Showing posts with label Taiwan Travel Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taiwan Travel Blog. Show all posts

Tuesday 18 May 2010

2010 Taiwan Trip - Day 6

Isn't this look familiar to you??? Yes! Yes...... This is the famous Hot Star "Large Fried Chicken - 豪大大雞排" from Taipei "Shilin Night Market - 士林夜市". We have saw this a few time from the TV program in Singapore whereby they introduce the Taiwan Trip and their local food. So this is a must try when you visit the night market in Shilin.

The itinerary for the last few days trip was rather rest and relaxes with less traveling time but more sightseeing and shopping. This morning we are going to one of their Tomato and vegetables farm, which is known as “Chin Yong DIY recreational farm - 金勇DIY休闲农场”. This Leisure Farm is located in one of the town in Hsinchu - 新竹, where they have more than thirty species of tomatoes from around the world that is of different shapes, colour and nutritive value. This farm is admission free with guided tour and as well enable you and your family for fruit picking activates.

Today's lunch will be something interesting as we are going to try out some of the Taiwan Local delights such as "Pork Belly Stuff Bun - 割包" which is quiet similar to our "Kou Rou Bao - 扣肉包" but for their version there is crushed peanuts and pickled vegetables in it. There are also pan-fried carrot cake, rice dumpling, deep-fried yam paste, seafood beancurd and etc. This is another great way for us try out their local delights.

After lunch, we head off to Dan Shui - 淡水 where there are a few attractions such as Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf - 渔人码头 , the Lover’s bridge - 情人桥 and Dan Shui Lao Jie - 淡水老街. The weather was pretty windy and cold when we reached the Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf. Everyone of us was shriving because of the big wind and drizzling weather, but since we already arrived at the attraction we take the courage to go down and have a quick walk and glance on the area.

"Dan Shui Lao Jie - 淡水老街" stretches from the nearest Danshui MRT station all the way to the ferry docks where you can find a lot of their local foods including “Iron egg - 铁蛋”, beancurd, black bean soy milk, mochi and also the "Strange Museum - 搜奇博物馆". As it is a rainy afternoon, we suddenly crave for deep-fried durian pastry when we walk past the stall :)

The famous stall there is known “Grandma’s Tie Dan - 阿婆铁蛋” which you try their black and chewy little quail egg. At first glance I still thought that these are little "Century Egg - 皮蛋", but they are not. These eggs are stewed in spices and cooked repeatedly and air dried to achieve that chewy and black effect.

From Dan Shui - 淡水 we travel for another 45 minutes or so before reaching Shilin Night Market - 士林夜市 where it is divided into food centre and night market area. There are so many food stalls available inside the Shilin market ranging from snacks, drinks, noodles, hotplate and etc. We love to drink their special “White Jade Bitter Gourd Juice - 白玉苦瓜汁” which is surprisingly sweet rather than bitter when “bitter gourd” is mentioned.

Out of all those stalls, we tried some of their famous local food such as "Oyster Mian Xian - 蚵仔面线", "Oyster Omelette - 蚵仔煎" and "Wanton Noodle - 云吞面". All these 3 items looks and taste so different from what we have over here in Singapore, especially their Wanton Noodle. Their noodle is very "Q" and the soup is full of flavour. And one special thing about their wanton noodle is they use "Sha Cha Sauce - 沙茶酱" instead of the chili paste, tomato sauce and etc that we have in Singapore.

While waiting for the Oyster Omelette to be served, I went around the area to look for this must try Fried Chicken Cutlet which is very well-known in the Shilin Market. This is the "Large Fried Chicken - 豪大大雞排" from Hot Star stall where you will always see a long queue even during rainy days. The chicken is very crispy on the outside and yet tender and juicy when bite too.

After dinner, we went over to the Shilin Night Market across the street where they have all kinds of small stalls and shops selling the latest fashion on clothes, accessories, shoes, bags and etc. Guess what, I saw one of my friend's favourite Korea brand "ETUDE House" over there too :p Posted by Picasa

Saturday 15 May 2010

2010 Taiwan Trip - Day 5

Today we will be visiting a Peacock Garden - 孔雀园 along our trip at "Sun Moon Lake - 日月潭" which is the largest natural lake in Taiwan as well as a tourist attraction. Although we have seen peacocks in Singapore too, but this is the very first time we saw White Peacocks appeared before us. The White Peacock is sometime being mistaken for an albino, but it is a colour variety of Blue Peacock. We all think that its white colour makes it looks really magnificent and elegant.

Em... time flies fast especially during holidays period. Today is already our 5th day in Taiwan and it seems that we have just arrived yesterday. Morning breakfast was served at Nanka Express Hotel - 南嘉饭店 where we stayed last night. Today we are having traditional Taiwan porridge with their local side dishes for porridge.

