The "other" China boasts some great eating, history/culture, and other urban allures in Taipei, along with some mighty lovely countryside.

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  • Taiwan's most scenic driving route - closed after typhoon damage in 2009 - has just reopened:
    One of Taiwan's most beautiful roads has reopened
    Taiwan's Southern Cross-Island Highway has reopened to the public following a 13-year closure.
  • Taiwan in all its diversity is front and center on the Tripatini blog this week. Check it out!
  • Exactly. In Imperial China, the year was expressed as a measure of the reign of the sitting emperor. (Actually, things were more complicated than that, even, because of the Ten Celestial Stems and the Twelve Earthly Branches used to form the sexagenary cycle of years--see

    It wasn't until the founding of the PRC that Gregorian calendar years were adopted for official use in China, though the Gregorian calendar itself has been used since the founding of the ROC, I believe. I think Japan did/does this, too. I remember seeing weird dates on money or something else official when I was there, and being told it was a "reign year."

    Apparently the year 100 change was not anticipated, at least not early enough or widely enough. But western designers/programmers also failed to anticipate until quite late the need for changes with the coming millennium. Remember Y2K? Slightly different, but similar: old systems pre-Y2K had the "19-" of "19XX" hard-keyed into them or something.
  • So how did they refer to anything before the Republic? The fifth year of the reign of K'ang Hsi? And didn't they anticipate that the two-digit system would run into trouble just after the 99th year?
  • I never thought about this before, but I just came across something about it while translating instructions to bidders for a major project in Taiwan. Taiwan's own little Y2K problem!

    As the article explains, traditionally and officially, dates in Taiwan have been expressed using the "Year of the Republic." This year, for example, is the 98th year of the Republic. Until pretty recently (certainly when I was in Taiwan in the 1980s), nobody used Gregorian calendar years for anything, but that has changed quite a bit in recent years. Still, government and school systems and many business systems were designed using that dating system, and many were designed using only two digits to express the year. Oops!
  • Here's the link to Bernie's pics, now clickable:
    谢谢很多, 柯先生!
  • Collection of photos of the aftermath of typhoon Morakot, set to music:
  • An interesting (and very recent) article about hostels and other similar cheap lodging in Taiwan appears here:

    The CYC Activity Centers mentioned in the article aren't bad. I stayed in one in Taipei on two separate occasions--once in 1981 and again in 1984, upon arrival in Taiwan for my two separate stints there as a student. They are reasonably clean and comfortable, and very affordable.

    The website where the article appears is the online version of a print magazine published by Taiwan's Government Information Office, the current head of which was a classmate of mine when I was in graduate school there. The site has other interesting pieces about various aspects of life in Taiwan.
  • Thank you Bernie, what an excellent resource! Added, here and in our Chinese Language/Culture Club.
  • I would like to share as a place to learn about the Taiwanese language (dialects of the Southern Min language group in the Chinese language family, and collectively the native language of over two-thirds of Taiwan's population). When I lived in Taiwan, there was very little hope of learning it as a foreigner (and Mandarin was challenging enough!), but things have changed a bit. Enjoy!
    Introducing the Taiwanese Language | Tailingua
    This website aims to introduce the language to people unfamiliar with it, and to provide more information to those already acquainted.
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