I had a recent visit to Taipei Taiwan in 2019. Is it still a great place to visit? Who is this destination for? This city changes fast. There are new places to stay, eat, and even get around. For example you can take the MRT from the Airport direct to the city. Let me help you get an Expat local insider view into Taipei.
Taipei is a great spot if you’re not too price sensitive, you want a blend of nature and the big city, great food, fast internet, and cultural experience.
Taipei is a destination for digital nomads or travelers that are looking for a safe, convenient, a relatively affordable food paradise. The locals are friendly and there is lots to see and it’s easy to get around on public transport. Internet is never an issue with their fast 4g unlimited data plans.
I was contracted to do a last minute video shoot in Tainan Taiwan. Taian is a one hour train ride away from Taiwan’s third largest city Kaoshiung. In this post you’ll get an idea of Tainan is worth your time.
You can get into Tainan Taiwan via Kaoshiung Airport via Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. If you’re in Taipei you can take the high speed railway from Taipei. The train prices are no expensive. I would recommend getting your sim cards at the airport or in Taipei city. There are pretty good plans that offer unlimited sim card data at 4g speeds. I paid 450 nt for 8 days with Taiwan mobile. A sim card is key to getting the most out of Tainan or Taiwan in general.
I would recommend staying somewhere near the Tainan station as there are a lot more restaurants, bars, and cafes. I stayed near the dive bar, which is considered west Tainan downtown and is very walkable. There are plenty of airbnb’s to choose from in the city.
Getting around can hard during the day because it is very hot. You can use the Easy taxi app as at the time there are no grab or uber taxi’s. However there is food panda and uber eats. I would recommend renting one of the city’s bicycles if you have time as the city is very flat.
As for things to do you can do you can visit the restaurants to enjoy beef noodle soup, beef soup, dumplings, taiwan teppanyaki and more. It can be hard to find these places if you don’t know how to type chinese so I create a google map with some posts to start off with. There are plenty of temples to see and there are some bars like the dive bar you can visit. You can see most of Tainan in a couple of days and then I would recommend heading into Kaoshiung Taiwan
As for Digital nomads Tainan could support your needs, but there are better options such as Taipei or Kaoshiung. Check out my Taiwan digital nomad guide if you need some help here. There weren’t a lot of cafe’s and cowork spaces that looked laptop friendly. There is the occasional starbucks you can sit at, but finding a comfortable place to stay long-term could be challenging because most of the buildings in town are older. To get around you would need a motorbike, or making use of the local bus or train system. The local taxis can really add up. Overall, there would be more to do outside of Tainan.
The main reason I went to Tainan was to film a baseball event as I do Travel Videography, but my main base for this year has been Malaysia. If you’re curious about the Travel videographer lifestyle and want to learn more about video, travel, or business check my Online School.
I’ve just released a new Video of Malacca Malaysia that will give you inspiration and essential info and a good idea of what to expect. Melaka is a beautiful place to visit if you ever spend time in Malaysia. Malacca is a 2.5 hour trip from Kuala Lumpur and is a great short getaway from the city if you want to soak in some culture and good food. In my videos you’ll get the inspiration and tips for getting to Malacca and what to see and eat.
South Korea is well known for the winter olympics, K pop, beautiful girls, and modern electronics. Seoul has amazing food for the soul like pork rib bone soup, dumplings, bugolgi beef bbq, bim bam bop and more. I decided to make a visit to film and sample the food and use Seoul to fly to Vancouver. South Korea has potential for Digital nomads despiet the higher cost. We will be exploring some of the info that digital nomads want to here.
Getting in, getting connected, and Where to Stay
I booked a 6 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, but you can find cheap flights from Bangkok or Taipei. Unfortunately Ubers’s are expensive so I took an airport limo bus ($9 us) to the Ramada hotel in Dongdaemun. The bus pretty much stopped in front of the hotel. I decided to rent a mobile router as it would give me 4g Internet unlimited data up to 3 devices. This cost me $42 us for the 5 days. They also had single sim packages.
