A Christmas Wish for the People of Taiwan

十二月 24, 2009

By Cho Yin-cheng

Christmas is one of the few constants in life for many people: a time for families to come together; a time to reflect on the important things in life; and a time for acknowledging our good fortune and for sharing that good fortune with others, says Alice Cawte, Representative of the Australian Commerce and Industry Office.

She points out, far be it from her to give a new interpretation to an ancient festival, but adds, “as we are about to enter the second decade of the 21st century, I would like to wish all people in Taiwan a safe, happy and prosperous Christmas and New Year.”


US diplomat recalls childhood Christmases

十二月 24, 2009

By Joseph Yeh

Christmas has always been a special holiday for Americans. Not only it is associated with the universal message of peace and goodwill, but it has always been a great day for children because of the gift-giving and the spirit of wonder, says William Stanton, director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

“I remember when I was a kid waiting for the Santa Claus to come, even though I knew long before I actually admitted it that there is no Santa,” muses Stanton.

But it is somehow nice to maintain the fiction because of the excitement it brings to children. And it is a harmless myth that has some positive effects associated with the spirit of giving and charity, a universal positive theme one can find throughout the world now about Christmas.

It is also a time for hoping for better things in the upcoming New Year, a hopeful and happy time, says the AIT head.
Even though the holiday has become more commercialized with time, Stanton notes that the point is, the children are happy – and more importantly, it is also related to charitable activities.   

The de facto American ambassador explains that in his mind he always associates the essence of Christmas with the city of New York.
“My mom used to take me and my sister when we were children to Rockefeller Center every Christmas for the huge Christmas tree and to watch people ice skating.”

“We also visited the Radio City Musical for its Christmas song and dance festival once or twice. Then we would walk along Fifth Avenue window shopping, to see all the wonderful decorations and displays.”

This will be the first Christmas for the AIT head during his tenure in Taipei. Stanton says he will be flying back to the US to spend the holiday with his wife and two daughters in Washington, D.C., where his daughter will put up a Christmas tree, a family tradition.
“When I was a child, I always tried to convince my parents to buy the biggest Christmas tree they would agree to, and it took a great deal of time to decorate it.”

“I always took great pleasure in decorating the Christmas trees,” he adds.
Stanton says he would also hang stockings with names on them by the Christmas tree so Santa Claus would know who to give certain gifts to.

“Even though now my two daughters are 23 and 19 now, they still insist on doing so and even put out cookies and milk for Santa,” he adds. It’s all a part of the Christmas traditions that are passed from one generation to the next.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

十二月 24, 2009

Send an e-card to your friends.

Send an e-card to your friends.

十二月 23, 2009

十二月 23, 2009

十二月 23, 2009

十二月 23, 2009

十二月 23, 2009

Spend Christmas amid Wulai’s hotsprings and Atayal Aboriginal cuisines

十二月 23, 2009

Tired of eating the same traditional Christmas meal such as roast turkey or goose, and want to enjoy a different kind of “heart-warming” vacation amid the cold fronts hitting Taipei? Go to Wulai to enjoy a hotspring and aboriginal cuisine tour for a change this year!

Wulai, a rural township surrounded by mountains that is equally famous for its hotsprings and its aboriginal Atayal culture, is the best choice for foreigners in Taiwan who are not only looking for a place to experience the instant feeling of warmth and coziness brought on by bathing in heated groundwater, but also a getaway from the urban landscape and buzzing, busy routine of metropolitan life.

Offering a very different feel from the sulfur springs of Beitou, another more famous hotspring destination; Wulai’s spring water is famous for its odorless bicarbonate makeup and is even safe to drink. The springs are said to have a therapeutic effect on the skin and for gastrointestinal diseases.

Getting to Wulai

Wulai sits at the southern end of Taipei County and at 321 square kilometers is the largest township in the county. The township is surrounded by towering mountains, with a stunning geography of ravines, cliffs, and waterfalls dotting the landscape.

Legend has it that a long time ago an Atayal aborigine was hunting by a stream and saw a mist coming from the water. The stream was warm and hot, and he called out “Wulai,” which in the Atayal language means “smoking hot water,” warning his companions and giving this area its present name.

You can get there by taking the mass transportation system to Xindian station (新店站) and then hopping a Xindian bus to Wulai for NT$40.
If you go there by car, get off at Xindian Interchange and drive along Chongxin Road, Beiyi Road, and then 9 Jia Road to reach your destination Wulai.

On the way, the road climbs gently up into the mountains and you soon leave all signs of the city behind.
Wulai hot springs

On the road up to Wulai you will spot all kinds of hot spring hotels. You may find a few high-end hot spring resorts, such as Wulai Pause Landis Resort and the Spring Park Urai Spa & Resort.

All these modern day resorts are equipped with Japanese or western style hot spring villas which allow you to enjoy a more private experience in your own indoor spa.

These five-star spa resorts also provide different versions of outdoor or indoor spa pools, along with plenty of delicious dishes and medicinal cuisine in Japanese, Taiwanese or even Western styles.

If you don’t mind the simple decor and want to experience an old-style hot springs bathhouse, you can visit one of these hot spring hotels in the township that are privately owned and family run operations, to enjoy quality time in the hot mineral bath for about NT$300 to NT$500.

