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Taiwanese Tea: A History Time Traveler
  • Time Traveler

    Time Traveler

    Time Traveler

Few crops have impacted Taiwan’s history the way tea has. For over a century and half, tea has been one of the products that have put Taiwan on the map. At its peak, Taiwanese tea was sought after around the world, with Taiwan-grown leaves shipped off everywhere from Indonesia to America. The crop helped build up northern Taiwan’s economy and brought in the funds to build some of the Taipei area’s most exquisite old buildings. Today, economic factors have led Taiwan’s tea farmers to turn inward towards the domestic market. But they still have an important reputation among international tea connoisseurs. With us to discuss the history of Taiwan’s favorite beverage is Kao Hsiu-cheng, director of the Taipei Tea Merchants’ Association.

Jing Ying Soloists

Jing Ying Soloists: Tong Leung-tak, erhu player; Lam Si Kwan, dizi player; Chan Man Cheong, pipa performer; Chan Ki Cham, yangqin performer and Ho Man Chuen, Chinese percussionist.



Kira Wei-Hsin Jacobson: The Witching Hour

Kira Wei-Hsin Jacobson is a conceptual artist currently based in Taipei. On this week's Book of Odes, she discusses her art and reads selections of her poetry.


More on historical landmarks in Taipei

Taipei is a modern city but it still has quite a number of historical landmarks that are still visible today. John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin talk about three more on Status Update.


Tomb-sweeping Day

Find out more about the traditional Tomb-sweeping Dayl which falls on April 5th this year. In this week's episode, we will also hear what three Taipei residents have to say about their ancestors.


On the topic of women

Shirley Lin continues her topic on women, this time highlighting two Taiwanese women she admires, on Jukebox Republic.


Photo courtesy By David Shankbone - https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/4582808709/, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10262106



The Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence

This week, we examine the Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence, the place where, from 1950 to his death in 1975, one of the main figures in modern Taiwan’s history spent his days. Though Chiang Kai-shek is a controversial figure who continues to divide Taiwan today, his old Shilin Residence serves to make a historical figure and his actions more "real" to visitors.


Sonny Chen, freelance interpreter/translator/lecturer

Tune in to In the Spotlight to hear Sonny Chen's fascinating story about translating a book on pain.


The Taiwan Landlocked Salmon

Up in Taiwan’s central mountains in a few short sections of stream there lives a little fish that has lived in Taiwan for millennia seemingly against the odds. When reports of its existence reached the outside world in 1917, some experts thought there must have been some mistake. But there it is- the Taiwan landlocked salmon- a protected species so prized that it’s appeared on Taiwan’s currency. Now, a century after it first surprised scientists, the Taiwan landlocked salmon is the subject of an exhibit at the National Taiwan Museum. The exhibit looks at the fish’s habitat and history, its description by scientists, its recent comeback in numbers, and the threats it still faces today. Here this week to guide us through the exhibit is museum curator Hsieh Ying-tsung.


Trump's tariffs

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with political analyst Ross Feingold about US President Trumps tariffs on steel and aluminum and the outlook for the mid-term elections this year.


Trump and Kim

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Alexander Huang, the director of the Institute of American Studies at Tamkang University, about US President Donald Trumps upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 


Stroke of Light ep.112: Steve McCurry Pt. I

Renowned American photographer Steve McCurry held his first exhibition in Taiwan, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei. McCurry shared his philosophy behind the craft of photography, as well as some of his experience taking photos in remote locations. 


Along the Road

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 42


Along the Road


(Dé měi: Táiwān de jiāotōng fāngbiàn ma?)
Demei: Is transportation convenient in Taiwan?


(Lǎoshī: Dà dūshì dōu hěn fāngbiàn, xiāngxià jiù bù yīdìngle.)
Teacher:It’s convenient in the big cities, but in the countryside, it depends.



(Ōu fú: Wǒ kàn měi jiā dōu yǒu mótuō chē.)

Oufu: I see that every family has a motorcycle.


(Dé měi: Hǎoxiàng hái bùzhǐ yī bù.)
Demei: It looks like they each have more than one.


