The global fashion magazine April 14, 2024 
Out now: Lucire issue 48, with free shipping for UK and US


I’ve been travelling


November 23, 2007/3.29

And I love being free. The last month has been pretty hectic, with trips around Australia and New Zealand, plus a very eye-opening humdinger of a trip to Taiwan.
   I’ll give my reasons in depth in a future Lucire, but I think Taiwan is the next big vacation spot. You’d normally think of an island holiday as being Bali, Fiji or Tahiti, but when I saw the Sun Moon Lake and the Alishan region, I was adamant that this would be the next big thing.
   Gen Chiang Kai-shek obviously liked Sun Moon Lake so much he had his holiday home there.
   Less expected was the very real need to know some Mandarin. As a native Cantonese speaker, this was a surprise but by the end of my time there, I was beginning to ?gure out which consonant sounds were replaced by which. For westerners the best explanation is that the two dialects differ as much as Danish and Italian: they may share an alphabet, but you’d struggle to understand complete sentences.
   I also didn’t see any native Taiwanese, despite having headed to the south of the island. There is a theory that Polynesians, once upon a time, hailed from Taiwan. In the documentary Made in Taiwan, hosts Nathan Rarere and Oscar Kightley met up with an aboriginal Taiwanese and remarked at their similarities.
   I’ve posted some of my odder pics, shot for a friend of mine in New Zealand via those newfangled cellphones (I had to take one with me for emergencies), at my Vox blog, and the rest will emerge progressively. Others I’ll wait till someone scans them for me: I remain a stickler for 35 mm photography (plus, ?lm is cheap in Taiwan, the equivalent of NZ$4 for a 36-exposure 200 roll). My new German friends travelling in Taiwan, Peter and Jan, were impressed that I shoot with a 1959 Voigtländer: I explained that because German cameras never broke down, there was no point replacing it.
   There’ll be more in issues 26 and 27 next year in Lucire, and complementary articles online. But mark my words: Taiwan is awesome and the next big vacation spot.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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