Photographs and Information about Taiwan's Culture, Nature and People by Rich Matheson





Dane’efu is excited about the launch

On February 24, Taiwanese people around the world celebrated when Ang Lee, who was born in Taiwan 58 years ago, won a second Best Director Oscar, this time for Life of Pi.

Now, on May 7, 2013, comes a new website introducing the scenery, cultures, history and cuisines of Taiwan. Life of Taiwan ( has more than 150 pages of information about the East Asian island.

Tuntex Skytower (85 Tower), Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Tuntex Skytower (85 Tower), Kaohsiung, Taiwan

“International arrivals have been growing for the past decade, and we think Taiwan’s tourism industry will enjoy a big lift thanks to the success of Life of Pi, which was made right here in Taiwan” said Mark Sinclair, founder and CEO of Formosa Services, the Taiwan-based startup behind Life of Taiwan.

“We’re providing high-end tailor made tours targeting professionals and their families. There is no safer place to travel than Taiwan and as everyone who has been here knows, the Taiwanese are a very special people.”

The website covers everything from Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes and their festivals to the island’s diverse and vibrant religious culture. Gourmands can read about Taiwan’s tastiest foods, while outdoors types will discover that Taiwan has more than enough mountains, rivers and dive sites to keep them busy, plus hot springs where tired muscles can be soaked at the end of a tiring day. And if they’re not already aware of Taiwan’s treasures, birdwatchers and other kinds of ecotourist will find the website’s description of Taiwan’s spectacular natural diversity engrossing.

Chihsi plaque bearers. Kai Lung Temple, Jung Shan Road, Tainan City, Taiwan

Chihsi plaque bearers. Kai Lung Temple, Jung Shan Road, Tainan City, Taiwan

The website is gorgeously illustrated with photos taken by Michelin and Asian Geographic photographer Rich J. Matheson. Rich specializes in images of religious events and Taiwan’s aboriginal groups; his work can be seen at

The text was written by Steven Crook, author of three books about the island – Keeping Up With The War God (2001), Dos and Don’ts in Taiwan (2010) and Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide (2010). Steven is currently updating his Bradt guide for publication in spring 2014. Links to many of his published articles can be found at

Sandimen, Pingtung County, Taiwan

These Aboriginal women have just heard the news

For further information feel free to contact us on or call +886 6 2088173.


Podcast Interview with Reality Abroad

I was recently interviewed by Alan for Reality Abroad, a travel website aimed at helping travelers see a country from an insiders viewpoint. He asks questions about Taiwan and photography. The podcast can be listened to or downloaded at Images of Taiwan-Reality Abroad.

Moonworld landscape, Erliao, Tainan, Taiwan

Moonworld landscape reflected in blue pond, Erliao, Tainan, Taiwan

Taiwan Nature Project

Nature Taiwan
Nature Taiwan

Sunrise on Hike to Yushan South Peak

Taiwan’s stunning geographic features and spectacular biodiversity is often overlooked…

New Taiwan Travel App — Taiwan for Culture Vultures

A new Taiwan Travel App from Gecko authored by the prolific and highly respected Taiwan writer, Steven Crook, has recently become available.

Taiwan for Culture Vultures Guide App

Pingtung’s Ci Feng Temple 慈鳳宮

Steven recently told me he is excited about the app because he was able to delve into attractions and topics in much more depth and breadth than was possible for his traditional print guidebook — and that no guide book can, unless you want to carry a phone book-size guidebook in your bag!  Many of the places he researched for the popular Bradt print guidebook  that he was simply unable to include, as well as places that opened after its publication, are in this app.

Yi Ming Hui (義民會) Guanjiang Shou painting his face.

Culture focus; temples, museums, architecture, gods, festivals, history…

As the title suggests, the book focuses on cultural attractions; temples, museums, architecture and the like. At $2.99 you can’t go wrong — buy it just to learn about Taiwan whether you live here, want to travel here or just want to learn about Taiwan’s art, culture and history from one of Taiwan’s most established travel writers. Also a writing coach, this erudite scribe is a pleasure to read; his writing is perceptive, sensitive, unbiased, and above all — knowledgeable.

Lugang 鹿港

View of Longshan Temple’s main pavilion from front pavilion, Lugang, Changhua County, Taiwan

I had some photos published in Steven Crook’s article for Verve Magazine (more…)

Lisong Hot Springs 栗松溫泉

It is good practice to spin up old hard drives lest they lose their magnetic fields and become unreadable. When I do this it is always pleasant to go through old pictures. I was rummaging through an old D100 catalog and came across these Lisong pictures. Lisong hotsprings are accessed from a side road on the Southern Cross-Island Highway (Km169) near the small village of Motian, followed by a steep 2 hour hike. Nestled at the bottom of sheer, brightly colored, mineral caked cliffs, they remain the most beautiful hot springs I have been to.I wrote about Lisong Hot Springs 栗松溫泉 for The China Post a very long time ago (2006) but I haven’t been for a long time.The last time we went (more…)

Tainan Cao Shan Moon World-2 草山月世界

Moonworld Sunrise, Erliao, Tainan, Taiwan

Today I will share a few thoughts about my post processing. (more…)

Tainan Cao Shan Moon World Sunrise 草山月世界日出

Photographers working the sunrise at 4:56am. Caoshan Moonworld , Erliao, Tainan, Taiwan

Took a trip to Erliao lookout point in Tainan’s Caoshan Moonworld with fellow blogger Hanjie. The scenery was stunning but it was the crowds (more…)

Keeping Up With The War God

Steven Crook , writer of Taiwan’s Bradt Travel Guide and Taiwan Do’s and Dont’s, has revised and republished his first book “Keeping Up With The War God, Taiwan as it seemed to me: 1996-2001″ in Kindle e book format.

The publisher,, writes: (more…)

Ten Drum Festival 2011

The 2011 Ten Drum Festival in Tainan and Kaohsiung was an amazing five day performance with five drum troupes from three countries.

Japan’s Maidaiko Aska-Gumi Taiko Drum Group, Ten Drum Culture Village, Tainan

Click on this link to see the article:

Taiwan Culture Portal – 17 March 2011

Spectators are shaded by old Camphor and Autumn Maple trees as they watch Festival in Ten Drum’s new park located in Qiaotou’s sugar refinery, Kaohsiung.

Jump to full post with more pictures: (more…)