Where did I stay
I stayed at the Ramada Encore hotel in Dongdaemun. I did plenty of research between my friends, airbnb, and trip advisor. I found the airbnb’s more on the high end, and the Ramada had the right combination of value, convenience, location, good reviews, and it was a modern hotel. As I said I got dropped off right in front of the hotel. There is a starbucks, convenience store, bus stops, and the Shinseoldong Subway station within a 2 minute walk radius. This subway is on line 1 and goes directly to city hall station. The lobby has a decent work area and local coffee shop and nearby starbucks was spacious and featured a fast Internet connection. I got a good room on the corner of the 16th floor. The was room was relatively spacious for Seoul, everything was clean, modern, and I had a decent view. The wifi wasn’t as fast as I wanted, but I just used my mobile router. The staff spoke a decent level of English to help me get around.
What did I eat and drink
I ate everything from noodle soups, dumplings, fried chicken, beef bulgolgi, jap chae potato noodles, bim bam bop, and pork rib hangover soup to name a few. I marked some pins for the restaurants I went to. You could find a good meal for about 7000 won $6.2 US. The portions were large, and fresh kim chi and side dishes seemed to come standard. I tried the local beer Cass and also some craft beer in Hong dae and Itaewon areas. I recommend trying out the Magpie Ipa in Hongdae. It comes from Jeju island and goes for about 7000 won. Coffee’s ranged from 3000 to 4000 won and offered free wifi.
Seoul Korea Guide
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What did I film?
I took some pov footage from the bus and airport limos using DJI Osmo to capture that unique perspective. If you’re interesting in filming with this camera check out my course. I know its hard to unpack to get out the camera after a long trip, but I made an extra effort because I knew taxis would be expensive. I used the DJI osmo to capture some unique angles at Gangnam and Itaewon areas. I brought out the Canon SLR with the 50mm F 1.4 to capture some nice nightlife footage as well. I explored the hotel and discovered they had rooftop access. I took full advantage of this to get some aerials around Dongdaemun. I brought my drone, but from my research it seemed like if I didn’t fly at the designated drone park at Hangang park Seoul, then I might be at risk for a fine. From my research the footage from there wasn’t particularly scenic and it was at least 1.5 hours in transit just to get there. Instead I went to the DJI Flagship store in Hongdae area. I understand that there are only some official flagship stores worldwide so I made the visit. It was worthwhile as I got to see pretty much all the current gear and get some hands-on with the DJI goggles connected to DJI Mavic and touch the latest small drone dji spark. I ended up partnering with my local friend to complete filming of a Digital nomad guide to Seoul Korea.
I decided to switch my workflow to less laptop work and more content producing footage. This is always more fun and makes more sense on a short expensive trip. I rather do the laptop work from a location that I’m going to be more settled in. I worked at some cafe’s like Starbucks, the Ramada Encore lobby, my room, and the Noah Co-work space. I tried to make a visit to the free Dcamp cowork space, and Hive Arena and Wework at Gangnam They were closed due to holiday. Dcamp is free and the latter 2 are paid co-work spaces, which are not cheap The cafe Internet speeds were fast enough to get some work done.
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4 days is just scratching the surface of Seoul. It is a large city and although there is good public transport it takes a long time to get around to the different areas. I didn’t really explore the main tourist attractions nor did I visit many co-work spaces, nor did I visit Jeju island. If I did return to Seoul I would bring some company and might try out Gangnam or Hongdae areas. Seoul is not as expensive as you would think once you have taken care of your accomodation. It will just take time to fully expore what it has to offer.
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The Taiwan Digital nomad guide is designed for digital nomads or on-line workers that are interested in working and living abroad in Taiwan. I’m a Canadian that visited Taiwan in 2012 for a wedding. I returned in 2013 for a 1 year working holiday and ended up living there for almost 2.5 years. Taiwan is a gem in asia that often gets overlooked for Thailand and Indonesia. There are many benefits to Taiwan like generous tour visas.
