Tag Archives: Food

Globalization has come to Tainan’s Night Markets.

Aren’t night markets just amazing? It the first thing you gotta do when you visit a city in Taiwan! You can eat, drink, shop and even play some fair games.

They are crowded and noisy but at the same time lively and fun. One can never leave the night market with an empty stomach or a frown. And they are one of the things that throughout the years that I have lived in Taiwan, they never changed. Sure some of the store aren’t there any more and there are new ones instead, but the culture of the night market never changed.

As amazing as the can be, there was always one tiny thing that is slightly annoying. It is really bad when you first come to Taiwan, and then, with time one learns to accept the reality, and that is, vendors are not going to speak English. Off all the stores, maybe just around 10% of them have English menu, and the for rest you just gotta use your ability of sight and smell to know what they are selling. This is not such a terrible thing, since it works most of the times, but also it happens very often that one can misjudge a certain food. This could be disgusting or tragic, disgusting becase perhaps something you though was going to be delicious isn’t, and tragic because you restrain yourself from eating something you might actually really enjoy.

But guess what? Tainan is changing!!!

A few weeks back we were invited to an activity. It was supposed to be a foreigners friendly night. We were told that they were going to take us to the night market and give us some money to spend there. Well, it is a free ride and free money, so let’s go. What we didn’t know is that the best was yet to come!!!

 

It was not only the foreigners friendly night, but the beginning of a new era for Tainan night markets. As it turn out the Tainan’s city government, with the support of STUST (Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology ) organized a program where students help night market vendors to translate their menu into English. The students get to practice their English while contributing to society and the vendors get their menus in English for free.

Sadly some of the vendors refused to take part of this initiative indicating that they do not need it. In some cases it is because they already had English menus. Either the case, from now on, the foreigner friendly stores will have a flag indicating the English service.

 

This service is only found in Tadong Night Market (Open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday), WuSheng Night Market (Open on Wednesday) and the Flower Garden Night Market (Open on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)

Congratulations and thanks are in orders to the organizers of this service.

I am personally proud and deeply happy to see this happening.

Just like this Tainan, this beautiful city, is taking part of the inevitable globalization.


Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed  my article.

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Languedoc – Prieuré Saint Hippolyte

A wonderful movie night, or might I say news night with the gang. And by gang I mean Grexxen and theSaltyAvocado.

The selection of this wine was very simple, we wanted a Rosé wine, and this was the only one that we had’t try that looked good. So we took it!

Continue reading Languedoc – Prieuré Saint Hippolyte

Poem – Bulgogi

 

This a poem from the Challenger: SaltyAvocado, the words is “Bulgogi”. It was an interestingly funny topic, because it is a wrap prepared with Korean seasoned meat sold at COSTCO. It is a very tasty and very filling, but the best part is how cute “Bulgogi” sounds.

Not only I was challenge by this word, but also Grexxen, so let’s see how he does.


It is a poem on the shape of: AABB

and now I give you

 

Bulgogi

 

This topic as random as it may appear

is a challenge word from a person son dear.

Proposed by this girl nice and sweet

who knew how to make Grex and I compete.

 

Bulgogi is the meat in this wrap so good

that you wouldn’t believe it is Korean food.

Cheese and seasoning are mixed inside,

something this good should spread worldwide.

 

At the sound of the word, one has got to smile

that’s why I am making this poem freestyle.

But the more I write I want to stop and get to Costco

and with my dear friends share a Bulgogi pronto.

 


Liked it? What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and why not become a challenger?

Let me know!

 

 

Eating at Nantai St.

Luuuuuuuuuuuunch time, but what should you eat? There is a great variety of food in Nantai St. that you just gotta love. But still, between all these wonderful choices you might not know where to go. Let me help you a little, here is a list of the restaurants I like best. I take into consideration the price, quality of food and cleanness. Let me know if you also agree with this list.

Before starting the list I want to make room for a special guest.

AINA

This is not really for lunch, but they are open from 6am to 2pm, and they do have lunch selections. But their breakfast is so good that it is perfectly fine to have it as brunch.

Between the copier store in the corner and Yo-yo.

Some people call it the “triangle store”, due to the food triangle at the back. They have good service, good food, they keep clean and they have English menu. [I know ’cause I translated it =). ]

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I personally like the Chinese Omelette with ham and corn. But why not try the one with bacon and cheese?  They also have the american breakfast and the delicious, never disappointing club sandwiches.

