Monday, June 30, 2008

The REAL 85 Degrees

today we went to a lot of places outside of Taipei. We went south to Yingge, Guansi, and Shenghsish

for breakfast, my aunt made us onion pancake.

first stop: Yingge, which is a small town known for pottery making

we went into an alleyway to find a place where we can make some of our own

since it was monday, no one was there...

my first time

my hands got all crusty afterward.

hope it turns out well...

now i'll have to see how i'm going to bring it back to the states.

we had that clear jelly stuff. in chinese it is called ai yue. this is what it is made out of

the guy making our drink

once we left Yingge, the rain came down hard. everyday there are afternoon t-storms.

we headed for guansi

after we got gas at a gas station, they give out free boxes of tissue paper

it's a small town in the mountains.

street market

there is an old train station that is still in operation. it's one of those that still uses paper train tickets and has no ac, with wooden window frames

the town is known for growing may chai

we passed by one of those "believe it or not" type stores and this is supposedly the worlds smallest mouse

in the town, they also had one of those old movie theaters from the 1950s. it is no longer in operation as a movie theater and is now used as a restaurant and gift shop

inside the restaurant

they play old movies on the screen and you can watch while you eat

the inside of the restaurant. it looks like those ones they have in those old movies. it even has a second story.

the area is known for some kind of flower. this is tea made from that flower

slices of pork you dip in garlic sauce (cold dish)

there are a lot of hakka people in that area, so we had some of their specialty dishes

it started pouring again

the bridge is suspended by cables so it wobbles while you walk on it. we walked across in the rain

people are still planting their own crops

some river

the fog was thick!

and as we left it cleared up again

we headed toward Shenghsish

ants will take over the world

the bridge collapsed during the earthquake. this is what is left of it. this bridge is special because instead of using concrete to seal the bricks, they used rice and made some sort of glue

this is a railroad sign

we went to have lei cha which you have to grind yourself and mix together. it's a special hakka tea

you grind green tea, sesame, peanuts, and mix a special powder

and you get this in the end!

it was actually pretty tasty. very fragrant.

it came with free mochi! :) always good when it's free!

afterward, i went to visit my grandma and to pick up our cousin sean. we went over to the night market near my grandma's house called tung hua night market

they had a bunch of these stores that only had those claw machines. the whole store only had those machines.

my little cousin bought us dong gua tea.. how nice of him

we also tried those small egg like things. not bad

so I saw the real 85 degrees tea house. It's actually a chain store over here. they have a lot of them kinda like starbucks.

sleep time.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Frogs Lay Eggs

for the first meal of the day, we had dan beng and milk tea.

we went to visit the memorial of the Taiwanese revolution. there were guards there that were like those british ones that aren't allowed to move. it was so hot he was sweating so much that his whole uniform was soaked. it was even dripping from his pant gross!

here's a picture of the memorial from the entrance.

my cousin trying to open the door.

here's the inside view of the gate

one of the smaller memorial buildings on the side.

chinese people love lions

the inside building

those doors were huge! I coudn't open it.

the shrine dedicated to those who lost their lives during the revolution

intricate detail on the ceiling

every hour on the hour, they do this march formation and walk up the courtyard

after we checked out that memorial, we paid a visit to the biggest ferris wheel ever to be built on top of a building.

it was on the 5th floor of a shopping mall

a picture of the car

it's air conditioned inside! first time i've been in an air conditioned ferris wheel.

we can see the 101 building from the ferris wheel.

we also went to check out the National Palace Museum where they have a lot of artifacts "taken back" from China. In other words, it was when China was going to destroy everything with artistic value because of communism, but Taiwan took it before they could do so. Now it is preserved in this museum in Taipei. I couldn't take any pictures while inside the museum, but if you are interested, you can visit their website and view some of their collection.

after we finished with the muesum, it was pouring rain again!

so we stayed at the museum and had some tea and cake until the rain died down.

then we went street shopping.

and we ate street food.

taiwanese street food... hard to explain.

we ate under this big tent thing with lots of tables and stools.

onion beng with egg

sausage with rice "bun"

steamed pork blood on a stick

crispy chicken, tempura, and fried pork blood

stinky tofu

mushroom medly

here's the drink i had.. it's called frogs lay eggs.

later on that night, we went to get dessert and we got barley tofu flower soup, its very refreshing since it was ice cold.

we ate at one of those booths

so tired.. i'm going to sleep now. bye....