Where Are We Going?

As we’ve been telling folks about our trip to Taiwan, the first question most people ask is, “Where will you be living?”

The assumption that most people have is that we’ll just be in Taipei, which is the capital and most populous city in Taiwan.  However, we’re actually going to be living in Kaohsiung, which is on the opposite part of the island — Taipei is in the north, while Kaohsiung is near the southernmost part of the island.

We actually took two Christmas break trips to Kaohsiung in both 2008 and 2010, so we already had a pretty good sense of the layout of the city, places we liked to frequent, etc.  For us, everything seemed to center around Hanshin Mall by Kaohsiung Arena.  Besides the obvious benefits of being near a big mall =), it’s also walking distance to a subway and parks, great restaurants and the night market, and Lani’s relatives.  It’s also pretty close to to the High Speed Rail station, which makes it a lot easier for us to get to/from the airport, etc.

Hanshin Mall and Our Aptartment Buildling

With some help from Lani’s mom and her uncle and aunt in Taiwan, we were able to find a 2 BR, 2 BA “lightly furnished” apartment (and by lightly furnished, I believe it’s literally just gonna be 2 mattresses on the floor and a TV) that was willing to rent to us on a short-term lease.

While we were already very happy and grateful to find the place, the added bonus is that it’s right across the street from the mall!

And in case you’re wondering what’s so special about the mall — it’s got agreat food court. =)  Yum.

Bonus: there’s a 7-11 on the ground floor of our building.  For those that don’t know about 7-11 in Taiwan, it’s pretty different than the 7-11′s we’ve got here in the US.  I’ll definitely post pictures when we get there — but suffice it to say, they’re usually pretty well-stocked with yummy, fresh snacks, a wide variety of drinks (milk tea, etc.), and all sorts of other goodies.

Yum… again. =)

Embarking on “120 Days”

(Hello Everyone!!!)

An overly Asian-themed shot during our 2010 trip to Kaohsiung, taken by the pavilions at Lotus Lake.

I can’t believe it… just a few more weeks until we depart for our 4-month trip to Asia and Taiwan.  It’s something that Lani and I have said we wanted to do ever since we got married… and now, just a few more weeks until we head to LAX, board on a plane, and fly out!

Over the past year, as we’ve been researching and planning for our trip, I was constantly scouring the internet for ideas, figuring out what we need, etc.  Inevitably I would always end up on someone’s travel blog, reading a complete stranger’s stories, learning from their mistakes, etc.  As I encountered more and more of these on the interwebs, I had the crazy idea of trying to do a blog myself.

After chatting with Lani about it, she said “sure!”, although she warned me that I’ll probably be the one writing most of the entries. =)

Yet another overly Asian-themed shot at the same location, this time with Mike.

Regardless, I’ve gone ahead and set up a wordpress site for our new blog, 120 Days in Taiwan.  And over the next few weeks and months, I hope to try and start posting about our preparation for and then are adventures during our trip through Asia and Taiwan.