November 5, 2009 Comments Off on HELLO

Me in 2007

Me in 2007








By John Harding

November 5, 2009 Comments Off on By John Harding


 1.   Formosa today (how Australian cities could look in 2060).

2.  Taiwan- a ‘kaleidoscope’ of  quality and innovation, plus friendly people.


This blog is a collection of pictures and  captions 

from about 20+ visits made 2002 to 2016.

‘Tips for Foreigners’ in LINKS.


June 23, 2018 Comments Off on TAIWAN SHARK SYMPOSIUM NEWS 2002


THIS IS 2018

May 5, 2018 Comments Off on THIS IS 2018

Have been neglecting this blog. Farcebook (sic) has been taking my time.

Song by Scott Wesley Brown was played to me in 2002 and 2003 by my Taiwanese friend, Miss Tsai.

Miss Tsai was in association with a large group of Jesus followers:



The origin of the name Jesus came about in the seventeenth century.  It was unknown 2000 years ago (obviously).  It’s a mixture of English and Greek.  The letter “J” was invented sometime in the 1600’s.

How “Yeshua” Became “Jesus” – Jesus is a Jew


This came about because in early English the letter “J” was pronounced the way we pronounce “Y” today. All proper names in the Old Testament were transliterated into English according to their Hebrew pronunciation, but when English pronunciation shifted to what we know today, these transliterations were not altered.


May 26, 2017 § Leave a comment



The round house at 39 NanHai Road, Taipei.  You’ll need to read Chinese or have a translator with you to know what the dishes are. We arrived early to get video of the food before others arrived.  The work in preparing everything would be huge.  Could never be possible in Australia.  Feast your eyes on this ‘slightly a bit-long’ video.  The location is half a dozen blocks south from North Gate to where NanHai Road should be then turn right.  Will return there next visit.

(Also within the same unique-styled building are several art shops downstairs).

Main entrance, restaurant on top floor.

Craft shop bowl, and the stairs to downstairs.


May 25, 2017 § Leave a comment


Surgery and other treatments including acupuncture is available and is hopefully affordable. Most patients are from international embassies. An  opportunity exists for foreign travelers seeking world-standards plus providing extra care.

Payment is estimated in advance with any unused portion of the payment refunded in cash when the patient is discharged.  Plastic cards accepted.  Expect any initial consultation pre admission to be, roughly NT $1000  (AUD $45).

Westerners and other foreigners are VIP’s.   Most are from embassies (and others officially – trade offices) in Taipei.

The International Medical Service provides an English-speaking medically experienced guide. ‘Sharon’ and ‘Zoe’ show the client various options ranging from traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture to conventional western-style treatments or advice.  An essential service if the patient is unable to speak Chinese or Taiwanese.

The Taipei Veterans General Hospital has 3000 patients daily and 30+ operating theatres. This hospital is known for treating Taiwanese service veterans, with many now over the age of eighty”.


Taipei Veterans General Hospital – exterior and foyer. (2017)


Hospitals launch group to tap into SE Asian market

Tue, Jun 26, 2018

Seventeen large hospitals in Taiwan yesterday formally launched an association to jointly explore the healthcare market in nations targeted by the government’s New Southbound Policy.

The association includes National Taiwan University Hospital, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and Mackay Memorial Hospital.

The initiative revolves around the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s “one center, one country plan,” Department of Medical Affairs Director-General Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said.

The plan, unveiled earlier this month, appointed six Taiwanese medical centers or large hospitals to set up partnerships and promote medical exchanges with India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Each Taiwanese hospital is to gauge its partner country’s demand for medical services, train medical workers, provide health consulting services and help build an environment conducive to good medical care, the plan showed.

The hospitals will also try to attract people in those nations to get checkups or other medical care in Taiwan, it said.

Members of the association are to be responsible for implementing the plan, which Shih said would still require relaxing relevant laws, including incorporating “remote diagnoses” into the scope of international medical services that local hospitals can provide.

Taiwan has already amended regulations on training foreign health professionals and referring them to appropriate teaching hospitals, allowing medical professionals from target countries to receive practical, on-the-job training in Taiwan, Shih said.

Under the “one center, one country plan,” each of the six big hospitals are to invest NT$5 million (US$164,457) to explore opportunities in their partner country, hoping to double revenues of patients from foreign countries receiving medical care in Taiwan from the current NT$15 billion to NT$30 billion per year.

They also hope to boost exports of medicines and medical devices by 20 percent, according to the plan.

Taiwan External Trade Development Council president Walter Yeh (葉明水) on Friday said that more than 305,000 international patients received healthcare in Taiwan last year, with a third coming from Southeast Asia, showing that Taiwanese hospitals already have a good base in that market.

The organizers did not specify the obligations of the 11 hospitals added to the original six or their potential financial commitments.

The New Southbound Policy seeks to strengthen relations with Southeast and South Asian nations, Australia and New Zealand.