(Lǎoshī: Nǐmen de guānchá hěn zhèngquè, mótuō chē zài táiwān quèshí hěn fāngbiàn.)
Teacher: Your observations are pretty accurate! Motorcycles certainly are convenient in Taiwan.


(Dé měi: A! Nà bù mótuō chē shàng zuòle sì gèrén!)
Demei:Ah! There are four people on that motorcycle!


(Lǎoshī: Nà shì hěn chángjiàn de, bà mā shàng xiàbān de shíhòu, shùnbiàn jiēsòng háizi.)

Teacher: That’s a pretty common sight. When parents go to or from work, they send or pick up their children while en route.


(Ōu fú: Zhèlǐ kāichē de rénkǒu yīnggāi yě bù shǎo ba?)
Oufu:The number of people driving cars here is also pretty big, isn’t it?


(Lǎoshī: Hěnduō! Zhǐshì shì qū kāichē yào zhǎo tíngchē wèi bù róngyì. Rúguǒ yào bàn shìqíng, duōshù rén háishì juédé qí chē fāngbiàn.
Teacher: There are a lot! It’s just that it’s not easy to find a parking space downtown. If you need to run some errands, most people still feel riding a motorcycle is more convenient.


(Ōu fú: Táiwān yǒu diàndòng mótuō chē ma?)
Oufu: Does Taiwan have electric motorcycles?


(Lǎoshī: Diàndòng gōngchē, qìchē hái yǒu diàndòng mótuō chē dōu shì yuè lái yuè duōle.)
Teacher:Yes! Electric buses, cars, and motorcycles are becoming more and more common.


(Dé měi: Nà jiù tài hǎole, yīnwèi diàndòng chē duì jiǎnshǎo kōngqì wūrǎn de bāngzhù shì hěn dà de.)
Demei: That is really great, because electric vehicles can help reduce the amount of air pollution!


Cultural Insight

(Dǎtiě chèn rè, bǎwò dāngxià.)
Strike while the iron is hot. Grasp the moment. Make hay while the sun shines


(Xiànzài xué zhōngwén hěn rèmén, wǒmen yào bǎwò zài táiwān de jīhuì,'dǎtiě chèn rè'rènzhēn de bǎ zhōng wénxué hǎo.)
Nowadays, learning Chinese is becoming more and more popular. We need to seize the opportunity to learn it while here in Taiwan, “Strike while the iron is hot.”, and be serious about learning it well!


Flower Music-Water Lily

Based on the Chinese literature, the water lily was compared to a man of noble character. To capture its spirit, the composer, Shi Zhi-you fully delineates the unconquerable beauties of varied water lilies with the Chinese musical instruments.



Leora Joy Jones: Now You See the Problem Is

Leora Joy Jones is a Taipei-based poet who was born in the United States and grew up in South Africa. On today's Book of Odes, she reads poems about revisiting home and about communication breakdown.


Taipei's historical attractions

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin talk about three more historical attractions worth visiting in Taipei, on Status Update.


Photo courtesy of 

Department of Information and Tourism,Taipei City Government


Are Taiwanese people savers or spenders?

A survey by Mastercard shows that Taiwanese people save nearly a quarter of their monthly income per month. Is the thrifty habit deeply entrenched in the Chinese-speaking communities? Find out more as RTI talks to three Taipei residents. 


How are women in Taiwan doing?

Shirley Lin covers the topic of women in the month for women, on Jukebox Republic.


Taipei's Red House

In the middle of Taipei’s Ximending shopping district is a red-brick building that at first glance, seems out of place amid the LED signs and neon lights. But this is the Red House, the district’s beloved focal point, which still takes pride of place as one of the oldest buildings around. Since its construction 110 years ago, people have continued to find new uses for the Red House, and it remains one of Taipei’s most popular historic sites today.


Roy Lin of In Visible Cities

Roy Lin is the founder of the community platform In Visible Cities. Found out how he finds talents from different mediums to come together and plan better cities, on In the Spotlight.


