5 Quintessentially Hong Kong Dishes

5 Quintessentially Hong Kong Dishes

With an international airport that connects to 220 destinations worldwide and a hyper-efficient public transport system that zips you across the island with a 99.9% on-time rate, Hong Kong is the perfect weekend getaway for the leave-starved, time-pressed working adult.

As a cosmopolitan city with diverse influences ranging from Chinese and British to its unique Hong Kong identity accrued over centuries, the region boasts a rich culinary scene and tradition. And what better way to spend your weekend in Hong Kong than eat for 48 hours straight?

We list 5 dishes that capture the spirit of Hong Kong’s identity—and which are, most importantly, delicious and worth flying for.

1. Dim Sum

Photo by benimelim on Instagram

Visiting Hong Kong and neglecting to eat dim sum is like drinking tea brewed without tea leaves: something so unfathomable that it doesn’t even make sense! For the uninitiated, dim sum (點心), which literally translates to “touching the heart”, is a cuisine that presents small plates of delicate, bite-sized food; true to its name, a dim sum meal often involves long, intimate conversation with friends and family held over a languorous weekend afternoon.

For an authentic dim sum meal, we’d recommend eschewing fancy restaurants and heading to One Dim Sum (一點心). It’s a clean, fuss-free location that serves very affordable dim sum—the most expensive item, the sticky rice and pork with lotus leaf, costs only HKD28! But the quality of the dim sum can rival that of much more expensive locations: the minced beef balls were hearty and full of beefy flavour, while the steam vermicelli rolls slid down our throats effortlessly.

Only caveat: the place is immensely popular with local, so be prepared to wait up to 2 hours on a weekend.

One Dim Sum (一點心)

G/F Shop 1 & 2, 15 Playing Field Road, Kenwood Mansion, Prince Edward, Hong Kong (Prince Edward MTR)

Tel: +852 2789 2280

Opening Hours

Mon to Fri: 11:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Sat to Sun: 10:00 AM – 12:30 AM

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2. Wanton Noodles

Photo by foodrepublic on Instagram

Wantons, or wontons, are dumplings filled with a mix of prawn and pork and are essentially pockets of deliciousness that explode in your mouth. A traditional dish integral to Cantonese cuisine, wanton noodles was popularised in Hong Kong by Chef Mak Won-chi, and is today known more as a Hong Kong dish than a Guangzhou one (from where he originally came).

Thus, it’d be lamentable not to visit Chef Mak’s eponymous restaurant, Mak’s Noodles, for a taste of his original dumplings. They are wrapped in a filament-thin skin so delicate that you can see through them and marvel at the generous stuffing of prawn, pork, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots (for that added crunch). The noodles and soup, while playing an accompanying role to the dumplings, are not shoddy themselves. The noodles have an eggy bite and the soup a rich, prawny-crustacean flavour that serves as the perfect broth for the dumplings to swim in.

Mak’s Noodles

G/F, 77 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong (Central MRT, exit at D2 exit, walk along Wellington St)
Tel: +852 2854 3810

Opening Hours

Daily from 11:00 AM – 21:00 PM

Google Maps by Embedgooglemap.net

3. Egg Tarts

Photo by naak_27 on Instagram

No other dish perhaps encapsulates the diverse and cosmopolitan nature of Hong Kong as the egg tart. Originally a Portuguese custard tart known as Pastéis de nata, native residents from Macau, which was at one time a Portuguese colony, adapted the custard tart into the Portuguese egg tart that we know today. From Macau, chefs brought over to Hong Kong the Portuguese egg tart and adapted it for the Hong Kong palate.

Since you are in Hong Kong, we would recommend trying the traditional short-crust version of the egg tart, and there is no better place to eat it than at Tai Cheong bakery, which is the first bakery in Hong Kong to bake this version (instead of the puff-pastry case in its Portuguese relative). The crust is buttery and crumbly at the same time, and the custard a smooth, creamy dream.

 

4. Roast Meats

Photo by plyfahstyle on Instagram

We don’t know what it is, but the Cantonese hold the secret to roasting the most perfect meats: goose, duck, pork, chicken, even pigeon. It’s something about the control of the oven, the heat of the charcoal, the magical blend of spices and marinades, the quality of the meat… Barbecue has nothing on roast meats.

Typically, each shop in Hong Kong specialises in, and is famous for, a specific type of meat, so you might have to make multiple trips to eat your way through the animal kingdom, but it’d be so worth it. Here are some of our suggestions.

