DearDeer travel bookstore is an independent bookstore, runs by two travel enthusiasts, Eva and Lulu. Since 2017, they were fond of meeting up more overseas travelers in Taipei so started to host couch surfing guest(s) at their bookstore. Meanwhile, also invited guest(s) to introduce their country or to share their traveling stories to audiences. Up to date, Eva and Lulu host 50 times of couch surfing guest. (more info, click here )
Facebook fan page
Followed its fan page of facebook, I could tell how these cough surfers enjoyed their staying at bookstore. Forgot to mention earlier, DearDeer is the neighbor of my office so I knew Eva and Lulu since the early days of its opening. The more I followed their posts, the more interests on the experience of couch suffering host.
Conversazione with Lulu and Melody
May I introduce Melody (left on photo below), my 14-year-old niece, whom is interested to learn the subject of applied foreign language. I have her to join my appointment with Lulu (right on photo below). Our small talk is about "Ten reasons of a foreigner visiting Taiwan" upon Lulu's hosting experience.
Lulu selected her ten favorite reasons of couch surfing in Taipei and shared with me and Melody. We had funs of small talk, especially to my niece Melody whom is going to explore the world very soon.
Here you go
(Photo source | DearDeer website)
1. Cycling - the guests came from the UK, more info click here. Taiwan is a very cycling-friendly island, where provides cycling infrastructure and well-facilitated convenience store, police office as well as importantly the best bicycle manufacturer, GIANT.
(Photo credit | Chi Hsu - Giant well-maintains Taipei's city bikes everyday.)
2. Warm weather - the guests came from US, more info click here. It is quite common reason to travel to warmer place during severe winter time for mid-class income people from north America and Europe. Thailand is always their favorite, yet Taiwan is also the option which had been tried for many years. Upon this reason, Tainan and Kaohsiung are absolutely able to get in there. If you haven't heard about Tainan and Kaohsiung, google it. (My city page of ichicworld.net, click here Tainan, Kaohsiung)
3. Mountain hiking - the guest came from Belgium, more info click here. This is something beautifully I think Taiwan needs to put efforts to make "mountain hiking" more friendly for overseas visitors. When Lulu said how much she frustrated to help the couch surfers to apply for hiking pass of Jade Mt. for 3 days, yet still failed to get it. Instead of Jade Mt., Hehuan Mt. was where to hike. Still magnificent enough as I had been there, but just not the significant one. I am sure there is always something tricky practice in reality. Very touched some overseas tourists visiting Taiwan for mountains. Here is finally something differentiated Taiwan itself with Thailand in terms of western point of view.
4. Organic farm - the guest came from Ireland, more info click here. Lulu indicated she is a vegetarian (vegan) so the most impressive experience the guest had in Taipei, was to have vegetarian food. She was amazed how much food the chef could cook by vegetable ingredients. The reason of visiting Taiwan was to see an organic farm in Chiayi. That's brilliant, I have no idea about it. Yummy vegetarian food banquet, like a dumpling banquet in Xian, isn't it a good idea to attract a vegetarian tourist from western?!
5. Chinese herb - the guests came from Israel, more info click here. Eva and Lulu host their guest(s), one of treats is to browse night market and to have a Taiwanese stir fried food or/and street food. Lulu described when they host the Israel couple whom was very good on Chinese herb so always could tell the herb ingredients by Chinese pronunciation. That's really amazing if people whom could recognize some ingredients, especially made with Chinese herbs. Isn't "Chinese herb" food banquet creating some special catering experience?
6. Pride parade - the guest is an overseas HongKongese, more info click here. Earlier day in May, our lawmakers have approved a legalizing same-sex marriage, that makes Taiwan becoming the first place in Asia to pass gay marriage legislation. Not surprised that an overseas visitor comes Taipei for pride parade, which takes place in late October since 2003, the first time ever in the Chinese society.
7. Cloud Gate Dance (雲門舞集）- the guest is Chinese but studied in Paris at that time, more info click here. The young lady was highly interested art performance groups, and to explore the studio of Cloud Gate Dance bringing her to Taipei. Her major research is the subject of city planning, one of which research prospects is to present 'art performance' in public space in order to encourage local citizens visiting local museum. Cloud Gate Dance is actually one of few Taiwanese art performers winning global compliment.
8. Traditional Chinese - the guest came from California, USA, more info click here. While Lulu shared this reason motivated an American to visit Taiwan, I suddenly felt very proud of our language applied is backdated many many hundred of years ago, connected to ancient China. Unsure whether doable if any small program of studying traditional Chinese as 1-day or 2-day tour package in Taiwan.
9. Long weekend nearby - the guest is an Estonian but came from Japan, more info click here. This is quite typical reason for a foreigner whom had assigned to a dominant city but would like to spend a long weekend in nearby country or less-intense city. Taiwan/Taipei is always a relaxing spot for some dominant cities surrounded, such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong etc..
10. Pearl milk tea - the guest came from Philippine, more info click here. As DearDeer bookstore is located not far from World Trade Centre in Taipei. Recent "Taiwan Culinary Exhibition" attracted many overseas visitors, including two slash young entrepreneurs from Philippine, whom stayed over night at DearDeer bookstore as couch surfers. Lulu told us that they are lawyers/travel agents/tea bar owners/.... (a sort of slash generation) What they interested was to look for how to make a delicious 'pearl milk tea'. Here you go, Taiwan is the right place to know it.