Photo courtesy of Roy Lin


The 2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival

Across Taiwan, as winter gives way to spring, communities set out bright lantern displays to mark the end of the Lunar New Year and fill up the last of the winter nights with cheer. The lanterns they put out aren’t your typical red lanterns, though. Called “flower lanterns” in Chinese, these are instead elaborate frameworks draped over with thin cloth or paper and lit from within like glowing statues. When it comes to “flower lantern” displays, there is nothing bigger or more prestigious than the Taiwan Lantern Festival, a massive show, that rotates from place to place each year, working its way across the island.

For nearly 30 years, this celebration of light has been the final word in extravagant design and fine craftsmanship. This year’s host, southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County, has been busy at work preparing to welcome the most ambitious Taiwan Lantern Festival yet. The lanterns stretch out over 50 hectares, making this year’s festival the largest yet. But deputy county head Wu Fang-ming says this year’s festival, now wrapping up, has aimed to do more than just impress with its scale. This has been a chance to show off what makes Chiayi special, to host serious works by international artists, and to build ties between Taiwan and its neighbors. It’s also been a chance for some fun- in Chiayi, not all of the artwork on display stands still.


Tainan Mayor Lee Men-yen

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso brings you an interview with Aciting Tainan City Mayor Lee Men-yen. Tainan is Taiwan's oldest city and famous for its local food specialties. It also has many new attractions. Lee tells us how they are promoting the New Southbound Policy through tourism, education and business ties. He shares how the new immigrants in Tainan and acting as a bridge to Southeast Asia as they take on jobs such as tour guides for visitors from their home countries. 


The mayor also shares why Tainan was the first city to set up an office to make English the second official language in Tainan. They are creating a more bilingual environment so that the city can be friendlier to foreigners and to give local talent a competitive edge on the global job market. 


The interview is part of RTI's series with all of Taiwan's city mayors and county magistrates about how they are promoting the New Southbound Policy, which aims to promote ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, New Zealand and Australia. 


Politics over religion

As the Vatican and China negotiate an agreement on the appointment of bishops, people are wondering about how much power politics will have over religion in China.


Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with NTU International Relations Professor Yen Chen Shen, who recently finished a semester as a visiting scholar at China's Sun Yat Sen University. Yen shares about some of his observations of the state-run vs private churches in China. 


Stroke of Light ep.111: Still Waters Run Deep -- Miwa Yanagi & Masaya Hashimoto

In our third and final tour in the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, we look at the work two Japanese artists: Mr. Masaya Hashimoto, a sculptor who showcases his delicate sculptures created out of deer bones, and Ms. Miwa Yanagi, who has created a series of paintings based on the imagery in Japanese folklore. 



“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 41




(Tíngchē wèi)
parking space


(Nàgè sīrén de tíngchēchǎng, yǒu 100 gè tíngchē wèi.)
That privately-owned parking lot has one hundred parking spaces.


(Bàn shìqíng)
Take care of business


(Nǐ bàn shìqíng, wǒ hěn fàngxīn.)
When you are taking care of business, I have no worries.

(Hǎo xiǎn)
Very dangerous, close call


好險! 沒被老師看見。
(Hǎo xiǎn! Méi bèi lǎoshī kànjiàn.)
What a close call! Fortunately, the teacher didn’t see it.



To save one’s life


救命啊! 我不會游泳。
(Jiùmìng a! Wǒ bù huì yóuyǒng.)
Help! I can’t swim!


(Xià yī tiào)
To give one a fright


你為什麼站在黑黑的地方? 嚇了我一跳。
(Nǐ wèishéme zhàn zài hēi hēi dì dìfāng? Xiàle wǒ yī tiào.)
Why were you standing there in the dark? You scared me!


Frightening, fearsome


(Gāngcái de shìqíng hǎo kěpà, wǒmen yǐhòu yào xiǎoxīn yīdiǎn.)
The thing that just happened was frightening! We need to be more careful in the future.


(Dài anquán mào)
To wear a safety helmet


(Qí mótuō chē yīdìng yào dài ānquán mào.)
When riding a motorcycle, you certainly must wear a motorcycle helmet.


danger, dangerous


(Zhè shì wéixiǎn qū, bùnéng yóuyǒng.)
This is a dangerous area, so you cannot go into the water to swim.


a period of time


(Shàng xiàbān de shíduàn, rén duō chē yě duō.)
During the times for going to or leaving work, there are lots of people and cars.