If you are looking for something sweet, they also have jam, chocolate and a luring coconut butter, you gotta try it.

If you are just looking for breakfast and Aina is close, try the store in the front. They are also good, and also have English menu.

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This is my Friend Jessie, posing with the triangle.

And now,

Top 5 of great place for lunch at Nantai St.

5. Turkey Store.

It is very easy to miss, since there there is only a small turkey in their menu. But they sell these excellent Turkey sliced meat, with 4 different types of vegetable that you can chose. Very healthy, specially because you can ask them to give you more vegetables instead of rice.

4. Honey Pork

They sell exactly that. There is a nice piece of fried pork and they cover it with a honey sauce. You can chose 3 types of vegetables. And It only costs NTD 60. In their menu it is the first option.

They also have Honey Chicken, but I usually do not take that one, because it comes with bones.

3. Dumplings store

This is a chain of stores. They have the very famous dumplings and the absolutely delicious fried dumplings. Between the options they have Korean kimchi flavor, curry and corn.   I like to take them with some noodles, either in soup or dried.

I am sure you will love this place.


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2. Hot Plate

Actually there are many names international students refer to this restaurant. The cat’s place, the wooden restaurant or hot plate.

I fell in love with this place with their chicken gratin rice with mushroom sauce. But one of the favorite selections are the sizzling noodles with different sauces and chicken or meat.

One of the things I love about this place it the service, they have English menu and there is corn soup for you to take. They also bring you a nice pitcher of black tea, and overall the owner is very nice.

Special Honours

Italian place

It is not really Italian, and the Eiffel tower in their wall, makes you doubt what kind of food they were aiming for. If you got there expecting Italian food, you will end up disappointing, but if what you want is a good meal, then it is your place.

The reason I did not rank it higher is because it is probably the most expensive of all. Notice that in all the other restaurants you will spend between NTD 60 – 90, but this Italian place is more than NTD 100.

They have good curry, nice puff soup and one of the few places that have western cutlery. The place is nice, clean and it has aircon. You won’t be disappointed

1.Purple store.

They have great variety, and prices. Noodles, spaghetti, fried rice, instant noodle, gratin rice, clamp soup. All of these in a nice, clean restaurant. I will not speak anymore, as just talking about this place makes me hungry, you just gotta try it.

Other nice restaurants around Nantai

Pizza bar.


Not really pizza, more like bread with tomato sauce and cheese, but the place is really nice.

Restaurants a little farther Away

Fried Rice Behind S Building.

It is a little hidden and not many people know about it, but it has THE BEST fried rice around.  Don’t miss it.

Steak

It is on the main street, sizzling hot plate with noodles and real meat. You’ll love it.

Date

Well, it is absolutely a great place, I should rank it as the best, but it is way more fancier that anything else around, of course more expensive, but it is worthy.

Japanese Restaurant

It is on the way to the hot pot. It is not between my favorites, but I many of my friends like it, so why not give it a try.

The Hot Pot

If it is your first time in Asia, you can’t miss eating Hot Pot. They will bring the food raw and give you hot pot where you can cook it. This particular hot pot is perfect for first timers, because you can order just what you want to eat. You will love this place at the same time that you will be really full.

This awesome place opens at 4 pm and closes at 2 am

There are so many awesome places around here, and the list is not over, I will be soon posting about late night snacks! Don’t miss it.

I have to admit, my friends and I had a lot of fun for the sake of this post. So I hope you enjoy eating at Nantai St. as much as we do.

Special thanks to: Grexxen and theSaltyAvocado for posing for me in the pictures and accompany throughout this post.


Would you rank the restaurants in the same way? Tell in me in the comments. And now that we are at it, why not go on and FOLLOW this amazing blog. LIKE?

Chenin Blanc – Obikwa

My dear friend Jessie, is an exclusive white wine lover, and she got this one for the Eurovision 2017 night. She had previously introduced us to the Obikwa Moscato, which is a very good one, but with a bottle as beautiful as this, the Chenin Blanc is impossible to ignore.

