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Steven Crook

Tainan City, Taiwan
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About Steven
Steven Crook is a journalist based in Tainan City, Taiwan.
Chinese (Mandarin)
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Finance Current Affairs

Environmental Impact Assessment: Lagging behind? Taiwan’s go-slow energy transition

13 Mar 2024  |  taipeitimes.com
Taiwan achieved a record on February 11, with wind and solar providing over half of the nation's electricity, but the transition from fossil fuels is not progressing swiftly enough. Despite recent improvements in renewable energy sources, Taiwan's overall reliance on renewables was just under 11% in 2023. Comparatively, Japan and South Korea have different energy mixes and targets for decarbonization. Taiwan's 2050 net-zero emissions pathway anticipates renewables meeting 60-70% of electricity needs, with hydrogen and carbon-capture technologies contributing to the remainder. Europe, particularly Portugal, is advancing more rapidly towards renewable energy, with Portugal having periods of complete reliance on renewables and ceasing coal use since 2022.

Taiwan’s naturalization rules headache for expats

27 Feb 2024  |  taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's stringent naturalization rules, particularly the requirement to renounce original citizenship, are a significant obstacle for expatriates seeking to become Taiwanese citizens. This policy is seen as a barrier to addressing Taiwan's challenges such as low birthrate, aging population, and the need for global talent. Despite meeting other citizenship criteria, many expatriates are deterred by the potential loss of rights and emotional ties to their home countries. The article highlights the double standard where Taiwanese abroad can hold dual citizenship, while foreigners in Taiwan cannot. The issue affects Taiwan's ability to attract and retain skilled professionals, as exemplified by the experiences of a Taichung-based entrepreneur and a European woman facing banking limitations. NGOs like Crossroads and surveys by Talent Taiwan suggest a need for policy reform to encourage a more inclusive approach to citizenship and talent integration.

Taiwan’s naturalization rules headache for expats

26 Feb 2024  |  flipboard.com
Taiwan's naturalization rules are causing significant challenges for long-term immigrants and expatriates who wish to solidify their residency status. The complexities and stringent requirements of the naturalization process are highlighted as major obstacles.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Is Taiwan ready for a four-day workweek?

21 Feb 2024  |  www.taipeitimes.com
The article explores the potential benefits and challenges of implementing a four-day workweek in Taiwan. Proponents argue it could lead to healthier, happier, and more productive workers, while critics, including the Ministry of Labor, cite insufficient data and potential negative impacts on various sectors. The discussion includes perspectives from labor unions, environmental advocates, and business analysts, highlighting both enthusiasm and skepticism. The article also touches on the broader implications for environmental sustainability and economic models, with some experts advocating for a degrowth approach to mitigate climate change and social inequality.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Independent tracking of carbon emissions takes a leap forward

27 Dec 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
The updated Climate TRACE database now allows global tracking of carbon emissions from power plants and industrial sites, revealing significant data on greenhouse gas sources. Initially funded by Al Gore and others, with support from Google.org, Climate TRACE has expanded its dataset to cover 352 million sources. Taiwan's Taichung Power Plant is highlighted as a major emitter, contributing significantly to the country's carbon dioxide output. The article discusses discrepancies between government-reported emissions and Climate TRACE's findings, suggesting underreporting in Taiwan and other countries. The tool is praised for its transparency and potential to accelerate decarbonization efforts, with collaborations from companies like Tesla, Polestar, and Boeing.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Is it possible to make Taiwan’s streets walkable?

13 Dec 2023  |  taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's cities have the potential for high walkability due to the proximity of amenities, but many prefer driving or scootering, partly due to weather and safety concerns. Recent international attention and public protests have spurred government action, leading to a Legislative Yuan amendment prioritizing pedestrian-friendly urban design. Experts like Cheng Tsu-jui from NCKU highlight the health, environmental, and social benefits of increased walkability, though obstacles remain, such as sidewalk accessibility and cultural attitudes towards walking. Strategies to discourage car and motorcycle use in favor of walking include progressive parking fees and improved pedestrian infrastructure. The article suggests that making cities more walkable could improve public health, reduce pollution, and enhance social connectivity.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Greening eternity