10 浪費
to waste


(Bùyào làngfèi shíjiānle, kuài diǎn zuò gōngkè.)
Don’t waste time, hurry up and do your homework.



歐福: 奇怪! 車子停在停車場,也有危險?
(Ōu fú: Qíguài! Chēzi tíng zài tíngchēchǎng, yěyǒu wéixiǎn?)
Oufu: That’s weird! Even though we’re parked in a parking lot, it’s still dangerous?


德美: 就是嘛! 嚇我一跳。
(Dé měi: Jiùshì ma! Xià wǒ yī tiào.)
Demei: Really! That scared me half to death!


老師: 還好那個騎摩托車的人,戴了安全帽。
(Lǎoshī: Hái hǎo nàgè qí mótuō chē de rén, dàile ānquán mào.)
Teacher: Fortunately that motorcyclist was wearing a helmet!


德美: 如果沒戴,後果就很可怕了!
(Dé měi: Rúguǒ méi dài, hòuguǒ jiù hěn kěpàle!)
Demei: If he hadn’t, the consequences would have been terrible!


歐福: 安全帽救了他的命!
(Ōu fú: Ānquán mào jiùle tā de mìng!)
Oufu: That safety helmet saved his life!


老師: 好了。快走吧! 車子在停車位的時段,是要付錢的。
(Lǎoshī: Hǎole. Kuàizǒu ba! Chēzi zài tíngchē wèi de shíduàn, shì yào fù qián de.)
Teacher: All right! Let’s hurry. The longer the car is parked here, the more we’ll have to pay.


德美: 對啊! 為了觀察他還有沒有危險,已經花太多停車費了!
(Dé měi: Duì a! Wèile guānchá tā hái yǒu méiyǒu wéixiǎn, yǐjīng huā tài duō tíngchē fèile!)
Demei: Yeah! For the sake of checking whether the motorcycle rider was hurt or not, we’ve already spent too much money on parking fees!


歐福: 也浪費我們太多的時間了。
(Ōu fú: Yě làngfèi wǒmen tài duō de shíjiānle.)
Oufu: It has also wasted too much of OUR time.


Music based on I Ching

Consisting of 64 hexagrams that were first devised by the legendary sage Fu Xi at about 3,300 B.C., the I Ching or Book of Changes contains a wisdom that underlines the Chinese philosophy and way of life.


Sandee Woodside: devis(h)er

Sandee Woodside is a Taipei-based poet, writer, student and teacher from New York. On this week's Book of Odes, she talks about her work and reads two poems from her forthcoming chapbook, titled devis(h)er.


Taiwan's hot springs

Shirley Lin talks about her hot spring experiences in Taiwan, on Jukebox Republic.


The Chinese New Year race

Learn how the Lunar New Year zodiac calendar came to be on Classic Shorts. 


Urban strategist Roy Lin

Shirley Lin interviews urban strategist Roy Lin who studied architecture at Harvard, on In the Spotlight.


The Taoyuan Martyrs' Shrine

There are a few places in Taiwan where layers of history come together in unexpected ways. Often, these are spots where buildings from one era are simple taken over and put to new uses in a later era. One of the most unusual examples of this historical recycling is in Taoyuan, in northern Taiwan. At the Taoyuan Martyrs’ Shrine, the two historical eras involved do more than just overlap- they clash. Today, we’re looking at a site where two successive- and deeply hostile- governments enshrined what mattered most to them.


"Heaven Piercing Day"

For most people in Taiwan, the Lunar New Year wraps up fifteen days after it begins with the Lantern Festival. By this point, the feasting has ended and workers have been back at the job for over a week. But for Taiwan’s Hakka community, the end of the holiday season hasn’t quite arrived until one final hurrah. Twenty days into the new year, groups of Hakka people gather together to observe Tianchuanri, literally “Heaven Piercing Day”. This is the anniversary of a legendary event that’s turned in today’s Taiwan into a celebration of Hakka culture, a National Hakka Day of sorts. What is this legend? What makes this day so special to Hakka people? And where does it get its peculiar name? Here to shed light on Tianchuanri is Chiang Kuang-ta, director of RTI’s Hakka language service.


