Posts Tagged ‘Nantou’

Tawan trip 2017

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

When Naoko and I lived in Taiwan we made tons of great, wonderful friends (Naoko was there from 1990-1996, I was there from 1992-1996, with a year off in between). Taiwanese people are great, warm-hearted people, and we loved our time there a lot. Recently, one of my students, who I taught from 1993-1996, invited us to her wedding, so of course we had to go!! She was only five years old at the time, and as cute as a button – now nearing thirty, she’s still cute as a button, and we were so honoured to be there for her special day, and to see her family, all of whom are great personal friends!!

We counted back and realised that it had been nearly eight years since we’d been to Taiwan last. Eight years!! That’s just too long to stay away from close friends, and also to deny us the delights of wonderful Taiwan – food, scenery, culture… it’s all there!

We took a red-eye to Taiwan on December 13th, arriving in the airport near Taipei at around 6:00 AM. We did a short trip to Taichung, which was on our way to Tainan, where we arrived in the evening. We spent five days in Tainan in a beautiful hotel called Vintage Maison Tainan, a converted 80-year-old house build during the Japanese colonisation era that was super funky! We attended Peggy’s wedding reception, hung out with her family, wandered the city, hung out with friends, made new friends, then headed up to Nantou. This small town is near the geographic centre of Taiwan, and it was Naoko’s first stop in Taiwan in 1990, back in the days when she couldn’t even speak a word of Chinese (she eventually learned the language, then studied in a Chinese university for four years, graduating in 1996).

After Nantou, we headed off to Taipei, where we spent two nights and only one full day wandering the streets. Great town!!

On the 21st we headed back – tired, but amazed at what a wonderful trip we could have, full of wonderful friends and great experiences. Taiwan – best forever!!

[As usual - click on the picture for a bigger, brighter version of the pic!!]

At Changi Airport – off for a new adventure!! I’m wearing my wonderful Pinholes t-shirt…

Peter Zen Pinholes

It’s Taiwan!!

Taichung

Taichung

Taichung Naoko Zen

This was a sign on the bus we took from Taoyuan airport to Taoyuan city… I’ve never seen that word “mokus” before, but apparently it’s a real English word from the early 20th century!!

Taiwan no mokus passenger

Shivering at the Taoyuan train station (regular train – not bullet train).

Naoko Zen Taichung

Taichung train station

Taichung train station

A very funky 7-Eleven!!

Taichung 7-Eleven

Taichung’s Number 5 market!!

Naoko Zen Taichung

We found a manga alley in Taichung!!

Naoko Zen Taichung

Zen Taichung

Taichung

After much wandering, our hunt for great Taiwanese food was infuriatingly difficult… then a kind local person, sensing our distress, told us where to find some great beef noodle… AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!

Taichung Naoko

Taichung food

Some awesome Taichung architecture. For those who can’t read Chinese, 美又美大厦 means something like “beautiful, and yet more beautiful building”. Cool!?

Taichung

Taichung scenery.

Taichung

Taichung

Taichung

Taichung station.

Taichung station Naoko Zen

The regular train that took us from Taichung to Tainan (not a bullet train/shinkansen).

Taichung station

First morning in Tainan, wandering around. Here’s a theatre we used to see films at – glad to see that it’s survived! Love the great theatre paintings!!

Tainan

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Ichiro coffee near the entrance to National Cheung Kong University (NCKU).

Tainan Ichiro Coffee Naoko Zen

NCKU entrance.

Tainan Cheung Kung University

Tainan Cheung Kung University

The Chinese Department, near the Chinese language centre of NCKU, where Naoko & I met.

Tainan Cheung Kung University

The pond in front of the NCKU language centre where Naoko & I met.

Tainan Cheung Kung University Peter Naoko

Tainan Cheung Kung University Peter Naoko

Tainan Cheung Kung University Zen Naoko

I like how you can see our image in the reflection of the big mirror that stands inside the doorway of the old language centre building.

