Thursday, November 27, 2014

Trip to Taiwan

For Thanksgiving break I satisfied my addiction of traveling.  It was a short break so I chose a place that I felt could be adequately toured in 4-5 days.  For this trip I went to Taiwan.  From my friends who had been to Taiwan, and one of my students that lived in Taiwan, the common theme I heard between all of them was how good the food is.   I arrived in Taiwan late the first night and there was a group of Taiwanese people have a party in my hostel room.  They were friendly and were only in Taipei for a work conference, but they told me that after their work conference ended at 5pm the following day that they would love to show me around the night market and try lots of the local foods.  Perfect!  I spent most of the day researching all the best foods in Taiwan and when they came back to the hostel, I had a whole list of foods I wanted to try.  They treated this list like their own personal scavenger hunt, searching through the market for every food item on my list.  It is worth noting that I had about 20 items on my list and certainly didn't intend on trying them all in one night.  Well, so much for my intentions.  These new friends of mine were able to locate probably around 12 different items on my list and took turns purchasing all of them for me, despite my objections of course.  I got the true Anthony Bourdain treatment and was absolutely stuffed by the end of the night.  Some of the foods I tried were braised pork rice, stinky tofu (a fitting name), an iron egg (an egg soaked in soy sauce until the outside becomes black and hard), Taiwanese sausage and sticky rice bun, and many many more.

Other things I did on the trip were take a hike up a mountain to get a beautiful look at what was once the tallest building in the world (until Dubai's Burj Khalifa was finished in 2004), Taipai 101.  I also visited some natural hot springs, took a bus up into the mountains of northern Taiwan to walk around a village there, and visited the Chiang Kai Shek memorial.

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