22 Nov 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
The article discusses the environmental impact of traditional burial practices and highlights the growing trend of green burials in Taiwan. It features the story of Jerome Keating, who chose an eco-friendly burial for his wife Monika. The piece details the benefits of green burials, such as reduced land use and lower environmental impact, and mentions the legal and governmental support for these practices. It also explores alternative methods like aquamation and human composting, which are not yet legal in Taiwan but offer even lower carbon footprints.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Why Bill Gates is both right and wrong

25 Oct 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Bill Gates' recent comments at the New York Times Climate Forward Summit dismissing tree-planting as a primary solution to climate change have sparked debate. While Gates advocates for technological solutions like carbon removal and eco-friendly heat pumps, experts like Chiang Jyh-min emphasize the multifaceted benefits of trees, including cooling urban areas, improving air quality, and enhancing biodiversity. Despite Taiwan's limited land for afforestation, preserving existing trees remains crucial for environmental and public health. Chiang's research and advocacy highlight the importance of integrating native species and community involvement in urban planning.

Can Taiwan avoid the abyss of overtourism?

19 Oct 2023  |  Portugal Posts English
Taiwan faces challenges with overtourism in popular destinations like Siaoliouciou, Kenting, and Sun Moon Lake, impacting local residents' quality of life and the environment. Experts suggest solutions such as implementing tourist taxes, promoting high-value experiential tourism, and encouraging digital nomads. The article highlights the need for better tourism management and infrastructure upgrades to handle increasing visitor numbers while preserving local communities and natural resources.

The Divine Trees of Cilan

01 Jul 2023  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
Cilan Divine Tree Garden in Yilan’s Datong County, Taiwan, is a remote conservation area known for its ancient cypress trees, some over 1,000 years old. Visits require advance booking and are conducted via operator minibuses due to the challenging access road. The garden features two main routes for visitors, guided tours, and significant historical and ecological value, including being listed as a potential World Heritage Site. Managed by the Veterans Affairs Council, the area has a complex history of logging and conservation efforts. The proposed Magao National Park, which would have included Cilan, was halted due to local opposition.

Bursting With Biodiversity: Taiwan's Wetlands

01 Jul 2023  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
Taiwan's wetlands, covering only 1.6% of the island's land area, play a crucial role in biodiversity and ecotourism. Despite their small size and often unappealing locations, these wetlands are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Conservation efforts are mandated by several acts, but environmentalists are dissatisfied with the government's actions against climate change, overdevelopment, and pollution. Wetlands also provide significant ecological benefits, such as filtering contaminants and storing carbon. Key wetland areas include Tianliaoyang Wetland, Guandu Nature Park, Gaomei Wetland, and several others along the west coast and inland regions. These areas are vital for bird migration and local biodiversity, with various organizations involved in their conservation.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Is Taiwan ready for extreme heat?

10 May 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
As climate change intensifies, Taiwan faces increasing risks from extreme heat, particularly affecting its aging population. The article highlights the health dangers of high temperatures, including dehydration, heat stroke, and exacerbation of chronic diseases. It discusses the Central Weather Bureau's heat warnings and the Ministry of Labor's inadequate enforcement of safety regulations for workers exposed to high temperatures. The Ministry of Health and Welfare advises citizens to stay hydrated and avoid outdoor activities during peak heat. The article calls for better protection measures for vulnerable populations, especially the elderly living alone.

Glimmer of hope for filial foreign residents?

27 Apr 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Long-term foreign residents and naturalized citizens in Taiwan face challenges in bringing their aging noncitizen parents to the country due to restrictive policies. The National Development Council and National Immigration Agency are reexamining the issue, with potential amendments to laws and regulations being discussed. An exception exists for Chinese citizens married to Taiwanese for 10 years, allowing them to settle their elderly parents in Taiwan. Legal experts suggest that changes to the Immigration Act are necessary to allow parents to reside as dependents, and health insurance coverage for these parents could be a significant hurdle. Some foreign residents are willing to sign financial support affidavits and purchase private medical insurance to bring their parents to Taiwan, which could help retain foreign talent and boost consumer spending.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Counting the corpses on Taiwan’s roads

12 Apr 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
An NGO reveals the scale of roadkill on Taiwan’s roads, with estimates of 14 to 20 million wild animals dying annually due to vehicle collisions. The Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network (TaiRON), founded by Lin Te-en, has been instrumental in gathering data and raising awareness about the issue. TaiRON's findings indicate that roadkill is prevalent in suburban areas and lowland forests, not just near national parks. Efforts to mitigate roadkill include installing warning signs, protective fences, and ecological corridors. Education and awareness are crucial in reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions.