Here are chapters in the guide
Why is Taiwan a great place to be a digital nomad (air, water, food, safety, rent etc
2015 is a good time to visit Tokyo. I remember years ago I also wanted to go there. The problem was I was all the way in Vancouver, Canada and I just imagined it would too expensive for me.In 2011 Japan was struck by the East Coast Earthquake, which resulted in radiation to Tokyo. According to a Bloomberg article Tokyo’s radiation level is less than Paris or London 3 years after the meltdown.
My memory is still fresh from my long recent trip to Tokyo. I spent most of my time filming video and eating food. I flew a low cost airline from Taipei to Tokyo for about $100 us, stayed one night at a capsule in, before staying 3 nights at a private Airbnb apartment in Akasuka Roppongi living like a local. I would compare the area I stayed to Yaletown in Vancouver. It was close to a park at the upscale Tokyo Midtown Center with plenty of options for food. I enjoy my Japanese beer, gyoza, ramen, beef rice bowls, sake, sushi, and udon. I spent a lot of time trying to research and figure out where to spend my time to eat and what to take footage of. I know there is a lot of free information out there, but you’re probably not going to use it. How do I know? Because some of it’s outdated, and it doesn’t feature beautiful pictures. Worst of all it’s all over the Internet.
It’s a good time to visit Tokyo, Japan. The currency is not as strong and Japan offers great food, some of the politest people in the world, an original culture, in a world class city.
In this guide I’m going to give you a nice PDF cheat sheet with the following:
Information on where I got my cheap flight and how much I paid.
Tips on getting from Narita airport to town
Tips on getting a shuttle (yes even for 7am flights) to Narita airport for 1000 yen
Where to get free Wifi for your trip in Tokyo
The Japanese coffee house you must try (no not Starbucks)
Tips on finding good cheap food like gyoza, rice bowls 24/7 for under 700 yen
Where to find some of the best Sushi in Tokyo and where I got that delicious seafood donburi
The stations and areas that you must visit and how to get there. As I take video footage I will also give you tips on where to get the best angles. For example: Shibuya crossroads you want to go to the 2nd floor of Starbucks to get a birdseye view
How to figure the Tokyo metro
The best Japanese beers to try and where to get them
Where to get craft beer (IPA’s) in Tokyo
Which Airbnb I stayed at and my experience staying at the upscale neighborhood of Roppongi
I’ll give you at the actual business cards of some of the places I visited
Where to get a skyline view of Shinjuku skyscrapers for free
In order to get the free guide please sign up with your email address.
I arrived in the city of Adelaide, also known as wine country. Before I booked my trip my research had revealed that many of the better-known Australian Wine brands are located in the Adelaide’s Barossa Valley. Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Wolf Blass, Two Hands Wines, and Yalumba are just some of the wineries available in the valley. What most people may not know is that Adelaide was ranked in the top 5 of the EIU’s most livable cities. When I have travel discussions that involve Australia it is very rare that Adelaide enters the discussion. It is the higher profile cities such as Sydney, Gold Coast, and Melbourne that often take the spotlight. I believe wine is something special that Australia has to offer the travel and Adelaide is the right Australian destination to explore that offering.
Adelaide is a smaller city than Sydney and Melbourne and requires that you rent a car especially if you are going to wine country. I also recommend getting a GPS or a sim card for your smart phone with Google maps.
I was in need of some sleep as I woke up at 3am in Melbourne to catch this flight. I would be staying at a modern apartment that I found through airbnb with a pair of local girls. I reached the apartment with no issues and I received a warm welcome from my hosts. I was quickly shown to my room and was happy to see that it was nice, clean and spacious. I took a nap right away.
Mount Lofty & Cleland Conservation Park
When I woke up I didn’t have much time to plan as the day was half way gone, but my hosts helped me plan an efficient schedule with the time I had left. It was midday and I didn’t have enough time to make it out to the wine country so I planned to get some aerial shots at mount lofty and see some koala’s, kangaroo’s at Cleland Conservation Park. Both locations were located nearby each other so I was actually able to visit both. In fact, I was able to visit Mount Lofty during the day and after sunset.
I pulled into the Mount Lofty parking area. As I didn’t want to pay for parking I parked on the side road where I saw other cars parked. I walked to the viewpoint and took some shots. It’s a good viewpoint and attracted many people.
