Hello from Kaohsiung, Taiwan! I’m currently visiting Mr. JOC’s family and my whole family is here to attend his brother’s wedding this weekend. I want to share some pictures of my trip so far since we’ve been here for the past several days. Some of these pictures were shared on my Instagram.
Breakfast in Taiwan
Taiwan street vendor breakfast is amazing. There are so many breakfast shops and vendors on the streets open in the morning. Typically, you see a line of office workers arriving on their motorcycle to pick up their breakfast on the way to their work.
The foods are inexpensive compared to the US standard (about US $5 to feed the entire family!), and there are many kinds of breakfast to choose from. Some include fried potstickers, scallion pancakes, steamed buns (my favorite is one with stir fried vegetable filling (菜包)), baked sesame seed coated cakes, egg pancakes, and my favorite Taiwanese-style club sandwich! Don’t forget to pick up milk tea or soy milk made fresh. Every day I look forward to waking up in the morning to go get breakfast while I’m in Taiwan.
Food in Taiwan
If you come to Taiwan, you must visit Din Tai Fung. Kaohsiung, the 2nd largest city in Taiwan where we are staying, finally opened a branch last year. My all time favorite item on the menu is Crab Xiao Long Bao. I think this is one of the best food in the world, soft tender crab and meat filling soaked in a savory broth and wrapped in very thin skin. The broth is super hot so don’t try to swallow in 1 bite. Break the dumpling skin first to drink the soup and enjoy it with some vinegar and ginger. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.
There are several dishes that Mr. JOC likes to eat when we’re in Taiwan. These salty rice cake served with warm thick soy gravy on top (picture on bottom left) is one of them (not my favorite though. shhh!). I like the noodle soup called Dan Zai Mien which is a popular noodles originated in Tainan (台南), the city north of Kaohsiung. And when you’re in a tropical country, shaved ice (with mango and mango ice cream) is a must have!
Sightseeing in Kaohsiung
There are a few places we like to visit when we’re in Kaohsiung. Dragon Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔) is a fun place to visit with children. They are twin pagoda towers with a dragon and tiger at the bottom, and you enter the tower from the mouth of the dragon or tiger. The 7-storytowers have a double spiral staircase, one each for ascending and descending visitors, and have a 360 degree view at the deck from each level. From the deck, you can see many temples, Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣), the Confucian Temple (孔廟), and the Lotus Lake.
Kaohsiung Lantern Festival
This was my 2nd time seeing Kaohsiung Lantern Festival and the opening fireworks were quite spectacular. We parked the car under the Ambassador Hotel and saw the fireworks right outside the hotel. The kids were so excited as this was probably the closest they have been to fireworks. However, I was quite disappointmented as there weren’t too many lantern displays compared to the Lantern Festival I saw 9 years ago.
What We’ve Been Doing in Kaohsiung
My personal highlight of the past few days was to get to meet my Aussie food blogger friend, Daisy of Never Too Sweet. Who would imagine that two people – one living in Melbourne, the other in San Francisco – see each other in Kaohsiung, Taiwan?! We didn’t even realize that we could be in the same place until Daisy saw my Instagram. She is exactly how I imagined, super sweet and nice! We had a lovely chat over afternoon tea in Grand Hi Lai Hotel.
My daughter will be a flower girl at my brother in law’s wedding and she’s so excited! Kids also loved spending time with their grandpa in his hospital. The kids (and I) are having fun seeing interesting things on the street such as ducks being dried before being baked. Mr. JOC and I like to go to foot/whole body massage at night after kids go to sleep. When you’re in Taiwan, try the famous foot massage! It’s quite painful but you feel really good after. There are motorcycles everywhere and once in a while you see a family of 4 riding on one motorcycle!
I hope you enjoy these photos. If you want to read a little bit more about our Taiwan Trip 2012, click here.
Hope you stay in touch with me on Instagram for all the latest updates from Taiwan!