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.
Podcasting is a mature platform and a great way to reach a new audience on itunes, spotify, google music, stitcher and more. I’ve been podcasting since 2015 and have since published 40 episodes. Here I share why you should podcast and tips for doing it.
In the smartphone era online dating has a popular way to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. As a digital nomad dating apps like Tinder are a great way to meet new friends or lovers in a new location. In this podcast I’m going to share my tips and experience for using Tinder in Asia including the Pros and Cons of Tinder Gold. If you’re traveling solo it can get lonely when you don’t have family or many local friends in the city you’re in.
There are dating sites like POF and okcupid, but to be honest I find it’s just to cumbersome to set up a profile, search , and then you often forget about while you wait for a match to reply. Apps like Tinder and Badoo make things a lot easier. I’ve had mixed experiences with Tinder, but it is the most mainstream dating app.
I also recommend meeting people through other means like random chats, events like internations, and yes maybe even meetups. I’ve heard of people that actually end up seriously dating on Tinder, and not just hookups.
Tinder Gold is one way you can separate yourself from crowd for a small fee. If gives you the ability to swipe an unlimited times, worldwide visa free swipes, things like boost for increased exposure and more!. Check out my tips
Langkawi Malaysia is a beautiful tropical beach island only a cheap 30 minute plane ride from Penang. A little known secret is that Langkawi offers duty free prices for alchohol and smokes! Read on.During my month stay in Penang I continually heard good things about the beach and the cheap alcohol. Disclaimer: There are affiliate links to the hotel.
Getting in and getting around
I booked a 30 minute flight from Penang to Langkawai there using Air Asia for $34 US one way and did a short 2 day stay at Cenang Beach, the main popular beach. My goal there was to relax from the grind I had in Penang. It was a cheap uber ride from the airport (15rm) to my hotel at the Nadias. Cenang beach is a short 5 minute walk away from the Nadias hoteland offers those gorgeous sunsets.
Where to stay
After a lot of cross research between trip advisor and Agoda I settled on the Nadias hotel at $about 49 US a night. As you know me I’m looking for a comfortable room, good value, clean, wifi, and good location. This placed checked the boxes for me. The room was a decent sized, it was modern, decent breakfast, and decent swimming pool. The main feature was that it was a short 5 minute walk to the beach, close to the starbucks, plaza, and duty free stores. It’s ideal for couples or people looking a comfortable room they could work and have a class walk to cenang beach.
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In between filming video I also found out that the duty free stores not only carry cheap beer, but wine and cigars. A got a bottle of hardy’s sauvignon blanc for 29 Ringet. I heard that the island has some special arrangement where they don’t pass on the duty to tourists. This is one of the draws of the island. I didn’t bother touring around the island. I managed to wake up early to catch some morning aerial footage of Penang, but the prime time would be during the sunset.
I did a lunch at red tomato, the popular restaurant for western food with foreigners. The food was good, but it was expensive and there was terrible customer service. The kebab’s on the main street were good. The included breakfast buffer at the hotel was just average. For the afternoon I decided to rent a sunbed until sunset. At least I could film some footage with DJI OSMO.
I took out the DJI drone to setup by my sunbed and asked permission from the owner. He said yes. There were a lot of people, but the airspace was clear and I had a strong GPS signal. I took off from a quiet area. I manage to capture different colors of the sunset during my 1 flight. I had to deal with some curious tourists. I gave myself a 5 minute buffer to land and double checked it was safe to land. Flying on a tropic beach paradise like Langkawi is awesome as an Aerial Videographer. There are few high obstructions and you have a georgeous sunset and beach to film. If you are interested in learning Aerial videography or photography from me check out my Online class with a promo discount.
In this episode Rob and I got together again in Chiang mai for a candid discussion of online teaching in 2017. We are going to sit down and discuss more advanced topics for online teachers on Udemy and other platforms like list building and marketing tactic for our online courses. We are going to dive into the weeds of what works and doesn’t when it comes to email marketing. We also dive into how we’re using the self hosted platform teachable and even what happened to Amazon Video direct.
The Stock Footage business model has given me the benefit of time and location freedom. Essential it allows me to license my videos on Internet agencies. The agencies take care of marketing, receiving payment, and delivery. The beauty of this model is I can license a video clip an unlimited number of times on more than one agency. I go into more depth about this in my blog post and this podcast.
In this episode you will learn:
Which agencies you should have your video collection on
What technology should you focus on to get higher returns
Why you should consider relocating to a lower cost country
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.
So you’ve decided to become an English teacher in Taiwan?
Now that my experience as an English teacher in Taiwan is over I thought I would reflect and pass on some of my hard lessons learned. Some of this stuff I just learned and wasn’t covered in my schools training. I’m there are much more experienced teachers out there, but before I wrote this I did a google search and no-one has written an actual article on this topic. I hope to get the conversation started, and hope others will contribute.
