Janet Hsieh

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Janet Hsieh
Janet Hsieh 2016.jpg
Hseih in 2016
Janet Josephine Hsieh

(1980-01-20) January 20, 1980 (age 39)
Houston, Texas, United States
Other names謝怡芬
OccupationHost, model, author, musician
Years active2002-present
Spouse(s)George Young (2015)

Janet Hsieh (Chinese: 謝怡芬; pinyin: Xiè Yí Fēn; Wade–Giles: Hsieh4 I2 Fen1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siā î hun; January 20, 1980) is a Taiwanese-American television personality, violinist, author, and model based in Taipei, Taiwan. She is the host of the Discovery Travel and Living Channel's long-running series Fun Taiwan.[1] The program is currently in its 13th season and has expanded to include Fun Asia and Fun Taiwan Challenge. She has been nominated four times for the Taiwanese Golden Bell Awards as Best Host of a Travel Program, and once for Best Host of a Variety Program.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hsieh was born on January 20, 1980 and raised in Houston, Texas.[4] Her father hails from Kaohsiung and her mother from Taipei. She has one elder sister.[5] She graduated from Bellaire Senior High School in 1997. Hsieh married George Young in January 2015.[6]

In 2001, Hsieh graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Spanish.[7] During her time at MIT, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega women's fraternity and served on the university's Ring Committee, the group responsible for designing the MIT class ring.[8] She also ran the Boston Marathon during this time.[3]

She also studied at the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina and at the University of California, Los Angeles in California.[citation needed]

Hsieh holds a black belt in Taekwondo[7] and is a trained sushi chef[9] and circus performer.[9][10] She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Taiwanese.[1][9]


Volunteer and EMT[edit]

After graduation from college, Hsieh spent time in Jamshedpur as a community outreach volunteer.[8] She also received certification as an EMT from Boston EMS/MIT, and in September 2001 went to Taiwan for a medical residential internship,[10] where she completed a six-month stint at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Tienmu.[8] [3] She also worked in India in the city of Jamshedpur for Tata Steel[8]


In 2002, at the end of her medical internship, Hsieh met Jeff Huang of the Taiwanese rap group L.A. Boyz, as well as rising star Vanness Wu outside the popular Taipei nightclub, Room 18. On recommendations from Huang and Wu, Hsieh auditioned for being taller than other women, eventually landing an underwear commercial.[11]


In 2005, Hsieh auditioned for a new Discovery Travel and Living television series exploring the island of Taiwan, entitled Fun Taiwan.[1][10] Since landing the role, she has been nominated four times for Best Host in a Travel Program at the Golden Bell Awards, achieving a win in 2011, and has been one of the longest running series on Discovery Channel's TLC (Asia) [12]


Hsieh learned to play the violin at age five and was part of the Texas Young Virtuosos, who played at the White House for President George Bush and in Europe.[9][13] In Taiwan, she has performed three concerts at the National Concert Hall, twice in 2011 and again in 2013.[8][13][14] She also played as one of 4,645 participants at Changhua Stadium in 2011, joining Changhua County youth to set a Guinness World Record for "Largest Violin Ensemble."[15]


Hsieh published her first Chinese-language travel book, Traveling with 100 Toothbrushes,[16][17][full citation needed] in 2010. She has since published two additional travel-related titles, Backpack to the Future[18][full citation needed] and Au for You,[19][full citation needed] as well as two English learning books, Janet's Funtastic English[20][full citation needed] and j@net.com.[21][full citation needed]

In 2016, Hsieh and her husband George Young co-authored the book "Starting at The End" (Chinese language title: "在世界的盡頭說:我願意").[22] The book shares their sometimes conflicting stories on how they met, as well as their fifty-day journey through Texas, Argentina, and through to their wedding in Antarctica.[23][24]



Hsieh has served as the host of numerous programs on Discovery Travel and Living, including Fun Taiwan,[1] as well as programs on local Taiwanese television networks.[11]


  • Big Three Dragons (2019)
  • Frozen, as Anna (Taiwanese Mandarin voiceover)[25]
  • Traversal 101 (2013), as Xiao Na [26]
  • Big Brother Ohaev (2007), as Jenny[27]

Music videos[edit]

[32] [33]


  1. ^ a b c d Taiwan Tourism Bureau. "Janet Hsieh, Host of the Popular Local Travel Show "Fun Taiwan" Shares Her Taiwan Experience" Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  2. ^ Janet returns to MIT
  3. ^ a b c Shao-Fei Moy (23 April 1999) "The 103rd Boston Marathon" (pdf) The Tech. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. ^ Hsu, Jenny W. (9 September 2008). "Community Compass: PROFILE:Janet Hsieh finds fun and unexpected opportunities". Taipei Times. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  5. ^ http://app.scmp.com/scmp/mobile/index.html#/article/1435749/desktop
  6. ^ Cheng, Sabine; Chang, Maubo (31 January 2015). "TV presenter Janet Hsieh gets married in Antarctica". Central News Agency. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b Toh, Christopher."Jetsetting with Janet Hsieh",TODAY online, Dec 04, 2010. Retrieved on 12/02/2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e Jill Hecht Maxwell (18 June 2013) "Janet Hsieh '01: Television host's star is rising in Asia MIT News Magazine. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Koh, Bernard."But I speak only five languages",The Straits Times, Mon, Jun 02, 2008. Retrieved on 12/02/2011.
  10. ^ a b c Fun Taiwan's Janet Hsieh, Clive Magazine,Updated: 01/07/2009
  11. ^ a b Catherine Shu (26 August 2010) "Janet Takes Off" Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  12. ^ Grace Soong (22 October 2011) "Wilber Pan, Tien Hsin win Golden Bells" The China Post. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  13. ^ a b Janet Hsieh to perform violin at a music concert in Taipei January 27, 2011 – trio Janet, Jean & Mareill
  14. ^ Yali Chen (9 February 2011) "Discovery travel show host to play violin in two concerts" Taiwan News. Retrieved 10 September 2013
  15. ^ Guinness World Records News. (19 October 2011) "Largest Violin Ensemble Record Set by Children in Taiwan" Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  16. ^ "Bringing 100 toothbrush to travel".
  17. ^ ISBN 9789861853574
  18. ^ ISBN 9789866175282
  19. ^ ISBN 9789865882105
  20. ^ ISBN 9789866010125
  21. ^ ISBN 9789866010637
  22. ^ http://www.kingstone.com.tw/book/book_page.asp?kmcode=2018551754059&lid=search&actid=wise
  23. ^ http://ent.ltn.com.tw/news/breakingnews/1907018
  24. ^ http://www.appledaily.com.tw/realtimenews/article/new/20161204/1004235/
  25. ^ "阿Ken《冰雪奇緣》配音示愛 Janet羞認曾一見鍾情" The China Times. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
  26. ^ Traversal 101 (Official website)
  27. ^ Big Brother Ohaeva (Official Website)
  28. ^ Yen-j "Sneezing"
  29. ^ Mayday. "3 Idiots"
  30. ^ Leehom Wang. "What's Wrong with Rock?!"
  31. ^ Nicky Lee. "Setting You Free"
  32. ^ Janet Hsieh at douban.com
  33. ^ Janet Hsieh at chinesemov.com

External links[edit]