From February to September of this year, I lived without home internet. And at no point did I have a 'life without internet isn't so bad! what did I ever use that for in the first place?' sort of revelation. No, I missed it every day, and having it again (albeit at the slow, expensive, capped megabyte version available in SA) I only appreciate it all the more. Because really, cliche as the phrase sounds, it helps open up the world.
Like, for example, when Bordeaux and I started discussing the idea of going back to Taiwan. Within minutes, we were able to open up a half dozen webpages, blogs, and photo albums to get a sense of what life in Taipei would be like. Here's some of what we've found:
The New York Times offered a list of what to do over 36 Hours in Taipei. It is, of course, a very touristy list-- visiting the observation deck at Taipei 101, or spending $100 on dinner aren't likely to be part of our regular routine. But the list does at least highlight some of the the diverse attractions available in what must be the most underrated city in all of Asia-- and the writer does deserve points for taking a moment out of the high-spending schedule to enjoy a bowl of shaved ice at Ice Monster.
For more general info, the Rough Guide's pages on Taipei are rather useful. The Rough Guide Taiwan was in fact the same guide we used last time we were on the island, as it was clear from the author's writing that he had a real love of the island, and was committed to sharing its best features. More importantly, we found that he gave much more info on eating than the Lonely Planet Taiwan did.
We also scanned Robyn's Taiwan entries over at Eating Asia. She seems to have a gift for finding incredible meals wherever she goes, like the oven baked buns she sampled in Taipei, or the egg and tomato she supped on in Hsinchu. We may have been the ones who tipped her off to visiting Hsinchu, but when we make it back there, we'll be following her tips on where to go eat once we're there.
By far the best guide that I've found for eating in Taipei is at a hungry girl's guide to taipei, a blog of restaurant reviews from around the city. The reviews are descriptive, It also covers food trends (like the abundance of Frozen yogurt shops popping up around town).
And of course, there are my own entries on the island on this here blog. Look over my entries, and you'll see as my low expectations were continually blown away by Taiwan's incredible food, friendly people, and unique local style.
Anyone have any good web resources on the island? Or any other sites you go to when you need a little virtual vacation?