Even though my Taiwan trip was all the way back in May, all the amazing destinations and experiences are still so fresh in my mind. This second part of my Taiwan adventures was my absolute favourite since I was able to visit my dad’s hometown and visit my grandparents and see where my dad grew up when he was young. It really is a truly insightful experience going back to your roots and appreciating the culture there, as it is quite different from Canada. Without further ado, here is the second and final installment of my Taiwan adventures!
Kaohsiung is my dad’s hometown, so it has a very special place in my heart. And personally, if I had to pick one place out of all the destinations we visited to live, I would live in Kaohsiung! I love the city’s atmosphere and could definitely picture myself living here for an extended period of time. This picture below is one of the first shots I captured of this beautiful city. It reminds me of being on a tropical island 🙂
When we arrived at our hotel, we received an amazing view of the city of Kaohsiung.
The next day, we drove out of the city into the rural suburbs of Kaohsiung, into my dad’s hometown -Meinong. One of the highlights of being in this small town was the food! This noodle soup is Meinong’s specialty! It has handmade rice noodles with lots of vegetables, green onions, bean sprouts, garlic, and some meat! I cannot even begin to describe how amazingly delicious this noodle soup is..like there are no words. Let’s just say, if there could only be one thing I had to eat every single day for the rest of my life, it would be this.
I spent the day walking around Meinong and seeing my aunts and grandparents. In my previous post, I had a lot of fun visiting all these new exciting landmarks of Taiwan, but nothing beats being in my dad’s hometown, eating local food, spending quality time with my grandmother & grandfather, and just enjoying the quietness and simplicity the town has to offer.
And did I forget to mention, Taiwan is known for mopeds being the main form of transportation. You rarely see cars, all you see are huge crowds of mopeds casually driving alongside each other on the streets. It’s one of the unique components of Taiwan culture that is something very different from Canada.
One of the best parts of being in Taiwan during the summer? It’s prime mango season! Mangoes are my favourite fruit ever since I was a kid and mango trees are everywhere in Taiwan. You can just pick one (or two) off and voila!
Since I was in my dad’s hometown, I was able to visit all the places he spent time at when he was in elementary school. For example, this place which is surrounded by a lake shown below! According to my dad, back when he was 13 years-old, he and his friends would jump off this structure and into the lake all year-round!
This is one of my favourite things that we did while in Meinong. We spent about an hour or two biking around the entire rural town and admiring the landscapes and wildlife and my dad showing us a bit of his childhood every 10 seconds along the way!
My grandma is a farmer and she grows all kinds of vegetables and rice! My grandma is basically the coolest person ever, so naturally, I felt like I had to copy her by trying on a rice hat myself! Yup, most fashion forward trend ever. Rice hats are the new black 🙂
This is the Moonlight Mountain. It’s so beautiful. Apparently, my dad and his four best friends used to hang out here so much that they called themselves The Moonlight Five! In fact, during this trip back to Taiwan, my dad and his four friends reunited and they still call themselves that to this day!
The next day, we decided to head back to the urban city life of Kaohsiung where we went shopping and got Taiwan famous massages!
We then decided to take a 3 hr drive to a coastal city called Kenting. Kenting is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited! We arrived late at night, so obviously, there was one thing we had to do -NIGHTMARKET!! If there is one thing you should know about Taiwan, one of the most well-known things of Taiwan culture (aside from bubble tea and mopeds) is the nightmarkets! I’ve been to some back in Canada, but I was not prepared for what I was going to encounter here in Kenting! The nightmarket I visited was about 10 times as large as Night it Up back in Canada. It goes on and on and it never ends! I’m pretty good with getting through nightmarkets, but I gave up after apparently getting through only a third of the entire nightmarket! It was an amazing experience!
The next morning had beautiful weather and we took full advantage of it by heading to the beach! It was so beautiful that I felt like I was in Hawaii!
After leaving Kenting, we took a plane to an island called Penghu -the last destination of our Taiwan trip.
Taiwan is already very humid during May, but out of all the places we visited, Penghu was by far the most humid and hot. The hottest Canadian summer day would probably be considered winter in Penghu. The heat was pretty brutal, so we decided to cool ourselves down while trying out a Penghu delicacy -cactus ice cream. It was probably one of the most interesting (and delicious!) foods I tried.
After we were cooled down, we went and visited some beautiful landscapes that Penghu had to offer.
Seeing all the magnificent creation around me really made me realize how large the world is and how small I am in comparison.
At nighttime, there was a beautiful fireworks show.
Okay, my absolute favourite part of visiting Penghu was going fishing, without a doubt. We boarded a small fishing boat and used fishing nets and rods to catch huge swordfish, blowfish, and squid! The best part? Right after we caught it, the staff cleaned it and served it for us to eat right away! Can’t get sashimi fresher than that! In fact, the squid sashimi was so fresh that before I put it in my mouth, the red colour pigments were still moving!! Eeekk, pretty scary stuff! Some people didn’t dare eat it, but I was not going to miss out on tasting the freshest sashimi! Conclusion: it was absolutely yummy 🙂
The next day, we went exploring on a beach and admired the beautiful sand and waters.
After a blissful time in Penghu, we returned to the busy city of Taipei to catch our flight back to Toronto! While there, I couldn’t resist trying some Starbucks! To be honest, it was not very good! And the sizes are a lot smaller! The venti I asked for could very well pass for a tall. I think Taiwan should just stick to making bubble tea! haha
Our family decided to take a late-night walk along the streets for our last night in Taiwan. We visited lots of small shops and saw TenRen’s and Chatime, both places I go to a lot back in Canada.
And I also walked pass an advertisement of my favourite Taiwanese celebrity -Wang LeeHom. Couldn’t help but publicly express my admiration out on the streets 😀
And it’s a 14 hour flight back to T-dot! Goodbye Taiwan!
And that concludes my Taiwan Adventures in May! It was one of my favourite experiences of the summer since I haven’t been there for at least 6 years! Not only did I get to see exciting new destinations, but I was able to visit my grandparents and see where my dad grew up! And the food was unbelievably ahhh-mazing!! I hope I can come and visit again in the future!
For my Europe trip in June-July, I will not be doing a series of travel posts as I took TOO MANY pictures! I literally had to go through 2 memory cards! I did however capture video footage of some of the places I visited and edited it into a collective video! I will be posting that soon!
As school has started, I will obviously not be posting many travel blog posts soon, but hopefully, I can post some food recipes and reviews if I’m not too busy with my readings and lectures! Hope everyone had a great summer 2014 and wishing everyone a great start to the school year! 🙂