Tainan Cheung Kung University Peter Naoko

IMG_8545

This old banyan tree is a local legend…

Tainan Cheung Kung University

…something happened to its neighbour, though…

Tainan Cheung Kung University

NCKU banyan tree alley.

Tainan Cheung Kung University

Famous ice cream shop on Zhenxing Alley! With swallows!!

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Our wonderful hotel – the Vintage Maison Tainan.

Tainan Vintage Maison

Tainan Vintage Maison

Tainan Vintage Maison

The devil’s chicken cutlets!!

Tainan

Tainan sightseeing.

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Enjoying the balcony of the Vintage Maison Tainan. Looks like a beer ad, doesn’t it? Actually… Taiwan beer was never far away – I don’t think I drank a different brand from the time I arrived until the time I left!!

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko

Jamie is the house cat of Vintage Maison Tainan. Apparently, he’s more famous than the place’s human owners!!

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko Jamie

Tainan Vintage Maison Jamie

Thursday night we met Bruce and the Yang family. Soooooooo cool!!

Tainan Peter Bruce

Tainan Peter Bruce Anna Peggy Judy Naoko Zen Deuch

Friday was a busy day, lots of reunions – this was our breakfast on Guohua Alley, near our hotel.

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Tainan

A classic shot of us wandering Guohua Alley. We spent lots of time there, actually…

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tea on tap!!

Tainan

Zhungzi in the making!!

Tainan

Yuki’s shop. But it’s not open yet – we’ll be back there later!!

Tainan

Back to Vintage Maison Tainan to chill with Jamie the cat!

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko Jamie

Tainan Vintage Maison

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko

Tainan Vintage Maison Naoko

Met our great buddy Marcelo Chen for some wonderful Italian food in a great little shop called Dano’s, also not far from our hotel. Thanks, Marcelo!!

Tainan Zen Naoko Marcelo

Tainan Peter Naoko Marcelo

Tainan Peter

Tainan Naoko Zen

The neighbourhood was funky too!!

Tainan

Tainan Naoko Zen Peter

Tainan

Tainan Naoko Zen Peter

Tainan Naoko Peter Marcelo

Dano’s ride!

Tainan

Maison Yoshida! With some Pinholes!!

Tainan Yuki

Tainan Yuki

Chillin’ with Yuki & Marcelo…

Tainan Yuki Peter Naoko Zen Marcelo

Tainan Yuki Zen

Awesome reunion with A-Hui and his family… love these guys so much!! A-Hui grilled some super delicious corn & chicken wings… amazing friends, amazing food. It wasn’t easy to part ways with these guys…

Tainan A-Hui

Tainan A-Hui

Tainan A-Hui

Tainan A-Hui

Tainan A-Hui Nori

Tainan A-Hui Naoko Zen

Tainan A-Hui

Tainan A-Hui Xiao Ru Peter Naoko Zen

I have pictures of Zen and Ah-Hui’s son Nori somewhere, taken in years gone by… I’ll try to post them here.

Tainan Zen Nori

Later on headed down to Anping to chill with Dave Treaner… great food, great conversation with Dr Dave, great music, great memories, great house, great dogs, even got to see Coco! One of the dogs even caught a pigeon. Superb cap to a great day!!

Tainan Peter Dave

Tainan Peter Dave

Caught some Guohua Alley food we didn’t eat the day before!

Tainan Peter Zen

Soup factory!!

Tainan

Beef soup for us.

Tainan

Found a great market!

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Shennong Street (神農街). Nice place, with some cool vintage shops!!

Tainan

Tainan

I love this cactus on 神農街 that is similar to the one we have in Singapore, but much smaller – it is even planted in a pot that looks like me!

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Chestnuts!

Tainan Naoko Zen

Temple wander…

Tainan Naoko Zen

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan Naoko Zen

Wandering Tainan…

Tainan

Tainan

Tainan

Great Danzaimian (台南擔仔麵)!!

Tainan food

Hayashi Department Store has been restored after 60 years! And it’s magnificent! We gave this a twirl, amazing place!!