Continue reading Chenin Blanc – Obikwa

Origin Denomination – Marquis Du Village

This was not specifically wine night, but it was “Black Mirror” night. We started this series while drinking Cuvée Pierre – Minerva. But it was not possible to finish all the seasons in one night. For installment 2, we were accompanied by Marquos du Village, a satisfying origin denomination.

Of dark color and deep smell. Very similar to a shiraz merlot, but fruitier. There isn’t too much to say, but that it was a good companion for the night as it was smooth and soothing.

Fruitiness: 4.1/5

Sourness: 4.0/5

Tannin: 3.6/5

Style: Light – Medium

The overall SunShower rating is

3.9/5


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You may also be interested in these ones:

Origin Denomination – Norte Sur

Origin Denomination – Pierre de Montmaurels

Chardonnay – Andean

The Andean Malbec was a thrilling experience and when I found its counterpart, a Chardonnay, I knew I had to try too.

This was the first time I had a Chardonnay, so I cannot compare with others, but I have heard how good this type of wine is, so I had double high expectations.

I wasn’t disappointed, none of my friends were. Just by smelling the cork you can tell that this wine is promising.

It smelled as something serious and sophisticated. I imagine myself in an elegant place with a gourmet menu.  This is the type of wine you want to have for a intense conversation, or even over business.

It’s coloration is darker than other white wines I have tasted, but just add to its elegance.

The taste was well balanced, and just like the smell, it is was sophisticated.

Sweetness: 3.9/5

Fruitiness: 4.0/5

Body: 4.5/5

Found in: Carrefour

The overall SunShower rating is:

4.5

Click this link to read more about the Wine Ranks and Specs

Fo Guang Shan  – Dual Growth

Say good words – Do good deeds – Thinking good thoughts

The first time I went to Fo Guang Shan was in the Summer of 2013. Dad was visiting me in Taiwan for a few weeks and I wanted to make his stay unforgettable. While I was looking for places that we could go I remembered that a few friends had shown me some magnificent pictures about this place. I have been in Taiwan since 2009 and I wondered why I did not hear too much about it before and as it turned out, it was new!!! It opened in December 2011.  Well, at least the Memorial Center did. The monastery was built in 1967, but until recent years they decided to be open for the public.

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Buddha Memorial Center
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Main Shrine at Fo Guang Shan Monastery

I have experience the temple in two different ways, as a tourist and as meditation practitioner.

  1. Discovering with Dad – Tourist

Of my first visit I remember being dumbfounded by the vastness and beauty of the place, there is no denying of that. But I also have a strong memory that it was sunny and very hot. What I am trying to say is the real reason I enjoyed that day was not because of the place but because I was with dad and we were both excited taking pictures at the details. Here are some pictures of things you perhaps did not notice.

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However, something happened that day, that without knowing at that time, changed my life. Dad and I were exploring the main temple and we noticed that at entrance on the right side there is a table with some brochures, candles and other paraphernalia on it. Behind it, there was a smiling venerable. (a “venerable” is alike a monk, but they do not use this word, so I will be refereeing to them as “Venerable”). She saw us and with a friendly tone started talking to us with her best English. Small talk at the beginning and the then she handed me a brochure of information of a monthly retreat for foreigners. I did not pay much attention, but dad seamed to encourage the idea. I left the temple with a “maybe I will come”.

The coming months I forgot about the temple but the idea of going back and experience that retreat lingered in my head. Then it happened, one of my best friend told me he found about this activity and, from one day to the other, decided to join. He told me all about it and I was fascinated with his experience. I had to go. Without hesitation we signed out for the next one, which would be held in March 2014.

  1. Re discovering of the temple  – Meditation

For three days we experience the monastic life. Waking up at 5 am and then quickly getting ready for joining the morning chants in the main temple. There was a sea of people, but it did not matter because everybody moved in order and being mindful of each of their movements. When the chants were over, we were directed to the main dining room, where more than 2000 people could fit, however that morning we were no more than 300. Everybody entered in order and in silence and at 6 o’clock they served the breakfast. For 15 min nobody spoke and just focused on the first meal of the day. At 6:15 everybody was finished and in less than a minute everything was picked up and cleaned. Impressive.

All the meals were served and carried out this effective and thoughtful manner. Every course was vegetarian, needless to say, and it was deliciously well done.