After 25 Years, Cost of Water Rises

01 Apr 2023  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
Government and businesses in Taiwan are addressing water conservation and price increases due to drought threats. Since February 1, large-scale consumers face an additional water tariff, which will double by mid-2025. The Ministry of Economic Affairs aims to incentivize water efficiency and investment in water-saving technologies. Major companies like TSMC and AU Optronics have already implemented water recycling measures. Environmentalists criticize the timing of the surcharges, while the semiconductor industry remains the largest water consumer. Efforts to reduce water usage are also seen in the hospitality sector and iconic buildings like Taipei 101.

Taiwan’s Farm Exporters Look to Unlock New Markets

01 Apr 2023  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
Taiwanese farm exporters are striving to diversify their markets beyond China due to recent trade disruptions and political tensions. The Council of Agriculture (COA) is working to expand export channels and stabilize supply chains. Notable successes include exporting orchids and mangoes to New Zealand, and pineapples to Australia. However, exporters face challenges such as stringent import regulations and lack of government support. The COA is investing in cold chain logistics and quality assurance to meet international standards. Experts call for a comprehensive overhaul of the agricultural sector to address climate change impacts and support young farmers.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Restoring Taiwan’s urban waterways

15 Mar 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Many urban waterways in Taiwan are polluted and visually unappealing, but successful restoration projects in Hsinchu, Taichung, and Tainan demonstrate the potential for improvement. Hsinchu Moat Park and Taichung's Green Waterway have been transformed into recreational spaces, though they lack significant ecological functions. Tainan's Bamboo Creek restoration represents meaningful progress, enhancing both social and ecological functions. Despite these successes, challenges remain, including limited space in urban areas and a lack of political will for comprehensive river restoration. Efforts continue to improve water quality and educate the public on the importance of low-impact construction.

Biting into Taiwan

01 Mar 2023  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
Taiwan Bites, an upcoming eight-part TV series directed by Kenny Png and produced by Roger Cheng, explores the diverse and refined flavors of Taiwanese cuisine beyond common street food stereotypes. The series, featuring chef-entrepreneur Eric Sze, was filmed across multiple countries and aims to educate viewers about Taiwan's rich culinary heritage. Despite financial constraints, the production received partial funding from Taiwan's Ministry of Culture. The narrative highlights the passion and efficiency of Taiwanese food entrepreneurs, emphasizing their shared vision and ambition to tell Taiwan's story through food.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Fixing Taiwan’s water woes

08 Feb 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's water prices are significantly lower than those in the US, leading to overconsumption by industrial sectors. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) recently scrapped a controversial water diversion project from Nanshi Creek to Shihmen Reservoir due to environmental concerns. Activists, including Huang Tai-hua, played a crucial role in opposing the project. New regulations now require large water consumers to pay additional fees during the dry season, aiming to encourage water conservation. Major companies like TSMC, CPC Corp, AU Optronics, Innolux, and Formosa Plastics will be affected. The new rules also incentivize the use of alternative water sources and recycling. However, the impact of these measures may be limited due to phased implementation and relatively low tariffs.

Lujhunan: The neighborhood that missed the update

13 Jan 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Lujhunan in Miaoli County's Toufen Township is a neighborhood rich in traditional Taiwanese architecture, featuring hand-painted murals and movie posters. Despite industrial rezoning in 1964 leading to depopulation, efforts are now underway to preserve and celebrate the area's cultural heritage. The Old House Museum, supported by the Ministry of Labor, serves as a focal point for these efforts. Local retiree Chen Mu-cun has contributed significantly by painting murals and restoring them without government subsidies. The area offers a picturesque glimpse into Taiwan's past, attracting visitors interested in cultural heritage and traditional architecture.

