When most people think of Taiwanese woodwook, they think of Sanyi or Dasi. Yesterday Hui-Chen and I went to a place in Shin Fong, a city not generally known for its woodworking kung-fu. This factory and store looks to be 30-some years old.
Taiwan tea culture and wood culture are linked by the utensils created for making tea, such as the cha-pan. We saw an entire area devoted to such tea plates and even a few tables with tea making areas carved into them.
Here we see an entire wall filled with tea plates (and there were a couple shelving units like this). These have been here quite some time and therefore exhibit some of the fungal growth that Taiwan is famous for. This will wash off with no harm done to the woodwork, but it does look pretty crappy when you are shopping for something.
Notice the dragon carved in the center of this one. Pouring water on the surface behind the dragon will cause it to drain out the mouth, literally off the tongue. Most of the tea plates in this place were like this configuration. While the wood itself is very good quality and also quite aromatic, this style isn’t my cup of tea (sorry, I couldn’t resist that).
The number of tables carved from tree trunks was substantial. If you allow your mind to ignore the logistics of trying to get a 2 ton piece of wood into your home, 8 floors high and through a window, you might enjoy the shopping experience for one of these tables because they are really quite impressive.
Input N 24.90438 E 121.098498 into your GPS to get there.