FISH PRINTING (Taipei Times); Green Island restaurant

May 9, 2017 § Leave a comment


GREEN ISLAND – pictures from my visit in 2003

Excellent water  – 100 foot visibility.

Fish printing in restaurant.




CKS CADILLAC in Memorial Hall (Video)

May 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

This 1956 Cadillac is one of two Chiang vehicles within the huge memorial hall at Taipei.

A still photo on the wall partially shows WH Donald (behind CKS and wearing glasses) the Australian journalist who was a huge help to CKS and credited with saving the life of his wife Madame Soong.

With connection to newspapers and magazines in USA,  WH Donald was able to promote CKS to the world.  Time and LIFE magazines survive today with his articles on the Chiang (Republic of China) and Mao’s Chinese communists joint war effort against Japan.

TRIVIA: WH Donald would not eat Chinese food – which must have been interesting.  Upon his death Chiang gave him a state funeral  – how much of his grave would be left today after the Cultural Revolution?  Donald is therefore almost forgotten yet in his era was known as “Donald of China”.  (See Wikipedia link below which contains his some of interesting story).

Meanwhile in Taiwan the numerous statues of the former dictator are regularly vandalized by students with many already removed and in storage. The name of CKS Memorial Hall may be changed before long, the big question is  what will become of the huge bronze statue of Chiang inside the upper hall where there is a changing of the guard every one hour watched by hundreds of tourists?

Years ago I could not help comparing CKS Memorial Hall with Gracelands in Memphis USA where there should also be a couple of Cadillacs from the same era.

Donald of China (Wikipedia)

SPIRITUALITY TAIWAN – Linda Gail Arrigo’s experiences.

April 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

Linda Gail Arrigo  (11 March 2017).


“On Saturday March 11, 2017, I had occasion to take an Australian visitor, John Harding, on a tourist excursion, and chose to go to Chihnan Temple, the famous and historic temple of Lu Dong-ping, one of the Eight Immortals, in the hills on the southeast edge of the Taipei basin. At an elevation of about 360 meters, it is also a popular tourist destination because of the 20-minute cable car that soars over the forests of the Taipei Zoo area; and in spring the azaleas are blooming profusely. In the past ten years I have on many occasions taken foreign visitors to see the temple “seer”, Mr. Guo, who believes that his powers and knowledge are transmitted from the Immortal Lu, a deity particularly adept in medical practice; and though past incidents it could be presented that Mr. Guo may have at least telepathic capacities”.

“Having heard from my elder sister that mother was steadily but slowly sinking due to advancing dementia, on March 11 I asked Mr. Guo to pray that Nellie (mother) would pass away quickly and painlessly. Mr. Guo said that he would transmit that request, and that Jesus would come to receive mother into the next world, because Jesus is the deity in charge in the Christian part of the world.

As it happened, within less than 48 hours Nellie evidenced an episode portending impending death”.



(Linda concludes  – details of her return visit to the temple 10 days later just after her mother’s death).


Mr Guo applying stamps to Linda’s documents concerning her mother.


“I gave Mr. Guo the several pages of printout of Nellie’s (Linda’s mother) obituary and photos, which included her date and place of birth, standard information for communication with the spirits. Mr. Guo said that because Nellie had done good deeds all her life and accumulated abundant good karma, she would not be subjected to rebirth. He drew an elaborate diagram of the layers of the heavens, and said that she had ascended to the realm of “tai ji” (great extreme), not yet to the height of “wu ji” (boundless), and that in that realm there were five sectors: north, south, east, and west, as well as center. She was in the west sector that was governed both by Jesus and by Buddha, and that she would slowly rotate between the two for thirty years, while showering blessings on her descendants, before moving on to the higher realm. I expressed to Mr. Guo the hope that her grandson Roger would inherit Nellie’s generosity and sweet disposition, and he said that was likely to happen. He concentrated over the papers I brought with a hand gesture of blessing, and then proceeded to place a large charm printed on yellow paper next to it, and to stamp the paper with a large seal he took out of his desk, wetting the seal with the usual red wax ink in a box. Here I took pictures. Mr. Guo said he would keep the papers on the altar of the Immortal Lu for a while; usual practice is to burn the papers to transmit the message up to heaven. We bowed and left”.


Mr Guo’s stamp impressions.


“PS. Was it more than a coincidence that Nellie began to slip from life less than two days after the March 11 request to Mr. Guo? We can neither confirm nor disprove supernatural forces of the universe. We do have an apparent precedent. About five years ago I brought a German woman named Ulrika to see Mr. Guo; she requested that he help her 87-year-old mother overcome her constant and intense anxiety and fear of death. Mr. Guo prayed, and Ulrika herself felt better. When she returned to Germany a few days later, she found her mother calm. Or if belief in the spirits is merely human self-consolation, then so be it”. 


Book “A Borrowed Voice” (2008)