Dec 202010
 

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, Taipei

We spent two months in Taipei so that we could study Mandarin.  But we also wanted to get to know other parts of the island, the foods, the teas, the people, and the culture.  For example, the teens in the photo above are practicing their synchronized dances that they’ll perform in school – it’s the thing to do in the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial area.  Here’s a look at highlights of what we did when we weren’t traveling, eating or going to Chinese classes.

Drinking Tea

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Tony and I have become avid Asian loose leaf tea fans!  We drink it everyday now… and we think the tea drinking helped us shave off a few leftover pounds from Argentina.  One aspect of Asian tea that we love is the ceremony around drinking it.  It’s not like coffee where you set the machine and churn out a cup o’ joe.  Brewing Asian tea requires some TLC… the water should be the right temperature, the tea leaves need to be in the right proportion and the steeping time needs to be just right.

Tea is a VERY big deal in many parts of Asia.  In Taiwan, there are tea houses on almost every block and one can go in, taste the tea, talk to the tea proprietor and potentially buy some.

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Tony’s aunt is also really into tea and invited us to a special tea ceremony.   We drank one tea called gyokuro – a very expensive green tea from Japan.  It tasted amazing!  It was unlike anything we’d had before – a bit nutty and grassy, and very smooth.  Below is a photo of the gyokuro tea server – she came from Japan to do this tasting!

Gyokuro Tea Tasting

At the end, we ate the leaves which were dressed in lemon juice.  Yummm!

Gyokuro Tea Tasting

Karaoke-ing

We got together with friends who happened to be in town.  In Asia, a gathering of friends often leads to belting out cheesy 80s songs at a karaoke bar, so that’s what we did!

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Here’s Tony’s college buddies Lew and Chang, and Crystal:

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And Tony’s long-time friend from Houston, Eddie and his wife Traci, belting it out:

KTV with Eddie and Traci

Visiting Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial

We went to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, honoring the former President of the Republic of China.  We won’t comment on the politics here, but he’s quite controversial – read about Chiang Kai-Shek on Wikipedia.

The monument, surrounded by a park, stands at the east end of Liberty Square.  The structure is framed on the north and south by the National Theater and National Concert Hall.

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, Taipei

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, Taipei

Here’s the statue of the man:

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, Taipei

Visiting the Pottery Town – Yingge

We went to Yingge town which is famous for its porcelain and other ceramic pottery – especially its tea pottery.  The village is located south of Taipei – a quick 30 minute train ride and a great half day trip.  It’s a quaint town with cobble stone streets, lined with pottery stores.  Most specialize in tea pots, cups and other tea accessories.   In fact, at one store, you can attend a pottery class and attempt to make your very own tea cup.  We didn’t get a chance to do this, but hope to on a future visit!  There is also a Pottery Museum that is worth a quick visit.

Yingge, Taiwan

Yingge Pottery Museum, Taiwan

We also explored Taipei’s other local attractions…

Taipei 101 Tower

It’s THE landmark building in Taipei and has 101 floors (surprise, surprise).   You can go to the top which has an observation deck, but we didn’t do it. It was expensive, very crowded (mostly Chinese tourists) and you really cannot see anything since Taipei is mostly cloudy every day in the Winter months.

Taipei, Taiwan

Jianguo Weekend Flower Market

This market is open every weekend under the Jianguo elevated highway at Xin Yi Road.  It’s actually quite a large event. You can find flowers, plants, and pots of all shapes and sizes.  There’s also a separate section for art work and for jade jewelry and other souvenirs and accessories.  Do check it out if you go to Taipei.

Jianguo Weekend Flower Market, Taipei

Da’an Park

Da’an Park is what Central Park is to New York City – a large, centrally-located park where people (a lot of people and their kids) go to hang out on the weekends.  Check out this sand box!  Mayhem!

Da'an Central Park

There’s also a small lake that seems to be a haven for bird photographers – check out the size of those lenses!   (OK guys, all together now … “that’s what she said.”)

Mine is bigger than yours - your lens, that is

We also hung out with Tony’s family when they were in town.  It was a rare occasion to get so many relatives together from the U.S., Taiwan, China, and Japan.