The highlight of this day was Cleland Conservation Park. I paid for my ticket and headed straight for the star of this park, which was the Koala.
Tip: You will meet many kangaroo’s that are not shy of people, but there is only a limited time to see the koalas so see them first. I had heard that koala’s can sleep somewhere around 21-22 hours in a day so if you have a chance to see a koala awake its a precious moment.
I had a chance to take a picture with a koala and pet him and ask some questions of his caretaker.
There were even more koala’s nearby the viewing area that I took pictures of. You’ll get your koala fix at this park for sure.
After the koala’s I had some time so I planned to see the dingoes, wombats, and more kangaroos and some other animals long the way. The park provided me with a good visual map and it was easy enough to get around the park. It’s huge and I doubt you will be disappointed. I stayed right until sunset and then headed back to Mount Lofty for some sunset shots. I was satisfied with how I salvaged the day.
tip: expect to spend your first day settling into your destination and planning it out if you can. If you can squeeze a few things on the itinerary that’s great, but if you plan a compressed trip with everything crammed into 2-3 days you’re setting yourself up for a poor experience.
It was a long day and I wanted to eat out tonight even though I had access to a kitchen. I went to Gouger Street, which is in downtown Adelaide, but the area had a town feel to it. Here you will find a cluster of mainly Asian restaurants offering good food at good prices. I went to a shop called the noodle kingdom and ordered a $10 Lanzhou Beef Noodle soup. I was pleasantly surprised to find this dish, as something like this in large asian city like Vancouver still requires some hunting. It was actually good quality
Day 2-3 – The Barossa Valley
I picked up a couple of fresh $5 Panini’s and refreshments before embarking on my wine trip. I elected to drive myself for more flexibility and time to film. I had no problem finding my first winery called Yalumba. Yalumba enjoys good brand recognition in Vancouver and I was very pleased that they were willing to co-operate with my filming request of the wine tasting experience. I will leave it to the video to showcase it. Yalumba provided plenty of time, water, and even a fresh coffee.
I took some time to rest and eat my Panini’s before heading out to my next destination called Wolf Blass. You will find Wolf Blass on most of the shelves worldwide. They were just about closing, but I had a chance to do a rushed tasting before ending the day.
I decided to return to Gouger St. to try a busy Sushi restaurant called Sushi train. It featured the conveyer belt, which is good way to preview the real life dishes, which I then order a la carte at the same price. The quality was good. I called it a night.
The next day I repeated the same routine and decided to visit Penfolds. I was treated to a very educational and enjoyable wine tasting experience here from a knowledgeable woman. My next stop was a recommendation from my host called Chateau Dorrien. From there I got a referral to visit a local popular restaurant/wine tasting spot called Maggie beer. My last stop was a unique winery called the Rockford. Check out the video for highlights of the experience.
Overall, all the wineries were very friendly and offered free quality wine tastings. You are not pressured into buying anything, but if you do the prices you get here are a good deal with some wines they sell not available on the local bottle store shelves. I got a good wine education. Thanks to all the Barossa Valley’ wineries for their co-operation.
Day 4 – McLaren Vale – An education on Shiraz
McLaren Vale is a region south of Adelaide known for specializing in Shiraz variety of red wine. There wasn’t as much information available for me to plan my visit so I decided to head there and play it by ear. I came across a familiar winery in Stump Hill Shiraz and decided to pay a visit. I drove in the driveway for Stump Hill and heard a loud dog barking. This place did not look inviting and I could not see an entrance to any winery. It looked like a private house and I felt I was intruding and quickly left to get some information from the visitor center.
I managed to get a map and plenty of help from the visitor’s center. They were reluctant to recommend any particular wineries although I managed to persuade them to highlight some wineries that included a strong recommendation for Squid Ink Shiraz, which isn’t really on the map. I hope this map I’m posting helps you and I also want to point out that there is a Mclaren Vale app. I didn’t have a chance to use it, but if you do please share your feedback.
