John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Photos by Hui-chen, MJ Klein and John Klein

Welcome to the second installment of my brother’s visit to Taiwan.  We apologize for the delays between articles, but it appears that the technical problems that were interfering with our posting are now cleared up.  So, here we go:

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Like any good host, I started off the next morning by introducing John to some of Taiwan’s famous breakfast foods.  That’s an egg pancake on the left, with 2 pork patties and fried eggs destined to become “Taiwan hamburgers” (anything on a hamburger style bun is called a hamburger here, regardless of composition).  This photo was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S phone.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

After breakfast, we headed out on a week long journey to circumnavigate the entire island.  We left Hukou and headed south, toward Lukang.   The first thing we did was visit a tourist information center.  Notice the cards with the QR codes on them.  If you click on the photo above and view the larger size on Flickr.com, you can actually scan the QR codes yourself (provided your phone as an appropriate app) and view the website information (in Chinese).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

This is the main street of Lukang.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Lukang is famous for old temples, and since there aren’t really any temples like this in the US, John found them very interesting.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

The name of this temple is “Tienhou” and it is dedicated to Matsu.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

This is the view from the balcony in the previous shot.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John officially becomes Taiwanese by having his photo taken in front of something (although he didn’t give the “Asian Sign Of Picture Taking“).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John wanted to get a cute outfit for his (our) great-niece.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Of course, before long it was time to eat!  This is one of the many seafood restaurants common to the area.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Oyster soup.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

One of my all-time favorite Taiwan dishes: deep fried oysters.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Fried rice.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

After I post this article, my wife will read it and then tell me what this is.  It’s some kind of meat, fried.  It was good.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Sweet potato leaves.  Yum!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Some kind of fried pancake thing with scallions and oysters in a brown sauce.  It was great!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

This is a shot of the outside of the restaurant, featuring many of the fish and crustaceans they serve.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

After lunch, it was back to walking the old streets, and more temples.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

We went into this artist’s shop.  He had some nice stuff.  He’s very talented.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

He asked John to sign his guestbook, which he did.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

I thought this sign was very interesting….

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

…. as it showed construction details about the old houses in the neighborhood.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

I wish we could have toured the inside of some of them!

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

A famous part of the old street….

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

A rich family, surnamed “Wang” had a well built on their property that was constructed half-inside, and half-outside their home’s wall.  They shared the water with the neighborhood.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

This is the front gate to the Wang family home.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

This plaque details the history of the well.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

We continued onto this very old temple.  Out of all of them, I like this one the best.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Whenever I’m here, I expect to hear a movie director say “cut!” because this certainly feels like a movie set.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Recently the temple was renovated, and these sign boards document the reconstruction process in great detail.  There was earthquake damage that was repaired, and that alone was quite impressive.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

The inside of the very front gate.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

As I was shooting this photo of the very front of the temple, this girl decided it was time to start jumping and dancing right into the frame.  If you improved my photo, I suppose I should pay you.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Not far from the last temple is the famous “Gentleman’s Alley” also known as “Breasts Touching Alley” which is so narrow, that women passing back-to-wall on both sides, literally touched breasts, so the story goes (I didn’t name it, so don’t blame me!).

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

John demonstrates just how narrow it really is.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

After Lukang, we headed down to Kaohsiung to meet Hui-chen’s family and hang out there for a few days.  This is John and HC at the famous Western Cowboy’s Pub.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

The food at the Western Cowboy’s Pub is always delicious.

John Visits Taiwan, Part Two

Western diners may recognize this dish as “Sweet & Sour Chicken” and except for the fact that there isn’t any thick red sauce, the flavor is basically the same as the version typical of US Chinese restaurants.

When we return for the next installment of John’s visit to Taiwan, we’ll be heading down to the bottom part of the island, then across to the east coast.  You won’t want to miss the upcoming installments as we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with the beauty and majesty of Taiwan, just as we have!