Taipei, Taiwan

But mostly what we did was eat.  We ate really good food.  How good?  We plan to tell and show you in our next blog post/food guide.  So stay tuned!

Dec 122010
 

Photo Credit:  http://120.107.96.101/~nea/index.htm

Miles Traveled: 43,199

Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan. Situated in Yuchih, Nantou, the area around the Sun Moon Lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of several aboriginal tribes in Taiwan.  Via car it’s about 4 hours south of Taipei.  We took a quick 50 minute High Speed Rail train (Gao Tie) and then transferred to the shuttle bus which took 90 minutes to reach SML.  The lake is actually 2 adjacent lakes – Sun Lake and Moon Lake, shaped like – you guessed it, the sun and a crescent moon.

SML is the place where Taipei-ites go to get away, to breath fresh air, to look at pretty lake vistas and to hike around the many lakeside trails.  It’s also a huge hit with Chinese tourists.  Therefore it can get really really, busy and is VERY touristy.

We decided to go during the week to miss the crowds.  We stayed in Shui She town at an interesting little boutique hotel overlooking the lake.  As you can see we had quite a view – even if it was cloudy!

Sun Moon Lake

We learned that the lake was formed by a hydroelectric project started by the Japanese during the occupation in the early 1900s, which led to the water level rising and forming the lake we see today.

The town itself is quite small and consisted mostly of small tea shops, restaurants, or souvenir shops.  But its location on the lake makes up for the touristy-ness.

Sun Moon Lake

The next morning, despite the fog, we took a boat ride that ferried tourists around to several ports on the lake.

The first port we stopped at was Ita Thao.  This is a very small town with a few restaurants, hotels, and many many cheesy souvenir shops.   Really not much to write home about.   However, we came across a sausage vendor and so – of course – stopped to have one.  Here’s Tony eating a sausage next to a …. sausage dog!   As many of you know, Tony has a dog called Max – an adorable elderly dachshund… so Tony thinks this photo is just kinda of wrong.

Wrong to eat a sausage in front of a dachshund?

There are other ports that one could stop at and a cable car that goes to an aboriginal cultural village park.  But given the weather, we opted to enjoy the view from the boat.

So what did we think of SML?  Meh.  It’s probably much better and prettier on a sunny day and when one can safely ride a bike around the lake (which is supposed to be quite enjoyable, but unsafe on a rainy day) or to hike the trails.  If you do go, try to get a weather forecast or better yet, call your hotel to see what the weather is like, because our weather forecast turned out to be wrong!

Nov 242010
 

Mao Kong, Taiwan

Total Miles Traveled: 40,599

Mao Kong (translated “Empty Cat”) is a small village in the hills outside of Taipei known for its tea farms and tea houses … and plenty of street dogs.  Maybe that’s why there are no cats!

To get there, you take the MRT to the Taipei Zoo and then take the Mao Kong gondola for about 20 minutes up to the top.   Don’t wait for the “crystal” gondola – it’s just a glass bottomed car that you pay more and have to wait in line for.

Mao Kong, Taiwan

The village is small and spread out, with many tea houses tucked into the hills.  There’s a local bus you can hop on to get around to the different tea houses and sights, or you can hike along some local trails.

We stopped in at one of the more quaint houses and tried their local te kuan yin (translated “Tea of the Iron Goddess Kuan Yin”) tea.

Mao Kong, Taiwan

It’s pretty neat because they don’t just give you a cup of tea – they allow you to experience it in a traditional way, known as a “gong fu” style.   There’s a video of Tony doing (he says “fumbling through”) the tea ceremony, but that’ll have to be shared another day since the video won’t seem to upload completely. :-(

While our tea house didn’t have a view, it did have a pretty neat décor.  There was an indoor koi pond and to get to our table, we had to hop from rock to rock.  Our table was Japanese style so we sat on a mat.  The floor below us was clear and we could see the koi swim underneath.  Pretty cool!

Mao Kong, Taiwan

One could spend an entire day trying different tea houses, looking at the view of Taipei, and learning more about the history of tea.  We hope to go back before we leave.  Definitely reserve a full day to explore the area at a leisurely pace!