After breakfast we set off our journey to Sun Moon Lake where we stop by at one of the resting point along the highway. This is the biggest Resting Point - 休息站 that we have come cross during these few days and there is a mini supermarket, food court, cafe and snack shops in it too. Each of us happily grabbed those items that we want before boarding the tour bus. We bought some "Steam Rice Cake - 状元糕" which taste like our Kueh Tutu and peach flavour snow skin cream puff - 冰皮泡芙. The outer skin of the cream puff is soft and chewy and the cream filling is also not too sweet or greasy.

Along the way at Puli, we exit the highway and drop by this famous "Chung Tai Chan Monastery - 中台山佛寺" that is a Taiwan-based Buddhist monastic order founded by the Venerable Master Wei Chueh in 1987. The headquarters monastery itself, Chung Tai Chan Monastery was completed in September 2001 and is located in the town of Puli. The Monastery is mostly made up of stone, which symbolizes the steadfastness of Buddhist belief.

Sun Moon Lake - 日月潭 is situated in Nantou - 南头, Yuchih Township that is in the center of Taiwan which form the island’s largest lake. It is a beautiful alpine lake, divided by the tiny Lalu Island; the eastern part of the lake is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon, hence derive the name “Sun Moon Lake”.

Lunch was at "Jin Sheng Lou - 景圣楼饭店" where they have a wide range of Sun Moon Lake local dishes as well their famous "Aborigines - 原住民" dishes which can only be found in Sun Moon Lake. Here we tried their mountain deer meat cook in hotplate, Aborigines wild vegetables that is only from Sun Moon Lake and etc.

This Peacock Garden - 孔雀园 has over 200 peacocks and other rare and valuable birds. Over 100 other species live in this park, including the mountain chicken, the Formosan blue magpie, the long-tailed pheasant, the golden pheasant, the ampherst pheasant, and the black coot. The park does not charge any entrance fee too and aside from Peacocks, there is also a butterfly garden where butterflies are kept to breed.

From our 2nd day in Taiwan, the tour guide has been recommending the Royal Jelly from "Mao Wang Ye Zhi Jia - 毛王爷之家" in Sun Moon Lake - 日月潭. When we finally arrived at the shop we are impressed by their products and on the benefits that we are able to absorb from those items such as Royal Jelly which is especially good for children.

A small bottle of Royal Jelly which can last for 1.5 - 2 months cost around S$75++ and accordingly to salesperson, if we keep Royal Jelly in the freezer it will be able to store for a few years compare to 1 year in fridge. Since Royal Jelly has an unpleasant taste which is milky and a stinging sensation when swallow, not many people prefer the fresh type compare to the capsule form. And also because Royal Jelly is very rich in protein we are advice to take only about 1/3 teaspoon each day. Another important point to take note is not to used any metal spoon on the Royal Jelly as it will create some chemical reactions and kill all the vitamins in it.

"Fong Jia Night Market - 逢甲夜市" is the night market which is near by the Feng Chia University. You can find a lot of food stalls selling their local snacks as well finding some low-price clothing and shoes. Entering their food street, we are caught by two long ques on the "Spring Onion Pancake - 油葱饼" and "Sausage with Glutinous Rice Wrap - 大肠包小肠". We bought one of this sausage rice roll which is a must try items from our Taiwan Food Searching list. This is indeed a very nice finger food which they grill the sausage and cooked glutinous rice then wrapped them together with some cucumbers and vegetables that make it look like a sausage burger

There are a lot of interesting snacks like deep-fry sweet potato balls, tempura fries, baked sweet potato and most scary "Smelly Beancurd - 臭豆腐" which makes you either hates it or loves it. There is this stall along the road side of the night market selling all kinds of vegetarian food such as "Rice Noodle - 面线", "Kimchi - 泡菜" and "Smelly Beancurd - 臭豆腐". So upon seeing so many people queuing, we decided to join in and we bought a box of vegetarian smelly beancurd which served with some kimchi and special chilli sauce. To our surprised although it really stinks while waiting for them to fried the beancurd but the smell is not that bad when we eat it. Rather the outer layer was very crispy and inside is so soft and juicy with the combination of kimchi and sauce. Overall it is very nice.

Most of the people will agreed that, going to tour is like eating non-stop trying to try all kind of their local food which we can't or seldom see in our own country. After walking around Fong Jia Night Market for an hour or so, we head off to "Royal Family Restaurant - 皇家御品" for dinner. Today's dinner will be buffet and we will be having a steamboat and western set dish of our choice. Since we have four person, we ordered Black Pepper Steak, Chicken Chop, Pork Pork and Cod Fish. Other than the set meal, each of us is given a bucket of steamboat ingredients for us to eat with their special soup broth which they prepared.