During the morning, we shared the temple chores with the venerables. We got simple things like planting flowers, so it was a beautiful task. In the afternoon and before dinner we were taught meditation, starting out from the most known one, sitting meditation, to walking meditation and even meditation white drinking tea. We laughed, we learned, we grew, we became better. No one told to me change religion or to forget mine, or that I was wrong, we were there to experience and learn just what we wanted, or let’s say, what we needed, and they respected that.

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Flowers at the Temple
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Helping plant flowers at the temple

 

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Sitting Meditation

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Meditation while drinking tea

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Discussing, learning, asking questions, experiencing life at Fo Guang Shan
  1. Breathing – Meditation

What can I say? Once was just not enough, so on December of the same year, I joined my second retreat. This time, it was more focused in developing meditation skills and instead of doing so many activities, we mostly stayed in the meditation hall.

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Meditation at the hall, keeping silent for 3 days

This time we were asked to remain silent and be truthfully mindful and aware of everything we were doing. This time we went meditation in different parts of the temple. I do not remember the names of all the places, but here are some pictures for you see.

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Meditation at the Buddha Land

It was beautiful, I felt so much in contact with nature, with trees, with the birds, with the wind and of course, in contact with myself. Remembering to breath, being aware of the involuntary movements of my body, realising that I am in control. Relaxing, letting go, breathing, seeing life from a different angle, living, existing, breathing. Yes! Breathing, it is amazing how we can easily forget to properly do such simple task. Realising that we are all connected, that this blog is here because you would read it, and because you would read it, I sat today to write it, and so you affected me and I have affected you.

  1. Chinese New Years – Tourist

The experience was life-changing and mind opening. I am not changing my religion, but I adopt what is useful for me from other beliefs. The next retreat I was able to join was the one held for Chinese New Year in 2015, the year of the lamb. There were less teachings and close to no meditation activities, but the temple offered a big meal to celebrate the new year and there were, parades and lanterns all over. Definitely a hectic time for the temple. Also, if one was able to visit all the key places of the temple, they would give you a temple souvenir, which I still keep very dear.

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Lanterns, Parades and other activities during Chinese New Year

After that, I was convinced that the best way to spend CNY for foreigners, was to go to the temple. So next year, in 2016, the year of the monkey, I took mom, who was visiting me, along with two other friends to Fo Guang Shan. I was finally able to tell mom all what I have seen and explain all what I have learned.

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Discovering the temple with Mom
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Chinese New Year Dinner with mom and a few other friends

We walked around the temple more than once and experience the greatness of the place. Then, at night, fireworks. Do you think the temple is beautiful? Now imagine it being illuminated with fireworks! It is simple breathtaking. The newest part of the temple was recently completed, so we were able to take pictures from this new angle.

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Buddha memorial centre from newly open area

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The retreats were an amazing experience and I wish I could do them again, but the temple has stopped doing these activities for foreigners. It is only held once a year during the month of July and it lasts for 1 month. It would be a little hard for me to join, but I will never forget what I lived and learned.

  1. One more time – Tourist

Now it is 2017. I was happy to hear that some of my foreigner friends were looking forward to go, and without thinking too much I joined the group. We were a big group, we were 22!!!

It felt good to see all those places again. The memorial center is impressive, but my favorite part is the monastery, after all that is where I spent most of the time during the retreats. I remembered doing meditation in the Buddha land, the mesmerizing morning chants in the main temple and the secluded little shrine on the top of the hill. I hadn’t been to that little shrine since the first retreat. It is a little far away and the road is a little steep. When I finally reached it, the venerable there, offered me and my friend who was walking with me, water and candies. She even turned on some relaxing music, just for us. The 10 minutes that I spent there brought back flashbacks not only of my experiences but also of the lessons learnt.

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I am sure you have probably seen that Fo Guang Shan is a must-see in Taiwan, but if at the time you read this the retreats are being held again, Fo Guang Shan is a must-experience in your life!

 


 

Thank you for reading, here is an origami crane for you

 

Convenient Taiwan

If I have to describe Taiwan in one word I would chose the word “convenient”. Not only because the locals use this word to describe almost everything here, but also because once you come here and experience it, you will realize you have been missing “convenience” in your life.

Last year I met some friends from different parts of the world and they claimed they do not have/use this word in their language. But that they started living with this word once they came to Taiwan. Literally and figuratively.

