More Trips

Japan7
21 Oct - 17 Nov 2017


Taiwan4
5 Mar - 1 Apr 2017


Japan6
16 Oct - 11 Nov 2016


Europe
22 May - 13 June 2016


Japan5
2 Nov - 26 Nov 2015


Korea2
3 Mar - 26 Mar 2015

Even More Trips

HongJapWan
6 Mar - 28 Mar 2014

Sichuan
23 Mar - 10 Apr 2013

Tokyo weekend
25 Oct - 30 Oct 2012

China again
27 Aug - 13 Sep 2012

Japan and Taiwan
1 Mar - 22 Mar 2012

China
1 Nov - 18 Nov 2011

Korea, mainly...
3 Sep - 17 Sep 2011

Taiwan / Hong Kong / Singapore / ?
25 Mar - 11 Apr 2011

London, for the third time
25 Jun - 17 Jul 2010

Japan and Hong Kong
2 May - 18 May 2010

London again and Hong Kong
26 Feb - 25 Mar 2010

London
5 Sep - 22 Sep 2009

South East Asia
3 Dec - 18 Dec 2005

A full lap of Taiwan in March 2017 - Page 5

Day 13 - Friday, 17 March 2017

Razor wire defeat

Kaohsiung has a city mountain. It is called either longevity mountain, or monkey mountain. Whilst as you will see monkey mountain is apt, I think it should also be called razor wire military check point mountain.
I was defeated. I shall return.
Instead of climbing up the main path, which looked like it might be over all too soon, I panned google maps and decided to walk around the back of the mountain, along the coast, and then climb over the back and descend into the city. My hope was that it would then be a full day exhausting activity.
Well, exhausted I am, but I did not get to the top of the mountain.

As you will see below, landslides, earthquakes, and then the army all conspired against my plan. Despite trying 4 different access paths to what looked like a really good steep test to the summit, all were blocked by razor wire and warning signs, and soldiers in uniform with machine guns.

Thats not to say it wasnt a great day trying, there were many things to see along the failed route, but I will not accept failure, I shall return either tomorrow or the day after and conquer the small monkey razor wire landslide mountain from the city side.

Now to talk about my hotel bed. You may recall my Hualien bed was much much wider than any bed in recorded history.
My Kaohsiung bed is much much harder than any bed I have previously experienced, and I thought I had experienced hard beds before whilst in Japan. I am almost certain it is a ceremonial sleeping altar, a slab of granite with a sheet on it. It is seriously harder than the floor, I tested this theory last night!
Honestly, I rolled over and it hurt my knees!
So I will have to make sure I am super exhausted each night so that I can pass out on a sacrificial granite sleeping slab. Sounds like a challenge.

Behold, clear blue sky, 'clear' except badly polluted. I am sucking down huge quantities of harmony particles (Chinese word for pollution).


Note to Taitung, this is how you do a bus stop. So far all bus stops I have seen have LED readouts scrolling for all the buses that are coming, and maps.


I agree, she is looking a bit too smug lately.


Tall buildings fading into dioxins.


A busy morning market, which is for old folks to congregate and yell at each other. Most people do not get off their scooters, they ride into each store.
I think the ability to ride your scooter into the store is one of the reasons Taiwanese people prefer the older dirtier markets to the replacment new shiny ones.


Part of the reason for the pollution. This shop is getting a new sign, so lets burn some rubbish in honor of the sign!


Mountain ahead. Actually thats a hill in front of the mountain, I have since discovered the mountain actually looks quite impressive.


I had time to cuddle a bear.


The streets are all very colorful, despite the smog. Lots of flowers and carefully manicured trees. Heavy pruning was going on everywhere. I am an expert on such matters.


Like Taitung, the old rail line has been turned into a linear park for bike riding and such nonsense.


Some kind of golden fund raising beacon. I better go have a look.


Still under heavy construction of course. They always are, need to raise more funds!


Time to enjoy the smoggy view. Big building on the left is the famous triforce building, I am sure it will feature in more photos before I leave.


I admired the determination of this trees roots.


View through a gate.


This is a shrine built in my honor. The martyrs shrine. They build these for me in every asian city.


Cool, glad I wore shorts and sneakers.


'Do not shoo away the monkeys with your hands, a stick or a slingshot', you mean to tell me I carried my slingshot up here for nothing?


Nice rocks, but I wanted to go up, not down. Load the bigger photo and you can see a guy in a fluro green / yellow vest for scale.


Monkeys were everywhere.


This monkey poses with the do not feed the monkeys sign. Thats some awesome monkey nipples.