Tainan Hayashi

Tainan Hayashi

Tainan Hayashi

Tainan

We walked an hour from Hayashi Department Store to find a model shop at the edge of Tainan City that didn’t have any models Zen wanted… but at least we found this cool plastic surgery clinic!!

Tainan

Found Ah-Hui’s brother Zai Zai, who now runs an awesome sweets shop. Had some ba baobing… amazing food! And so wonderful to see Zai Zai again after all these years!!

Tainan Peter Zai Zai Naoko

Andy’s shop!! When we lived in Tainan, our favourite bar (bar none) was Andy Liao’s Lau Ba (老吧)… which became Jazz Pawn Shop (爵士當舖). This is Andy’s new Thai restaurant/bar. We saw it by day, and then we also…

Tainan Naoko Zen Andy

…saw it by night!

Tainan Andy Naoko Zen

Tainan Naoko Andy

Tainan Zen Andy

Tainan Andy

ANDY!!

Tainan Andy

Well…!!

After exploring the perimeters of Tainan to seek models, only to be disappointed, Zen returned to the hotel vicinity and found what he wanted just on his doorstep, at a great model shop near the Vintage Maison Tainan. On his first visit, Zen found a 4o-year-old German tank model, but he thought there might be even greater treasures further afield, only to be disappointed (how often are we deluded in this way!?!). Now, on a third visit to the shop near our hotel, he found a Russian tank model that he wanted. This time I dropped in and met Mr Model Shop himself, and his lovely wife, and three daughters, all wonderful people. New friends!!

Tainan Zen tank model shop

Peggy’s wedding reception – the day is finally here!!

Tainan Peter Naoko Peggy's wedding

The roof of the wedding hall.

Tainan Peggy's wedding

Peggy & her husband Fengming’s high school uniforms, now shaped as pillows. How cool is this!?

Tainan Peggy's wedding

Great day on the course…

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter Naoko Zen

Tainan Peggy's wedding Naoko Zen

With Peggy & Judy’s cousin Vicki, who was also my student at one point. She’s now a tour guide and her English is flawless!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter

Tainan Peggy's wedding

A reunion with my ex-students Rita & Sandy!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter Naoko Sandy Rita

Peggy & Fengming came out at 12:17 on December 17th… here’s a screen capture from my phone of the time…

Tainan Peggy's wedding

Wedding reception food!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding food

Tainan Peggy's wedding food

Peter & Rita and her daughter!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter Rita

With Sandy and her family.

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter Naoko Sandy

Double happiness!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding

Tainan Peggy's wedding

Peggy & Judy kept this crazy poster I sent to them 20 years ago – it still hangs on the wall of their old room!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter

Judy and the family chinchilla!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Judy

Family pooch Pokka was out-of-control amazing. What a dog!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Naoko Zen

Amazing Jiali hot pot! Note the ever-present Taiwan Beer!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding food

Jiali friends – best people forever!!

Tainan Peggy's wedding Peter Naoko Zen Bruce Annd, Peggy Judy Deuch

Old times – a pic of me in 1997, with Judy & Peggy Yang, Rita, Dick & Sandy, with the youngest Yang, Superman (Josh), standing by in the very front row… love these guys.

Tainan heritage Peter Sandy Rita Dick Judy Superman

Guohua Alley, as featured on the cover of…

Tainan

“101 things to do in Taiwan”, a travel guide published in Japan that features the same shot!!

101 Things to do in Taiwan Guohua Jie Tainan

Hanging out in the Vintage Maison Tainan with Brutus’ “101 Things To Do…” guide.

Tainan Vintage Maison Peter Naoko Zen

Tainan Vintage Maison Peter Naoko Zen

Going down Anping way to eat our most favouritest dohua!!

Tainan Anping

Tainan Anping Naoko Superman Judy

This is dohua! It’s a light, custardy dessert tofu that can be flavoured. It’s yummy, and this shop is just around the corner from the house where Naoko & I lived from 1994-1996.

