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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Lake Tekapo 7999, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is a sweet little slice of heaven, and a paradise you'll have all to your own, should you visit outside the high season. The glacial waters running out of the Southern Alps are every bit as mesmerizing as they are refreshing - which is...
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Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Nantou County, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan's largest fresh water lake. When I lived in Nantou County, central Taiwan, I would often ride my scooter to Sun Moon Lake for a bit of fresh air and reflection. One day I drove to the lake and traveled up a hill to the...
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253, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Shimen District, 下員坑路33之6號
Located in the Guanyinshuan National Scenic Area in New Taipei, Taiwan's Yehlio Geopark showcases an otherworldly landscape that is not to be missed. It is the only place in the world where you can see the geological features present in this park,...
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Taipei 101, No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Soaring more than 1,600 feet into the air, Taipei 101 is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and probably Taipei’s most iconic site. For a small fee, visitors can spend time on the observation deck—a large space that offers a 360-degree...
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No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
When Chiang Kai-shek fled mainland China for Taiwan, he took with him many of the treasures that at one time were featured in Beijing’s Palace Museum. Among the items are relics and antiques reflecting 8,000 years of Chinese history. Today the...
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No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853
Longshan is not Taipei's largest temple, but its unique beauty and proximity to the MRT have made it a very popular one. It's an awesome place to stop by at sunset when the after-work crowd comes to worship. The temple fills with people from all...
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Cingshuei Cliff, Taiwan
There is an area of Taiwan, that, in my mind, will always be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The Cingshui Cliffs, located along the Su-Hua Highway in Hualien – a county in eastern Taiwan – are soul-stirring and breathtaking to behold....
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A fellow named Rihang owns a guest house near the bottom of the gorge that runs a fantastic program for visitors: Rihang will rent you a room, help you apply for hiking permits (when necessary), and then will drive you to the trailhead of your...
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Nantou City, Nantou County, Taiwan 540
One of my favorite Taiwanese foods is the baozi, or simply, bao. Baozi are steamed buns filled with tasty tidbits such as chicken, bean paste, curried meats, pork, vegetables, or custard. You can't eat just one! I love bao so much, I've written...
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Alishan Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan 605
Alishan is likely the most famous, and most visited, mountain because of the incomparable tea grown there, its relatively easy access from major cities, and its association with the historic Taiwan Railroad. The best way to see Alishan is to hike...
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No. 167-3, Gangdong Road, Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 207
Yehliu is a cape northeast of Taipei City with a geopark featuring bizarre hoodoo stones jutting up out of the smooth brown stone surface that were formed by the shearing of wind and water. It looks like the surface of an alien planet. The...
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The Guanziling Hot Springs (關子嶺) are located in the foothills of the mountains of Taiwan, about 70 km northeast of Tainan City. These hot springs produce a fine, silty mud which is found in only three places in the world. It's said to be...
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Taipei, Taiwan
Especially when the weather grows cold in Taipei, everyone takes part in a favorite Taiwanese pastime—hanging out at a hot pot restaurant. This is a must-have experience here. Usually at each seat or table there is a cooking pot sunk into the...
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Liuqiu, Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
This west-facing beach may appear to be white sand at a glance, but your bare feet will quickly discover that it's made of corse shards of coral, so watch your step. Rough edges aside, this beach is seldom visited (some people may have been known...
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Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
Xiao Liuchiu is a beautiful island, but the best spot has to be the iconic Vase Rock. This spot is located near the downtown area and ferry dock. There's a wooden walkway where you can walk along the coast and watch the sun set over the Taiwan...
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Taiwan
If you're ever visiting Taipei and feel a bit overwhelmed by the city, Yangmingshan National Park will provide an escape from the chaos of urban living. One of eight national parks in Taiwan, Yangmingshan offers visitors and locals alike a welcome...
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No. 18, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972
These beautiful hot springs are located several kilometres into the gorge. To get there you must drive or cycle to the parking lot and then walk down a long wooden staircase built into the cliffside. At the bottom you'll find a quaint...
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947, Taiwan, 屏東縣滿洲鄉
Lesser known -- but no less amazing -- than Taiwan's famous northern coastal area Yehliu, is the Jialeshuei Scenic Area in the south, just down the road from the surf beach. (You can check out a photographic comparison of the two areas here.) The...
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1 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168641
Head down the alley, past a spiral staircase. There sits Nana & Bird, where you can browse handbags from Meli Melo, minidresses by Singaporean designers, and trippy necklaces made of thin strips of recycled bike tubes. This appeared in the...
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333 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238867
Hansel by Jo Soh is a great local brand with pretty and quirky fashion for ladies. Named for her pet dog, the store's past season themes have included inspiration from puffins, kueh lapis (a local dessert in rainbow hues), and robots. There's a...
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13 Stamford Rd, #02-14 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178905
Elohim can be found in a nice little nook on the second floor of Orchard Central mall, and it is the flagship store of designer Sabrina Goh and her brand Elohim. Her clothing tends toward edgy, graphic colors and prints with interesting cuts. Keep...
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181 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238896
There are nearly 100 malls in Singapore, the majority of which have become gleaming symbols of the city’s modernity. But what Singapore lacks in knock-off outlets, it makes up for in quality and convenience. Every year between May and July,...
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288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
In itself, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is one of the most visually stunning pieces of architecture in all of Singapore. But it was the surrounding grounds that really drew me in. Chinatown is certainly a bustling section of Singapore, but the...
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9 Lock Rd, Singapore 108937
While visiting Singapore's museums, be sure to get out to the Gillman Barracks for an injection of contemporary art. Serenely housed in 14 pristine blocks, the galleries, cafes, and restaurants offer a menu of both the local and international....
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151 New Bridge Road 91 Upper Cross Street Singapore 059443/058362 New Bridge Rd, Singapore 059443
Whether on a rooftop, by the water, or in a local hawker center, dining outdoors is one of the perks of a city with balmy temperatures year-round. Check out Privé on Keppel Island and snag a table on its large outdoor patio, near a marina of...
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245 Victoria St, Singapore 188032
If you wander in and out of the alleys near Victoria Street you'll see a lot of whimsical paintings on formerly bare walls. Haji Lane has always had its share of Instagram-worthy murals but the trend seems to be spreading throughout the...
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Xiong Mao Da Dao Xi Duan, Jinniu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610016
I was a bit nervous to see my China tour included a visit to Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center. I dislike the idea of zoos, and I have heard many a horror story about Asian zoos in particular. The day I visited the pandas I was skeptical but...
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Jinjiang, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
At this panda sanctuary outside of Chengdu, China, pandas live a great life. They sleep. They eat. They just look cute all of the time!