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Bob.. in Taiwan.

I've been in Asia investigating the Taiwanese and Chinese markets for cherries.  And having some fun too. 

I met with many Taiwanese food companies.  Wow, are they generous.  I received so many gifts from them.  These are fun boxes full of Almond and Strawberry Nougat.  We talked about making Cherry Nougat.

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Check out the warning signs at most trailheads.  When the Taiwanese people found out I was hiking in barefeet they went nuts jabbering in Chinese about poisonous snakes.  I was lucky-- my tough little toes were only bitten by non poisonous ones.

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Buddhist temples were on every corner.  I learned how spiritual the Taiwanese are.  When China went communist, many of the believers left the mainland and headed to Taiwan.

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Here is the most famous photo spot in Taiwan.  It is a rock with Sun Moon Lake on it.  The mainland Chinese tour buses only have 5 minutes at this stop and the riders fight to get their photo taken there.  So, the Taiwanese government added 7 more rocks with the same writing.  That’s my Taiwanese friend Michael and I with the original.

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Somehow this enormous 5 city block temple feels like the witches castle from the Wizard of OZ.  I think it is because the outdoor stairwell up to the 500 monk meditation room looks like the chase scene just before Dorothy douses the witch.

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Specialty food stores were everywhere.  I learned a lot about layouts and display.  Check out how fun this dried fruit store is, with a little car sitting right in the storefront.

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This is one of those spots that I am so glad my kids are not with me.  Would ten feet away from 300 foot drop be too close for them?  Awww.  I bet their Momma is going to chastise me for being this close to take this photo.

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Here is my two cents on Taiwanese food.  It is delicious and healthy.  Of course, on the bottom is the worst thing I ate-- stinky tofu.  Yeech.  As for healthy, this mix of tofu, green bean sauce and sweet potato jello is a dessert.  I had my doubts… but it was really good!

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Here is a temple that has a river and waterfall running right through it.  And water coming right out of a tunnel.  There are tunnels everywhere in Taroko Gorge.

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I really don’t remember what this chinese letter means, but it was fun to paint.

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This High Speed Rail goes 200 miles per hour.

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Going to the Fo Guang Temple was like going to Disneyland.  It has animation, 4D programs, light shows,  100 foot buddhas and never-ending reflective buddhas pictured here.

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This would have been an idyllic paddle in a canoe, but I was on a tour boat with 100 Chinese mainland tourists.

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Here I had a nice hour to myself in this steep river gorge.  It is difficult to find alone time in this small island of 20 million people.

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The Narrow Door Cafe has a front door that is only 14 inches wide.

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I was sent back here to the bathroom.  (It was in one of the puny metal cabinets on the right.)

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This was my biking-- on quiet single lane roads thru jungles and rice paddies (in the distance).

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As fun and important as Taiwan was, it feels so good to be home.

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