Tainan Anping food

This is the house where Naoko & I lived from 1994-1996.

Tainan Anping Peter Naoko Zen

Tainan Anping

The school across the street from the house where Naoko & I lived from 1994-1996.

Tainan Anping

Anping beach, with Judy & her brother Superman (Josh)!

Tainan Anping Naoko Zen Judy Superman

Tainan Anping Peter Naoko Zen

Tainan Anping

Saying goodbye (for now) to the Yangs – Judy & her brother Superman (Josh).

Tainan Peter Naoko Zen Judy Superman

On the road with Mei, heading from Tainan to Nantou!

Nantou Naoko Zen Mei

Zen at a water filling station in Nantou.

Nantou Zen

Thai food with Mei & Xiansheng!

Nantou food

Nantou Peter Naoko Zen Mei Xiansheng

Barbershop pic with Mei & A-Mah!

Nantou Peter Naoko Zen Mei

Nantou morning walk…

Nantou Naoko Zen

Nantou

Nantou

Nantou

Nantou

Somehow I managed to get this pic of the Nantou market without a constant flurry of pedestrians and buzzing scooters… kind of makes Nantou look like a quiet town (which it wasn’t!).

Nantou

Great breakfast with Mei!

Nantou Naoko Zen Mei food

Nantou food

Nantou food

Funny shop!

Nantou

Leaving Nantou – see you later, A-Mah!

Nantou Naoko Mei

Pineapple cake at Sunny Hills…

Nantou food

… so good!!

Nantou food

Nantou Peter Naoko Mei

Old-style three-sided village house in Nantou.

Nantou

Nantou

Nantou

Nantou

In Taipei for lunch with Mei & her daughter Christy (Debbie).

Taipei Peter Naoko Zen Mei Christy Debbie

Taipei alleys looking for food!

Taipei

Taipei food Peter

Taipei food Naoko

Taipei food Naoko

Taipei food

Taipei

Hotel room feast!

Taipei food

Final day in Taiwan, a tour of Taipei, starting at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei Naoko Zen

Fur guy on the move in the Chiang Kai Shek memorial square!

Taipei fur guy

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Military guard – we later got to see the noontime changing of the guard!

Taipei

The roof of the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall.

Taipei

Taipei Naoko Zen

Taipei

The changing of the guard!!

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

In another part of Taipei – Dihua Street (迪化街).

Taipei Naoko Zen

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei Zen

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Longshan Temple. One foreign lady is taking a tripod selfie, lol. Eccentric!?

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

Pepper buns near Longshan Temple! Great taswte!! Grouchy staff, though…

Taipei

Taipei Naoko Zen

Taipei Peter

Taipei food

Historical lane… very nice!!

Taipei

Taipei

Sunset in Taipei.

Taipei

Wandering around the National Taiwan University campus.

Taipei

Taipei

Gotta wait 81 minutes for the next bus!

Taipei

 

Taipei.

Taipei

Taipei 101 at night…

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Peter Naoko

Taipei 101 Peter Naoko

Taipei 101 Naoko

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

Taipei 101 Naoko

Taipei 101

Taipei 101… no, Taipei 89… no, Taipei 90!!

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

Taipei Naoko

Taiwan teacher’s college.

Taipei

Taipei

National Taiwan University wander on our last morning in Taiwan, this time with Naoko & Zen.

Taipei

Taipei Naoko

Taipei Naoko Zen

Taipei Naoko

Taipei

Taipei

Some cool decorations at the international airport at Taoyuan.

Taipei

Taipei

Taipei

After we landed, we spent some moments in confusion wondering if the supermarkets that is/was/used to be in the airport might still be open. Marvelled at the “upgrade” project that made us wander a maze to get to the taxi port… wow… can’t wait for things to get better!! The next day Naoko had to work, so I cleaned the house while Zen rested (he’d been sick since Wednesday). And in the evening Dave Hale came by!! Great visit!!! But that’s another story…