Mao Kong, Taiwan

Nov 102010
 

On the way to Taitung

Total Miles Traveled: 40,432

It looks a lot like California’s central coast, but it’s Taiwan’s east coast, complete with dramatic mountains, dark volcanic rock, and turbulent seas.   Today, we’re headed out of the mountains, back towards the sea, to make our way to southeastern Taiwan.

On the way to Taitung

On the way out of Taroko Gorge, we noticed a vendor selling tribal handicrafts… a Taiwanese Indian pirate cap – you seriously won’t find those anywhere else in the world!  We’re taking orders now… ;)  Seriously though, a lot of the tribal art/handicrafts we’ve seen is not unlike American Indian art we’ve seen back home, or even in South America!

On the way to Taitung

One of our stops was to do a tea tasting…

Tasting Tea

… before heading to a Taiwanese Indian dance performance.  It reminded me of seeing dance performances in the Hawaiian islands.

Taiwan Indigenous Tribe Dance Troupe

Taiwan Indigenous Tribe Dance Troupe

After the performance, we headed back to the coast.

WARNING … TANGENT:  At this point, I just have to mention how awesome mobile technology is these days.  Lisa had to send off an important email for her work and I, well, I had to set my lineup for Fantasy Football.  Using EDGE network access on my unlocked iPhone, I created a wifi access point that shared my internet connection with Lisa’s laptop, allowing her to access her Gmail and send off an email with attachment.  And, I was able to use my Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football app to set my lineup!  All of this while we were speeding along the east coast of Taiwan in a minivan.  Seriously?  Yes, it was awesome!

Now back to the trip.  Along one stretch of highway, we came across an art studio run by a local aboriginal.  The story goes that he was unsuccessful in his trained vocation.  When he got older, he gave up and started to make art for fun.  The style was so well received that he has started to increase manufacturing.  In fact, while we were there, he was negotiating a manufacturing deal in China.  Pretty neat!   Good for him!  It’s a good reminder for us to follow our dreams!

On the way to Taitung

On the way to Taitung

The cafe was on the coast so we started to get glimpses of the beautiful Big Sur-esque scenery we had heard about.

On the way to Taitung

Next, we stopped in a local fishing village for a snack, which turned out to be more of a meal.  They said the lobsters were in season.  Here’s my Dad proudly displaying a giant spiny lobster.

On the way to Taitung

Here he is again with the second lobster, only this lobster wasn’t so happy he was holding him by his antennae.  So he kept flapping his tail forcefully.  Gotta love the expression on my Dad’s face!

On the way to Taitung

And, here are the lobsters, steamed to perfection.  Quite good – firm, sweet meat.  Probably a bit overpriced but you don’t get lobster this fresh every day.

On the way to Taitung

Later we stopped for a real lunch – all you can eat shabu shabu with local mountain veggies, ‘shrooms, meats, and other good stuff…

Shabu shabu!

After lunch, we got back on the road … here we are at a scenic point… beautiful isn’t it?

On the way to Taitung

The waters here are actually quite rough, it can be very windy,  the beaches are rocky, and the whole east coast of Taiwan is susceptible to typhoons and rock slides.  That and the fact that the coastal land is reserved for indigenous Taiwanese tribes is why there hasn’t been much development despite the beauty you see here.

On the way to Taitung

On the way to Taitung

On the way to Taitung

So, as we headed further south, our driver stopped at a place which looked pretty boring – no view, just the mountainside.   He wouldn’t tell us where we were going.  We climbed up the mountain a bit and were shuffled into a small dark cave with what looked like an underground river and a boat that pointed in to the darkness.  Sweet!

Bat Cave

As you can guess, the water is freshwater from higher up on the mountain and is draining slowly toward the ocean.

The cave is a perfect hiding place for thousands of bats, belonging to several different species.  They were all trying to sleep as we floated below them.  We couldn’t help thinking – were they going to relieve themselves as we looked at them from below?

Bat Cave

Back on the road, we visited a couple of temples – here’s one with a lot of buddhas lined up that made for a fun photo:

Buddhas

And a national park that featured a “nine-arches bridge”:

Nine Arch Bridge, Taiwan East Coast

Nine Arch Bridge, Taiwan East Coast

… with a fantastic view of the coastline…

Nine Arch Bridge, Taiwan East Coast

We stopped for some shi4 jia1 (buddha head fruit) which tastes a bit like banana with large black seeds.  It spoils very quickly so you gotta eat’em fast!

