Saturday, 22 December 2012

travel: Taiwan 2012 Day 8: Kaohsiung

Breakfast at T hotel was buffet style. Although selection were not quite as extensive as we have had at Fleur de Chine at Sun Moon Lake, choices were quite good - both chinese/eastern (porridge and lots of side dishes), and western (omelette, bacon, sandwiches).

Weather was great in Kaohsiung today, temperature reaching 26 degrees C midday. Did not feel like winter at all. Today we went to Fo Guang Shan monastery. One word that came to mind: massive. We walked around for about four hours and we did not even manage to cover the entire ground. There are a lots of interesting exhibition and mini museums, which are all beautiful. Unfortunately for most of them, taking photos is prohibited.

photo courtesy of RoundTaiwanRound

We had lunch at a restaurant within the vacinity of Fo Guang Shan, a restaurant under the wing of a major hotel chain (Hi Lai). We had a meal set for four, I reckon that could easily feed six people comfortably. The vegetarian food we had were flavorful and beautifully presented, easily the best and tastiest vegetarian food I have ever had.

Total damage: TWD 1848.

 At noon we visited Hakka village, where we could see their specialty - paper umbrella and fan making. You are welcomed to paint your own umbrellas - they sell plain ones there for people to put on their creative hat and do some DIY. They also have workshop for kiln making, but the workshop was closed when we were there.

we had this weird but yummy ice cream/peanut mixture again

The highlight of the trip was definitely DIY hakka tea - provided in a big bowl for you to grind yourself.
The bowl contains black sesame, white sesame, rice puff, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and some green tea - to be mashed/ground using a wooden pestle made of guava branch/trunk. Why guava? Apparently because their trunk/branch is strong, making it perfect for grinding.

After the mixture is smooth enough, dry red/adzuki bean was added, then it's grind grind grind some more.

Everyone had their own share grinding the tea. I have to say, it is different and fun to do with friends. However if you wish to do it at home yourself, an electric grinder or food processor is probably a good idea.
The final product taste more of a black sesame soup/dessert, just with the slightest taste of tea. Perhaps using japanese green tea variety will yield in stronger tea taste.

trivia: how many people do you  need to make a hakka tea... .

The experience costed TWD360, and we drank a lot of tea out of it.

Then we went for a little fun activity - shrimp fishing. :D It was our first time doing this and actually it's quite fun, although it would be frustrating if you didn't get anything.
1/2heart managed to get three in one hour period (you pay by the hour for TWD150). He was mighty pleased with himself afterwards.

The place provides salt and grill to cook your fresh caught afterwards. We only managed to catch three, but we saw a few people who must be quite an expert - they seemed to catch at least one shrimp every five minutes. If you did not manage to catch anything, you could buy some from the vendor.

After Grant dropped us off nearby T Hotel, we went for a walk to the nearby Liouhe night market for some late night snack fix. It's nowhere as big as Fengjia Night Market in Taichung, but we got some yummy food anyway.
To go to Liouhe Night Market from any other station, go to Formosa Boulevard Station, then take exit 11. You won't miss the night market as soon as you came out of the exit.

Then we walked back to our hotel - took only 10 minutes. T Hotel is very convenient.

No comments:

Post a Comment