The culture that is Taiwan (Britain)

When the popular BBC TV program The Travel Show introduced Taiwan to its viewers, it failed to mention the island’s food, the Liberty Times noted Thursday.

The show visited the Anping Fort in Tainan, the brand new Weiwuying arts center in Kaohsiung, the sunrise and the tea plantations near Alishan, and the lanterns of Pingxi, but the presenters did not mention a word about Taiwanese food or even the night markets, according to the Liberty Times.

That is from a Taiwanese news site, via Salar al Khafaji.


While it's possible that British tourists are not strongly interested in the food opportunities while traveling, it's also possible that the show doesn't need to tell them what they already know: Taiwan has a lot of Chinese food. For further details, they can watch a global food show.

Whereas the show as described was probably informing them of all sorts of things they didn't know about: the Weiwuying arts center, lanterns of Pingxi, etc.

There are a lot of topics the show could discuss, but might or might not: how to navigate the international airport in Taipei; what sorts of options are there for staying overnight; how to deal with the language barrier; etc. etc. And where to eat. There's a plethora of topics they chose to leave out of the show because they had to.

Surely not mentioning food in a travel show is a bizarre omission, especially when the locale is a culture that will be foreign to the viewers.

Your comment betrays your own ignorance... Taiwan's food culture is significantly different from other parts of China, which shouldn't even be lumped into a single category of "Chinese food". Not to mention that Japan is arguably more influential to Taiwan's food than China is.

Going to Taiwan and not mentioning the food is like going to Rio de Janeiro's Zona Sul (Copacabana/Ipanema/Leblon) and spending all your time at the hotel's swimming pool.

Source: my co-workers did this.

Maybe they just wanted to make a travel show that wasn't about food. From what I see on TV/Netflix/Youtube these days, you'd think there's no other reason to visit a place.

-Frequent visitor to Taiwan who doesn't visit for the food

Let's add the NYT Sunday Travel section to the list. One reads it and one wonders why they just didn't pop on over to the nearest ethnic restaurant instead of traveling half way around the world.

Fair point. One could argue Taiwan doesn’t do a particularly good job of promoting its natural beauty and outdoor opportunites so in some sense they may be doing Taiwan a favor.


Gluttony is the only reason to travel for some.

A breach of contract issue? The filming crew should have needed more than 1permit to do their job and perhaps agreed to certain suggestions for the final edit of the show.

Also, I spend some days in Greece a month ago. The ads for "lunch all day" are everywhere. They seem to know the Brit customers really well.

If you've ever been to Taiwan, you'll know that this is a big deal. The culture of Taiwan IS food. Any Taiwanese you meet will tell you that the thing they miss most about their home country is the food. And the place you get the best food in Taiwan is the night markets, which are a cultural phenomenon pretty unique to Taiwan. (I know because my wife and my mom are both Taiwanese, and I've spent a couple years living there myself).


Taiwanese would think of this as about like visiting Israel and skipping the religious sites.

Good analogy!

+1 ... Nailed it

Now that I know many of the pioneers who were responsible for the China miracle actually came from Taiwan, Singapore, etc. (which have deep influences of western culture), it's given me a different perspective on China. Can China maintain the miracle without a regular inflow of pioneers from these places?

Such is life in Brexit's Britain.

Seriously, the show must know its audience, and if they are sandwich packers, those are the things they want to see.

I enjoyed Travel Man but I don't remember it being is food heavy as the Bourdain standard. Different audiences.

In fairness Bourdain himself seems to be decreasingly interested in food as he has grew to have more latitude not to be, and just to use it as framing device to talk to people about their issues on the political and economic and cultural situation and have a general conversation.

Maybe it's because I'm American and I'm accustomed to foreigners misapprehending and crapping on how we do things, but the culture that is Taiwan comes off as provincial and insecure in this anecdote. I get that they have to live in the shadow of diplomatic non-recognition, but it shouldn't be that big a deal to get noticed by a foreign country.

Not mentioning the Night Markets is criminal. In general, the food there is interesting and delicious, but there was nothing so amazing that you had to make it a highlight of the trip. I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but in the US there are so many migrants from the Pacific Rim countries that I've pretty much been exposed to similar food. Taiwan, being an island, has a lot of seafood. And the most unusual food are the most off-putting to the Western palates, stinky fermented tofu, durian, and so on. Though, fresh durian is delicious, my eyes didn't stop watering until I took a long hot shower.

Since we are talking about Taiwan (Britain). Let us talking about Japan (France).

Hi, I am Doctor Eric White from Wichita, the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas. I would like to know why French-Brazilian citizen Mr. Ghosn, leader of the Renault-Nissan alliance, has been illegaly detained on trumped charges by the authorities of Japan's lawless regime. Let us remember: a crime against a Westerner is a crime against all Westerners. Or anyone thinks Japan will stop after that. There were people who thought Japan would stop after attacking China. They were mistaken, and America and the world paid a dearly price.
Remember Pearl Harbor!

Priceless! Keep them coming, doctor.

My point is, Mr. Ghosn is a political prisoner.

He is not. Nissan’s old guard was chafing at the French government’s interference via Renault and must have carefully saved away knowledge of M. Ghosn’s alleged improprieties to unseat him when the time was right. Other Japanese CEOs like at Toshiba, Olympus or TEPCO were treated with kid gloves for far worse transgressions.

Because he is a political prisoner. The Japenese regime could not tolerate that Japan's more important executive was a Brazilian person so it have to save face.

Get outta here you fraud.

I am not a freak.

As is often the case, the aboriginal indigenous Taiwanese peoples, ethnically Austronesian with a history of thousands of years on the island before the Chinese invasion, are ignored.

It's tempting to draw some ideas about cultural differences in importance of food from this but probably wrong. Sample of n=1, right?

The Howard Hotel in Taipei has very good food. They used to host an international Chinese chef competition every August. This link is from a food competition held earlier this year.

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