Sunday, March 28, 2010
Where do i even start with Taiwan?
I got to admit that preparing for a trip like the one we went to Taiwan was earth shattering. To say it was a daunting challenge to go for a D-I-Y 8 day and 7 night trip was probably being too humble.
Back in those days, if one wanted to go for a holiday, it usually involved stepping inside a travel agency and picking up brochures then choosing one that suited the destination and the budget. You will pack your bags and meet at the airport. From the moment onwards, you will basically be hand held throughout the number of days including be told what to buy, what to eat, where to sleep and probably where and when to take your dump.
Over the years, i suppose people become more daring with information so widely shared amongst the online community that alot of people are going to countries often with a guide printed of the internet or if they are rich enough, buy one from the bookshop.
Amongst all the DIY holidays that i had, Taiwan is probably the most difficult for these few reasons:
1. Language barrier - Apparently 80% of the population speak Mandarin only and it doesn't mean the other 20% automatically speak English. If you haven't noticed by now, i can't speak and read mandarin words apart from the ones appearing at the karaoke videos.
2. Taiwan is not just about eating and shopping - Holidays in Thailand and Hong Kong were purely for the eating, if not shopping. Taiwan is filled with many scenic places that you would be considered to be too foolish not to visit.
3. Reliability of the information online - You have no idea whether what is being posted online is real or not. If the fellow says take Bus 9 and its not, you are screwed.
4. Transport - how do you plan out your itinerary using solely their public transport. As it is, if one was to ask me how do we take the bus or the LRT in KL, i would be clueless, so furthermore a transport system overseas?
Well glad to say despite these few hurdles, we survived the trip without being conned, kidnapped and didn't end up in any wrong places.
Since this is a food blog after all, i will let the readers decide what they want to read about first from the list of food we managed to stuff ourselves with:
1. El Toro - opened by Chef Daniel who had worked before at El Bulli, the top restaurant in the world, if not the second best.
2. Ji Jia Zhuang - according to online articles, the place to visit for some chicken loving, so famous that their waitress apparently is Japanese to cater for tourists.
3. Celestial Palace - 3.6kg duck, done Peking style for 2 fellows, gone mad?
4. Hana sei - What is Japanese food doing in Kaohsiung?
5. Ding Tai Fung - originated from Taiwan, really miles better?
6. Shilin Market / Liuhe Market - Street food all around!
7. Screw the food, show me Taipei and Kaohsiung in pictures!
Vote, vote, vote!