Visiting Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Taitung in Taiwan

While I’m focusing on my family getting back to our daily routine and recovering from jet lag, I put together highlights of our recent trip To Taiwan from my Instagram between unpacking and several loads of laundry.  Hope you enjoy!

Leaving for Taiwan

Taiwan 2012-1

1) The morning of our trip.  After many trips back home, I usually need 2-3 hours to pack for my family.
2) San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
3) Four suitcases total, checking in two.

Taipei, Taiwan (North of Taiwan 台北)

Taiwan 2012-2

1) Taipei 101, the 2nd tallest building in the world.
2) The amazing view from the 89th floor.
3) Taipei 101 from the ground level.
4) National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
5) Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and my daughter.
6) Busy street at night near Regent Hotel.
7) Subway ticketing machine.
8) Taking subways is fun – reminds me of my life back in Japan.
9) Lots of motorcycles on the street.

Taiwan 2012-3

1) The view of Taipei 101 from our room at Regent Hotel.
2) View of Taipei 101 at night.
3) Japanese flavor macarons from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki Paris: yuzu, hojicha, matcha, (strawberry for my daugther,) genmaicha, (blueberry for my son).
4) A friend took us to the best Peking Duck restaurant in Taipei (龍都酒樓).
5) We loved their thin wraps instead of buns!
6) Ippudo, one of the popular ramen shops from Japan (with locations in NYC, SG, HK, South Korea, Sydney, Taipei), happens to be close to our hotel.
7) Shiromaru – original ramen .
8) Akamaru – modern ramen (I prefer this over Shiromaru)
9) Pork belly bun.

Train Trip to Taitung, Taiwan (East of Taiwan 台東)

Taiwan 2012-4

1) Taking a train to Taitung (East of Taiwan).
2) Traditional bento box on a train with pork chop, seasoned egg, veggies, and rice.
3) Surrounded by the rice field.
4) Peaceful view near the resort.
5) Papago Resort, where we stayed.
6) Our spacious villa with a private pool.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Southwest of Taiwan 高雄)

Taiwan 2012-5

1) Our first meal, Tonkatsu at Shinjuku Saboten.
2) Traditional breakfast stand.
3) 2 egg pancakes and 6 pot stickers with garlic sauce for $3!
4) Dan Zai noodles, pork ball soup, and pig feet.
5) Black chicken soup (skin and bone are black).
6) 7 ingredients soup including shark fin and frog ovary.

Taiwan 2012-6

1) Sweet rice with crab – my favorite dish at the wedding reception.
2) Another day with crab.
3) And more crab!!
4) Mullet soft roe – not really my favorite.
5) Braised pork belly with bittermelon.
6) Traditional Taiwanese stew dish.
7) Famous Chou’s Shrimp Roll from Tainan.
8) Fish and fish ball soup.
9) Deep fried stinky tofu – I love this particular restaurant where they serve special sauce over the tofu.

Taiwan 2012-7

1) A Taiwanese wedding reception.  It reminded me of my wedding in Taiwan 7 years ago with 500 guests (which I don’t know most of them).
2) One of the most beautiful subway stations I’ve seen, in Kaohsiung.
3) Visiting a temple with Ama (“grandma” in Taiwanese).
4) Kids praying for education.
5) Taiwanese opera on the street at the temple.
6) Playing at a park.  Besides that, we went swimming almost everyday.
7) VIP room at cinema – my husband and I watched Skyfall and Breaking Dawn Part II.
8) My most favorite thing to do in Taiwan: foot and whole body massage (went 3 times!).
9) Going home, at Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei.

Taiwan 2012-8

Last but not least, I want to thank my friend Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover for sending me beautiful wooden plates and bowls.  On her recent trip to Bali, she remembered that I have hard time finding wooden products here in the US so she bought some for me and shipped these along with other kitchen gadgets to my in-laws in Taiwan from Malaysia.  Thank you so much Sonia!

If you haven’t seen her blog Nasi Lemak Lover, I hope you stop by.  She has a wide-ranging collection of Asian and baked goods recipes from her kitchen in Malaysia.

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  1. It looks like a wonderful fun-filled and food-filled trip! Looking at all your pictures made my mouth drool since I haven’t been to Taiwan in 4 years. Maybe I should make a trip soon. hehe Glad you had fun! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Kimmi

    The food photos look absolutely amazing! And I’m sure that the real thing was extremely tasty! I always love an Asian breakfast and things like rice congee and savory pancakes. =)

    Glad to hear that you had a lovely and exciting trip with your family. Thanks very much for thinking os us and taking the time to share highlights from your trip. Good luck with getting back to the daily grind and over the jetlag!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my pictures, Kimmi! Thank you for your kind words. Hopefully my kids will get back to regular routine soon so I don’t have to make breakfast super early in the morning! :)

  3. Sadaharu Aoki Paris macarons are in Taiwan, too! 勉強になりました。

    Thank you for sharing all your fantastic photos from your trip. Including the 超可愛い very cute pictures of your daughter.