As you can see from the photos, we are still entitled for the fresh fruits, salad, ice-cream(this is Rey's favourite counter) and assorted pudding. This was indeed a very fulfilling dinner where we get to try all kinds of items in one meal. With all these, it only cost about NT$288 for the steak + steamboat set which is about S$12.00 and you can have all the above. Worth it right! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday 11 May 2010

2010 Taiwan Trip - Day 4

Staying a night at the Hot Spring Resort at Chipen - 知本 was another kind of experience for us who come from a modern city where we used to stay in Flats which is so different from them. Today we will bypass "Kaohsiung - 高雄" to "Jiayi - 嘉义" where we will stay for the night since we are not going to "Alishan - 阿里山" due to the closure and repairing of the certain road towards the mountain.

After breakfast we travel our way down to "Kaohsiung - 高雄" where we stop by a town at "Fangshan - 枋山" which is famous for its' Taiwan Egg-Shape Mango(鸡蛋芒果) and Rose Apple(莲雾) plantation . The Mango that they have over there is smaller then the usual one that we have and it's very sweet and juice. You can see the crowds queuing up to buy the freshly made "Mango Ice - 芒果冰沙" which is so cooling and refreshing. At this little rest area, we can sample some of their freshly cut-fruit before buying and I must admit their Rose Apple taste so crunchy and sweet which makes you crave for more.

Lunch was at one of the restaurant known as Man Xiang Yuan - 满香园 at the foot of "Fo Guang Shan - 佛光山". There is a special dish called "Bitter gourd and Pineapple Soup" which most of us like because this soup is not bitter gourd like what we thought but rather sweet and sour due to the adding of pineapple. According to them, this is a very good summer soup that can quench your thirst. If you are interested in this soup, then you must stay tune on my food blog for upcoming recipe which I will replicate this soup soon...

The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. At this place it is filled with wondrous attraction of the monastery with hundreds of gilded Buddha images stand in line. The educational programs of Fo Guang Shan include four Buddhist colleges, three regular college, and various community colleges.

During the days in Taiwan, we agreed that this is the most delicious Baked Golden Sweet Potato among those that we have tried. As you can see, the colour is so bright and golden which make is taste so naturally sweet and fragrant. And I know there is a stall at Suntec near Carrefour known as "Sweet Potato Place - 地瓜村" also selling this kind of sweet potato which they franchise from Taiwan as well as some other special products.

Bread!!! All kind delicious look bread from a bakery called Shinn Bin Bakery which is opposite the "Spring and Autumn Pavilions - 春秋阁". It is a Taoist temple complex located on Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung, Taiwan where you will be amused by gigantic statues of Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. For us who loves Bread it is a great joy to discover a bakery along the journey as there don't seems to have as many bakery shops as what we do in Singapore. So upon spotting this one, almost half of our tour mates went in and grab a big bag of goodies each.

Next we arrived in Tainan - 台南 to take a look at the "Anping Gu Bao - 安平古堡" which is located between Guosheng Road and Castle Street. It is built during Dutch occupation of Taiwan in 1624.

After exploring around the fort, we went down to the food street near it which is known as the "Gubau Street - 古堡街" where there are a lot of night market food stalls selling Anping local delights. One of the special item that we try is this "Deep-fried Toast" which is known as "棺财板". It is a kind of deep-fried hollow thick toast which filled with mixed vegetable, chicken and white sauce dressing.

Along the street, there is a stall selling all kinds of handmade biscuits and pastries. One of it is known as "Soft Tongue Cake - 软牛舌饼" which is something like a thin crispy cracker that makes in different shapes like round, oblong and etc and it wrapped with some black sugar(黑糖).

After the night market, we travel about 30 minutes to reach "Zhen Bei Ping Restaurant - 真北平餐厅" to try their Chinese cuisine and famous "Bei Ping Roast Duck - 北平烤鸭". There are about 8 dishes, 1 soup and 2 desserts for our dinner and most of the dishes are up to our expectation. Personally I love the Handmade Noodle Soup which is tasty and the noodle is very Q. Their Caramel Sweet Potato is also one of the special dessert which I like most. They deep-fried the sweet potato pieces into golden brown then coat it with caramel sugar, and according to the tour guide we need to dip the sweet potato into cold water before eating so that the sugar will not be harden.

