John Visits Taiwan, Part One

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Photos by MJ Klein, including FOOD PHOTOS!

Recently my brother John visited Taiwan, but we weren’t able to blog on his visit in real time due to a couple of technical difficulties that are now resolved.  So, without further delay, we bring you installment #1 of his visit!

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This is John arriving in Taiwan at the Taoyuan International Airport.  It was at night and we took him out for some food of course, but no photos.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

The next day we started off getting John acquainted with our local area and giving him a chance to get oriented a bit, since this was his first trip both to Taiwan, and Asia itself.  So, we took him to the Hukou Old Street area.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Hui-chen took some time to explain some of the rituals that people perform at temples in Taiwan.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This is the temple at the end (or beginning of, depending upon your viewpoint) of the Old Street.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

A cold, windy day for a walk down the Old Street.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

After the Old Street, it was time for lunch, so we took John to Xiao-hui’s!  Now it was time for food orientation!

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

All of our favorite dishes were in attendance.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This overview shot tells the story: we covered the table with dishes.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John sang many of the few English songs in the karaoke machine.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

The next day, we introduced John to downtown Hukou.  Most foreigners go to Taipei on their first trip and most of them stay in Taipei (where they can speak English).  I was determined to give my brother a more genuine Taiwan experience by spending very little time in Taipei and going around the island, showing him how everyday people live.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Here we see John checking out the Hukou day market.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This was our lunch, from a little corner restaurant in downtown Hukou.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Later, I took John over to meet the only other US citizen in the area, The (pronounced “tee”).  This is a shot of a nice beef salad the chef prepared for us at The’s place.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Later in the evening we enjoyed hotpot.  This was John’s first hotpot experience, and we picked a nice cold night for it.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Hui-chen and I took John around on our normal routine.  We went to Hsinchu city the following day and I showed John this government building (city hall) which dates from the Japanese colonial era.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Not far from the city hall building is Hsinchu’s oldest temple, Cheng Huang 城隍廟.  We took John to check it out.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Outside, someone was selling these odd snacks.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

They have a layer of taffy inside, some peanut powder and cilantro.  We got a couple to check them out.  They’re “different.”

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

More local offerings.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

We stopped for lunch at this duck restaurant.  Enjoy the photos of what we had.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

In the evening, we got an invitation from Shawn, owner of Titty Tea, to join him at the Ikki Grill in Zhubei.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Everything at the Ikki Grill is great.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This woman grilled the stuff for us, right on the bar in front of us.  It was a nice dining experience.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

On the way back to our car, we stopped by the local pet store, where we found a tank containing a pair of Nautilus.  This was my first time seeing one in the flesh.  They are very interesting creatures!

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Near our home is a coffee shop on the side of a mountain.  We took John there to enjoy the view.  Since John’s visit, this place has been torn down and a new viewing platform is being built.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

In Sanyi, there is an old broken bridge from the Japanese era, called the Longteng Bridge.  It’s really something to see in person – photos don’t do it justice.  We were in Sanyi, checking out the wood carving places and decided to drive out to this bridge.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Notice the lights in the foreground.  We didn’t see it all lit up but I bet it looks cool.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

We took a little footpath to this pedestrian bridge for some photos.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

There are 2 more abutments nearby.  These can’t be seen from the main part of the bridge because they are on the other side of the river.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

You can walk up a path to the top of the ridge, and we did so.  I wanted to see if there were remains of rails, and sure enough, there were.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

This is the view of the top of the abutment remains.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

As you can see, something is being built beside the broken bridge.  Some kind of park, presumably.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

That evening, we went to Chubby for dinner.

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

John Visits Taiwan, Part One

Delicious!

Thanks for reading about John’s first 4 days in Taiwan.  Later, we’ll show you our trip around the island and the beautiful East coast and parts of the Rift Valley.

 

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8 comments

  1. MJ looks like your brother was well looked after the first 4 days. Thankfully I have just had dinner but still have pangs of hunger pains after looking at all that delicious food.

    Great that the computer problems are fixed and look forward to more of John’s trip.

    Brunty

    1. hi Brunty. i spoke too soon – another problem cropped out but fortunately it was fixed under warranty. John had a great time here and he’s already thinking about coming back next time! i’m glad you’re back to posting Brunty. it would be a loss for your blog to go totally dark my friend. take care!

  2. Reminds me of the first time I came to Taiwan – everything was just sooo different. Even after having spent many years working and studying abroad from my home country … it was still so very different.

    It was a wonderful experience. In part probably because my girlfriend’s family welcomed me so warmly, and showed me everything they could think of – having local contacts gives you an understanding of the country which you can’t easily get as a tourist.

    Of course exploring entirely on your own also makes for a great adventure.

    1. hi Stephan. when thinking about showing John around, i also thought about my first time in Taiwan. i also found it to be very different and quite an adventure. i sort of combined the best of my first and second trips here and rolled it into one long 19 day tour. John took about 600 photos and i also gave him copies of mine, so he has some things to show friends and family for sure! thanks Stephan.

  3. How did your brother like his visit? Is he ready to visit again?

    I enjoyed your pictures of the scenery and food dishes. The taffy in the bun did not sound good and you carefully said it was different. Looking forward to more of John’s visit with you both.

    1. hi Carolyn. more computer problems here! John really liked Taiwan and he know understands why i like living here. thanks for your kind comments. we’ll be continuing with the series very soon. take care.

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