Bagged fruit (Taiwan)

“In Taiwan,” said a guide, “all our fruit wears clothes.” Soft fruits like mangos and tomatoes are bagged at a key development phase in order to keep insects off and help the fruit grow bigger. It looks strange when you pass an orchard, but it obviously works because there’s nothing like the fruit in Taiwan!

Ten Drum (Tainan, Taiwan)

In Tainan, we went to Ten Drum, an old sugar mill turned into a taiko performance stage, an activity center, a low-thrill amusement park, and a cafe, amongst other things. Bizarre place, but we saw some taiko, tried some taiko, and got to walk among huge abandoned factory equipment.

Animal-shaped rocks (Kending, Taiwan)

A large part of the sightseeing that we did in Taiwan centered around looking at rocks that look like things. Some require quite the stretch of the imagination, but this is actually surprisingly clear: a curled up cat in the center, looking at a dog frolicking away in the sea.

Aborigine chair (Kending, Taiwan)

The aborigines of southern Taiwan have genetic ties to the Filipinos and may have lived in Taiwan for more than 8,000 years. The hotel that we stayed in in Kending had some aborigine-inspired decorations. I feel like these wouldn’t quite fly in the U.S…

The Sun Moon Lake (Taiwan)

The biggest body of water in Taiwan, so named because it’s shaped very, very roughly, like a crescent moon next to a round sun. Or a flag. Or an ax. Interpretations may vary. But the beauty doesn’t.