Monthly Archives: January 2011

Super Basketball League

SBL stands for Super Basketball League (超級籃球聯賽). The league began in 2003 after a period of about four years where Taiwan had no pro basketball.

I went to watch part of two games in Taipei. There were three games and one ticket is good for all three. Tickets cost $300NT which is equivalent to $9USD. Each team can have one import player, most likely from the U.S. The level of play is similar to Division II basketball in the States. Games are held in arenas all over the island.

Just as in Taiwanese baseball, there are no home teams. Each team has a main sponsor and is not linked to a specific city although some teams are more popular in certain areas of the island than others.

Here is the list of teams: Bank of Taiwan, Dacin Tigers, Kinmen Kaoliang Liqour, Pure Youth Construction, Taiwan Beer, Taiwan Mobile Clouded Leopards, Yulon Loxen Dinos.

Tainan, Taiwan

If you want to see temples, this is the place, it has more Taoist and Buddhist temples than any city in Taiwan.

Tainan is the fourth largest city on the island. It is located in the southwestern corner and used to be the capital under the Qing Dynasty until 1887.

I did the historic walking tour from the Lonely Planet and stopped at least 12 or so temples before we called it a day and went to get dinner. The city itself takes up a very wide land mass because very few buildings are built over six stories. Taxi drivers here do not know any English so I had to put my little Chinese into full use. Only high school and university students will know English. The older generation, just like in most Taiwanese cities will speak Japanese due to the imperial rule.

Getting to Tainan is not as convenient as other cities along the High Speed Rail corridor. The station is about a 45 minute bus ride to get to downtown Tainan.

Tainan has several famous items for those interested in local cuisine. Those worth a try include: Oysters and Noodles (蚵仔麵線 kèzǎi miànxiàn), Dan Dan Noodle (擔仔麵 dānzǎi miàn), and the Oyster Omelette (蚵仔煎 kèzǎijiān).

Historic Caoling Trail

Caoling Historic Trail (草嶺古道) was once an important trail that linked Yilan and Danshui. Today, it is a great place to take a weekend afternoon and enjoy a long hike while basking in some of the great views on Taiwan’s northeast coast.

The path to the trail has a lot of small rice farms and scenery to enjoy. The trail itself is primitive in some parts and rather easy to hike in others. The day that we hiked it was rather muddy in certain areas as it had just rained. After the hike, we took the train a few stops down to Fulong Beach to eat and watch a couple surfers brave the cold water. In total the hike lasted about five hours.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kulala Lumpur is a rather young city. It was established in the mid 1800’s and did not receive city status until 1972. The city had its beginnings when Chinese workers were hired to work in tin mines. Since the 1800’s, Kuala Lumpur has developed into a mid size city. Compared with many homogenous cities in Asia, Kuala Lumpur has a noticeably vast, racial makeup.

As far as sights to see, Kuala Lumpur is not as exciting as other Asian cities. What it lacks in historical value, it makes up for with its diverse cuisine. Food stalls are everywhere in Chinatown and Little India. Along with the standard Chinese dishes, Chinatown also has great Malay street food.

Can’t miss sights include the Petronas Towers, KL Tower, and the Batu Caves.

Backpacking- Ubud, Indonesia