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!
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.
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.
Hui-chen took some time to explain some of the rituals that people perform at temples in Taiwan.
This is the temple at the end (or beginning of, depending upon your viewpoint) of the Old Street.
A cold, windy day for a walk down the Old Street.
After the Old Street, it was time for lunch, so we took John to Xiao-hui’s! Now it was time for food orientation!
All of our favorite dishes were in attendance.
This overview shot tells the story: we covered the table with dishes.
John sang many of the few English songs in the karaoke machine.
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.
Here we see John checking out the Hukou day market.
This was our lunch, from a little corner restaurant in downtown Hukou.
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.
Later in the evening we enjoyed hotpot. This was John’s first hotpot experience, and we picked a nice cold night for it.
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.
Not far from the city hall building is Hsinchu’s oldest temple, Cheng Huang 城隍廟. We took John to check it out.
Outside, someone was selling these odd snacks.
They have a layer of taffy inside, some peanut powder and cilantro. We got a couple to check them out. They’re “different.”
More local offerings.
We stopped for lunch at this duck restaurant. Enjoy the photos of what we had.
In the evening, we got an invitation from Shawn, owner of Titty Tea, to join him at the Ikki Grill in Zhubei.
Everything at the Ikki Grill is great.
This woman grilled the stuff for us, right on the bar in front of us. It was a nice dining experience.
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!
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.
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.
Notice the lights in the foreground. We didn’t see it all lit up but I bet it looks cool.
We took a little footpath to this pedestrian bridge for some photos.
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.
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.
This is the view of the top of the abutment remains.
As you can see, something is being built beside the broken bridge. Some kind of park, presumably.
That evening, we went to Chubby for dinner.
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.