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Taipei Walking Tours - A Guide To Taipei In 6 Days

Taiwan is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Asia. With about 10.74 million tourists in 2017, it lags behind Asian neighbours like Thailand (35 million), Hong Kong (58 million), Japan (28.7 million), or Indonesia (14 million).
Nevertheless, Taiwan is a great place to visit due to its amazing food, fascinating history, traditional Chinese culture, friendly atmosphere, safety, and natural attractions. Moreover, Taiwan has a very convenient visa policy. Citizens of many countries, including the United States and most European Union members, can travel to Taiwan without a visa and stay there for up to 90 days. You can literally buy a plane ticket and go to Taiwan without doing any paperwork.    
If you travel to Taiwan, your first destination will probably be the capital and largest city: Taipei.




Taipei is the political and economic centre of the island, with lots of attractions ranging from modern skyscrapers and shopping centres to night markets, colonial Japanese architect…
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San Va Hospedaria - Budget Accommodation In Macau

Several years ago I wrote a post about how difficult it is to find budget accommodation in Macau. Indeed, I was planning on spending a few months in the former Portuguese colony, and I believed it should be cheaper than neighbouring Hong Kong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite looking like a small, sleepy town, Macau is more expensive than Hong Kong.
The only budget accommodation I found was San Va Hospedaria, which is an old-style guesthouse. 
It is located in an old building on the beautiful Rua da Felicidade, about which I wrote a post years ago. San Va was originally a private club house built in 1870s. In the 1930s it was turned into a guesthouse catering to merchants and workers from mainland China. San Va became famous when Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai chose it as the location for some of the scenes of the film 2046.  


San Va has maintained the flair of old Macau. However, if you decide to give it a try, you must know that this place is really, really dirty …

Chinese Detained For Altering Government Propaganda Poster

A Chinese citizen from Chengbu Miao Autonomous County, in China's Hunan Province, was detained for a week after he altered the words of a government propaganda poster. 
According to Chinese media reports, on December 17 the government of Chengbu's Xiyan Town put up propaganda posters that read: "Gluttonous and lazy people are shameful, being poor is not glorious" (好吃懒做很可耻、贫穷落后不光荣), as part of a government propaganda campaign to reduce poverty. 
After seeing the posters, a 34-year-old man surnamed Tang altered the words to: "Gluttonous and lazy people are glorious, being poor is not shameful." Passers-by photographed the modified poster and shared the pictures online. 
On January 5, the Chengbu Public Security Bureau released a statement on its Weibo account, announcing that Mr. Tang had been detained on charges of violating Article 25, Section 1, of the Public Security Administration Punishments Law of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共国治安管理处罚法), which …

Best And Worst Public Transport Systems - Comparing Rome, Berlin, Taipei and Hong Kong

A few months ago I took a night bus from Rome to the seaside resort of Ostia. Halfway through the journey, a weird smell began to fill the air. I wasn't sure what it was and I didn't think much about it until I heard other passengers complain. 
As the smell became more and more unpleasant, the bus gradually slowed down until it stopped. The bus driver came out of his cabin and asked everyone to get off.
When I stepped out of the bus, I saw that the front right tire was sparkling. A few seconds later it caught fire. The driver ran to grab the fire extinguisher. We were stuck in the middle of the road for about one hour in the cold, with no shops or cafes nearby, until the next bus arrived.

This was not an isolated incident. There have been 21 cases of burnt buses in Rome in 2018 alone. The phenomenon is so widespread that the people of the city have created a special word for it: "flambus".
According to a recent survey, 48 percent of Romans were unhappy with the performan…

German Police Exchanged Nazi Content In Chat Group

Policemen in the German city of Frankfurt have been accused of threatening a lawyer and exchanging far-right and Nazi content in a chat group. 
On 2 August 2018 lawyer Seda Başay-Yildiz received an anonymous fax signed by "NSU 2.0." The message described her as a "lousy Turkish pig" (miese Türkensau) and threatened to "slaughter" (schlachten) her two-year-old daughter. The authors of the fax knew not only her private address but also  her daughter's name. She reported the incident to the police. 
Başay-Yildiz was representing a victim of the NSU - National Socialist Underground - a far-right terrorist group responsible for 10 murders and various terror attacks. The trial of NSU members lasted from May 2013 to July 2018 and resulted in 5 convictions. 
According to the Tagesspiegel, in October investigators searched the 1. police department in Frankfurt and found out that a policewoman had requested on a computer the address of Basay-Yildiz although she wa…