My homeland's tropical weather, friendly people, and delicious food make it worthy of its original name, Ilha Formosa - beautiful island.

Taiwan

Tropical weather, friendly people, and delicious street food.

Taipei

A view down Zhongxiao Fuxing road, which bisects the city. This central area is known for KTV, curated fashion collections, and office buildings.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall - a tribute to Taiwan's founding father and key figure.

Taipei 101

Once the tallest building in the world, featuring a tuned mass damper to sustain typhoon winds and earthquake tremors.

A view of Memorial Hall Square from Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Hualien County

Joined by my family, we headed on a tour of Hualien, famous for its national parks and coastline biking trails.

Taroko National Park

Pudu Bridge

Tianfeng Pagoda

7 stories tall, the top of this pagoda boasts a 360 degree view of the gorge.

Xiangde Temple

Our tour took us to a nearby town to rest (and eat mango shaved ice).

Dropped by a local night market. Delicious street food galore, from stinky tofu to bbq corn on the cob.

Liyu Lake

Shoufeng Township

Located in Hualien, many military vets buy land and retire here in comfort.

Matai'an Wetlands

At the foot of Masi Mountain in Hualien, various rivers flow through this area, leading to a very ecologically diverse region.

Taipei

After returning to Taipei, we stopped by the touristy Modern Toilet, which is known for its poop-themed decor and menu.

Maccha House

To continue our eating adventures, we ate at Maccha House, a recently opened store specializing in green tea everything.

Din Tai Fung

The most famous xiao long bao in the world, where you can watch the cooks wrap as you feast.

The city skyline from the observation deck on Taipei 101.

A traditional Taiwanese meal at Slack Season, featuring minced pork noodle soup, fried oysters and braised pork rice.

Beitou Thermal Valley

A volcanic crater filled with sulfuric hot spring water. You could even see the steam in the 100 degree summer weather when I went.

I really liked the design of Beitou's subway station.

We went paddle boating in Bitan near the end of our trip. Not pictured: our lovely swan "racer" boat.

Fin

We ended our stay by hiking up a mountain in Bitan, where you can just make out Taipei 101 in the far distance. Until next time, Taiwan.