Environmental Impact Assessment: How to clean up clean energy’s piles of waste

11 Jan 2023  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Wind turbine blades, while beneficial for generating clean energy, pose a disposal problem due to their carbon footprint and non-recyclable composite materials. Taiwan faces the challenge of disposing of decommissioned blades, with crushing and burying as the current method. Manuel Zehr, a renewable energy entrepreneur, criticizes Taiwan's lack of a progressive policy for blade disposal, unlike Northern Europe's profitable decommissioning industry. Companies like Vestas and Swancor are working on recyclable blades, but the issue of existing blades remains. Kim Asher, a wind-energy veteran, suggests Taiwan can learn from Northern Europe's environmental practices and become a leader in green energy. The wind industry is also noted for its efforts to minimize environmental impacts and contribute to ocean ecology research.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Turning down Taiwan’s heat

14 Dec 2022  |  taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's cities are experiencing extreme temperatures due to the urban heat island effect, which poses risks to residents' health and increases electricity consumption. The phenomenon is exacerbated by high population density and building practices. Research led by Lin Tzu-ping at National Cheng Kung University has identified specific districts most affected by this effect and suggests strategies to mitigate it, such as planting trees, greening rooftops, and using permeable paving materials. These measures could potentially reduce temperatures by an average of 2 degrees Celsius. Additionally, enhancing buildings' albedo and implementing distributed district cooling systems are proposed as solutions to reduce urban heat and carbon footprint.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Are Taiwan’s forests in danger of burning?

10 Aug 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
As climate change intensifies, Taiwan faces increasing risks of wildfires, particularly in its high-altitude forests dominated by conifers. Lin Chau-chin, a former editor-in-chief of the Taiwan Journal of Forest Science, emphasizes that Taiwan's fire zones are similar to those in temperate climates, with coniferous trees being highly flammable. Despite relatively rare lightning-triggered fires, human activities like farming, smoking, and hunting are significant causes. Climate data shows rising temperatures and longer dry spells, exacerbating fire risks. Lin criticizes the historical focus on timber production over ecosystem health, advocating for a balanced approach to fire management that includes planning, prevention, and recovery, aligning with recommendations from the United Nations Environment Program.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Will Nanshi Creek be sacrificed on the altar of economic development?

27 Jul 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Concerns are raised about a proposed water-diversion tunnel from Nanshi Creek to Shihmen Reservoir in Taiwan, which could have severe ecological consequences and a significant carbon footprint. Environmental activists, led by Huang Tai-hua, argue that the project could devastate the pristine watershed and destabilize the area's geology, drawing parallels to past disasters. The Water Resources Agency defends the project, citing regional water supply stability, but offers vague assurances about environmental impact. Critics call for public pressure to halt the project ahead of local elections.

The beauty of bricks and mortar

15 Jul 2022  |  taipeitimes.com
Hukou Old Street in Hsinchu County, Taiwan, is celebrated for its traditional appearance, a result of economic development, historical events, and government restoration efforts. The street features century-old two-story shophouses with uniform red-brick walls and unique architectural details. Despite modern touches, the street maintains its historical charm, with many residential properties and a few commercial ones, such as arts, antiques, and crafts stores. Guoyang Glass Art Studio, run by artist Irene Chiu, is one of the highlights, offering intricate glasswork. The street's transformation from a bustling commercial center to a quaint backwater and its subsequent revival is a testament to the area's resilience and cultural significance.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Living beyond our means: earth overshoot day

13 Jul 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Humanity has been consuming ecosystem services faster than nature can regenerate since the 1970s, with Taiwan being a significant offender. Earth Overshoot Day, marked on July 28 this year, highlights this issue. Chao Chia-wei from the Taiwan Environment and Planning Association emphasizes the need to rethink economic growth priorities and reduce consumption. Taiwan's ecological footprint has worsened over the years, with carbon emissions being a major contributor. Chao advocates for more ambitious carbon reduction targets and policy changes, including higher electricity prices and managing energy demand growth, particularly from industries like TSMC. He also supports a shift from GDP to a 'wellbeing index' as a measure of success.

Huwei: A taste of sugar with traces of Japan

01 Jul 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Huwei township in Yunlin County, Taiwan, showcases remnants of Japanese influence from the period of 1895-1945, reflecting both the economic organization for Japanese benefit and local progress. The town, ideal for bicycle exploration, features historical landmarks such as the Huwei Joint Services Office, Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum, and Yunlin Story House. Despite some attractions being temporarily inaccessible, Huwei's sugar industry complex and a new statue celebrating budaixi puppetry highlight the town's cultural heritage.