Shi Jia - Buddha Head Fruit

Finally, we stopped at this park near the Taitung airport known for its “tofu” and “ginger” shaped rock.  I didn’t really see the ginger part, but the “shelves” of rock are the tofu.

"Tofu and Ginger" formations, Taitung, Taiwan

Phew!  There was a lot in this post.  I think we actually covered two days here, not one!   For all the photos, check out the slideshow below:

[flickrslideshow acct_name="tony-chen" id="72157625321426419"]

Next, we head back to Taipei…

Nov 082010
 

Chishingtan, Hualien, Taiwan

Total Miles Traveled: 40,324

Ladies and gentlemen – we’ve just crossed the 40,000 mile mark!  That’s a lot of miles!  To give you an idea of just how many miles that is… the circumference of the earth (at it’s equator) is 25K miles – so we’ve circumnavigated the earth almost 2 times.  From Maine to California is around 33oo miles across – so we’ve gone back and forth across the US 12 times.

We had the opportunity to travel to the East Coast of Taiwan with Tony’s parents and his aunt.  It’s a good thing we went with them because the area is largely inaccessible to English-speaking tourists.  Most hotels are small and information about them can only be found in Chinese (Tripadvisor and Expedia are useless here).  In addition, the best way to tour the area is by hiring a driver who can take you to the many out-of-the-way places and tell you about the area you are visiting.  While we didn’t understand a lot of what the driver said, at least we had Tony’s family translate key points.

Taiwan’s east coast is quite picturesque.  In some places there is less than a mile distance from ocean cliff to mountain terrain.  This makes for some dramatic vistas.  Tony and I found it interesting that much of Taiwan’s coastline is under-developed or not developed at all.  We learned that the government controls a lot of the coastal land in an effort to fend off attacks.  So you get alot of scenery like this:

Chishingtan, Hualien, Taiwan

and this…

Chishingtan, Hualien, Taiwan

The first night, we stayed at a small sea-side hotel.  Check out the ‘luxury’ bathtub…

Chishingtan, Hualien, Taiwan

The hotel was situated in a small village.  While checking out the village, we stumbled upon a small fish market.  The fishermen had just returned with their catch of the day.  We were surprised to see the rays as well as the baby hammerhead shark (we’re pretty certain it was illegal to catch it).

A hammerhead and some kind of ray?!

In the neighborhood we were staying in, Qi Xing Tan, we were told that goat’s milk coffee is a delicacy.  Well, of course we had to try it.  While some people drink it hot, the proper way to serve it is cold.  They also served goat’s milk tea.  We tried both.

Goat Milk Coffee - Chishingtan, Hualien, Taiwan

The verdict:  Not our ‘cup of tea’.  Imagine melting goat cheese in your coffee.  Blechhk!  We had our coffees hot, though we suspect that the cold ones would have been better.

Taroko Gorge

About an hour inland there is a national park called Taroko Gorge.  This area is known for tall mountains with steep cliffs, treacherous mountain roads, beautiful marble rock formations and pristine water.  Definitely worth a visit and maybe spending a couple of days hiking, if that suits your fancy.

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

Don’t forget to wear your sexy hard hats when walking along the gorge…this keeps your head intact as the falling rocks, well, fall around you.

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

This suspension bridge was fun to walk on…  Kind of a doozy because it would bounce up and down from you and others walking on it.  The trail ahead was closed presumably because there was a rock slide (which are quite prevalent throughout the area).

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

The family – from left…Tony’s aunt, his dad, his mom, and us:

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

What’s special about the photo below?   The boulder.  Taroko has huge marble boulders along the river bed, many of which are more than 10 feet high!  It’s what makes this scenery different from the Andes Mountains in Argentina.

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

Can you spot the facial profile of a person carved in to the rock?  Look for a nose.

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

We hiked up some steep steps to see this temple…

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

and this huge buddha statue…

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

That night,we stayed at an “authentic” aboriginal “campy” hotel with beds on the floor that had built-in electric heating.   If you ask Tony’s mom what she thought:  “I didn’t like the hotel at all.”  Despite the confused style, the food wasn’t bad.

