Taiwan : Taoyuan, Miaoli, Taichung

2014 January.

Sponsor : Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Taiwan, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Spring 2014, just 2 weeks before Chinese New Year, I received a call from the editor of Leisure Travel Chinese edition asking me if I would like to go on assignment with her to Taiwan and I said “Yes!”


After a nice breakfast at Chuto Plaza Hotel in Taoyuan city, which is located near Taiwan Taoyuan International, we drove to Tao Yuan Shien Valley Garden.


Tao Yuan Shien Valley Garden

 This place is located on a high attitude.



The gardener’s cat sitting at the main door of his house on a small hill keeping watch over the garden.


Wish cards.


 This is a place for those who love flowers and gardening.


 Tulips! They look so unreal! LOL. I think that’s because I don’t really get to see such fresh flowers back in Malaysia.



This garden has a wide variety of plants ranging from tulips, plum trees, cheery blossoms, yellow maples, and pine groves. There are also herb gardens, the Chieh-tung Aged Tree, the Intelligent Dog Fall, a stream wading area, and a series of stone sculptures.


 Plum flower.




You can smell the fresh scent of the flowers around you as you walk around. Bumble bees are everywhere enjoying themselves with the flowers. You can hear them as you walk around the garden.





 I never shot so many photos of flowers in my life!












Tao Yuan Shien Valley Garden is one of the location where they filmed the famous Taiwanese movie “Warrior of the Raibbows : Seediq Bale“.


 These are cherry blossom trees. But unfortunately I got there a little too early so they were not in full bloom yet.


 Well, at least some of the trees have bloomed.









 A map of the garden.



 The owner and her doggie saying bye to us.


It’s time to feast! Lunch in Miaoli county. Taiwan Tourism Bureau has been showing me such great hospitality since before I boarded my flight in KLIA. They even took me for lunch at KLIA.


 Stir fried pork layered pork with spring onion and taufu. This dish really reminded me of my grandma’s cooking.


 Stir fried cabbage.


 Ginger fried taufu.


 Black pepper stir-fried chicken.


Deep friend sweet potato with black sesame. This is really yummie. The smooth sweet taste of the warm sweet potato blends very nicely with the batter and black sesame.


 Pork stew.


 Clear cabbage soup.



 This restaurant has been around for generations. It is one of the best restaurant in this county.



I came across this fat meow at the parking area near the restaurant. He seems to be in a hurry going somewhere.



Nan Zhuang Old Street in Miaoli county

The laundry stream at Nan Zhuang Old Street in Miaoli county. Back in the old days this is where all the housewives do their laundry and catch up on gossip. Even today, some of the old folks still do their laundry here. This laundry stream marks the starting point of the Nan Zhuang old street. Nan Zhuang old street is on the side of the hill and the fresh cold water from this stream flows from the mountain.



 Nan Zhuang is a town consisting mainly of Hakka people, Atayal and Saisiyat aborigines.


 Here you’ll find an abundance of Hakka and aboriginal delicacies and snacks.



Chilly paste.


Come give it a try. It’s very nice.

Mushroom, Gui bamboo shoots and trout are some of Nan Zhuang’s most treasured resources.


 Traditional “piah”.


 Gigantic “piah”.



Traditional candy.



The streets are so old and are built on a hill so most of the shops here are multi leveled.



The apek (old man) transporting his goods through the narrow street uphill with his bike.


Gifts and souvenir shop.


Local delicacies such as tea and herbal drinks on display.



 A mini bike.




The Nan Zhuang Old Post Office. This post office marks the end of the Nan Zhuang old street. Built during the Japanese colonization era the Nan Zhuang old post office was built in Japanese style. It has been renovated recently. Built mostly of wood and it is one of the ten most treasured historical architecture of Miaoli county.


 Visitors can buy postcards and you get to stamp it yourselves before sending it.



Vandy my editor posing for camera. Well she didn’t know I took this. LOL.


Nan Zhuang old street is built on the side of a hill.



After walking uphill it’s time to chill and have some nice Taiwanese delicacy. Consists of barley, peach fruit and red bean on top of shaved ice and topped with a bit of syrup. This is a popular stop for visitors to Nan Zhuang old street. Served in a Japanese style old wooden house, this shaved ice Taiwanese delicacy cost about TWD 50 per bowl.


Here’s a local Tawainese chick for you guys who wanna see some Taiwanese delicacy.


 With the editorial team from different publications.


 Where would you like to go?



 Fengjia Night Market, Taichung.