 

Yung Kee Resturant

32 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2522 1624

Opening Hours

Daily from 11:00AM – 21:30PM

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (Pigeon), various locations

Joy Hing Roasted Meat (Pork)

265-267 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2519 6639

Opening Hours

Mon to Fri: 10:00AM – 22:00PM ; Closed on Sundays

Fook Lam Moon (Chicken)

35-45 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2866 0663

Opening Hours

Daily from: 11:00AM – 15:00PM (Lunch); 18:00AM – 22:00PM

5. Cha Chaan Teng

Photo by fonc on Instagram

While not a specific dish per se, cha chaan tengs are a culinary experience, and a Hong Kong tradition, in themselves. They’re not so much places to savour exquisite food as an opportunity to live like a Hongkonger: pop in to a hole-in-the-wall cafeteria, order a mishmash of macaroni soup with luncheon meat and a cube of bread with creamy scrambled eggs while getting screamed at by servers as efficient and cold as Hong Kong’s MTR trains. But somehow, people keep going back, perhaps because the heart-warming effect of the food is inversely proportionate to the rudeness of the servers.

Popular cha chaan tengs include Australian Dairy Company, Hong Lin Restaurant—but we’d suggest that you just pop into the nearest cha chaan teng. You’re apt to find a soulful, down-to-earth experience regardless.

Australian Dairy Company

G/F 47-49 Parkes Street, Jordan, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2730 1356

Opening Hours

7:30AM – 22:00PM (Closed Thursdays)

Hong Lin Restaurant

143-145 Tung Choi Street Mongkok, Kowloon Hong Kong
Tel: +852 23918398

Opening Hours

Daily from 6.30AM to 3:30AM

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5 Most Entertaining Cafes in Taiwan

5 Most Entertaining Cafes in Taiwan

When I was a wee young lad, my mother, just to get me to eat my meals, had to pretend that the food was radioactive and would turn me into Spiderman, or mimic the sound of a chugging train as she patiently tried not to choke me with the spoon. Thanks to her efforts, today, I am no longer a stubborn brat a mature man who has regular meals.

I suppose such fond memories are why I—and a large part of the population—find the idea of a themed café so entrancing. Playing with food while maintaining the appearance of a respectable adult? Yes please!

Taiwan, with its commingling of Japanese and Western influences, is a fertile ground for the sprouting of these themed cafés. Here are five of my favourites that I’d recommend you if you were my friend (everyone who reads this article is my friend).

Photo by ianbcarlos on Instagram

1. Modern Toilet Restaurant

This one perhaps appeals more to the weekly Zouk-going teenager than to any child. Remember how you used to chug down a bottle of the cheapest vodka (bought at the nearest 7-Eleven) and promptly regurgitate it in the toilet bowl an hour later? And, in your drunken state, think that the new state of matter existing between solid and liquid actually looks appetising?

Well… now you can fulfill such thoughts (we don’t judge). Modern Toilet Restaurant is a café that is, as its name suggests, themed after the lovely interior of a toilet. From the seats upon which you rest (toilet bowls), to the serving receptacles of the food (toilet bowls and bathtubs) and drinks (urinals), to the food itself (chocolate ice cream, naturally), no detail in this café is left untouched, so please remember to wash your hands thoroughly after you leave.

 

Address:
No. 7, Lane 50, Xining South Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108 (Taipei branch);

No. 96, Section 3, Sanmin Road, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404 (Taichung branch)

Opening Hours:
(Taipei Branch) Monday to Thursday 11.30am to 9pm, Friday 11.30am to 9.30pm, Saturday 11am to 9.30pm, Sunday 11am to 9pm

(Taichung branch) Weekdays 11.30am to 8.00pm, Weekends 11.00am to 8.30pm

Photo by linda6403x on Instagram

2. Crazy Cart Cafe

If you’ve ever wolfed down the last spoonfuls of your chicken rice, dashed to your car, and sped off because of shouts of “summon auntie!”, then Crazy Cart Café will appeal to all these instincts in a healthier way: this café combines good food, fast cars, and high speed.

After savouring Western-inspired meals like meatball spaghetti or pork ribs, you can stroll leisurely to your car—no rushing needed—and take off without even leaving the café.

A go-kart track runs around the interior perimeter of the café and connects to a much larger track outside, where you can drift around the track to your heart’s content without fear of the summon auntie—or if her presence at your tail makes the ride more thrilling, you can always imagine her shadow forever chasing you.