Taroko Gorge, East Coast of Taiwan

And, you cannot beat the view… the hotel was surrounded by mountains on all sides and accessed via a narrow valley.

On the way to Taitung

Here’s a slideshow of all the photos:

[flickrslideshow acct_name="tony-chen" id="72157625314389237"]

Next up – it’s back to the coast and driving south past Taitung to Ziben – known for its natural hot springs.

Oct 312010
 

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

Tony’s mom’s house is next to two Buddhist temples.  One had a celebration at night and the other in the morning.  We didn’t know about it until we heard all the drums, gongs and loud fireworks outside.   We believe they are Mazu Buddhist temples but unfortunately we don’t know much about the religion – here’s the Wikipedia article about the Mazu goddess.

Loud fireworks are required for any celebration it seems.  This one was massive.  The fireworks (Tony noted that they sounded like Black Cats fireworks) started from way down the street and you could see the cloud rolling towards you.

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

The Mazu goddess is in the carriage and the tall figures are warrior gods that protect the goddess, we think…

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

Then there are dancers…

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

Temple birthday celebration parade, Tainan, Taiwan

Here’s a video of the parade:

Then, later, we peeked in to the temple to find these guys doing a ritual of some sort. Tony’s dad asked them what was going on and even HE didn’t understand the explanation he was given.

Later that afternoon, as we were driving in a village about 2 hours outside of Tainan.  We came across a 3 mile long convoy of trucks carrying things for temple celebrations.  Yes, 3 miles!  After seeing the parade above, I can’t even imagine what THIS parade would be like…

Temple festival parade - 3 miles long

Oct 302010
 

The beach at Anping

Tainan really has a lot of potential for tourism – at least in our eyes.  But it lacks the infrastructure that makes it easy for foreign tourists.  There’s so much good food, but it’s hard to find the good restaurants unless you know a local.  Everything – including websites – are written only in Chinese, and it’s hard to get around (motorbikes and cars are the norm).

Here’s the other shocking thing – despite having lots of coastline (see pic above), it’s vastly undeveloped and there aren’t many beach resorts.  No one wants to live near the beach!  That’s a stark contrast to beach loving cultures in the western world where beachfront property is prime real estate.   Part of the reason is the government has and still controls the beachfront property, maybe for military purposes?  And the other reason is that Asians don’t really like to tan.

Despite being underdeveloped, there’s still plenty to eat/do around Tainan.  First, we headed to Anping, the seaside town to the west of Tainan, and site of the Dutch fort that was established for trade purposes.

Credit: Wikipedia.org

There we found this little girl who had just taken a sip from her water bottle.

Tainan, Taiwan

The other thing to mention about Taiwan is that the people are really nice.  You really can strike up a conversation with anyone – my Dad started talking to this family waiting in front of a store.  It was a great grandfather and his great grandson, who smiled when Lisa asked him how old he was, in Chinese (go Lisa!).

Southern Taiwan

Southern Taiwan is very Buddhist, so you’ll see many many temples.  One of the fun things you can do is to go pay your respects and ask the Buddha for your fortune through a ritual.

Getting our fortune at the temple

First, you choose a stick that has a number on it.   The number refers to the drawer you will open to get your fortune that’s printed on a slip of paper.

Getting our fortune at the temple

But wait, it’s not as easy as picking a stick, you have to tell the deity what your question is and throw these kidney-shaped wood carvings on the floor and hope one half turns face up and the other face down.  If you do this 3 times, then you’ve chosen the right stick and go find your fortune in the drawer.

Getting our fortune at the temple

The tough part is, it’s actually pretty hard to get the right results 3 times in a row.  But, eventually, we got our fortunes, but that’s only for us to know!

Once again, Taiwan has always been about eating, and while there’s weird stuff, there’s also a lot of just plain good stuff too.  This is goat (mutton) soup with ginger.

Famous mutton restaurant, Gangshan, Taiwan

At the restaurant, we saw this family eating dinner.  Notice the  shih tzu that’s sitting at the dinner table and getting fed as if he were a baby.  No joke.  He’s a little porker indeed…

Famous mutton restaurant, Gangshan, Taiwan

And finally, we had a big, multi-course seafood dinner in Anping with my 96 year-old grandfather.  This is a man who stopped smoking in his late 60s, cold turkey.  I like to think that it was because when I was 7 years old, I told him it was bad for his health.  I think his secret to long life has been daily exercise and keeping his mind sharp through reading and learning.