If you have been here before, or overhead someone talking about this beautiful island, then you are probably aware of the convenience stores, such as 7-11 or Family Mart, literally at every corner, and open 24/7 every single day of the year.  So if I was to include them in the list then everybody would agree that they would rank the most convenient feature in Taiwan and the list would go something like this:

Taiwan’s No. 1 convenient feature:

The convenience stores.  They provide a little of everything solving you life in every possible way………………………… end. 

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But that is not a very fair list. I will, however, make a list of the convenient features you can do, of get at a convenient store. I will probably focus on the 7-11 since it is my personal favorite.  In the meantime let me rank  the other convenient features of Taiwan’s life.

So here it goes, my TOP convenient features of Taiwan.

5. Public Transportation.  

Let me start from the biggest to the smallest. There are 4 major international airports and 14 other minor and domestics ones in an island that is only 400 km in length. So you can practically fly anywhere in Taiwan. But let’s face it, flying might not be that convenient. That is why there is the the High Speed Rail, train and buses. You can purchase tickets online or with an app with your credit card  or by cash at the station or even better at a 7-11.

Here is the HSR link:

https://www.thsrc.com.tw/index_en.html?force=1

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But if you chose to get the ticket at 7-11 you will even get a discount coupon at Mr. Donuts or Starbucks. Now! isn’t that convenient?  You can also take intercity buses. They all have Wi-Fi, USB charging port, bathroom, and some even have massage chairs and movies.

City transportation is also convenient specially at Taipei, Kaohsiung and Taichung, where they have buses and MRT (mass rapid transit, al known as subway, underground or however you want to call it. It runs well in Taipei and Kaohsiung but it is still under construction in Taichung).  Just get your “Easy-Card” and you are good to go. You can recharge it at the station or guess where else? yes! at 7-11 or any other convenient store. Too lazy or too far to walk? get a Taxi. Wait for it at at the street, or use the 7-11 ibon to call one. I personally think, that is the easiest way, it gets there in less than 5 mins and I can wait in the freshness of the store. All taxi-drivers use the taximeter and are usually very friendly.

Uber, yes we have Uber, and it is expected to open in all Taiwan, but for the moment only in Taipei.

Overall, public transportation is very convenient, but the reason I am rating 5th is because there isn’t a direct convenient transportation from the HSR station to the airport or from Taipei. I heard rumors that this system is already under construction, but in the time being, there is only one line of shuttle buses that are usually overcrowded and the luggage ends up rolling around.

4. Scooters

Oh yeah! They are fun, they are fast, they can get into small alleys and you only need about NT$ 100 a week to fill them. There is no doubt that Taiwan can be a little overcrowded sometimes and it can be a little hard to find parking spot for cars, but for scooters, never! This might be a little different for Taipei-people, but for the rest of Taiwan, it is the scooter-life you want.

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Image: jafabrit.blogspot.tw

You can get a second hand scooter for about NT$ 10,000, more or less, depending on the scooter. Most foreigners will chose a second hand scooter, since most of us stay for about 2 years or less, and there are scooter mechanics on each street.   Getting the scooter drivers licence is really easy. The test is no more than common sense and some practice. Here is the link for the mock test:

Mock test for motorcycle driver’s license.

https://www.mvdis.gov.tw/m3-simulator-drv/

So, Get up early, do the medical examination, which is usually in front of the motor vehicle office and about 10 am you will be a legal driver in Taiwan. Your scooter will be your best companion in this beguiling Asian country. The only thing you will regret is not having enough time to discover more of Taiwan.

I say scooters, but if you are into motorcycles you can also get a small one, about 125cc. You will mostly use it for the city and maybe going to cities around you. A bigger motorbike is too big for the roads here and you will most-likely have problems parking it.

I love my scooter, but I place this feature in 4th place because even if you were best and most careful driver in the world, there is always the risk that somebody else is not having a good day and crashes with you. So if you come to Taiwan and decide to ride a scooter, open your eyes, drive safe and always, always, always, wear helmet.

3. Food

What time is it?

4-10 am? sure you can get something to eat, the breakfast are already open with delicious sandwiches and Chinese omelettes waiting for you.