Address:
Global Mall Nangang Station Store 1/F, No. 360, Section 8, Civic Blvd, Nangang District, Taipei City, Taiwan 115

Opening Hours:
Weekdays 12.00pm to 2.30pm, 3.00pm to 5.30pm, 6.00pm to 8.30pm;

Weekends 11.30am to 2.00pm, 3.00pm to 5.30pm, 6.00pm to 8.30pm (accurate as of 18/01/2019)

Photo by a0211_roger on Instagram

3. OIA alpaca café

What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama? The answer is a funny punchline here. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether the four-legged furry animals wandering around freely in OIA alpaca café are alpacas or llamas. (Though they are obviously alpacas, as the name of the café states.) The important point is that they are irresistibly adorable.

I mean, just look at this face. How can you not want to pet it? A word of warning, though: don’t try to pet it. The alpacas will spit at you—yes, really, it’s an alpaca thing. Rude.

Instead, lure them to your side with carrots, and make sure these cute but greedy creatures don’t chew any of your food or appendages. You might think that you are at OIA alpaca café to nibble on food and see cute alpacas, but, in reality, you are at OIA alpaca café as food to be nibbled on.

Just kidding! You are not very nutritious to alpacas.

Address:
252, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Sanzhi District, No.12-1 Beizhizi, Houcuo Road, Xinbei

Opening Hours:
11.00am to 8.00pm

Photo by ianbcarlos on Instagram

4. Central Park Cafe

No friends? No worries. Visit Central Park Café (not Central Perk) and you will be instantly transported to the café resembling the one that Joey, Chandler, Ross, Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe, your television best friends, used to hang out in all the time. Look! That awful velvet orange couch is still there, as well as the hideous faux oriental rug—but these strikingly 90s paraphernalia just make the café seem more homey and authentic.

Even the food at Central Park Café is themed after each character. Phoebe, naturally, offers cookies baked according to the secret recipe of her grandmother (pronounced “Nes-lay Tou-lou-se”, not the butchered American pronunciation of “Nestle Toll House”), and thankfully omits any smelly cats; Joey has a smattering of hearty pizzas and sandwiches for consumption, but “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD” so be sure to order individual portions.

At this café, it’s really as if you stepped into the world of the sitcom Friends and had friends.

Address:
No. 3, Lane 240, Section 3, Luosifu Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Opening Hours:
Weekdays 1.00pm to 9.30pm
Saturdays 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Sundays 12.00pm to 9.00pm

Photo by comaz on Instagram

5. Maiden Diner

The food at Maiden Diner is delicious. The grilled chicken leg and baked mushroom spaghetti have a comforting, nursery feel that will remind you of your maid’s cooking—true to the theme of this café.

Indeed, Maiden Diner offers you the opportunity to relive your childhood days when your maid would cook dinner for you… oh wait… you mean that the maids at this café are of a different type? Waitress, what are you doing?

Oh… okay. Still fun to visit, though.

Address:
No. 100, Shimin Blvd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100

Opening Hours:
12.00pm to 9.00pm

There are of course a lot more themed cafés in Taiwan, such as Rikkakuma Café, a café revolving around a cute brown bear; Gudetama Chef, the temple of my spirit animal (I quote a description of Gudetama from Vox: “Life for Gudetama, which mainly consists of lying on a plate, is largely unbearable”); Alice is Coming, which is like stepping into the twisted world where Alice ended up after falling through the rabbit hole, and so on. But this curated list promises you the five most entertaining themed cafés where it’s not just the food that is themed, but the entire experience.

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On Visiting The World’s Most Militarized Border

On Visiting The World’s Most Militarized Border

Barbed wire fences, landmine markings, soldiers reviewing our passports… just what did I get myself into after a 1.5hour drive from Seoul?

Before we got off from our tour bus, our guide instructed repeatedly ‘Please do not wander off on your own. Even though it is the Demilitarized zone, it is heavily guarded by military forces. There are landmines around this zone, stay away from the forest. Follow me closely.’

We arrived at somewhere remote, deprived of the energy and bustle of modern South Korea, on a strip of land that separates North and South Korea. And I, finally see why the former President of United States Bill Clinton once described it as ‘the scariest place on Earth’.

Barbed wire fences, landmine markings, soldiers reviewing our passports… just what did I get myself into after a 1.5 hour drive from Seoul?

