Not your usual Taiwan itinerary (Part 2)

Day 4 – South bound. Main attraction of the day – Brown Boulevard, named so after the advertisement shot here. Win.

The eastern coast enroute to Taitung is quite scenic

Besides Brown Boulevard, Chishang is also known for bento meals. No doubt it has to do with the rice that is produced around here. I settled on this locals-oriented shop rather than the ones aimed at tourists.
You get a bit of everything if you order the signature set. Quite tasty.
There is also a beancurd-specialty shop worth checking out at Chishang.
Doing it the traditional way
You have a choice of barrel seating
Or office table seating..
Try all three items. The fried beancurd is oh so crispy, tastes good with the dark sauce.

Guided by Google Maps, i drove onto Brown Boulevard from the other end instead of the usual entry point. Doing so saved me 1000 Taiwan Dollars (S$45) it would have cost me to rent the electric bicycle to go around. Cars are prohibited from entering for safety reasons, understandably. But i didn’t know until it was too late.

The Takeshi Kaneshiro tree
Dotted with lone trees
Strong wind creating waves across the paddy field. Quite a sight to behold.
The Mr Brown mascot
The weather wasn’t so good when we reached Sanxiantai, but it was a dramatic sight

My first choice restaurant (宋妈妈) was closed for the day, so i opted for Xin Penghu. A good choice at Chenggong town, where we were putting up for the night.

Swordfish belly. Crunchy.. not quite how i normally like my fish to be, but good to try something new
Prawns for cheap
Eel for cheap too
Day 4 itinerary

Day 5

東粄香傳統米食坊 is a famous stall selling traditional food in Chenggong town. I bought some to try out, and indeed, it was good quality stuff.

The stall owner is seen scraping out the 碗粿, which is quite nice. The Ang Ku Kuih (lower left) is so smooth and so good, comes in various flavour including sesame. The dumpling, on the other hand, is infused with herbs that we were not used to.
Second attempt at Sanxiantai. Not sunny but no rain.
It looks like a scene right out of Star Wars.
An unusual flower with a soapy scent
The waves sweep in from both sides and meet underneath the bridge
Another unusual flower
One of the 3 monolithic rocks on the island
The rock composition is probably not so good for plant growth, but some plants will grow anyway

Moving south, there are a few attractions that you can check out along the coast. I chose Xiao Yehliu, a smaller scale version of the famous Geopark north of Keelung.

Rocks that look like chocolate bar
And they actually do come apart like a chocolate bar does
This reminds me of the Alien in the same-titled movie
A dramatic landscape to watch the raging waves
Forces of nature shapes and sculps
Interesting rock formations

There’s not much to see in Taitung city, and i chose only to see the Arbor White Shanties. Built single handedly by one man. Would have been interesting to check out the interior, but not possible now with the passing of the owner. I doubt it will ever be open for visit for safety reasons.

The road facing facade is actually beautified
It was partially wrecked by a typhoon, but it withstood the typhoon nevertheless, and remains standing even though the building next to it was torn down.
Lunch in Taitung – Mee Suah with Penghu octopus (小卷)

The journey from Taitung to Kaohsiung would take 3 hours, and unfortunately there isn’t much to see or do along the way. I originally planned to do a short hike at Shuangliu National Forest Recreation Area (4.3/5.0 rating), but changed plans and visited a coffee plantation instead. Frankly i wouldn’t recommend it because the organic coffee beans are quite pricey, and the taste is not as bold as i like my coffee to be. For the price you pay though, you will be brought to see the coffee plantation, something i haven’t really seen so far.

Coffee roasted on site
You get this view from the coffee manor
Besides coffee, they also serve/sell Roselle 洛神花
Budding, and i learned that the ripening does not happen simultaneously, so they would do harvesting daily over a period
One of the reasons i wanted to see this place was, it isn’t so high up (it’s right by the coast), and yet the coffee grows. I was told the sea breeze helps improve the quality of the coffee.
The berries already look the right size, but it would be a few months more before they’re ready for harvest

The main reason we went back to Kaoshiung, for the third consecutive time, was Liuhe night market. Probably the best night market in Taiwan – simple layout, good variety and consistent quality.

Spacious and airy
One of the stalls we would patronize every time, 方记水饺
Having checked reviews (while eating the dumplings), I decided to also try the stall next door 张排骨苏汤
The food was excellent – springy noodles and tasty soup
Grilled Mochi in cheese sauce. Not bad.
The second stall we will not fail to patronize
And this is the item we would go for – Cold yam soup 冷冻芋
The third must-patronize stall – seafood porridge. It still sells for the same price as ten years ago! NTD 120
We haven’t tried this before. Plate full of crab meat, in 沙茶酱. I guess not everyone will appreciate the sauce
The apple custard we bought from Pingtung. These were actually the smaller sized ones. So yummy.
Day 5 itinerary

Day 6

My plan for the the day was to go watch butterflies, then proceed to a small town (玉井) known for Mango shaved ice. Since it was not the season for Mangoes (specifically the 艾文 variety), i scrapped the plan altogether. Instead, we hung around in Kaohsiung at the 驳二艺术特区.

A very realistic mosaic
Art installations everywhere
There’s no hurry to reclaim the disused railway tracks for commercial or residential use in the sprawling city that is Kaohsiung
This popular eatery 旧城传统美食 was actually featured in Google search for tourist attractions in and around Kaohsiung. Anyway, nearby, you can see the ancient city walls, which is probably what gives rise to the name of this place.
Fried noodles and Bee Hoon. Good but nothing very special to be honest.
The fried stuff are quite nice. Love the thin and crispy batter. Be warned that the smelly tofu (臭豆腐) comes in huge portions.

Next up, we visited the fairly new TS Mall in Tainan, just to kill time.

The biggest mall in Tainan, it gets busy here
Surprisingly, there were just 3 cafes in this large shopping mall. We settled for the L’Occitane Cafe, just for fun. Cafe au lait comes in a large bowl.
Mille-feuille, a far cry from the real thing we had in Nimes, France a few years ago. Craving for it now..

The highlight of the day was Chigu Salt Mountain. We arrived just in time for sunset!

Picture perfect – sun reflected off the water, and all necessary props done up for your photo taking compulsion.
Moments before sunset
The last rays painting the sky orange

We were pleasantly surprised by the offerings of Chiayi city where we were putting up for the night.

The fountain commemorating the local baseball team, Kano, that defeated the professional Japanese baseball team from Taipei
The popular fish soup restaurant 林聪明沙锅鱼头 that spanned 5 shop lots!
Endless stream of customers eating in and taking out
Clockwise from the right – fish head soup (quite good although slightly sweetish), the famous Chiayi turkey rice, vermicelli soup, seasonal bamboo shoot and sunny side eggs
This was completely unplanned for, but there was a night market in town! I would rank it second only to Liuhe night market. The layout is similar to Liuhe – stretching across a single street and spacious too. There is a very nice festive feel here.
We managed to make up for the fried eggs pancake we missed in Hualien
The cold yam soup (冷冻芋) we so love from Liuhe night market supposedly originated from here in Chiayi. Said to be over 50 years old.
The soup is a little thinner than the one from Liuhe night market but it is nice too
Day 6 itinerary
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