A walk down memory lane: Tainan’s renovated historic sites

24 Jun 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's former capital, Tainan, has seen a shift from demolishing old buildings to restoring them, with significant public funding directed towards preserving cultural heritage. Notable projects include the Former Tainan Prefecture Governor's Residence, the Chen Shih Sing House, Asakusa Shopping Center, and the Pharmaceutical Company Japanese-Era Dormitory. These sites showcase a range of architectural styles and techniques, reflecting the city's history and evolution. The restoration efforts aim to maintain Tainan's historical character and potentially attract tourism and new business.

Highways & Byways: Honoring ancestors in Taiwan’s deep south

17 Jun 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Pingtung County in Taiwan, despite experiencing a population decline and losing a legislative seat, retains its traditional charm with less development compared to other regions. The area is known for ancestral homes and temples honoring lineages from the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable sites include the Gong Family Ancient House, the Chonglan Hsiao Family Shrine, and Tseng’s Ancestral Hall, which showcase the region's cultural heritage. The article also touches on the history of local families and their contributions to the arts, such as Sylvia Lee Shu-teh, known as 'Taiwan’s godmother of the violin.'

Highways & Byways: Jhuoshuei River’s ‘sacred’ tree

27 May 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Tourism in Changhua County, Taiwan, is unevenly distributed, with popular spots like Lukang attracting many visitors while rural areas like Jhutang and Sijhou remain less frequented. The Jiulong Giant Banyan, a 300-year-old sacred tree, is a notable attraction in Jhutang, surrounded by local folklore and a small temple dedicated to Liao Jhu-che. Sijhou Gardens Forest Zone, part of Taiwan's largest park, offers shaded boardwalks and diverse flora and fauna. Tianwei is renowned for its horticultural businesses, offering a variety of plants and gardening supplies.

Highways & Byways: Where the fire never goes out

20 May 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
A scooter ride through Chiayi County’s Pinglin offers a glimpse into old-time Taiwan, featuring a natural gas flame that never stops burning. The journey includes scenic routes, a bamboo charcoal operation, and a visit to Chuhuosi, a place where natural gas seeps from the ground. Despite some disappointments, the trip provides unique experiences and encounters with local wildlife.

Highways & Byways: Hugging Tainan’s trees

06 May 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Tainan, known for its ancient buildings and traditions, also boasts a registry of 271 old trees, protected under a legal framework established by the Tainan City Government in 2012. These trees, some of which have survived through various historical periods, are cataloged in a database maintained by the city's Agriculture Bureau. The article highlights the significance of these trees as part of local heritage and the efforts to protect them, despite challenges such as disease and urban development. Notable species include Chinese banyans, camphor trees, and the rare Prosopis juliflora. The article also discusses the cultural and historical context of these trees, emphasizing their importance to the community and the environment.

Highways & Byways: Overlooked and unloved?

29 Apr 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
The article highlights four often-overlooked towns in Taiwan that are worth visiting for their unique attractions. Yangmei District in Taoyuan is noted for its Puxin Story House, a renovated tea-industry manager's accommodation. Fangyuan Township in Changhua County features the Wanggong Lighthouse and oyster beds. Sikou Township in Chiayi County is home to the historic Chang Clan Western Residence. Zihguan in Kaohsiung is an excellent spot for jet spotting due to its proximity to the Republic of China Air Force Academy. The article provides practical information for visitors and emphasizes the cultural and historical significance of these locations.

Highways and Byways: Touring Taichung by metro

15 Apr 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taichung's new MRT Green Line, celebrating its first anniversary, offers a convenient and eco-friendly way for tourists to explore the city. The line connects 18 stations over 16.71km, serving various districts. While optimized for commuters, it provides a unique perspective of Taichung's urban sprawl. Key attractions accessible via the metro include the National Taichung Theater, historic sites like Jishan Gatehouse and Yide Mansion, and the Taichung Masjid. The article highlights the blend of modern and traditional elements in the city's architecture and public spaces, offering a comprehensive guide for visitors.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Beyond garbage separation and recycling

13 Apr 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Environmental education in Taiwan has evolved significantly, with the government and NGOs like Society Of Wilderness and Friendly SEED playing crucial roles. The Environmental Education Act mandates annual programs for various institutions, aiming to instill environmental ethics and awareness. Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, these organizations have adapted by offering online content. The article highlights the importance of experiential learning and long-term cooperation between NGOs, schools, companies, and government departments to foster a deeper understanding and commitment to environmental protection.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Can Taiwan kick its coal habit?