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was established on July 27, 1953, when the Armistice Agreement was signed during the Korean War. It is a no-man’s-land fringed with barbed wires, tank traps and landmines between North and South Korea. Since a peace treaty was never formalised to end the war, combat troops massed along the borders of the 2km-wide stretch of land in a tense military standoff.

Technically speaking, both countries are still at war.

What an ominous fact.

Out of fear, I asked my English-speaking Korean tour guide, Lisa, on our geographic location and she reassured us that ‘We are still standing on the Southern soil, Paju city. But they (North Korea) can see us.’

 

And so, a quest was born: I need to complete this tour alive.

The briefing I received before the trip is a set of rules to observe; when visiting the DMZ, the tourist must always carry his/her passport and adhered to a specified dress code that is: no military print and provocative text.

 

After how My first stop at Paju city, Imjingak Resort features a park with monuments and artefacts about the Korean War, and a vantage point overlooking the Freedom Bridge.

The aptly named Freedom bridge is a place for prisoner repatriation. At the end of the three-year Korean War in 1953, 13,000 prisoners of war were freed to cross over to South Korea.

The estranged relationship between the North and South has resulted in millions of displaced families since the 1950s. Multi-coloured prayer ribbons strung on the fences are words of longings from separated families, in hope that one day, they can reunite with their family members in the north. At that moment, I felt the everlasting, intangible losses of war, and how the peace we have made today should never be taken for granted.

After half an hour had passed, Lisa shepherded all of us onto the bus to depart for the next site. We are required to follow our tour operator’s schedule as visiting the DMZ is a controlled tourism operation.

We arrived at the Third Infiltration Tunnel, one of the key tourist attractions which comprise a DMZ video hall, gift shop and an entry into the tunnel.

‘Please leave all your belongings in the locker, grab a helmet and form a line. We are going to trek down the third infiltration tunnel.’

 

Image from Wikipedia

‘Please leave all your belongings in the locker, grab a helmet and form a line. We are going to trek down the third infiltration tunnel.’

My spirit of adventure was piqued. Little did I know this would be the most physically demanding walk in my lifetime and I wouldn’t want to do it again. I warn you, this tunnel is not made for the faint-hearted, tall or the claustrophobic. The tunnel lies 73 meters underground which is equivalent to a 25-storey building.

North Korea has dug a total of four tunnels under the DMZ to launch a sneak attack on South Korea. The Third Infiltration Tunnel discovered in 1978 runs 1,635 meters long, with a height and width of approximately 2 meters. It is estimated that over 3,000 soldiers would have been able to trek through the tunnel per hour.

‘They denied the fact that they plan to invade South Korea. Instead, they claimed that this was a coal mine. In fact, this area doesn’t contain coal, it is a granite formation.’

As we descended into the tunnel, the stale and mouldy smell threw me off – this experience has since made it to my list of misadventures abroad.

The entire journey of descending and ascending the third infiltration tunnel took us almost an hour.

The tunnel slopes downwards at 11 degrees, it was easy to walk down but making the way up was a nightmare. Imagine climbing up the stairs of a 25-story building! I was grasping for fresh air and drenched in sweat as I trudged up from the tunnel. It burnt all the calories I had for breakfast. And I must give props to our guide, Lisa, she has probably trekked up and down this steep, narrow and damp tunnel umpteen times

 

‘Did you enjoy this tunnel exploration? This must have been a very good exercise.

Ah, I shook my head. Exercise indeed. I looked around and everyone was exhausted. It was a sort of travel milestone worth remembering, like completing a race. I posed for a photo and made my way to the gift shop and pick out a memento. Guess what. I bought a shirt.

We got back on the tour bus again and made our way to the dormant railway station with tracks that connect to North Korea. I never knew it was possible to take a train to North Korea.

Dorasan Station is one of the northernmost railway stations on the Gyeongui Line.

In 2000, Dorasan station was introduced by South Korea and North Korea as an endeavour of Korean unification. Later in 2003, the railway tracks were finally connected at the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) within the DMZ, which is also known as the Armistice Line that divides the Korean Peninsula into two halves.

Dorasan station is modern and fully equipped with train schedule board, ticketing counters, a full custom and immigration area and arrivals hall. It now serves as a tourist attraction rather than a functional transit as no trains run between the two states.

 

I was impressed by the facility’s readiness, I entered the gantry and walked into the lonely platform.

I always remembered the railway platform as a place full of hustle and bustle, passengers eagerly waiting for the arrival of the train, a few pacing up and down the platform, some were sitting on the bench reading newspaper… but I felt none of that here. It was eerily quiet, and I felt the lingering presence of a few military soldiers in sunglasses observing my conduct.

