I had so much fun on my trip. I don’t even know where to begin. I started my vacation with the intention of blogging photos of each day, but *pffffft*, that obviously DID NOT happen. Every day was like a whirlwind, & by the time I had gotten back to my hotel room, it was extremely late & I was exhausted. My two friends who got married had a beautiful wedding (with a few very minor glitches). I have never experienced a half traditional Taiwanese , half Western mixed wedding before, & my friends pulled it off wonderfully.
One part that really amazed me was that my male friend was asked to sing a song during the wedding reception. According to my female friend (who is Taiwanese), it is part of a newer type of wedding tradition where the groom is required to prepare & choreograph a special song (of one’s own choice) & sing to the new bride. I was so happily surprised to see my male friend, who is usually quite shy, get up to sing in front of the entire wedding party. He chose to sing a popular/well-known Chinese pop song, & he sang the lyrics in Mandarin…which was a feat by itself, since my male friend mainly speaks Cantonese & English & was not very familiar with the Mandarin language until he met his new bride. He was really great with the choreography too!
Overall, all of us as a group had a really awesome & memorable experience in Taiwan. For some of us, it was a first-time experience. For others, it was like visiting familiar territory. I didn’t go as crazy with the food eating as I had initially thought I would. However, I DID go a little buck wild with the shopping. I really wasn’t expecting to do that much shopping in Taiwan. I gave myself a budget (I did stick to it) & had planned to spend a majority of my shopping budget in Japan…but I could not resist all of the cute stationery popping up around every corner! I ended up purchasing quite a bit of postcards, greeting cards & sticker sets. (Yes, I was a bit of a naughty girl.)
Here’s a quick rundown of all the things that happened on the Taiwan leg of our Asia tour…
A glimpse at the food we ate:
01. Won Ton soup noodles
02. Ramen Kagetsu Arashi (花月嵐拉麵) – tonkotsu ramen with onsen egg
03. Japanese beef curry with rice
04. Lion Head meatball (獅子頭 – shi zhi tou)
05. Locally farmed organic chicken with sliced green onions
06. Mini soup dumplings (小籠包 – xiao long bao)
07. Rao He night market – a very popular fried bun filled with minced pork & veggies
08. Fong Da cafe latte – this place is very famous & has been open since 1956!
09. Ice Monster red bean shave ice with ice cream & condensed milk
10. Ice Monster (very popular) mango shave ice with mango sorbet
11. All-you-can-eat hot pot – side A = spicy broth, side B = mild broth
12. You can choose up to 3 types of broth for your hot pot!
13. We celebrated our dear friend’s birthday with a tiramisu Mille Crêpe cake!
14. Believe it or not, Taipei is known for some really good Japanese sushi spots. We topped off our sushi extravaganza with some Negi Toro hand rolls.
15. We visited a 50+ year old beef noodle soup shop to have 紅燒牛肉麵 (hong shao niu rou mian – red roasted beef noodles).
16. Yes, we also tried Shanghainese food in Taiwan. This was some good slow cooked beef with some veggies in a delicious broth.
17. Didn’t get enough veggies yet, so we ordered a steamed cabbage dish
18. Shredded chicken noodle soup
19. Shredded bean curd served cold
20. Small river shrimp with a special vinegar sauce for dipping
21. The best thin rice noodles I’ve ever had at the 阿宗麵線 (Ah Zong Mian Xian – Ah Zong Noodle Line) food stall. No tables, no seats. Everybody just stands around the shop & eats on the sidewalk. You can add your own fresh mince garlic or special hot chili sauce.
22. A plate of duck with a bowl of soup noodles at 鸭肉扁 (Ya Rou Bian – Duck Meat Slice). I found out recently that the meat is actually wild goose, not really duck.
MORE PHOTOS AND INFO TO COME…