23 Mar 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's carbon emissions have remained high due to its reliance on coal, despite government efforts to promote renewable energy. The country faces challenges in ensuring stable electricity supplies while aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Ministry of Economic Affairs plans to reduce coal usage and expand renewable energy, but there are doubts about meeting ambitious targets. The article discusses the environmental and health impacts of coal, the potential of other energy sources, and the need for technological solutions to manage power consumption.

Highways & Byways: The colonel, the pilot and the policeman: Taiwan’s Japanese gods

28 Jan 2022  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Japanese rule significantly influenced Taiwan's economic development and infrastructure, leaving a lasting impact on local beliefs. Several Japanese individuals who lived and died in Taiwan have been posthumously deified due to their admirable conduct and miraculous events associated with them. Notable figures include Yoshihara Kozo, an Imperial Japanese Army colonel; Sugiura Shigemine, an Imperial Japanese Navy pilot; and Morikawa Seijiro, a benevolent police officer. These individuals are venerated in various temples across Taiwan, reflecting a unique blend of cultural and religious practices.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Taiwan gets it right on methane emissions

26 Jan 2022  |  taipeitimes.com
Taiwan has significantly reduced its methane emissions, with the 2019 total being half of 2005's levels, and emissions in 2010 just one eighth of those in 1998. The reduction is attributed to better waste management and biogas disposal. Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration and Council of Agriculture have implemented measures contributing to this success. Despite these achievements, Taiwan still relies heavily on imported fossil fuels and has a growing demand for beef and dairy, which externalizes methane emissions. Lawmaker Hung Shen-han and Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua have addressed the need for responsible natural gas procurement and a collective effort in reducing greenhouse gases.

Crickets on the Menu, Worms on the Plate

01 Jan 2022  |  Taiwan Business TOPICS
In Taiwan, a small group of entrepreneurs and researchers, including Chen Bing-chen, Matan Shelomi, and Timothy Seekings, are working to mainstream edible insects despite regulatory challenges. Companies like FoodType are innovating with insect-based foods, but face hurdles from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration. Educational efforts at National Taiwan University and practical research by individuals like Seekings are fostering local interest. The potential benefits of edible insects include nutritional advantages, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunities, though regulatory and cost barriers remain significant.

Highways & Byways: New Year’s sightseeing resolutions

31 Dec 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taiwan-based travelers are cautiously optimistic about travel in 2022, with a focus on domestic tourism due to COVID-19 restrictions. Michael McCreesh emphasizes the health benefits of nature and sustainable tourism, planning visits to Fushan Botanical Garden and Tataka. Victor Yu, president of Ecotourism Taiwan, has modest goals, including birdwatching in Kinmen and the southwestern coast. Johannes Twellmann, editor-in-chief of Travel in Taiwan, prefers slow, immersive travel experiences and aims to explore less-visited places in Taiwan. The article highlights a shift towards more meaningful and sustainable travel experiences post-pandemic.

Highways & Byways: Singang: Chiayi’s temple town

17 Dec 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Singang in Chiayi County, Taiwan, is a key stop in the annual Matsu pilgrimage, featuring the renowned Fengtian Temple. The town offers cultural attractions like the Dingcaiyuan Cultural Artifacts Hall and Daching Incense Factory. Fengtian Temple, dedicated to Matsu, also honors other deities including the Tiger General, whose worship reflects local pride and evolving cultural significance. The article highlights the town's religious and cultural heritage, making it a notable destination for visitors.

Environmental Impact Assessment: Taiwan ignores international mountain day

08 Dec 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Taiwan's environmental awareness has grown, but enforcement of rules remains inconsistent. Despite having the highest peaks in Northeast Asia, International Mountain Day goes largely unnoticed in Taiwan. Sustainable mountain tourism is critical, with tourism booming due to lifted access restrictions and the pandemic. Traffic controls and better public transportation are suggested to manage visitor numbers. Issues like improper waste disposal and overdevelopment persist, highlighting the need for better education and enforcement to preserve the natural environment for future generations.