10-11:30 am? Either breakfast place, rice rolls (飯糰 Fàntuán) or the lunch boxes store are just starting , but perhaps coffee at 7-11 is just good enough.

12-2:30 pm? They typical question is:”rice or noodles?” Here in Tainan you get a very complete lunch with only NT$ 60, with NT$ 100 you will be more than full. If you live near a university you will be able to find a street full of food shops and restaurants, there are just so many options. Spaghetti (義大利麵 Yìdà lì miàn), dumplings (水餃 Shuǐjiǎo), fried rice (炒飯 Chǎofàn), rice covered with vegetables (蓋飯 Gài fàn or 燴飯 huì fàn), Japanese soup (拉麵 Lāmiàn). The list goes on and on.

3-5 pm? Some restaurants take a rest in the afternoon, but they start selling onion omelet and the egg cakes

 5:30 pm – 1 am? dinner time. You will find as many options as at lunch time, but it gets even better and better. Now the Lu wei’s (滷味 Lǔwèi) are open (I don’t know how to translate that), where you can chose what you want and they will boil and flavor it for you. There are some breakfast places that open at 5 pm and close the next day at around 10, so it is a great place to get a  chicken sandwich (should I even call them breakfast places? Maybe just snack places). And the best at night are the night markets. Tons of different food, drinks and snacks. People and lights everywhere. It is the best way to live and feel Taiwan. What is the first you should do when you visit a new place in Taiwan? go to the night market, you will certainly have a lot of fun.
Since I live in Tainan, I am providing the schedule of Tainan’s night markets.
schedule
The only two reasons I do not give food 2nd or 1st place, is because not all places have English menu and you might need certain level of Chinese to know what they are selling and the other reason is that some food can be very oily.

2. Clinics

I hope you are never in the need of any doctor while you are here, but it is not a bad idea to be prepared.

Taiwan has one of the best medical services, if you are here for more than six months, they you can apply for the national health insurance. This will allow you to see a doctor at a clinic for a price ranging from NTD 50-150, and it includes medicine. If you don’t have this card, then a visit might be around NTD 300 – 500, still cheap and it also includes medicine. Normally you don’t need an appointment, you just pop in and the doctor will see you in 10 or 15 mins.

Finding a doctor is also very easy, just translate the type of doctor you want, google it and you will get at least 10 options around you. Doctor at clinic do not necessarily speak English, but they make themselves understandable. If you still cannot find what you want, then maybe you will decide to go directly to the hospital. Their English level is usually better, and they will provide you with a general doctor at first, and he/she will direct you with an specialist. The hospital might be around NTD 500 with insurance or about NTD 1200 without insurance.

Special Honors

Pet shops.

I did not give pt shops a spot on the list because not everybody has pets. But Pet shops in Taiwan are really convenient. They are open up until midnight. What kind of petshop is open until midnight? Anyway, if it is 11 pm and you have the sudden need of a fluffy hamster or a bewildering lizards like mine, you can just go to the pet shop and fulfill your desired. NOTE: I am not saying you should, since we are talking about LIVE ANIMALS and owning one is something you should decide responsibly.  You can always find one within a Km radius and they have everything your pet might need.

As for me, I am the proud owner of two magnificent geckos, and one of the reasons they keep so healthy is because even if I had a busy day I am always able to find them food at any time of the day.

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Jupiter and Nova after a well deserved feast.

If you like my geckos, check out my other blog: Jupiter, the Jubilat

And the moment you have been waiting for…. 

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1. Tea shops

Yes!  TEA SHOPS is the absolutely most convenient feature of Taiwan.

For the intense heat of Taiwan mostly all year long, tea is what you need. I am a coffee lover, but without a doubt tea is a delicious feature of Taiwan. Sure, you can buy drinks at 7-11, but there is nothing like a drink made specially for your taste.

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When you finally make up your mind between the infinite choice they have just tell them the amount of ice and sugar you want.