I descended to this temple to buy some drinks. I only had the equivalent of a $50 Australian note, and I thought this might be an issue.
I go to the little old lady and ask if I can buy 2 bottles of pocari sweat ($1 value) with my $50 note. No problem, she unzips her FANNY PACK and pulls out a wad of what looked like 100 x $50 notes, sifted through them all to pull out a few $10's to give me back.


I stopped for a snooze. These matresses were everywhere. Later I figured out why. Landslide defence.


Army checkpoint #1, had to turn back, frustrated. There are soldiers around the corner, I dont like to photograph them in case I end up in military prison.


Evidence of landslide. I noticed the road was quite badly cracked in places. Cracks wide enough for your foot to go down.


Army checkpoint #2. Check out the road, beyond this point the road fell into the ocean. Time to turn back, defeated.


The view on the way back was pretty good. Clearer than in the morning.


An extended family of monkeys passed me by. We exchanged menacing glances.


Look closely into the smog and you can see a heap of ships lined up waiting to berth. There were 20 or more I could see out to sea waiting too. Dirty dirty smog producing ships.


I imagine this is what my apartment in Melbourne looks like currently.


I was hot and thirsty, time for a stupid ice tea.


A truly great sign.


As it was now 3pm and I had not had lunch, I opted for a convenience store fruit salad afternoon tea to keep me going until dinner.
I, like most men, can only eat fruit if its cut up for me.
The hotel however has decided to provide me with free chocolates to go with my fruit salad. They are trying to make me fat(ter).


Accidental dream mall

This evening I ended up at the dream mall by accident after accidently riding on a Melbourne tram in Taiwan. Allow me to go on with boring detail.
My plan was to walk a great distance to a place advertised as the biggest night market in all of Taiwan and therefore the world, a place so big it used to be two different markets and it grew until they absorbed each other and became a mega market.
A 90 minute walk later, past the biggest razor wired army base in all of Taiwan, I arrived at half a dozen sad looking food stalls, a strange semi abandoned animatronic dinosaur obstacle course, and 172.3 hectares of sheds and white lines painted on concrete memorializing what used to be the Taiwan mega night market experience.

However, much to my surprise, nearby the new tram line was in trial operations, and its free. Anything free is fine by me, its one better than cheap. Go on the tram I shall, I dont even care where it goes.
It went to the Dream mall. Astute readers of my 2011 trip will remember I went here and went on a rooftop ferris wheel and watched a roller coaster disappear into a hole in the middle of a wave pool on top of the biggest mall in East Asia. Yes, thats all true as amazing as it sounds, but forget the mall, what about the tram?
The tram is a Melbourne tram, exactly the same, same door buttons, same bell noise. Either these were made in Melbourne, or the Melbourne tram companies claim that they designed and built the tram in Melbourne is false. In the age of alternate facts I dont know who to believe.

At 6pm on Friday, the streets are packed with food carts protruding directly into traffic. It was chaotic and quite dangerous.


One of the many art installations in parks I previously mentioned, this one is bamboo, and oyster shells. They must have cleaned them well as it was odourless.


A bit more of the oyster shell LED light tribute to the tensile strength of bamboo.


This is where the mega night market is supposed to be, at this point I still thought it might be hiding, it wasnt.


Dinosaur park used to cost money to enter, now its free! And its just me.


There is an even weirder obstacle course thing above the admittedly, impressively large moving dinosaurs, the booth attendant appeared to be dead, or dead asleep, so I didnt bother.


Part of the abandoned mega night market.


A Melbourne tram.


Admittedly the seats are a little different, but I am positive they are otherwise the same design.


The dream mall. I had no intention of coming here. It is impressively enormous.


The food court goes on forever, then goes around a corner, and goes on forever some more.
I am a big fan of the food court, because its so cheap. Cheap beats good, every time!


My dinner was a tomato version of beef noodle soup. The broth despite being beef colored really was quite to-ma-to-ee.


On my way back I stopped to appreciate this impressive overpass. Cause thats the sort of activity I enjoy.


Any day with more than 40,000 steps is a good day.
33.8km according to my watch, but it was slightly more than that because I ran about 5km earlier in the day without telling my watch, which increases my stride length.
Thats more info than anyone needs to know about my Garmin forerunner 225, except my heart rate is currently 41. I like my very slow heart.


There are currently 6 comments - click to add
bobule on 2017-03-24 said:
Stupid ice tea sounds like my kinda place!

David on 2017-03-17 said:
And yes, you beat me, I forgot the watch photo which stuffed up my usual method of typing then uploading all at once, then correcting typos. I think you somehow often read in the 3 minute window between uploading and fixing typos.

