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Go beyond the surface of Taiwan to find an even richer experience

I left empty hearted after reading Christopher Reynolds' article "A Sense of Taipei" (Feb. 18) .

All I have read is someone stayed in Taipei for three days, saw things on the surface and thinks it represents the whole of Taiwan.

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For example, each artifact in the National Palace Museum is as priceless as a Van Gogh, and most are very delicate or majestic.

The food scenes in Taipei are insanely rich and diverse, old and new at the same time beside night markets and Din Tai Fung. And just for breakfast, you can have Asian or Western styles with lots of choices.

As for the weather, northern Taiwan and southern Taiwan are just as different as San Francisco and Los Angeles. If you travel in the spring, there is hardly any rain; in the summer rainy season, you'll encounter only short afternoon showers.

Sam Lin

Redondo Beach

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Loved your article on Taiwan as my husband I recently enjoyed a four-day visit. May I suggest the Evergreen Laurel Hotel?

The Evergreen shipping company not only owns this hotel but also a bus line that goes directly from the airport with one of the stops directly in front of ther hotel.

Easy peasy and only U.S. $2.50 to get from the airport into the city.

Lia Eng

Aliso Viejo

Thanks for the triumphant memories

I read Irene Lechowitzky's Feb. 18 article "History Runs Deep Here; Come Mine It," about Jerome, Ariz., and all I could think of was this: Try pedaling up to Jerome on a bicycle.

Some years ago, a bunch of us from the Downey area did it as part of a van-supported bicycle ride that went from Flagstaff to Sedona to Cottonwood to Williams and back to Flagstaff. The van carried our stuff (except for what we needed with us). All of us were at least in our late 50s.

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I vividly remember cresting the last piece of the hill entering Jerome — in my lowest gear. What a triumph!

Muriel Schuerman

Downey

More than Mardi Gras

Great to read about New Orleans from an insider's viewpoint ("Heart of NOLA," Feb. 11, by Millie Ball). May I suggest a few tips from an outsider?

I am amazed how few people from L.A. have visited the 300 year-old city. To those who want to seem to think the best time to go is during Mardi Gras, I gently discourage them: It is a bit intense for first-timers, and prices are significantly higher.

Bourbon Street is colorful, great for people watching, and cheap booze is readily available; plus it's legal to walk down the street with it as well. My suggestion: Pace yourself. It is not unusual to see seriously inebriated tourists stumbling about, even as early as sundown.

The Hurricane is a memorable local libation, delicious, sweet and tasty, but one is enough. Two? You may have to call it an early night.

The famous restaurants in the French Quarter are not the only choices. Plus, their prices are breathtaking. Also, I don't travel with a tie and coat, which is recommended. I just ask a trusted local bartender for dining suggestions and am richly rewarded. If I see tablecloths and candles, I go elsewhere.

Café du Monde is slammed in the morning. That's why I head there after dinner for an inexpensive cup of hearty chicory coffee. I have the place to myself mostly.

Most important, keep in mind there is more to the French Quarter than Bourbon Street. It is safe, exquisitely embellished, charming and great for night owls like me. Unique among cities.

Kyle Kimbrell

Playa del Rey

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