Highly venomous sea snakes are harvested from the ocean in the Gulf of Thailand to fill a growing demand for the consumption of these snakes in food, drinks, and medicine all around Asia, as documented and reported by National Geographic Emerging Explore Zoltan Takacs. Many of the snake traders face dangerous conditions, and the trade is taking a toll on the environment as well.
A giant freshwater stingray, was found in Southeast Asia, and is possibly the largest freshwater fish in the world, as reported by National Geographic Fellow Zeb Hogan. The stingray is featured in a series about monster fish that are endangered.
The island of Itsukushima and the Itsukushima Shrine on the island are popularly known as Miyajima. I had no idea this place existed until one of my traveling companions requested to go there on one of our day trips. Staying in Kyoto, we took a shinkansen high speed train down to Hiroshima area and then a Japan Railway ferry to the island, all of this travel conveniently included in our JR Pass with no extra […] Continue »
When I hiked Mission Peak two years ago, I saw lots of Asians on the trails, but I was surprised to see recent headlines like “Crowds Overrun Mission Peak in Fremont to Shoot Selfies.” Apparently, the number of hikers there has skyrocketed, causing parking problems, crowds, and other changes. So what happened? Are selfie-obsessed Asian Americans really swarming and degrading Mission Peak Regional Preserve?
Taiwan overall is a tea lover’s paradise. If you didn’t already know, I’m quite the tea lover. So being able to go on a hike up and around tea farms was a special treat. Enjoying the beauty of tea farms and the idyllic mountain environment makes it pretty easy to understand what makes high mountain tea so delicious on a poetic level. It’s as if the leaves are infused with the very beauty of the […] Continue »
When Taiwan was handed over to Japan by China, the Japanese found lots of desirable wood on Alishan mountain and promptly began to build railroads to support the logging industry they established here. Luckily, the logging fell out of economic favor over time and tourism became the top priority, which meant that this little train station has been preserved, and visitors can experience the train station and the little boom town village around it with […] Continue »
I’m more of a night owl than a morning person, but there are definitely things in this world worth getting up before dawn for, and the Alishan Sunrise experience would have to be one of those. We were pretty bummed that the train up to Alishan was out of commission due to typhoon damage repairs, but the ride on train up to the Alishan sunrise look out point made up for that a bit.
I know some travelers don’t really care what their accommodations are since they feel like they’re going to be exploring the area, not staying in their hotel room, and I’m happy to do that when I’m on a budget, but when I can, it’s great to stay at a place which is a destination in and of itself. Since I was traveling with a group, we were able to split the cost of a beautiful […] Continue »
As I began looking through my notes and pictures on the trip to Alishan, I realized that I couldn’t cover everything in just one post, so I’m going to share it as a sub-series (hence the part 20A–it will go up to F). It was just too much, and that’s really a reflection of how much there is to do on Alishan mountain. This place has got tea farms, cultural centers, old towns, historic sites, […] Continue »
We had seen a feature of San Xian Tai in a National Geographic travel guide to Taiwan and thought, “Wow, that looks really cool.” Looking it up, though, we saw that it wasn’t exactly right next to a train stop, and it was on the west side of the main Taiwan island, which is harder to get to overall. Nevertheless, Taiwan Tour Bus came to the rescue again, and we were able to charter a […] Continue »
In the book 1001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die, one item in this big bucket list is right in the heart of Taiwan–Taroko Gorge. I guess you could say this is sort of like Taiwan’s Grand Canyon. Construction of this park started when Taiwan was still under Japanese rule, and, reminiscent of the Great Wall of China, many laborers, forced and otherwise, died building the roads into this massive gorge. This gorge […] Continue »
The Yeh Liu Geo Park is basically nature’s sea-erosion sculpture gallery where visitors can witness the strange and sometimes strikingly beautiful shapes that have been carved out of the rock by centuries of ocean waves. My grandparents had taken me here a couple decades ago, but back then, the park was just a parking lot next to the rock formations. Now, it is a fully developed national park tourist destination. An unexpected bonus for me […] Continue »