I came across a large map embedded on one section of the platform – Trans Eurasian Railway Network.

There is a possibility of moving people from South Korea all the way to Europe by rail. Well, if and only if, the relations between North and South improve.

We left the train station and drove up to the Dora Observatory deck which to my surprise was bustling with crowd.

‘This is our final stop at Dora Observatory the star attraction of DMZ tour,’ exclaimed Lisa.

The Dora Observatory takes our eyes to North Korea mountainscape. Here we were able to take a closer peek into the Hermit Kingdom through a row of coin-operated binoculars. As expected, tourists hoarded the binoculars, giving up coins generously to spy on North Korea.

‘This is our final stop at Dora Observatory the star attraction of DMZ tour,’

I paid 200 won to get a fleeting 30 seconds glimpse of North Korea’s flag. Rumour has it that the North Koreans raised the structure higher to show off their flag.

On the bus ride back to civilisation, I thought about where I’d been five hours before: the world’s most militarised border, a dangerous world away. The question that bubbled up was not so much, ‘Is this trip worthwhile?’ But rather, what did I seek to discover and learn?

It occurred to me that life’s moments seem to be provisional and the perception we carry with us are readily thrown over by the next epiphany. Having completed the DMZ tour safely, I can’t help but feel anxious for South Korea, who must contend with an unpredictably aggressive neighbour next door.

Look, the North Koreans have dug four tunnels under the DMZ to spy on the South, who knows if there are more tunnels to be discovered?

On a lighter note, those who have watched the hit Korean drama Descendants of the Sun, this is certainly the place to keep your eyes peeled for handsome South Korean military men.

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Springtime Vacation

Springtime Vacation

When it comes to taking a vacation during Spring, what do you look for in a destination? Do you consider the country’s climate, traditions, family-friendly facilities and activities, or the cuisine your top priority? For me, I would like to experience colours that mother nature has to offer – crystal clear blue sky, warmer climate, trees in bloom – bidding lifeless winter goodbye. The top destination on my mind is none other than Japan, which basically has it all. 

Every Spring, the land of the rising sun put on a flower show, its visually arresting sea of pink and white has captivated hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to experience the fleeting beauty, also known as Hanami Festival (Cherry Blossom Viewing Festival). After all, cherry blossom is Japan’s national symbol and there is even a national association for it. 

February is Japan’s coldest month. To experience the beauty of Spring in Japan, the best time to visit is between mid-March and early May. 

 

When and Where to see Cherry Blossom in Japan

Here’s a roundup on where to enjoy a sea of brilliant blossoms in Japan.

1. Kumamoto (19 Mar – 29 Mar)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Kumamoto Castle, Suizenji Koen

Kumamoto Castle is situated on a hilltop and one of the best cherry blossoms viewing spots ranked by the Japan Cherry Blossoms Association. The Kumamoto Castle is possibly the largest and tallest castle in Japan. There are close to 800 cherry blossom trees within the castle grounds. The soft pink blooms contrast against the distinctively striking black facade of the castle is definitely an insta-worthy sight. 

Photograph by krylpaez via Instagram

2. Fukuoka (22 Mar – 29 Mar)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Fukuoka’s Atago Shrine, Uminonakamichi Seaside Park

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot among families with children. There is an amusement park with rides and games within the same vicinity. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a charming and peaceful location to enjoy Hanami, try Fukuoka’s Atago Shrine which offers panoramic vistas of Fukuoka city from the top of the hill. 

 

Photo source: Tokyo Penguin

3. Hiroshima (24 Mar – 31 Mar)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Hijiyama Park, Miyajima Island

Besides the ever-popular Five-Storied Pagoda on Mijiyama Island, Hiroshima, try Hijiyama Park which offers a panoramic view of the city. For the culture buff and art lovers, there is a library and Japan’s first public modern art museum within the park. 

 

Photograph by pegasus.sa via Instagram

4. Osaka (28 Mar – 3 Apr)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Osaka Castle, Kema Sakuranomiya Park

Like many others, you’ll probably be at Osaka Castle grounds. We recommend making your way down to Kema Sakuranomiya Park, which is approximately a 30-minute ride from Morinomiya Station (nearest station to Osaka Castle) on JR Osaka line. Located on the river terrace between Kema Araizeki and Temmabashi Bridge, Kema Sakuranomiya Park has close to 5,000 cherry blossom trees. You can also choose to go on a mini cruise along the river to take in the sights of endless blooming trees. 

