Jiu Fen Street

Food, glorious food.

Well, that’s been the theme so far. After leaving the farm, we visited the famous Jiu Fen old street on our way to the hot-springs hotel. It is basically a narrow street filled with lots of random shopping and random food.

Our tour-guide introduced us to a quaint little restaurant that sold meat/fish balls, venison rice and drunken chicken. He also encouraged us to try a special ice-cream stuffed in a poh-piah wrap with sweet ground up peanuts.

After that, we just walked along the entire street from end to end, savouring all the random foods along the way and shopping for souvenirs.

When a funeral procession came through, everyone disappeared into the stores with their backs turned onto the procession. This reminded me of the traditional practice that we used to practice when I was a child, but no longer. I actually wondered what kind of person would have their funeral procession through such a busy street filled with tourists. It must’ve been the funeral of someone who lives in the area.

Anyway, we ended up at the Pause Landis – a posh feeling hot-spring hotel – in Wulai. I enjoyed a nice long dip in the hot water. It was nice to be able to just dip in the water, close my eyes, and listen to nothing. Dinner was exquisite too.

I’m looking forward to a good tomorrow.

TouCheng Farm

Bliss – one word to describe my experience at the TouCheng Farm, Yilin, Taiwan.

This was our first destination, upon landing at the airport. We would end up spending two nights here, partaking in the simple life on a farm filled with butterflies, birds, fishes and even boars. This is a school farm, that targets school students, yet is suitable for everyone from infants to old-folk.

I decided to skip many of the activities, which my niece and nephew joined, and just lazed around in the open, enjoying the cool autumn breeze. T’was nice to be able to just do nothing but stare at all the greenery for a whole day.

There were just the few families around, mostly Taiwanese ones. So, we were quite sure that this was not a typical tourist trap, since it was somewhere that locals went to and not just dumb foreign tourists.

The little pond was filled with fishes of various colour and size. An elderly gentleman showed his grandson how to fish with a simple reed pole and line, nothing fancy. The grandpa would catch the fish, show it to his grandson, and throw it back in.

A couple of kids chased after football sized bubbles, blown by their mother. The bubbles would fly a short distance, on the breeze, and then pop, sending shrill laughter down the hallway.

A little girl, rocked her mother who was enjoying a lazy nap in a hammock under a shaded tree. Something seemed odd with that picture but nobody complained.

A couple of three year-olds, barely capable of walking, ran around the gravel yard, chasing the few ducks lying around basking in the sun, and being chased around by their parents in return.

Food. Glorious food. There was a continuous stream of food, available at all hours, for free.

Though our meals were simple farm-house style cooked food, they tasted absolutely amazing. I had a difficult time trying to control my diet for this was only my first day and I had to keep something in reserve for the rest of the week.

I had a feeling that my Taiwan holiday was off to a great start!