Noodle soup and Lanterns

I have finally gotten around to posting my photos of the sleepy town of Hoi An. Brad and I got a little bit trapped in this town and ended up staying a lot longer than we wanted. It wasn’t so much for the abundance of things to do here but more the charm of the clustered buildings throughout the town centre, the abundance of glowing lanterns on the river at night and our favorite lady who sold banana fritters at any time of the day and night.

Hoi An itself was definitely a big tourist destination but somehow you never felt too bombarded by the other tourists it was a nice mix of people and the streets never felt full, it was conservative and outgoing at the same time. Architecturally the town had this cross between French meets Mexican and to add to it there were chihuahua’s at every corner.

Lucky for us we will be back at christmas to meet with Brads parents maybe then I will get round to doing some of those tourist attractions on offer. /em>

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Taitung art village

Visiting Taitung today we head to the artists village. Unfortunately for us everything seems closed, but we do see a sign for felt making at 4pm so there is hope. We go looking for food in the meantime and stumble upon a place called ‘wonderful’, a very stylish little thing situated on the corner it is filled with retro furniture, comfy cushions, large light fittings hanging from the ceiling spiral down in the shape of bells and cardboard animal heads hung on the walls.
Brad and I choose a comfy couch facing open windows with a wooden bench in front. We order desserts a cucumber juice and brad a beer, we are completely amazed at our food and drinks and my only regret is not bringing my camera. My dessert came out with five pitted dates stuffed with spiced mascarpone and a toasted almond wedged on top with lime zest shavings, brad got a chocolate cake the texture really fluffy with fresh cream and compote and my cucumber juice was delicious with mint, lemon/lime blended up with heaps of cucumber.
After dessert we wandered around again and things were starting to open up there were little artist stalls, shipping crates that had been painted used as shops and a band setting up to play. We bought a carved wooden cat while there and like usual collected post cards.
I don’t have any photos of this day but I have a few I’m posting up from our first trip to Taitung and wandering the street markets.

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City wandering in Taipei

In Taipei city you can just walk the streets for miles and still be absolutely stimulated at what’s around you, there’s always a new sub city around the corner from the main one and just hundreds of people filling the shops and cafes along the way.

You never have to walk too far till you get to the next dumpling stand or frog egg iced tea. This goes as well for street side shops, there’s always a merchant selling for a good price.

The air is warm and thick around you and while the city is jam packed with motor vehicles you don’t tend to notice the smog in the humidity. On one particular day we awoke late and started our day late. We walked down one main road till our feet ached and the sky had turned black. We had no purpose but to just walk and feel the hum of the city passing by. Our walk brought us to an udon noodle bar were we rested and ate befor journeying back home. How nice to have the chance to wander aimlessly.

Dumplings and Roxy 99

Eating at a traditional Taiwanese restaurant on our third night we had high hopes for the food to come. Thanks to two helpful ladies we managed to order some great food and avoid accidentally ordering the pig intestine which we thought was sliced pork. We ended up with a feast of cold fish, two types of dumplings, soup and minced pork. Our first proper Taiwanese food since arriving.
Walking back home we take our chance at a bar called Roxy 99 turned out we had hit the jackpot for foreigners. We drank pitchers of beers, shooters and cocktails till morning time with some friends we had acquainted at the bar.
Missing the last train we caught a cab for the first time (this turned out to be a stupid decision). Our first cab took us to the airport, the one after that in a part of the Taipei we didn’t know and the third in Taipei city. Thankfully some guys on scooters stopped by and could speak English they got our fourth taxi to drop us remotely close to where we were staying. We were so thankful to be finally getting home and sleep around the corner.
Turns out we can’t pronounce Zongshan. Also turns out taxi drivers can’t read their own city map.
Home in bed at 4am in the morning, just a small two hours of travel time.
Tomorrow we will use the trains.