Taiwan talent

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speaks with Experis General Manager of Manpower Group Taiwan, Allen Ng, about why Taiwan talent is highly sought after. Ng also describes the latest job trends in Taiwan and China as many seek to make a career move after the Chinese New Year. 


Intimidating the skies

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso speak with J Michael Cole, Chief Editor at Taiwan Sentinel, about China's moves to start new air routes new the median line in the Taiwan strait, increase military activities, and intimidate foreign airlines.


How Taiwan policy is made in China

Tune into Eye on China as Natalie Tso speaks with Visiting Fellow at Shanghai's Fudan University, Bill Sharp, about his insights into how China forms its Taiwan policy and strategy.


Stroke of Light ep.110: Still Waters Run Deep -- Prof. Chen Wen-chi's

We are heading to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts to dive into their latest group exhibition "Still Waters Run Deep". It explores some of the very profound existential themes, such as history, connection, meaning of words and imagery. 


This week, we are looking a set of photographs captured by Professor Chen Wen-chi. As a photographer and historian, he explores the validy of history, written by humans, through his photo series titled "Fake Diary". 




“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 40




1. 交通


Transportation, traffic



(Wǒ xǐhuān zhù zài jiāotōng fāngbiàn de shì qū.)

I like to live in an area where the transportation is convenient.


2. 都市


Urban, city



(Dūshì de shēnghuó bǐjiào yǒuyìsi, yě bǐjiào rènào.)

City life is more interesting and full of activity.


3. 摩托車

(Mótuō chē)   




(Qí mótuō chē fāngbiàn yòu piányí.)

Riding motorcycles is both convenient and inexpensive.


4. 不只


Not only



(Táiwān bùzhǐ hǎowán, hái kěyǐ xué hǎoduō zhèngtǐ zì de gùshì.)

Taiwan is not only fun, but you can also learn so many stories about traditional Chinese characters.


5. 觀察


Observe, observation



(Dào guó wài, bùzhǐ guānguāng hái yào guānchá nàlǐ de rénmín shēnghuó.)

When going abroad, don’t just sightsee, but also observe how the people live.


6. 正確





(Nǐmen de guānchá, bùzhǐ zhèngquè hái fēicháng xìxīn.)

Your observations are not only correct, but also precise.


7 . 確實


accurately, absolutely



(Xuéshēng yào quèshí dǒngle, lǎoshī cáinéng jiào xīn kè.)

Students absolutely need to understand (the lesson) before the teacher can move on to a new one.


8.  順便


easily, handily



(Nǐ huílái de shíhòu, shùnbiàn dài liǎng gè biàndang huílái.)

When you return, pick up a couple of lunch boxes en route.


9. 接送


pick up and drop off



(Wǒ měitiān zǎoshang sòng háizi shàngxué, xiàwǔ jiē háizi fàngxué.)

Every morning, I send the kids to school, and in the afternoon I pick them up.


10. 市區

(Shì qū)  

downtown area



(Zhù zài shì qū de hǎochù shì fāngbiàn, huàichu shì tài chǎo.)

The good thing about living downtown is the convenience; the bad thing is the noise.





歐福: 我學過一個跟交通有關係的慣用語。

(Ōu fú: Wǒ xuéguò yīgè gēn jiāotōng yǒu guānxì de guànyòng yǔ.)

Oufu: I’ve learned a phrase that can be used for traffic.


德美: 我知道。是不是「欲速則不達」?

(Dé měi: Wǒ zhīdào. Shì bùshì `yù sù zé bù dá'?)

Demei: I know!  Is it, “Haste makes waste.”?


歐福: 哎呀! 正確。

(Ōu fú: Āiyā! Zhèngquè.)

Oufu: Wow! Exactly!


老師: 這是一個很有用的好成語。咦! 你怎麼知道歐福知道?

(Lǎoshī: Zhè shì yīgè hěn yǒuyòng de hǎo chéngyǔ. Yí! Nǐ zěnme zhīdào ōu fú zhīdào?)

Teacher: This is a very good, useful idiom. Hey, how did you know that Oufu knew it?