Highways & Byways: Unexpected finds in the hills of Kaohsiung

26 Nov 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
A motorcycle road trip through Kaohsiung's Tianliao and Cishan districts reveals a mix of historical and obscure attractions, including the Taiwan Temple of Heaven, an elevated aqueduct, and a veterans' cemetery with anonymous graves. The journey highlights the region's rural charm, historical remnants, and lesser-known sites, offering a unique perspective on local culture and history.

Highways & Byways: Swept under the tarmac

19 Nov 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Tainan's new underground rail line aims to enhance public transportation by 2024, replacing the current ground-level tracks with an 8.23km tunnel. The project, partially funded by the Tainan City Government, will eliminate level crossings and underpasses, improving traffic flow and safety. However, concerns arise about potential real-estate developments encroaching on green spaces, particularly around the Taiwan Sugar Corporation's head office. The project has faced protests over land expropriation but has proceeded with revisions to preserve historic structures. The article highlights both the benefits and potential drawbacks of the ambitious infrastructure project.

Highways & Byways: Yancheng for foodies

22 Oct 2021  |  www.taipeitimes.com
Exploring Kaohsiung’s Yancheng District, the author delves into the local culinary scene, highlighting distinctive eateries and historical sites. The journey includes tasting various traditional dishes such as milkfish congee, peanut zongzi, and pig’s tongue vermicelli, each described with detailed impressions. The narrative also touches on historical landmarks like Shaduo Temple and Tomomatsu Hospital, providing a cultural backdrop to the gastronomic adventure.

How Taiwan’s food traditions are falling out of favour, and one chef’s quest to keep them alive

24 May 2018  |  South China Morning Post
Taiwanese culinary traditions, particularly the bando banquet culture, are experiencing a decline as modern sensibilities and convenience shift preferences towards restaurants and hotels. Food historian Yujen Chen notes that these banquets historically helped forge social networks and reflected the policies and personalities of Taiwan's presidents. However, changing tastes and the rise of affluence have altered traditional dishes. Chef Lin Ming-tsan, son of renowned banquet chef Lin Tian-sheng, laments the loss of local culinary knowledge and the changes in food industry practices affecting traditional flavors. Despite challenges, Lin is committed to preserving bando culture, with support from Taiwanese authorities and the hospitality industry. Additionally, Hoshing Confectioneries, a traditional Shanghai-style cake maker, is adapting to modern tastes under the leadership of Jen Chia-lun and Cheng Kuang-yu, who aim to attract younger generations to traditional markets with their 'culture-creative' shop, Hoshing 1947.

Steven Crook: Western faces, Taiwanese schoolbooks (Taiwan Business Topics)

12 Aug 2016  |  crooksteven.blogspot.com
The author of the article is promoting their blog which is focused on travel writing and freelance writing. The purpose of the blog is to advertise workshops that the author is conducting. These workshops are likely aimed at individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in travel writing or wish to enhance their skills in freelance writing. The article serves as an invitation for potential attendees to explore the blog for more information about the workshops offered.

Taiwan is finally making good use of the photovoltaic technology manufactured on the island.

A look at how and why Taiwan's tourism industry has expanded in recent years, and the challenges it now faces.

Cancún offers the cuisine of the Yucatán. You just to have to get out of the Zona Hotelera to find it.

12 Aug 2016  |  Roads & Kingdoms
The article discusses the culinary offerings of Cancún, particularly the authentic cuisine of the Yucatán region. It suggests that to experience the true flavors of Yucatán, visitors need to venture beyond the Zona Hotelera, which is the main tourist area in Cancún. The article likely provides insights into local dishes, where to find them, and possibly includes recommendations for restaurants or eateries that are popular with locals or offer a more traditional dining experience.

Tourists continue search for enlightenment

25 Oct 2013  |  South China Morning Post
Taiwan is a vibrant religious culture center with a booming tourist industry, seeing international arrivals more than double from 2006 to last year. Religious sites like Dharma Drum Mountain and Fo Guang Shan's Buddha Memorial Centre are attracting growing numbers of visitors, particularly from Hong Kong, mainland China, and Singapore. The island hosts significant religious events such as the Taichung City Mazu International Festival, and offers unique accommodations in temple dormitories. Taiwan's diverse religious architecture, from Spanish-style churches to Taoist-inspired Catholic churches, adds to its appeal for both local and international tourists.

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