I want to share some of my top personal tips to help you become a better English Teacher in Taiwan. My experience comes from teaching children age 5 – 12 in a cram school setting. As the kids get older they become more mature and you don’t need to administer these techniques as much.
I found out in my first week that managing the kids and their behavior was just if not more important than the actual teaching
1. Classroom management – I found out in my first week that managing the kids and their behavior was just if not more important than the actual teaching. Here are some of the techniques I found to be effective to get the kids under control.
The 5 second countdown – just start counting down and watch the kids scramble to not be the last one to their seats. It’s great for getting control back of the class
Reward system – You can issue out individual cards (any pack of cards) to children who exhibit behavior like answering questions or participating well. A variation is to do this on a team basis. You can make two teams on the board and let the kids decide the name of the team. Letting them decide really gets their buy in. They will usually pick something like dinosaurs,snake, or ninja turtles. Draw the picture to represent the team mascot. They love it. As you teach you can reward the teams with points for good behavior. For example the first team to take out their books to the correct page, or who read the best. At the end I tally the points and give the winning team something like 7 stamps. I used to trade cards for fake money which they could then buy candy for. The kids enjoyed this, but its took more time and effort to administer and distracted from my teaching.The losing team will get 2 stamps, and will feel bad for losing. Stamps mean a lot to the kids and it isn’t expensive. You can use ink to refill the stamp.
Punishments – don’t like this, but if you take away their individual cards. You can even take away points away from their team, which will get the other kids on their team on their case. I’ve heard of other teachers threatening to have the students spell a word 15 times. It’s important to follow through.
Last resort intimidation – I’m not a fan of this, but sometimes you may have to bring out your inner terminator to put the fear in certain students. I watched some of the other teachers who would shout loud and bang something on the table to create the effect. You can shout their name really loud, bang the desk with something that will make a loud noise like a metal thermos bug, and you have to cap it off with a mean stare. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds with a serious face and lean on the desk. Again I’m not a fan of this, but I’m putting it our there.
2. Prepare for your lesson in advance – In a cram school it is a noisy and distracting environment with kids running around. I would figure out what my next class and take the materials home with me. I could then prepare in a less noisy environment the day before or well before class to avoid rushing before class.
3. Tools – Have a strong toolkit or tool box. Here is what I think a good tool-kit should have.
Get a good red pen for marking over students mistake, blue pen for general purpose, and pencil for making notes in your notebook.
Post-it notes are handy for making notes so you don’t mark up the text book
Whiteboard markers – The cheap ones lasted less than a week. Get the fat ones that you can refill. They cost about 40nt and 21nt to refill. 2-3 colors are good
You want to have at least 2 decks or cards, some good stamps, and remember to refill your stamps regularly.
There are plenty of stationary stores around Taiwan and these supplies won’t set you back that much.
4. Games. It’s important to have a good set of games to entertain and teach kids with.
Paper, Scissors, Stone (Rock,paper,scissors) – This is what it’s referred to in Taiwan. Use it whenever the students have to practice together to determine who will go first or to settle an argument. If kids have to head have the loser of paper, scissors, stone read the page.
Dice – The dice are probably my most used tool. Here are some uses for it. If a team did something well or an individual on a team participated well. You can reward them by letting someone throw a dice to see how many points their team gets. It students need to practice questions with their friends then you can use give them a dice to determine which question they will practice.
Get a bucket and a ball to play mobile basketball. If they do something well give them a chance to play. I haven’t met a kid that didn’t want to play basketball. If they get it in give them the dice to figure out how many points.
Flashcard guessing – If you use flashcards to tell them on one of the words to stand up. Odd one out if the loser. You can also hide a hard behind yourself and ask what card is behind teacher. Kids of all levels just love to guess.
Spelling relay – Have each team line-up. Each kid can only write one letter then has to hand the market to the person behind them.
Puzzle generator – If you have spare time you can create a crossword puzzle or word search using words they need to learn. This website will generate the puzzle for you. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/. Great if you need to fill time
Flash games – If you teach math and have a smart board flash games are a creative way to let kids learn and interact. The kids can touch the smart board to move things like coins in a game. Very cool. Here is a great site I used. www.abcya.com
Singing statues or musical chairs – Some kids hate singing, but you can play these games and they won’t want to stop. You can play the song and when you press pause everyone sits down or you play the music and when you pause the music everyone freezes ( you need to freeze as well to sell it to them).
I’m sure that’s just scratching the surface, but I hope that helps. Feel free to leave a comment if you have more tips to share. Thanks to Dan for passing on some of the tips. If you want to to hear more tips for life in Taiwan be sure to sign up to my newsletter.