  4. LOVE all the photos, Nami! Thank you for sharing them so I can re-live a bit of “home”. =) Glad you all had a great time visiting family. Hope you get over jetlag soon!

  5. tigerfish

    You brought back memories (esp. those of food!) of my 1 year stay in Taiwan when I was living in central Taiwan.

    I believe most authentic Chinese (Cantonese) restaurants in Asia serve Peking duck with thin wraps. I love those too! Think wraps + crispy skin = yum yum!

    Hope you recover fast from jet lag. Every time I come back to US from Asia I take weeks to recover :(

    • Were you in Taichung (台中)? I did not realize that Cantonese restaurants serve thin wraps! I see! I really liked this and can eat it every week… :)

      Thanks! My kids take at least 1 week to get back to regular sleeping routine. Sigh…

  6. Beautiful! Looks like you had a wonderful time – and the food?! Yummy! My dearest friend that I’ve known for 25+ years just visited me last week and told me she’s going to whisk me away to Taiwan. Thanks for showing me what’s awaiting me – one day!

  7. Sounds liek a fun filled trip, lotsa swimming, massages and food – my kinda holiday :) yea, now its the aftermath that we mummies have to deal with ya! Take it easy..plenty of time to ease back into the routine.

  8. I really want to visit Taiwan. My son’s in-laws are in Kaohsiung and while I’ve met Ming’s sister in Tokyo and her mother when she visited Atlanta, I’ve never been to Taiwan. My son went to Kaohsiung for his brother-in-law’s wedding several years ago and he said it was, “Let’s watch the tall round-eye eat.” Al’s 6’4″ and he isn’t the most adventurous eater at the best of times but he ate everything they gave him when he was on display – even the ceremonial pig’s blood with the other men. When they weren’t looking, he lost 15 pounds. :) I laughed when he said, “Donuts with beans inside?? Mom, really.”

  9. Eha

    ‘Getting to know you . . . getting to feel free and easy . . . getting to know you . . . getting to know what to say; : from the ‘King and I’ just a tad [!] ago :) ! How much knowledge to absorb and remember . . . 😀 !

  10. I loved watching your adventure on Instagram. Everything you did looked amazing. Loved how you went to the spa multiple times. Must be hard to come home and get back into a routine.

  11. I went to Taiwan in 2010 (for the food!)… I wasn’t there long enough to explore very much outside of Taipei, though. Your photos make me want to go back again soon, and explore other parts of Taiwan… Also Nami, I’m so impressed that you can pack for your whole family in so few suitcases, and so quickly! :)

  12. I haven’t been to Taiwan and I haven’t seen many photos of it either so it’s been lovely to read your post. The food looks great and it looks like your children are having the best time xx

  13. Your pictures tell a great story, and the collages are very nicely done. Taiwan is always about the food, and if I were to visit one day, I’d probably have to stay for a month to try all the food! Nice to see you and the family had such an enjoyable trip, and the kids are so photogenic, as always :)

  14. Wow, Nami what an awesome album packed with so many wonderful memories. You are now making me want to go to Taiwan and experience all these. I love the food shots most of all! How cute your children are. I can imagine how it must have been for you — a lot of work to prepare for the trip, but at the same time, an exciting time with family. You’re fortunate to have this chance to bring your kids to visit their roots and family ties. Thanks for sharing, Nami. And I love those wooden spoons and bowls. I’ll go visit her Sonia’s site!

  15. Eri

    I loved every picture from your trip, one by one.
    Thank you Nami for showing me different things.
    So now, happy “Western Holiday season”!
    Hugs and Kisses!

  16. I just saw few new bloggers stopping by my blog and I was wondering why, look like they all direct from your blog , hahaha..Just few small humble gifts, don’t mentioned, Nami.
    You know what, my mother, sisters and few blogger friends also went to Taiwan in Nov, I was so envy you all , hehehe .. Thanks for sharing your trip, will keep these info for my future reference, I must visit one day.

  17. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    Welcome back! You had awesome trip there when you went for massage 3 times. Definitely something that we can do to often here. Not to mention peking duck, crab, buns – what a lovely vacation.

