’s glorious greenery and nature, which cozies up against parts of the city, these are not real animals, this is the annual Taiwan LGBT Pride march, and “bears” are the dominant sub-species lately. Like most Asian gays today, they favor Hollister and Abercrombie. Similar to green handkerchiefs in Oscar Wilde’s era, these brands have become code for “I’m gay!” Bears maintain stocky, worked-out physiques with a belly, and as much facial hair as they can muster that’s neatly styled. As for “monkeys,” those are non-bears (e.g. twinks, gym bunnies, etc.) that admire bears.

Who knew they had Bears in Taiwan?