Thanks for reading!  Please leave us your comments below.

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7 comments

  1. I was fascinated by the temples on my first few visits, which puzzled my Taiwanese friends who didn’t think all that much of them. 🙂

    Later I got a bit more jaded, I suppose – still appreciating the nicer ones (like Guandu, I love the tunnels) but ignoring the more derivative buildings.

    Now when I see a picture of a temple I mainly feel homesick for Taiwan.

    1. hey Stefan 🙂 i know what you mean about the temples. when i first saw them they were nothing like what i’d experienced in the US, and i visited many of them. these days i pass by them without noticing, unless they are really special or particularly historic. thanks for your comments and take care!

  2. Yeah the temples here are fairly unique – when we traveled China in 2005 we didn’t see any temples like the ones in Taiwan either (except for the Tibetan Buddhist monasteries) – most had been destroyed in the cultural revolution and many mainland Chinese were visiting the older temples as tourists and not as worshipers.

    The old ones in Taipei (Guandu and Longshan) are always popular with our guests – old Temples where people still practice. But agreed, after being here so long they are not as interesting as they were before although the sculptures on the roof are always different and they do fascinate me.

    As always, your emphasis on food makes me hungry – ha ha – I am a big fan of the egg rolls you had for breakfast. Have them every morning. Hope your brother had fun in Taiwan, my family always does. Actually, my Mom loves Taiwan more than any other place in the world – ha ha.

    Hope you are well.
    Cheers
    Paul
    Paul´s last post ..Monkey Trainer and Snake Charmer in Sri Lanka

    1. hi Paul. ditto everything you said about temples in Taiwan. they are considerably different than those found in SE Asia as well. i’ve never been to those ones you mentioned in Taipei as we hardly go there (which is why i only took my brother into Taipei for one day).

      glad you enjoy the food photos, hehe. i’m hoping my other siblings will come to visit us also because i think they would come to love Taiwan too. thanks Paul and please take care.

      1. I guess the temples are pretty similar wherever you go – Longshan is a good one to visit if you are in Taipei because it is right next to Snake Alley – another good tourist spot (very very traditional night market) – you can drink snakes blood, eat fried mice and frog soup (or maybe just see it). Guandu Temple is also special but needs a trip on the MRT (takes 40 minutes to get there on the MRT from Taipei Main Station – it is an interesting one as it sits on the Tamsui river – but still – probably similar to others close to where you are (except they are two of the oldest in Taiwan I have been told).

        My sister came here last year for the first time and loved it. Most people who come to Taiwan to unexpectedly find it a wonderful place (as you and I know). Hope your siblings arrive soon.

        Cheers
        Paul
        Paul´s last post ..Monkey Trainer and Snake Charmer in Sri Lanka

  3. Really nice post, MJ. I miss you on FB already. But it’s actually nicer, in many ways, to go back to looking at blogs. I’ve been blogging a lot more, myself. If only the weather was better so I could take more pictures.
    I just took a longer look at your About page and discovered you use a Sigma lens. I use that too, but on my Canon camera. Sigma makes a great lens!
    I hope you blog a lot more, like you used to (I probably will too – I don’t spend as much time on FB these days). So much social media is a waste of time (posting stuff like we do on blogs for the short term is nice, but we tend to lose contact – with purpose, with life, and the very value of the time we have with us and around us).

    1. hi Thoth. nice to see you commenting in our blog again. i think overall i prefer blogging over social media because for one thing, social media posts are so fleeting. here today, gone later today. lol at least (i think) the blog posts maintain their relevancy for a longer period of time.

      i like our Sigma lens because of the optical stabilization. that’s the secret to my night photography ;).

      i’m going to try to blog more, like the old days. i will have more time now that i’m not posting to FB all the time. i can also moblog my mobile phone photos to the blog in real time, so that can replace the instant posting function that FB allows. take care Thoth.

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