2021

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Claw Machine Arcade Taiwan

Claw Machine Arcades in Taiwan: Why Are There So Many?!

Claw machine arcades are one of Taiwan’s great novelties, inspiring the curiosity, delight and bewilderment of travelers and new-comers alike. If you’re wondering what a claw machine arcade is, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: an arcade filled exclusively with claw machines. Before I came to Taiwan, I had never seen a claw machine arcade. I’d seen many a claw machine, sure, but usually only one or two at a time in the context of an arcade mostly full...

Taiwan COVID level 3 alert

Life in the Time of COVID: Taiwan Edition

For the past year and a half, I’ve been extremely grateful to live here. It has been a place largely free of the dangers of COVID-19, a safe bubble, thanks to Taiwan’s rapid response to the initial outbreak, careful contact tracing and strict border control and quarantine enforcement. Taiwan’s response was “among the best“. But over the past month we’ve watched our case numbers steadily climb as outbreaks in and around Taipei have spiralled. All because of a simple decision...

Taiwan Receipt Lottery, Uniform Invoice Lottery

The Taiwan Receipt Lottery: How to Play & Redeem Your Winnings

In Taiwan, it’s well worth keeping track of your receipts. The Taiwan Receipt Lottery, formally known as the “Uniform Invoice Lottery” (In Chinese 統一發票 Tǒngyī Fāpiào), gives all residents the chance to win up to 10 million NTD (over 350,000 USD)! Say whaaaaaaat?! YES, and it doesn’t matter who you are – even tourists can redeem winnings (assuming you stick around long enough)! Entry is as simple as buying a bottle of water at 7-11 – the numerical code on...

Cherry Blossom Season in Taipei

3 Amazing Spots for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Taipei

I’ve always had a thing for cherry blossoms. I don’t really know why or how or when it began. I just know that they stop me in my tracks every time, flooded with pure delight. To see a cherry blossom in full bloom is to step utterly into the present moment, savoring the simplicity of being in all its sensual wonder. Japan is most famous for its long-held Hanami (flower viewing) custom during sakura season, when friends and family gather...