  18. Betty

    Thanks so much for sharing these pictures. Helped me feel like I’m more in touch with my Taiwanese roots. Hopefully I can experience it myself next year. I just want to say that your recipes and cookbook turned me into a better cook, and I thank you for that. The black sesame ice cream was such a hit during my Thanksgiving dinner. Keep the recipes coming! =)

    • Hi Betty! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my post. :)

      Your feedback made my day. I’m glad you enjoy cooking my recipes and I will continue trying to be better at cooking and sharing my recipes on this site. And yay for your black sesame ice cream! :)

  19. I am so envious of your trip. I have yet to go to Asia. Your pics are so beautiful and I like the personal touch of them …as if we were there to. Japanese flavored macarons lol? First time I see that.

  20. Nami, what a gorgeous collection of photos! Looks like you had a food-filled and fun-filled time away! First off, they have Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki in Taipei??? Lucky them! And all the food you ate…oh, all the food! Very nice…especially the fried stinky tofu! How was it? And yes, full body massage!!! WOW! It’s so nice that your kids got to spend time with their Ama! I miss my Ama :( She passed away in 2009, but since we moved to Canada in 1995, I only saw her once in 15 years before she passed away. And to think that I lived with her and slept in her bedroom for the first 20 years of my life before I moved to Canada!!! Anyway, take care :)2

    • I enjoy living abroad but when it comes to family, I really wish that I can live closer to home. I miss all the holiday family get together and some important celebrations. You must have wonderful memories of your Ama. :) Thanks for sharing your story!

  21. Karina

    Hi NAMI,
    nice pics and even better ideas for the kitchen! I envy you for this trip.
    My main Thank-You! to you is the historical aspect of your trip. I’ve never heard of Dr. Sun Yat-sen before. I looked him up and (for all readers, just google him – he was a very intersting character who lived in rather turbulent times).
    I very much like the picture with your daughter infront of his statue.
    So cooking and preparing food is central to the human condition. And this has been the case for the past 8,000 years or so.
    Love your blog!

    • Hello Karina! Thank you for your kind message. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my travel post. I wish I could have more time to explain in details but with the limited time I had I failed… Thank you for following my blog! :)

  22. Nami, what a fun trip you all had I loved seeing the photos on instagram but of course I did not see them all so, it was nice to see them. Such interesting food with so much seafood sounds great. Glad you made it home safe and now trying to catch up on things.

  23. Tina Driz

    Like like like Nami wish I was with you I have never been to Taiwan how many hours is the trip hope I can visit one of these days! The kids must have loved the trip they are adorable Nami. I also love the food except the crabs since I am allegic.. Thanks for the wonderful pictures like I am there with you I can see and smell it…

    • Thank you Tina! I’m actually allergic to crab too (I found out around mid 20s), but I enjoyed eating a little bit. :) I couldn’t resist! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed my post. Thank you for your kind feedback!

  24. What a fabulous trip, I enjoyed following you on Instagram-you’ve shared some great photos that give a taste of your amazing trip! Welcome home 😉

  25. Looks like you had a blast on your trip. I can totally relate to the 2-3 hour packing. I used to travel the world with one carryon and wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to pack until I had a baby.
    Beautiful pics by the way.

  26. What a wonderful and delicious trip!! Your kids are world travelers!! Mine have yet to be on an airplane. :) Now you have given me another place on my list of places I must visit someday. Taiwan is a Beautiful country. :) Glad to have you back. :)

  27. So beautiful, Nami! I can’t believe I lived almost 6 years in Asia and didn’t visit Taiwan. I’ll be going home to Brazil very soon, but who knows one day I will be back :)
    Lovely shots!

  28. What a great trip! I have so many comments about these pictures I don’t know where to begin. The shot from the 89th floor, I thought was from a airplane! What a city! I’d love it if Americans would ride more scooters around instead of SUVs that never go into 4 wheel drive. You and family definitely ate like royalty from my perspective. All that wonderful food are foods that I crave, but have little to no access to. Three foot and body massages?!?! You definitely traveled like royalty! Good for you – that’s what vacations are for!!! Lovely, lovely trip. Thanks for sharing the pictures and welcome home!

  29. Oh my word, these pictures are AWESOME! I’ve never been to Asia, but I am dying to go… perhaps Taiwan should be first on my list??? (Although my brother really wants to go to Japan!). Hugs Nami!!!

  30. Superwoman Nami! What a trip. Love your comments too. Wedding and not knowing most of the guests. Gosh, that food looks incredible and the view from the 89th floor? I’ll trust you it’s wonderful up there. What a place!

  31. What a wonderful and DELICIOUS trip, Nami! So many great pics – I love that opening shot (missed that on Instagram) and that definitely the most stunning subway – it looks like a nightclub :) Pork belly bun and sweet crab with rice – now I’m hungry, time for lunch!