德美: 我跟他去市區辦事情的時候,看到他寫在筆記本上的。

(Dé měi: Wǒ gēn tā qù shì qū bàn shìqíng de shíhòu, kàn dào tā xiě zài bǐjìběn shàng de.)

Demei: When I went downtown with him to take care of some business, I saw he’d written it in his notebook.


歐福: 噢! 你偷看我的筆記本!

(Ōu fú: Ō! Nǐ tōu kàn wǒ de bǐjìběn!)

Oufu: Oh! You’ve been snooping through my notebook!


德美: 不是偷看,是你打開著本子。我順便看一眼,就順便記下來啦!

(Dé měi: Bùshì tōu kàn, shì nǐ dǎkāizhe běnzi. Wǒ shùnbiàn kàn yīyǎn, jiù shùnbiàn jì xiàlái la!)

Demei:  It wasn’t snooping – you left your notebook open.  I just took a glance at it, and the phrase easily stuck in my memory.



(Lǎoshī:`Yù sù zé bù dá', quèshí hěn yǒuyòng bùzhǐ yòng zài jiāotōng, xuéxí shàng qiú kuài de rén, yě yòng dé shàng.)

Teacher: “Haste makes waste.” really is very useful, not only for traffic, but for people who are in too big of a hurry to learn.


Chinese Buddhist Music

The music for this week's program was composed by Chen Dawei (1939-2006), a famous Chinese composer who graduated from Shanghai Music College with excellent grades. Chen had composed for movies, TV, symphony and traditional orchestra for many years.



Cindy Szu: For Whom I Write

Cindy Szu is a Taipei-based poet and artist. This episode of Book of Odes is the third of three shows edited from material recorded in December 2017. (Artwork by Cindy Szu)


Announcement for winner

John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin announce the top comment winner for February and both agreed on the top regional delicacy of Taiwan on Status Update. 


Leehom Wang's latest album

This week's Jukebox Republic introduces Leehom Wang's newest album, A.I. Love. The best is saved for last so make sure you listen to the end!


Red lanterns

Hear the story behind the tradition of red lanterns for the Chinese New Year on Classic Shorts. 


The Taipei Botanical Gardens' Herbarium

In 1924, when Taiwan had been under Japanese colonial rule for just shy of 30 years, the colonial authorities put up a building in Taipei’s botanical garden. Unlike some of the monumental buildings put up by the colonial authorities in Taipei, this was a simple brick building of two stories, not something built to impress. However, inside this building, an important project was underway- a project to identify Taiwan’s plants and plot their distribution. This was the Taipei Botanical Gardens’ herbarium. Teams of researchers were sent out across Taiwan on surveying missions, charged with collecting plant samples from across the island. The plants they brought back were sent here for treatment, identification, cataloguing, and storage.

Japanese rule ended in 1945 and the early search for economically useful plants has since given way to more academic concerns. But even today, the work of surveying Taiwan’s plant life and plotting what grows where is still ongoing. In 2017, well after this work had moved to a more modern facility, the old herbarium opened to the public as a monument to the leaders of early botany in Taiwan. Inside, visitors can see how plants were identified and cured and where samples were stored in a kind of plant library. They can also learn about the history of botany in Taiwan and especially about the lives of three botanists who contributed most to the understanding of Taiwan’s flora.


Eric Yang of RH Korea

Eric Yang, President of Random House Korea, was in Taipei for the 2018 Taipei International Book Exhibit. He speaks of the book fair, Taiwan's strength in publishing design, Taiwan's Eslite Bookstore, and Taiwan's and Korea's publishing industries on In the Spotlight.


Travel Frog

Over the past few weeks, a little frog has suddenly taken over the Chinese-speaking world. It’s everywhere, on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. All through the day, on the subway, in restaurants and parks, and in the office, you can see people taking a few moments to check on what this little frog is up to. This nameless frog is the star of the Japanese game “Travel Frog”, a smartphone app that has surged in popularity among young people. At first glance, Travel Frog seems an unlikely hit with a generation known for its love of action-packed games. And indeed, online commentators around the world have tried to puzzle out why so many young Chinese-speakers have taken the game to heart.