My first stop was squid ink. It was a small winery with a small office feel, but I was quickly greeted by a lady that introduced me to the manager that personally and patiently took me through their product lineup. I tasted one of the best Shiraz wines I’ve ever had. Check the video to see which one it was.
I also managed to visit the Woodstock estate and had an excellent experience with the lady being very generous taking me through the entire menu. I had to take a Panini break after this tasting. When I was ready to resume my tasting I decided to visit a unique winery called Chapel Hill, which was based in a former church. It was a beautiful setting and a rainbow had formed just before I arrived hopefully signaling that I had arrived at the pot of gold. A man greeted me and although it was almost closing time he took me through most of the menu and shared some good knowledge of the wines.
I missed Rosemount Wineries, which I was really looking forward to. I had no regrets as both Barossa and Mclaren Vale had treated me very well.
Tip: If you like a wine in any of these valley’s buy it while you are there.
Final day – visiting town and night out with my hosts
On my last day I decided to give myself a bit of a break and just visit the town of Adelaide. I took up a mini mission to get to Rundle Mall and took some shots in town. Some notable areas I visited were the Botanical Gardens and the National Wine Center, which are next door to each other. I didn’t really enjoy the Botanical gardens although some people might. The wine center didn’t offer any free tastings, but had some photo friendly educational exhibits upstairs. I would recommend your time would be better spent in town if it is limited. The town of Adelaide feels like a large town rather than a city, but check out the video to make your own judgement.
At night I decided to cook dinner at home. After speaking with my hosts we agreed to head out for some drinks, as it was a Friday night. They took me to the area of Norwood to the Bath lounge which featured live music, a bar, and some seating in a modern atmosphere. One of the hosts bumped into her local friends and we ended up taking some photos. I had an early morning flight so we decided to head home after a couple of beers (after all that wine a beer was nice).
I had a great time in Adelaide! The big draw is the wine country at Barossa Valley and Mclaren Vale. I consider myself a moderate wine enthusiast, which means I’m a bit more knowledgeable than the average person and enjoy all kinds of wine types from time to time. Any wine enthusiast or someone that enjoys wine and wants to learn more must definitely make the trip out here to experience the wine tasting and education you will get. So far I’ve found it incomparable to any wine country I’ve been to such as the Kelowna’s Okanagan valley, Nappa Valley, and Capetown’s Stellenbosch. In addition to the popular Australian brands I managed to find some smaller wineries in both valleys such as Rockford and Squid Ink that offered exceptional wines.
A key draw are the free tastings for some very high quality wines and friendly and welcoming staff. If you are planning to drink lots you might want to take a tour otherwise if you have a designated driver you can take advantage of a more personal experience.
A bonus for me was getting to see the koalas and kangaroo’s up close at Cleland national park. Out of all the destinations I visited in Australia this was the best spot for visiting them and getting the best photo opportunities. I made a good decision to stay with these friendly and knowledgeable locals on airbnb and renting a car. I’ve come to the conclusion that your experience is in great part shaped by your decisions on where you stay, spend your time, and who you spend it with. The destination will still offer what i can, but you have these things under your control so take the time to make some good decisions.
If you would really like to see an Adelaide video. Share how much you want it by commenting or sharing on social media. I have plenty of great content, but it takes a tone of time to produce a good video. So show me some love.
Cleland National Park to see the animals
Photos at the Mount Loft Sunset
Asian Dinner at Gouger Street
Day 2 – 3
Barossa Valley for wine tasting and perhaps even dinner
Maclaren Vale to sample the shiraz
Visit Penfolds in town
Check out Rundle Street for some lunch or shopping
Drinks at the Bath hotel in Norwood
Greg is a modern World Explorer, Film-maker, Mobile & Google friendly Website producer, & Entrepreneur at the intersection of travel and technology. He has directed, shot, edited, and produced over 30 high definition travel and lifestyle related videos on Youtube in addition to producing ChicVoyage in Asia – modern travel adventures on the Amazon.com store in 2012. He has been instructed by globally renown SLR Director and film-maker Phillip Bloom. His 4 month 2013 journey took him to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.