Latest news: May 16th 2014

We are straight into summer this week, with temperatures in the mid-30s. It seems like we had a longer winter than usual, and not it seems as though we are going to have a longer summer.

And things might not be as comfortable indoors as they used to be, as the Bureau of Energy is thinking about enforcing a minimum temperature of 28°C in certain establishments, up from the current minimum of 26°C it established last year. The official line is that energy has to be saved, but the fourth nuclear power station gets a mention. Read into that what you will, but you can’t help but feel this is turning up the heat on the general public. Sorry.

Speaking of heat, things got a bit testy in Vietnam this week, with several Taiwanese, Chinese and even Korean factories being torched. The riots were caused by China drilling for oil in the (hotly) contested waters around the Paracel Islands which are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. Perceived as an affront to their claim, Vietnamese in several provinces attacked and burned down factories with Chinese characters in the name regardless of whether they were owned by Chinese companies. Hopefully things will calm down, but the situation over these and other islands in the area seems to be getting more intense and will doubtless feature on the news again.

On happier if somewhat news, some poor chap had an unexpected trip after eating mushrooms he found growing on cow dung in Yamingshan. What made him think that was a good idea, heaven knows…

In travel news, the TRA will start running Puyuma trains along the east cost to Taitung from the end of June, which is expected to cut the travel time from Taipei down to three and a half hours.  If you are in Taichung, “Star Villa”, a century-old traditional Taiwanese courtyard house has just reopened after extensive renovations. However, Gueishan Island off the coast of Ilan is closed for three weeks due to the recent heavy rain washing out the hiking trails.

The featured articles tho week are all about getting a driving licence in Taiwan, from a slightly different perspective. While you can go to a test centre and take the test independently, we wondered what it would be like to go through the more common route in Taiwan and go through a driving centre, so we did. You can read all about it here.

As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please get in touch. We would especially like to hear from writers from around Taiwan.

Thanks again for reading, have a great week, and we hope to see you back soon.

Taiwan Ho!