Seafood dinner with Grandpa - 96 years old!

Next, we take a closer look at a Ma Zu Buddhist temple celebration.  In the meantime, here’s the full set of photos from Tainan and Anping.

[flickrslideshow acct_name="tony-chen" id="72157625407003719"]

Oct 282010
 

Tainan, Taiwan

Total Miles Traveled: 39,985 (almost 40k!!!)

After spending a little more than a month in China, we headed to Taiwan which would be our home base for the next two months. Why Taiwan?  It has the 3 “F”s.  Family, food and friendly people!  We get to visit my relatives who I don’t get to see very often, we can continue learning Mandarin, and we want to get to know the island better.  On my previous visits to Taiwan, my brother and I followed my parents around and so we didn’t really know how to get around or where we were going.  And though my parents would be around for a couple of weeks this time, we were excited to explore on our own.  It’s also Lisa’s first visit to Taiwan!

Tainan City, in southwest Taiwan, is where my family is from.  My Mom’s side has been there since the 1700s and my Dad’s side moved to Tainan in the early 1940s, before Chiang Kai Shek fled from China to Taiwan.   My Mom and Dad grew up within a 5 minute walk of each other (!) in Tainan ‘old city’, but they met for the first time in Utah!

Every time I come to Tainan, we go to visit my grandparents’ grave to pay our respects.  Here is my grandfather’s tomb in the Tainan countryside, among the pineapple fields (you can see the pineapple plants behind the tomb).

Grandfather's Tomb

What did we do in Tainan you ask?  Well, we visited with relatives and, when you do that, you eat.  And you eat.  And eat.  A lot.  Which is fine by us!  Tainan food is fantastic and you can’t find some of the dishes outside of Tainan – not even in Taipei.   Many dishes tend to have a sweeter taste  - not quite sweet and sour, but definitely noticeable.  Here’s a lunch spot where we had rice congee (a porridge) paired with your choice of a bunch of side dishes.

Tainan, Taiwan

Here’s sauteed eelfish(?) over mee fen, thin rice noodles:

Sauteed eel fish, Tainan, Taiwan

This was a good one – fishball soup with you tiao (kind of like a churro but without the sugar) and these giant dumpling-like things made of rice flour, filled with ground pork and shrimp in a delicious sauce.  ((Drool))

Tainan, Taiwan

This tiny place specialized in baozi – buns filled with meat/veggies.  It’s a great snack when I was growing up and which I still buy in the States when I go to the Asian grocery stores.

Bao zi, Tainan, Taiwan

We’ve developed a new hobby on our travels to Asia… Asian loose leaf tea (and all of the fun tea accessories that one uses – like the beautiful tea pot below).  Taiwan happens to have some of the world’s best oolong teas grown in the mountainous regions of central Taiwan.

Tea tasting, Tainan

We’re just starting to scratch the surface on this new hobby and are already finding it to be similar to wine tasting and collecting, albeit non-alcoholic. Both have a rich history, complex processing, intricate ceremonies and fun tools.  Have we mentioned the teapots?… Lots of fun.  And the best part is, it’s totally healthy and might even have a slimming effect (which we need after all the yummy Tainanese food) !  Here we are at a family friend’s tea shop where we sampled some really great teas.

Tea tasting, Tainan

We stayed in my mom’s family’s house in the old part of Tainan.  One evening, we heard a bunch of drums and banging going on out in the street below and saw this:

Parade, Tainan, Taiwan

It was a temple celebration honoring the god in the temple next door to my Mom’s house.   It was pretty neat to see the whole thing from our balcony, but in one of our next posts, we caught another celebration on video during the day.

Finally, what does one do at night in Tainan?  Well, we’re not in to the bar scene, so we hit the night market instead.  It was packed and a hangout for younger folks.  Cheap tasty (sometimes unhealthy) foods and lots of knick knacks and clothes for sale.

Night Market, Tainan

Night Market, Tainan

Night Market, Tainan

And for your entertainment, we stumbled on this cover band in the local park singing songs in English.  People were really enjoying it!

Next, we start exploring around Tainan … stay tuned…