  32. Nami, these are just amazing pictures of what must have been a fabulous trip to Taiwan! It is so much fun looking at all the pictures and you all look so happy and delighted! How wonderful!
    Hope you will have a great weekend!

  33. WOW. Love the pictures. That is one beautiful subway station. Taiwan is one country I hope to visit. I simply love Taiwanese food.

    Also, you had 500 GUESTS at you wedding?! Hope you weren`t too stressed! Haha.

  34. I love the Instagram photo collages! Your kids are just so cute Nami :) The food looks fantastic and always seems to be the highlight of any travel. I’m glad you have such a great family vacation but I’m also glad that you are back home!

  35. Dear Nami, I am so happy for you, seems like you had a wonderful time. So many culinary adventures, so many scrumptious dishes. I love to try all. But the most, I like to try the black chicken soup, always ready to try new things. Perhaps I need to visit Taiwan very soon-)) Welcome back and of course we missed you dear Nami!

  36. Dear Nami,

    Your daughter is so freakin’ cute sitting in that suitcase! Looks like you had your fair share of crab – it looks really delicious. And braised pork belly with bitter gourd would be my pick. I have yet to try Taiwan’s most famous stinky tofu :(

  37. What a wonderful family holiday! It’s so much fun to get away and share the experience with our closest family, isn’t it? Food is such a part of that experience and I can see you truly had some delicious eats!

  38. I am happy to hear that you had such a good time. The food looks so amazing. I’d be in heaven trying all these different thing. But I hope you didn’t actually eat the crab given you have an allergy… Taiwan looks like a place worth visiting. Thank you for sharing all these pictures with us.

  39. Welcome back Nami :) Hope you’ve had an amazing trip! I am SO SO SO jealous! I truly LOVE Taiwan so so so much! I’m going back in January woo hoo I can’t wait 😉 All the food, people and so much to see xox

  40. Nami, thank you for sharing these wonderful travel and food photos with us. You have made me dream of going to Taiwan now… I would give a lot to have such a beautiful porkbelly bun, not to mention discovering other delicacies you have been lucky to taste.
    I have eaten macarons from Sadaharu Aoki!!! (In Paris) He has some very original tasting ones (I think I had savoury ume once for example). What a coincidence that you mention him.
    It looks like you have had excellent holidays with your family!

  41. Oh my Gosh, gorgeous photos of your trip Nami… it does take a while to recover from that kind of travel, doesn’t it? Especially when you are moving that kind of distance with kids… even though it can be lots of fun, it’s also plenty of dislocation and jet lag for sure. Hopefully all will go smoothly as you transition back to life in SF. I’m in love with those wooden bowls/spoons – totally my style!! Cheers Nami.

  42. Lovely to see the photos Nami – glad you had a wonderful trip and are all back safely! Love the sound of a VIP room for movies… now that’s my style! 😀

  43. Ok, let me leave the 100th comment for the post! :)

    Wow! Looks like you and family had an amazing trip to Taiwan! Especially the food there. Good to be back home?

    Just wonder, your 2 lovely kids speak English, Mandarin, Japanese and Hokkien? :)

    Your holiday post makes me more looking forward to my trip to Melbourne and Tasmania next week. :)

  44. Looks like you and the family had a wonderful time in Taiwan, Nami. I have instant cravings the moment I looked at the pictures of Peking Duck and the sweet rice crab dish! Did you make it to the original Din Tai Fung? Oh boy, give me some of these authentic Chinese foods!:) Thanks for sharing your travel snippets. It was so fun looking through the pictures.

  45. Thank you for sharing your visit with us, Nami! Your photos are stunning. What a special family time. Looks like you ate well and enjoyed yourselves immensely! I’m sure it was hard to say good-bye when you left. I hope all your laundry is done now and you’re settled back into life at home. :)

    • Hi Twobacas! I only like this particular restaurant’s stinky tofu because it has a broth over the tofu and it’s easier to eat. I can imagine I can get used to eating this when I grew up eating it, just like Natto for Japanese people… I don’t really notice strange smell and like the slimy texture. 😀

  46. How wonderful to see those highlights in Taiwan, it made me proud to be a Taiwanese. BTW, it seems like your husband is from TW as well, which city is he from? I am from 彰化。

  47. Suzi

    Amazing, it is a small world! I have been reading nasi lemak lover for a while and I bumped into your blog today while searching for kurigohan recipe. And you are a friend of Nasi Lemak lover!!!! Indeed , the world is round.

    • Hi Suzi! Haha it’s a small world indeed! Sonia is such a kind and generous friend I met through blogging, and she’s been a wonderful friend! She is a great cook, not to mention! Thank you so much for your comment. :)