It is usually like this:

Sugar ( Táng)

Ice (Bīng)

Normal Sugar(正常Zhèngcháng) Normal Ice (正常Zhèngcháng)
80% Sugar (少糖Shǎo tang) 60% Ice (少冰shǎo bīng)
50% Sugar(半糖Bàn tang) 30% (微冰wēi bīng)
30% Sugar (微糖Wēi tang) No Ice (去冰qù bīng)
No Sugar (無糖Wú tang) Hot (熱rè)

Each person has its own preference, but my three favorite drinks are

  1. Winter melon with lemon (冬瓜檸檬 Dōngguā níngméng)
  2. Black tea with lemon (檸檬紅茶 Níngméng hóngchá)
  3. Green tea with yakult. (多多綠茶 Duōduō lǜchá)

The tea shops are something I will definitely miss when I leave Taiwan. They are healthy, they are delicious and they are everywhere.

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Depending on where you live you will find different stores, here in the magnificent south Taiwan I recommend:

  1. Magic Hand
  2. 50 Lan
  3. Fox tail

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So what do you think? Would you also rank Tea shops as the number convenient feature of Taiwan? 


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For you, a colorful origami flower:

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FORT – Gelato Afternoon

December 2016

You know how some people really like cakes? or brownies? Yeah? Well…, I don’t. I am more like the ice-cream type. I have tried many ice cream places in Tainan and  there is always the classics, vanilla, strawberry, and always, always, always Belgian chocolate. However I normally  go for the coffee flavored one, or something less conventional. And as much as all these flavors are fine, they can be very heavy and really sweet. Sometimes even the ice cream shop provides water along with the order, because they know it is humanly impossible not to become cloyed. Some shops have better ice cream than others, some have more choices or more toppings, but over all they are all very similar.

Fruity ice cream is not that common here, for some unknown reason. And, sadly they never ever have my all-time favorite flavor, -LEMON-. Guava is also good, but lemon is perfect.  It is refreshing, a break for the heat, an oasis for the burning sun and high humidity here in Taiwan.

It wasn’t until recently that I finally found the place for me, FORT, a place where ice cream is art. They don’t call it “ice cream”, they call it “gelato”. For me “gelato” was just the Italian word for “ice cream”,  but as they described it, gelato is the healthy version of ice cream since it contains less to no butter or eggs.

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One of the owners, who is from india, makes the gelato from scratch and produce flavors one could never think of. One of the most outstanding ones is  “blueberry basil“. It sounds like a strange combination. But it was one of those things that you either hate or love and there is no middle point. The first time I was there, I did not get a scoop, but for the following weeks I kept on thinking about that beguiling flavor, until I was able to go back and get it.

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Blueberry-Basil Gelato

Besides Gelato, they also have a section of coffee and some other snacks, like sandwiches and salads. Which might not sound like a lot, but in a city where good sandwiches and salads are hard to find,  this gives FORT yet another reason for being a little oasis.

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Iced Coffee

The place is nicely decorated, at a first, it looks like randomly chosen movie posters. But once you get a closer look you realize that they are hand-painted. It turns out that just about two blocks away there is a traditional cinema and the posters were a gift to the place.

Sun Shower rating for FORT: 4.5/5

So? Are you looking for a great place to spend your afternoon? Oh… wait… I haven’t tell you where is it:

ADDRESS:

台南市中西區永福路二段206號(武廟旁)
Tainan, Taiwan
Did you realized where is it? just in front of Chihkan Lou!!!!!!
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 21:00

Here is a little update:

May 2017

I was invited to do an interview with a Taiwanese friend and luckly for me, she could not know me better and decided that this place would be perfect for the activity.

They changed a little the decoration, now, instead of Fast and Furious, they have Suicide Squad.

This time I decided to have a Chicken salad, while some of the other girls had banana pancake and salmon sandwiches. I tried them all and it was delicious. but this was not a surprise, as I already knew this places is awesome.

This time instead of coffee I had a fruit tea. I would usually take it with some cinnamon, but I know Taiwanese people are not fond of this spice, so it was not a surprise when I could not find this taste. In contrast it had different hues of exotic fruits, kiwi and a little passion fruit, and of course the expected pineapple and and apple.

One of the girls decided to have some tea with Matcha cookie. (Matcha is the Japanese green tea, which is different from the Chinese/Taiwanese green tea)

This time they did not have the most delicious lemon gelato that I fell in love with, but it is ok, because hey had almond flavor and the surprisingly fenomenal Guabana, Guava and Banana.

*Insert guabana picture here!

Sorry! I did not take a picture, it was just too good and I finished it before I took out my camera. But, don’t forget to FOLLOW me and click that LIKE button for future updates.