If you want to save money to buy better Christmas presents, you have another option: Wulai’s ‘wild’ hot springs. Instead of enjoying hot springs indoors, many tourists choose to take a dip in the hot springs located right alongside Nanshih Creek which runs through the Wulai area.

Not only are the outdoor spring free of charge, you can also enjoy beautiful natural scenery while taking a bath. For first timers, it is advisable to go with someone familiar with the area to avoid getting lost in the woods or suffering burns in the hot spring water.
What to do and what to eat in Wulai

In addition to its hot springs, Wulai also has a rich aboriginal culture, with the Atayal as its main focus.
Walking along famous Wulai Old Street, you can easily sense the Atayal culture in a variety of souvenir shops which sell aboriginal handicrafts of the Atayal tribe as well as traditional Atayal clothes and hats.

You can even find a “Wulai Atayal Museum in Taipei County.” The content of its exhibition includes traditional Atayal history culture and living material culture, as well as the whole natural ecology and cultural resources in Wulai area.

Another thing one should not miss when you visit Wulai is, make sure not to miss the Atayal cuisines and specialties such as aborigine-brewed millet liquor in various flavors.

There are also dozens of small restaurants serving aboriginal specialties such as sticky rice served in bamboo tubes, Atayal-style stone-grilled pork from the mountain boar, betel nut flower soup, hot spring eggs and of course baked machi, a favorite aboriginal desert made from millet flour and filled with red bean, peanut, or sesame paste.

Apart from the old streets and great foods, you can also take your time to visit beautiful Wulai Waterfall to check on the beautiful greenery, or you can take the Wulai cable car, which was the first of its kind in Taiwan and has been operating for more than 40 years, to visit the Yun Hsien Holiday Resort.

And if you are willing to walk a few more steps or drive a few more minutes, there is a whole world of brooks, waterfalls, and forests waiting in Wulai for visitors to discover, allowing you to enjoy a very different Christmas, one like you never felt before.

Tarot healing for 2010

十二月 22, 2009

1. Advice for those who anticipate romance in 2010

First, direct your attention back to yourself. Think clearly about what you want in an intimate relationship. Focusing on your needs instead of any specific mate will help you to open your mind and broaden your viewpoint. 

When you realize and admit your desire for romance, let it be known. You should rekindle the passion for yourself and love affairs.
Liberate yourself from any bad impression of love relationships, which only stops your way. How can you long for romance while at the same time you fear it? Open your mind and live a passionate life, and you’ll shine brilliantly.

You are encouraged to change routines. Cultivating new habits and meeting new friends will bring benefits to you. Don’t be afraid of change, which will come with new energy. Your honesty and concentration will guide you to your dream life.

2.Advice for those who wish to improve their home atmosphere in 2010

Please calm down. You should know that every family member is willing to improve the relationship whether their effort is noticed or not. Examine and strike a balance between your giving and receiving. Any time you break the balance, you’ll have difficulty perceiving your love for your family.

Seeing the love behind what has happened can be a lesson for you. This will help you forgive and release negative emotions. In doing so, you’ll be able to love yourself. When you truly love yourself, the glory of love and forgiveness you radiate will have a positive impact on family members. That’s much more effective than persuasion.

Pray for your family. Love and forgiveness will harmonize the atmosphere in your home.

3.Advice for those who wish to improve their health in 2010

You should reexamine your dietary habits. Choose light food and enjoy the act of chewing it, and you’ll feel more relaxed than ever before.
Engage in different types of exercise instead of sticking to specific ones. And remember never be determined to achieve an effect and you’ll really start to benefit from exercise.

Being healthy includes your mental condition. Angels would like to remind you to let go of what doesn’t belong to you and what you can’t control. Admit your true feelings and release them. Chances are that physical symptoms will moderate once spiritual pressure no longer exists.

Connecting with nature has always been a vital healing method. Plan yourself a tour in nature. Take your time and take off your shoes. You will be able to reconnect to the supporting power that has accompanied you ever since you were born.

4.Advice for those who are looking for an ideal job or fortune in 2010

Abundance is always there and the world never lacks anything. You should first identify those ideas you bear in mind that you’re not allowed to possess or are afraid of losing, then you’ll connect to the flow of abundance.

Masters encourage you to focus on your power and dedicate yourself to developing your talents. Get rid of unreasonable fear and insecurity, for they do no good but only weaken your power.

Prepare a well-drafted resume and promote yourself like a brand. You will perform excellently during an interview or important tasks.
No matter whether in work or in fortune, joy will always bring you more tangible and invisible fortune. Go forward step by step, and consider frustration an interesting test. Do not worry about anything. Every step you take will enhance your ability, enrich your experience, and bring a different fortune as well as those who will help and enlighten you in moments crucial to you.

About the diviner
As a super-hit divining blogger, Tarotcat has over six years of divining experience. Tarotcat explores the knowledge of tarot, numerology, OH Cards, annual predictions, spiritual energy, angels and healing. She is talented at formulating divining questions, mind tests, fortune telling and physical and mind healing. Tarotcat dreams of helping everyone retrieve his/her own power by utilizing her knowledge.