Taipei Zoo

A travel guide for visiting the Taipei Zoo in Taipei Taiwan. The Tapiei Zoo is a fun attraction to see in Taipei. Taipei Zoo’s most visited attraction is the Giant Panda House.

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Dogo Onsen

A travel guide for visiting the Dogo Onsen Public Bath House in Matsuyama Japan. At over 3000 years old, Dogo Onsen is one of Japan’s most historic hot springs. Admission to the Dogo Onsen bath is very inexpensive, starting at 400 Yen.

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The Best of Taipei Taiwan in 36 Hours

A guide for visiting the best attractions in Taipei Taiwan in a weekend. Included in this video: Night Markets, Chang-Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Din Tai Fung, Smoothie House, Taipei 101, Ximen, Elephant Mountain.

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Beitou Hot Springs in Taiwan

A travel guide for the Beitou Hot Spring area in Taipei Taiwan. Beitou (北投) is famous for it’s natural green Sulfur hot spring that provides water for bathing in many hotels and public baths in the area. Beitou is a great way to spend a half day when you’re visiting Taipei.

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Hiking Elephant Mountain in Taipei

A guide to the Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail in Taipei Taiwan. Also known as the Nangang District Hiking Trail / Xiangshan (象山). The best hike in Taipei to enjoy a a great view of Tapiei 101.

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Best Night Markets in Taipei Taiwan

A travel guide to the the best Night Markets in and around Taipei Taiwan including Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, Ningxia Night Market, Keelung Night Market, and Huaxi St Night Market. Night markets in Taiwan are famous for their xiaochi (small eats). They are a great place to visit for an evening and have a walking feast.

A travel guide for visiting Huaxi Street (Snake Alley) Night Market:

A travel guide for visiting Ningxia Rd Night Market:

A travel guide for visiting Keelung Night Market:

A walkthrough of the Roahe Night Market:

A walkthrough of the Shilin Night Market Food Court:

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Cool Japanese Office Toys

This is something slightly different from my usual travel guides, it’s a video highlighting some of the most interesting Japanese Office Toys that I’ve picked up in my travels to Japan!

Cool Japanese Office Toys Highlighted include the USB Shaking Hip, and the Workaholic Book Pillow.

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IlluminOcean Christmas Lights in Dana Point

The IlluminOcean festival in Dana Point California has a display of over 225,000 LED lights on 18 oversized light sculptures. Admission to IlluminOcean is free and is a great way to spend an evening during the holiday season to enjoy some neat Christmas Lights. You’ll even get some exercise, because the walk through the lights from beginning to end is about a mile long.

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Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora Review

I stayed at the Rome Marriott Grand Flora Hotel in Rome Italy for 4 nights and did a video review of the hotel grounds and a two twin bed room.

If you’d like to see what the what the hotel and room looks like then check out the video here:

The Rome Marriott Grand Flora Hotel is located on Via Veneto, about a 7 minute walk (uphill) from the Barberini Subway station. To get to the hotel I took the Leonardo Express Airport Train (14 Euro) to Termini Station, and then walked (about 20 minutes) to the hotel. Via Veneto is one of the most famous streets in Rome and is home to quite a few upscale hotels. The Marriott has a perfect location at the top of the hill, so there are superb views from the rooftop restaurant.

The hotel has ~150 rooms on 7 floors. The hotel is built around a central courtyard. If you want a quiet room, ask for one facing the courtyard. I had a room facing the courtyard and I honestly didn’t hear a single sound from outside my room. I booked a “smaller room” from the website (one twin bed). But as Platinum member I was upgraded to a slightly larger room with two twin beds (looks like a king bed because they are right next 2 each other). Even so, the room was still on the “small” side, but very functional. The A/C worked well, the windows opened, and the bathroom had great water pressure. What else can you ask for in a hotel? Oh… and it had a heated towel rack! :)

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Funaya Onsen Hotel Review

I stayed at the Funaya Onsen Hotel in Matsuyama Japan for 1 night and did a video review of the hotel grounds and a Japanese Style room.

If you’d like to see what the what the hotel and room looks like then check out the video here:

Funaya is a traditional Japanese style Onsen (hot-spring) hotel with 68 rooms. It is located in Matsuyama Japan, in the Dogo Onsen neighborhood. If you are driving, the hotel provides free valet parking. If you are taking the train, it is a short 5 minute walk from the Dogo Onsen train station. It is also very near (5 minute walk) to the historic Dogo Onsen public bath.

The hotel is composed of two buildings, the one with the lobby and most of the hotel rooms, and a second building that has the hot spring baths. The two buildings are connected by an elevated/enclosed bridge that crosses over a stream and a Japanese garden. The Onsens are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the other building. Men and Women alternate between which bath they use depending upon the time of the day. Outside of the 2nd floor bath is a nice resting area with complimentary ice tea.

You can book the room with or without dinner. We booked the room rate with the “Fusion” dinner. While the food was good, from beginning to end it took about 2 hours. They bring each course one at a time, so be prepared to do a bit of waiting for your food to be freshly cooked and prepared. The below video is of the dinner:

The room itself was one of the largest rooms that I’ve ever stayed at in Japan. It had a large main “sleeping” room (where you sleep on futons), a room off to the side where they would slide the table from the main room when you are sleeping, a sitting room by the window, a dressing room, and a “3-room” bathroom (toilet, sink, bath).

Overall I really enjoyed my stay at Funaya. The Onsen was great, the room was quiet, and the service was excellent. It wasn’t cheap, but it was well worth it!

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