The frog doesn’t run or jump. It has no enemies to fight or missions to complete. Unlike a virtual pet, it takes care of itself just fine. And for days at a time, it wanders off on long journeys, leaving players with little to do but wait. In many ways, this is the opposite of a traditional video game. But fans say that this is exactly where the game’s appeal lies. Some fans will even tell you that there is something deep behind the game’s sudden success- something that resonates with young people by tapping into their hopes and wishes. RTI intern Luna is one such fan. This week, she joins us to explain what she believes is behind this wandering frog’s overnight celebrity.


Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-An

Tune into Taiwan Today as Natalie Tso brings you an interview with Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-An. Pingtung has been called the gateway to Southeast Asia. Pan shares how his government is promoting the New Southboutn Policy, which aims to strengthen ties with Southeast Asia, South Asia, New Zealand and Australia. 


Pan shares how he is reaching out to new immigrants from Southeast Asia as many of them live in Pingtung. He shares how they are becoming key talents and bridges to Southeast Asia. Pan was also the first to set up a Nanyang Sisters Association for new immigrant spouses from these countries as he believes it is very important to help them integrate into Taiwan society. 


Pan shares about the destinations and features of Pingtung tourism and how he is briding ties and exchanges with countries from Southeast Asia. This interview is a part of RTI's series of interviews with city mayors and county magistrates about how they are promoting the New Southbound Policy.


Stroke of Light ep.109: Still Waters Run Deep -- John Thomson's Early Photo of Taiwan

We are heading to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts to dive into their latest group exhibition "Still Waters Run Deep". It explores some of the very profound existential themes, such as history, connection, meaning of words and imagery. 


This week, we are looking a set of photographs by Scottish photographer John Thomson, one of the earliest westerners to have traveled to Taiwan to document the local life. 


All doors open to courtesy

“Fitting in in Chinese” is a special series on Chinese to Go, which is jointly produced by the Chinese Language Center of Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages and Radio Taiwan International.


Episode 39 


All doors open to courtesy



(Xiǎo de shíhòu)

When I was small



(Māmā shuō)

Momma said,



(Lǎoshī shuō)

Teacher said,



(Yéyé nǎinai shuō)

Grandfather, Grandmother said,



(Āgōng ā mā shuō)

Grandpa, Grandma said,



(Yǒulǐ zǒu tiānxià)

When you are polite, every corner of the world is your home;



(Wúlǐ cùnbù nán)

When you are rude, it’s hard to move forward even an inch!



(Shǎ háizi)

Oh my silly child,



(Shǎ sūnzi)

My silly grandchild,



(Shǎ xuéshēng)

My silly student!



(Zuòshì yào yǒu `lǐ')

When dealing with affairs, you need to be reasonable.



(Zuòrén yào yǒu `lǐ')

When dealing with people you need to be courteous.



(Yīdìng bù shīlǐ)

You won’t go wrong with that attitude!


在家輕鬆 隨便穿

(Zàijiā qīngsōng suíbiàn chuān)

You can wear whatever you want to at home/


出了大門 不隨便

(Chūle dàmén bù suíbiàn)

Be neat and clean when you step out of the house



(Shīzhǎng zàizuò yǒu zuò xiāng)

When teachers and older people are present, sit up straight!


長輩進門 要起讓

(Zhǎngbèi jìnmén yào qǐ rang)

When teachers and older people enter the room, you need to offer them your seat.



(Qiān wàn yào jìdé)

Remember! For sure,



(Yǒu lǐ rén rén ài)

Everybody will love you when you are courteous.



(Wú lǐ méi rén ài)

No one will love when you’re not!



(Lǐ duō rén bù guài)

All doors open to courtesy.


Waves of Pine-New Age Music

Traditional instruments including guqin, liuqin ([plucked string instrument), Chinese flute and xuan (ceramic-made instrument) are featured in this week’s Jade Bells and Bamboo Pipes.


Ashley Hamilton: Confounded for Space

Ashley Hamilton is a Taipei-based poet from New York. This episode of Book of Odes is the second of two shows edited from material recorded on January 22, 2018.


What kind of burger is that?

Tune in to Status Update to find out three more regional mouthwatering delicacies of Taiwan from John Van Trieste and Shirley Lin.