After dinner we were arranged to stay a night in "Jiayi - 嘉义" before we start off for another day of excitement. Upon settle down at the hotel, most of the tour mates still went out to the night market along the street near our hotel. Whereas we are all too tired to move around especially Rey wanted to sleep early as he was very tired after the whole day program. Posted by Picasa

p/s: Sorry I knew, I am kind of slow in updating the Taiwan trip posts for those who is interested to read more. Please give me sometime to sort out the photos and I will try to update the rest of the 5 posts as soon as possible. Thanks a lot :)

Wednesday 5 May 2010

2010 Taiwan Trip - Day 3

After a long day of travelling and fun watching of fire-crackers, fireflies and etc we slept around 11pm yesterday night. This was our first time staying over at a village farm. Although the surrounding scenery was great but the room was kind of creepy crawling with flying insects........ But thank God we still managed to have some sleep and replenish our energy for another brand new day.

Breakfast was served in another restaurant near the gathering area. According to the tour guide daily breakfast was specially prepared using organic ingredients which is good for health. Normally Taiwanese love to have porridge, steam bun and side dishes for their morning breakfast. I also tried one of their signature braised minced pork that served with steam oat rice. Overall this is a good memories for us especially, Rey whom has never encounter country life and farm stay before.

After breakfast, we head off to the southern side of Su-ao Harbor known as Nanfangau - 南方澳, a major base for coastal fishing. The abundance of the fish catch here has made Nanfang-ao one of the three largest fishing towns on the island. There are actually three fishing harbors and markets at Nanfang-ao, each with its own unique character. At this harbour you can also visit the famous Nan Tian Gong - 南天宫 which the landmark of Nafangau, and also the center for the traditional religion (Ma Zu - 妈祖庙) of the local citizen.

Depart from the fish harbour, we head off along the beautiful "Suhua Highway - 苏花公路" which a portion was built alongside very steep cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean - 太平洋 that it is a dangerous but yet scenic drive. It's such a pity that I didn't managed to take any photos during the journey because the winding road has made me so giddy and nausea. If you have to cruise along the highway you will agreed with me it's breath taking scenery.

About 2 hours or so, we reached Hua Lian - 花莲 whereby we stop over at an Organic Restaurant that is at the foot of "Taroko National Park - 太鲁阁国家公园". All the dishes shown above are all organic including the pork and poultry. Although the food look and taste great, but I am too sick(suffer from motion sickness) to have my lunch.

"Taroko National Park - 太鲁阁国家公园" has a few stopover stations for tourist to take photos and enjoy it's natural beauty. Taroko Gorge and its surrounding area are well known for their abundant supply of marble, leading to its nickname, "The Marble Gorge". The rock now seen in Taroko began over 200 million years ago as sediment on the bottom of the ocean.

We visited two of the most-visited attractions at Taroko National Park which are Yantzukou - 燕子口 and the natural wonders along the Tunnel of Nine Turns Trail - 九曲洞步道. Since rockfall is extremely common in these parts, we had to put on safety helmets. In the photo above, you can see the Keelun river and the “Fish leaping across the dragon gate” natural structure. The rock formation is supposed to look like a fish trying to swim upstream.

After admiring all the mountains and cliffs and follow by another hour plus of travelling journey we reached "Rei Suei Leisure Farm - 瑞穗牧场". They also has a open air cafe that sell their very own homemade milk ice-cream, cheesecake and steam milk bun which is one of their signature item. A souvenir store that sell all kinds of products with cow prints or design. This farm is sure a great place for kids to roam around enjoying feeding or milking the cows.

Since we came all the way to this farm, we must ordered some of their famous items for our tea-break. Mum love their "Steam Milk Bun - 鲜奶馒头" which is so soft and fragrant to taste. Rey on the other hand love their homemade milk ice-cream.....em... this ice-cream really taste like "cold milk" no wonder Rey love it so much that he don't even want to share his share with us. For me, I took the hot milk with cheesecake whereby the milk is freshly cook upon serving and this taste so different from the usual fresh milk that we bought from the supermarket in Singapore.

Finishing our tea-snacks, we head off to Chipen - 知本 which is about 20 minute's ride southwest of Taitung - 台东. Passing the village towards the mountains, though, the road leads to one of the most popular tourist destinations in southeastern Taiwan: Chipen's hot springs and resort. Hot springs are extremely popular in Taiwan because of their reputed benefits to the skin and to general health.

For dinner today we will be having in the restaurant located in our hot spring resort. The dishes are more or less the same as the usual meal where they served steam chicken, prawns, stir-fry pork, steam clam and fish, green vegetables and herbal soup. After dinner, we went out for a walk along the streets not far from the resort where there are some souvenir stores, mini market, restaurant, karaoke bar and etc.

Upon returning to the resort, we have our hot spring bath to relax our body and soul before bedtime in order to have a good rest and prepared ourself for tomorrow's program. Posted by Picasa