Here we are in Fengjia Night Market Taichung. FengJia night market is also known as FengJia shopping town, located next to Feng Chia University in Xitun district in Taichung. My uncle actually studied engineering and graduated from that university a long time ago.


 You can practically find anything and everything here!


 And scooter helmet can be found any where in Taiwan. All kinds of design.


Fengjia night market is a huge night market spread out along several streets in all directions. It can get a bit confusing as there are so many stalls. You just don’t know where to start. And the food there is so cheap.



 My editor Vandy and Wan Shin trying out grilled squid.


Taiwan is renowned for it’s diverse  street cuisine. Fresh and huge variety of Taiwanese delicacies at budget prices. When you visit Taiwan, the market is a destination you must not miss.




 Seafood are plenty in Taiwan and they are very fresh and amazingly cheap.


 Lots of grilled and fried squid.


 Squid’s everywhere you turn.


Can be called “sotong” land already. Nearly 4 out of 10 food stalls are selling squids. Squid this size back in Kuala Lumpur if you can even find it would cost you around MYR 30 each. Here in Taichung it cost about TWD 80 ( approx. MYR 8 ).



Some stalls have cute Taiwanese chicks with cute voice. Taichung is kinda like the Ipoh of Malaysia. A county that produced a lot of beautiful girls.





Night market is a magnet for tourist as well as the locals. In Malaysia we go to the hawker stalls for dinner, in Taiwan they go to the night market for dinner. It’s fun!






3 of these meat sticks for TWD 100 ( approx. MYR 10 ). You can choose what spice to add to it before they deep fried it for you.


 More squid.


Actually I wanna buy this squid. LOL. In the night market, the stalls that has this orange “Night Market” sign are the stalls that participate in ValueStar Month campaign. These cash coupons are provided by Taiwan Tourism Bureau for foreign tourists visiting Taiwan. They gave me a stack of cash coupon worth TWD 600 ( approx. MYR 60 ).


And the cash coupon looks like this.


Taiwanese street food consists of a lot of grilled and deep fried stuff.


As well as boiled.


 This reminds me of lok lok.


 Cloths are cheap.




Take note on how clean the streets are! And this is a night market. Compare this to the night market in Malaysia. LOL. In Malaysia you can’t walk along the night market without stepping or kicking some rubbish on the floor.


Taiwanese really keep their streets clean. I was told by my guide and driver that the locals would actually hold on the rubbish until they come across a rubbish bin before they throw the rubbish. If they can’t find a bin, they will take the rubbish home and throw it into their bin at home. In the night market, the city council provide rubbish bags in the middle of the streets when the market is on. You can find a huge rubbish bag every 50 meters on the street at the night market.


 Note the white rubbish bag on the bottom right of this pix.


I bought the Doraemon one for TWD 700 ( approx. MYR 70 ). Most shops sell it at TWD 800. I got a good discount from the really cute sales girl.

It’s TWD 790 each, but for you I’ll make an acception TWD 700 for you. Just you yea! coz i know you’ll look really cute in it! You must buy it for me.

Well, she probably says that to everyone. LOL.


 When is it going to end. It’s so long and so many streets to cover.



 The best way to get around the city in Taiwan is by scooters. Everyone here ride scooters. And chicks looks so cute when they ride one.


 More squid?


Scooters every where!



Cute beds for doggie and cats.


 Monk asking for donation.


 Toy doggies are common in Taiwan.



A Taiwanese couple admits, “We rather have doggies than children. When a child becomes a teenager, they’ll talk back at you and give you more stress than anything else. A dog doesn’t and it’ll love you unconditionally.”


張希嘻 and her boss at a handbag shop.


I went into this shop with my editor and helped her decide which bag to buy with her cash coupon and this cute girl named 張希嘻 came up to me and asked if I’m Japanese. LOL. She very talkative and gives good customer service. Even my editor likes her. She even ask if I’m free to go out with her the next evening. LOL. Well too bad, the next day I’ll be at another county in Taiwan.


 Now this is the toilet in Fun Star mall in Fengjia night market. LOL.



This is Fun Star mall.


 Such chubby cheeks!

 The moment I saw this bunny with big specs it reminds me of a friend of mine Estelle. Left pix. LOL.


 Taiwan is rated as the country with the most scooters in the world.


 One of the most convenient ways to get around quickly in a congested city.



Guess how many scooters are there?



Pages from Travel Leisure Chinese edition (issue 038) where my images were featured.



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