Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dong Gua Cha

We took the high speed rail to Tainan today. From Taipei (way up north) to Tainan (way down south), usually it is around a 6 hour drive, but with the high speed rail it only takes 1 hour 40 min to get there. In other words, the train travels 3x the speed of a car.

the inside of the train. it is pretty new. I think it has only been open for around 1 year

it was expensive to ride this thing! $30 USD one way

the station looked pretty new too

after we got to tainan, we went to take a free shuttle that takes you into the city

in case of emergency...

this place is famous for their tofu flower.

it was seriously, the best tofu flower i've ever had. The texture and consistency was perfect.

Taiwan used to be conquered by Holland, so there used to be different European countries that used Taiwan as a trading port. This is one of the trading companies that used to be in Taiwan. This one is from Germany. This is the house that is left behind from the 1600s

the inside of the house.

we went to check out an ping fort which was a fort used by the Dutch during their reign over Taiwan. One of the few Dutch buildings still left in Taiwan.

A wardrobe from the Dutch.

The sinks they used to use. The water is stored above, and when the bottom pan gets full you'd have to carry it out to empty

an old cannon

we went up to the top, and this is the view of the stairwell from above.

the postcard picture. no no, it's not actually a postcard. i took this one.

we went to check out a temple and this was one of the stone etchings on the side of the wall.

the ceiling

some more...

the inside of the temple

the front of the temple.

we tried this tainan food called mee gao.

this giant cup only costs 33 cents USD. Tainan is know for their dong gua cha.

we went to get famous shrimp rolls from here

this is it.

some kind of seafood cake

almond tofu.

they were selling these ornaments that are made out of real puffer fish.

this one is too, but it is before the puffer fish puffs up

boy playing with cat

the city had lots of these old style houses

so old...

we bought some of these things. in taiwanese it is called pong tung. the inside is hollow. we'll probably save it for tomorrow.

they are removing the oysters from the shell. supposedly if you put the shell back in the ocean more oysters will grow in them

it was sooo hot! i wiped the sweat off my face and my whole hand was wet

we didn't go to this, but my family of wu's has an ancestral shrine

this is another tower left behind from the Dutch. the tower is actually built by the chinese after it was damaged from the war

this is how it looks today after it was restored by the government

giant tablets left from the emperor with Manchurian inscriptions describing battles fought between the Chinese and Dutch

a vase shaped entrance

bamboo windows

the decorations on the roof were very different. the fish is spraying water and the water is shaped into a tree branch

this reminded me of decorations from those old chinese movies

some models of what the ships used to look like

this is the name of one of the towers. oh yeah, and each tower is dedicated to a different god. this tower is dedicated to the sea god.

my cousin and i in front of the sea god tower

the second tower is dedicated to the god of study. so many students come here to pay tribute to this god and wish them luck for their upcoming tests

they even put their pictures up with what test they are taking on what day, etc...

old style window payne

this is one of the walls that was left behind from the Dutch in 1653.

my last name on one of the stone tablets

like a scene from mulan

here is another temple we visited. it is the very first official temple built in taiwan; built in 1683.

bats represent fortune in chinese culture.

we went to a famous dan tsu noodle stand

here's a view from the other side.

this is dan tsu noodle

tainan is also famous for their coffin bread. it's called coffin bread because they take the inside of the bread out so it looks like a coffin. inside there was squid, chicken, peas, carrots, and corn.

we had dong gua tea from this famous place. their family has been making this for generations.

this is what the shop looks like. they actually sell a big block where you can boil yourself and make dong gua tea, but they only can make a limited quantity everyday. they only sell 50 a day, and they usually sell out right when they open beacuse people are waiting in line even before they open, but i gotta say... the tea was good!!!

we went to another temple and there was another shrine to the god of study. since in taiwan children have to take tests in order get into a school of their choice, so many children come and pray to the god of study to grant them luck in their studies.

later that night, my aunt and my cousins went and bought me a boba milk tea beacuse they said I haven't had the real thing. it was good, but i still don't like boba all that much.


Fili said...

Looks like a great trip. Love the photos.


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