 

5. Kyoto (25 Mar – 2 Apr)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Heian Shrine, Maruyama Park

Heian Shrine was built in 1895 to commemorate the founding of Kyoto, formerly known as Heian. The premise was inspired by the Imperial Palace.

Photograph by starza_shine via Instagram

6. Nagoya (22 Mar – 1 Apr)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Yamazakigawa Riverside, Inuyama Castle

If you’re in Nagoya, don’t miss Yamazakigawa Riverside, one of the top 100 cherry blossom viewing locations ranked by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association. Hundreds of cherry blossom trees in bloom like pink fluffy clouds massing over the Yamazakigawa river banks, it is definitely an insta-worthy sight! 

 

Photograph by tucko.paripari via Instagram

7. Kanazawa (4 May – 8 May)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen Garden

A famous landmark in Kanazawa, the castle is also home to 400 cherry blossom trees. Apart from the sweeping views of cherry blossom trees, explore the rich heritage of Kanazawa and feel as if you have travelled back to the days of the Samurai.

Photograph by c.o.m.2345 via Instagram

8. Tokyo (21 Mar – 2 Apr)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Shinjuku Goen, Cherry Trees Alley at Yanaka Cemetery

For a serene and peaceful cherry blossom viewing experience, we recommend a trip to the cherry trees alley at Yanaka Cemetery. 

 

Photograph by mui._______.mui via Instagram

9. Sendai (9 Apr – 14 Apr)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Mikamine Park, Tsutsujigaoka Park

Located in central Sendai, Tsutsujigaoka Park is one of the most popular nature parks in Sendai boasting a variety of cherry blossoms, which creates a multi-coloured canopy at full bloom. 

 

Photograph by vickihung via Instagram

10. Hokkaido (4 May – 8 May)

Best Cherry Blossom Spots: Matsumae Park, Goryokaku (Hakodate)

Possibly one of the best cherry blossom spots in Hokkaido, the Goryokaku in Hakodate city. The star-shaped citadel is decorated with hundreds of cherry trees which is a spectacular sight to behold when seen from the top of Goryokaku Tower. 

 

Photograph by momochen0628 via Instagram

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You’ve Probably Never Seen These Quietly Stunning Scenes of Taiwan

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Self-taught Taiwanese photographer Max Tseng shares with us a collection of photographs featuring rarely seen everyday scenes of Taiwan.

Composed like a drawing, each shot evokes calm and stillness, even though the subjects are undeniably in motion.

Rather than technical skills and professional equipment, Max insists that the foundation of a good photograph is built on first deciding on the story you want to tell. “When you know what you want to convey, you’ll know it when the shot comes into view,” he says.

In this series of quietly stunning pictures, Max evokes an ethereal, universal sense of nostalgia, at the same time providing outsiders a rare peek into the seldom-seen pastoral character of Taiwan.

Beimen, New Taipei City

Photograph by max.tseng 

“Built in 1884, the ancient North Gate (Beimen) is a monument to Taiwanese history. Today, it stands witness to the flow of Taipei’s working class as they stream past in and out of the city, bearing individual hopes, chasing individual dreams.”

Chiayi, Chiayi County

Photograph by max.tseng 

“With her old-style houses, winding alleys and criss-crossing telephone wires overhead, Chiayi retains vistas of Old Taiwan. This common scene in many of our childhoods evokes memories of home.”

Zhongsan Road, Chiayi County

Photograph by max.tseng 

“Every March and October, the position of the sunset transforms this section of Zhongshan Road into a natural studio. The addition of pedestrians completes the picturesque scene.”

Fields, Hualien County

Photograph by max.tseng

“Located in Eastern Taiwan, Hualien is known for her agriculture. Featuring abundant fields nestled amongst majestic mountains, these terraces look like steps carved for giants. You can’t help but feel inspired to make similarly bold strides towards your own ambitions.”

Sea, Hualien County

Photograph by max.tseng 

“Just off the coast, sea freighters sail past on the Pacific Ocean. Such a simple scene nevertheless evokes a profound sense of wellness and peace.”

 

Coastline, Hualien County

Photograph by max.tseng 

“Fishermen gather to harvest the sea at the mouth of the Hsiukuluan Sea. The eel fry they are after is a local delicacy, made into a thick stew paired with noodles that warms hearts and bellies.”

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