David on 2017-03-17 said:
The road there seems to be constantly destroyed by landslides, if you google "researchgate landslide chaishan" you can find a pdf file study with photos and maps of all the times the road falls into the ocean

Mother on 2017-03-17 said:
Slow heart = fitness. I used to have one of those too. I beat you tonight - you must have still been writing the photo comments cos they weren't all there when I started reading.

mother on 2017-03-17 said:
According to facebook you have lots of fans reading your blog

jenny on 2017-03-17 said:
Earthquake damage maybe why roads blocked with razor wire. Too many monkeys, don't get bitten.


Day 14 - Saturday, 18 March 2017

So many gift shops

Today I went to the buddha theme world amusement park extravaganza. It is at a place called Fo Guang Shan, and of course, its out in the middle of nowhere, where land is cheap.
However it is very popular, so there are lots of buses that will take you there, the information about this on the internet is outdated.
The only way I could actually get there was to take the MTR (Taiwanese subway) to a station far from the city centre and transfer to a bus.
The internet told me to go to a bus station in the city centre, which I did, and take bus 8005, which no longer exists.
I walked into the bus station office and the lady at the counter already had the instructions on where to get the bus to Fo Guang Shan ready in her hand, she did not look up from her phone streaming a Korean soap opera.

Once on the bus, I was crammed into lounge style seats facing each other, with 3 middle aged women. We had a grand old chat for the 30 minute journey, in broken Chinese.
They were fascinated why I would go to the buddhist monastery, why I would come to Kaohsiung, why I would come to Taiwan 4 times. So many questions! They were on the edge of their seats with excitement.
Then they wanted to know how I learnt to speak basic Chinese, so I showed them the app on my phone and how it speaks to me in Chinese and displays flash cards. They were genuinely amazed, and asked if everyone in Australia is forced to install this application on their phone and study for a set period each day or face consequences? Yes, yes we are.

Heading to bus station failure departure point, I passed a building constructed in my honor.


In no time flat I left my new bus friends and was at the entrance gate, theres many parts to this complex, the only part with other people is the gift shop and bus parking area as you will see.


For my mother, heres the toilets. Its an old converted bus. They have removed a central strip of the bus floor and installed a grate you squat over, along with some convenient poles to balance yourself either side.


Buddhist temple gift shop has a starbucks. Matcha tea latte time!


As you can now see, 95% of people get off the bus, enjoy the view from the gift shop / mall, sit and have lunch, then leave. I found this very weird.


Getting closer to the main temple area, note the lack of people.


Looking back, better picture of that direction later.


Under the big gold statue is the museum, which has 4 large very high quality galleries. They are not at all serious, they are modern 3d kid friendly and funny.
This is a talking laughing buddha statue. They project a moving mouth onto his golden head whilst the characters from the peanuts climb over him.
There is an unusual fascination with peanuts characters in both Taiwan and mainland China dating back a very long time, I remember reading about it, must research for future photo comments.


There is a 4D theater. An old lady was spraying the 3D glasses (whats the 4th D?) with what smelt like petrol.


There are also halls of mirrors with projections on curved walls, it was quite the weird sensation. No doubt designed to subliminally message me to spend big in the gift shops, there were at least 30 gift shops all over the place.


The museum is very comprehensive. Here we can see a representation of people travelling to visit the museum.


And here is a wax figure of a guy telling me that I will be reincarnated as a dung beatle unless I spend at the gift shop.


Someone carved a thousand buddhas on this hunk of wood.


Once I walked around the back, there was absolutely no one at all. I could have removed my shorts.


Looking back towards the starbucks.


There is also a garden telling the buddhist story of creation. The Dalai Lama woke up drunk after a dream and thought of all kinds of magnificent creatures and commanded the monkeys and pigs to procreate until such time as new creatures were resurrected.


They have also recreated the Kyoto golden shrine. Two of them.


At first I thought that was it, day over. But no, there is a much larger monastery up and around this steep road featuring cartoon characters and buddhist messages.


I did not see another person. I had read there was a free lunch here for 5000 people! As it turns out, not on weekends. The monks are out partying on weekends.


They have created a forest of minions out of old tyres to amuse themselves.


There is no way into that structure, from what I can tell it is where visiting monks get to stay. They are known for having wild parties with cocaine and hookers. I am not kidding, google it. It was a big global scandal a couple of years ago when one of the worlds highest ranking monks killed a hooker in a hotel in Korea. They had booked out the entire hotel!


Inside the monastery there were many gardens, looked after by employed gardeners, not the monks themselves.


Also, more pagodas.


And just when I thought this was a serious monastery, yet more gift shops appeared, lots of them!


This is the main hall in the real monastery area. No photos inside buildings like this. Actually even inside the museum building there were 2 places they were very serious about no photos. Also, take shoes off!


I still managed to get a free lunch! As it turns out, I ate in the gardeners and other workers canteen. They have a donation box... free lunch!


Now we move into the world of thousands of statues.


