Taiwan: Hot Spots to Check Out

Packing is the hardest part for me when preparing for a trip because I feel so close yet so far away from where I’ll be in the next whatever hours (in this case about 24 or so!).  Before I store my three weeks into my suitcase, I promised myself that I would post potential plans, so I’m jotting down places I have been recommended to see on behalf of my peers, Dr. Liu, Prof. Paden, and the Directors of Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO).

Retrieved from http://www.taiwan.com.au

In addition to dance organizations at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), I’ve been told that Taipei has many public places for dancers to show off their stuff.  Apparently, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is great for students to practice together after school.  At our meeting with TECRO on Wednesday, Dr. Chang, Deputy Director of the Cultural Division in TECRO, revealed that she was a member of the dance club at NTNU and also practiced at the national landmark when she was a student.  I hope to see some of the students in action there and possibly even interview them to help out with my research.

David (who I met accidentally through IT training for work haha) mentioned that metro stops are also a popular gathering place.  There are even mirrors (not sure if they’re stuck there or if the dancers bring portable ones) to help them practice!  He also suggested looking at Wow Dance Studio Ones and Mei Dance, which are studios around Taipei City that his friends like to go to.  Who knows, maybe I’ll see them there!

I’ve also found some studios referred by people on a Taiwanese forum called Forumosa, the main venues being HRC Dance AcademyThe Best Crew (TBC) Dance Recreation Center, and Lumi Dance School (which seems big into dancehall).  It would be great if I could interview some of the instructors and choreographers on what they think about the dance community in Taiwan, how they provide funding, and how they’re trying to expand the dance market.  Oh, and maybe I could slip in for a lesson or two…or more ;)  Carol went to Taiwan over winter break, and although she didn’t get to visit Ximending, she heard that the area is full of breakdancers and other peculiar performers day and night (the night market is also a must-see).

Of course, I have to add in some sight-seeing during my trip.  I’ve already received so many suggestions, I don’t know where to go first!

Retrieved from http://www.go2taiwan.net

Kristine recommends:
– Public and private spas
South Taiwan beaches
– Hiking in Central Taiwan’s Misty Mountains
– Take a cooking class at Jodie’s Kitchen
Modern Toilet Restaurant
– everything (chairs, bowls, etc.) are served in “toilets”
Salt Peanuts Cafe
– Talk to staff and students at Cat’s Pajamas – they’ll have plenty of resources

Retrieved from http://www.taroko.gov.tw

Prof. Paden, Dr. Liu, and TECRO recommend:
Taroko National Park in Hualien County
Caoshan (Grass Mountain)
– Naval port (I think in Keelung)
Maokang Gondola

Wow.  Hopefully I can accomplish at least half of these things so I can capture some of my own photos.  Taiwanese opera and street food are also at the top of my list (food won’t be a problem but I just wanted to mention it).  Amy, who is also conducting her own research, has lived in Taiwan for most of her life so she pretty much knows her way around.  We’re planning on a weekend trip out of Taipei so I can see some of these breathtaking views and practice some Chinese.

CHANGE OF PLANS: Staying in Taiwan for a few more days and then stopping by Tokyo on my way back! :D

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