Tainan

Hi all!

It’s been a while and a lot of things has changed this year. Regardless, here’s a recap of my trip to Taiwan in the first week of March this year. We started off with a bullet train ride from the airport to Tainan, which was my first visit there. A quick search on the net didn’t reveal much to do (in the city area), unless you like visiting temples.

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Some of the beautiful art on the shutters.

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Night markets here operate only on certain days of the week, unlike the daily ones in Taipei. So on our first night, we visited the popular Hua Yuan Ye Shi (花園夜市). There’s a whole row of stalls  in the middle of the market that had tables set-up for diners to seat and enjoy their meal.

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Sub-par ribs that was pretty hard to eat because: a) it was huge and not de-boned; b) there was not a lot of meat and any was tough to bite through.

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Smelly tofu. I’ve never liked this stuff and will probably never do.

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The next morning, we started our day with a visit to An Ping Old Street (安平老街) to have some of the traditional beancurd Tainan was known for. I had the black charcoal soybean beancurd and it was pretty good. Smooth yet slightly gritty in terms of texture, which made it taste more handmade rather than machine prepared. It was wonderful to have on a hot day.

Tong Ji An Ping Dou Hua (同記安平豆花) – Address: No. 433 Anbei Road, Anping District, Tainan, Taiwan

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If you’re in Tainan and you love oysters, you should definitely have a go at them. The city’s famous for their fresh oysters but I couldn’t have them since I was allergic to it. But here’s a truckload of oysters freshly collected from the farms.

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Thereafter, we headed to Qi Gu Salt Mountain, which was more of a museum. The “mountain” in the name is just this pile of salt below at the entrance. There was nothing much to this place and it was pretty hard to get around since public transport was pretty infrequent. We eventually managed to get a respond from a taxi driver who lived in the area via a uber/grab-like app for taxis in Tainan. He mentioned a lot of the salt farms have stopped producing salt and all that’s left is the museum below. I wouldn’t recommend a visit to this place.

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At the same time, our driver recommended us this restaurant near our hotel where locals visit that had authentic Tainan food. Even the shop owner was surprised that we even visited her shop since tourists rarely go there. We ordered quite a huge variety of food thinking it would be a small platter that the shop owner stopped us and gave us quite a shocked face. We could tell why when the food arrived. We were absolutely stuffed at the end but grateful for this wonderful meal. Of course, we had one of the classic Tainan dish – Eel Noodles (鳝鱼意面 – Shan Yü Yi Mian). The eel was quite different from the Japanese style Unagi I was used to. A lot less meaty and had more skin (which was not my preference). In general, I tend not to eat the skin of any meat. Plus, the restaurant was quite generous with their serving of eel, so it got quite scary towards the end. But the noodles was fantastic. This concluded our short stay at Tainan, and till the next post, bye!

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Hong Kong/Macau, at a glance

Hi all,

Here’s a short photo re-cap of my visit to Hong Kong/Macau during the Christmas period last year.

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I simply love their lemon tea (hot) which brought warmth (much needed) to the body in the cold weather. Not a huge fan of their tomato based spaghetti though. It was more like ketchup plus noodles stirred fried together to form soggy noddles.

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I’m those who prefer portuguese egg tart over the normal chinese egg tart. Naturally, I can’t visit Macau without having one of them. It was awesome.

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Here’s a snapshot from one of the outlying islands we visited from Hong Kong. Till the next post, bye!

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Desaru 2016, a city-break

Hi all!

Following the end of my finals, the beginning of the month saw my family heading down to Desaru for a day trip. Known for its pristine beaches, we made a quick pitstop at the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort to take a look at the coastline that bordered the South China Sea. The waters were pretty clear but the high temperature that day forced us into a quick retreat into the shade. The sand was literally burning.

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From the beach, we drove down to the ostrich farm, where tickets were priced at 15 RM for an adult. Once we were through the gates, we were treated to an exhibition of “cracking” the ostrich egg. But really, it was more like hammering a small hole in with a nail. There was then a call for the audience to pay and try an ostrich omelette. Did you know, an ostrich egg could serve up to 7 omelettes? Interesting eh… Also, when their beaks are orange-red, the ostrich is a male, while female beaks are grey.

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After having the omelette and a cup of coffee (ah~), we went to Jade Garden resort for lunch. The restaurant was only a short 3 to 5 minutes drive down from the ostrich farm. I would highly recommend coming here for the fish! Haha, super fresh and well-priced. We had a grouper (slightly more than 1 kg) for only 80 RM! Lunch was super good and it was accompanied by the sudden downpour, which brought some reprieve from the heat (even though we were in an air-conditioned room, lol).

Despite the on-going light drizzle as we left the restaurant, we decided to head down to Desaru fruit farm, in hopes that the rain has not hit the area yet. Entrance fee to this place was 25 RM/adult pax. While there were some interesting plant varieties here, most were left out by the plantation guide in favour of more tropically known fruit plants like the banana or papaya plants, to better entertain the children within the tour group.

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The animal farm located within the fruit farm was definitely an unexpected surprise, although the rabbits there were pretty sad. Especially one which was released from its cage to “interact” with the tourists. But it was so scared that it was shivering non-stop. Sigh… Even seeing the lone monkey in its small little cage made me feel so sad and guilty. But maybe because I’m used to the cage-less concept in the Singapore Zoo, seeing animals in a caged enclosure just makes everything seemed so wrong.

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But till the next post, bye!