I worked out now that I had come in a back entrance and made my way to the front. Oh well.


Note the hundreds of gold statues surrounding enormous gold statue.


As I said at the top, the whole place is located on cheap land. This is the view, of nothing except pollution.


Look how happy these kids are to find a public toilet! This one is a shared hole in a wooden plank, with a rope suspended from the roof to hang onto.


Bonus view of monastery area.


I went back the way I came and prayed to pokemon go for a while.


Final photo for the day, I snuck up through a fire exit into the front of the visiting special monks hotel. I still couldnt figure out how to get inside, but I really could hear a party going on, with Katy Perry playing, and then someone was revving a Harley Davidson!
....daisy dukes, bikinis on top...


Steak night

My holiday is already half over. Thas a little depressing. Seems like a week but its been 2.
I am surprised how much I like Kaohsiung, on my second visit. In fact I will rate it only slightly below Taipei as far as cities I like to visit. Taipei has better transport and mountains.
This puts it really high up my list, basically, Tokyo/Osaka, Taipei/Kaohsiung, ahead of Hangzhou, Seoul, Fukuoka, Singapore, Busan, Shanghai the list gets muddled at that point, but London appears below those above but ahead of Munich and Beijing (I need to go back to Beijing), Paris comes dead last. Seriously. Oh and just above Paris would be Cardiff.
My rankings take many things into consideration, how busy they are, transport, activities for the non drinker, food, value for money, proximity to mountains, safety. Just to name a few.

Anyway, tonight I went to the night market the locals love. It is called Ruifeng and is located near the main stadium, right on the subway line, how convenient.
It was super busy on a Saturday night. Very hard to take decent photos, but it was excellent.
Most of the time when in the market you just move with a sea of people, no choice. It works better than it would in Australia because no one is dumb enough to bring a baby pusher / stroller / pram with them. In fact you dont really see those in Taiwan at all, which is great. Babies are born able to walk.
I dont see how its allowed to stay open though, a fire would be horrific, and I think fires in such places have been horrific in the past. But whenever they shut one down, a new one starts illegally. Remember all the food carts are mobile, the places that have seating pack it all away every night.

Unlike last night, this is a proper market, it is impossible to get to the footpath on the other side of the road where the market starts.


Down one of the many aisles of boiling hot oil, This is a less busy spot where I could get my arms up to take a picture.


Shop cat is now a night market cat. He gets his own small house. He seems to like people playing with him as they go past.


Its a hello kitty drinking game. You pay money to drink x beers in y seconds, and if you win, you get a furry pillow toy.


More cactii.


Example of a seating area. I was scouting for somewhere to sit.


I found a seat at a Taiwan steakhouse night market stand. Such things are very popular all over Taiwan. It is a good piece of steak, on top of pasta and an egg, on a grill plate.
So a lot like pepper lunch. Delicious, and about $5, not bad for a good steak.


Pies made to order, sweet or savoury.


German pork knuckle.


Some kind of flame thrower grilled cheese thing. Crap photo but stayed here because the child assistant was yelling at me for taking a picture.


More people eating. I thought that bald guy was a white guy, but on closer inspection its a bald albino Chinese man.


Very comfortable spot to enjoy your xiao long bao. They look good though, made before your eyes in the open.


More chaos.


Redundant photo from afar.


The nearby Australian beer house.


And actually, this whole area despite being a bit out of the city centre is very nice and modern, lots of shops and bright lights. A shame I dont have time to fully explore.


There are currently 5 comments - click to add
bobule on 2017-03-24 said:
Great photos!

on 2017-03-19 said:
It was horse steak. How was it?

adriana on 2017-03-18 said:
Night market very busy, does this mean the apartment buildings are as crappy as in HK so noone wants to go home?

Mother on 2017-03-18 said:
Ok I have googled. Seems they are a new religion that has spread worldwide ad believe in helping others rather than praying 24/7. However, can't find any info on where all the money comes from to build such a huge over the top monastery. Very interesting!

mother on 2017-03-18 said:
Thanks for the toilet images if not the fantasies about the interiors - we are not in backward rural China.

This monastery is almost obscene in its opulence or is it some kind of monastery/fantasy theme park? I'm interested to know why it is there and whether the Taiwanese are actually religious at all. Will have to google it. Photos are getting better all the time.


Day 15 - Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sweating profusely

Astute readers will recall that the day before yesterday I tried to climb over the back of the small mountain between the ocean and Kaohsiung and failed due to a combination of landslides, monkeys, wild dogs and the military.
I refuse to be defeated. Today I climbed up the city side, did a loop along the ridge at the top, and then back down again. It was excellent, and I am glad I went back and tried again. It was however very hot and I was sweating profusely.

I hate sunscreen, but it is an absolute must to wear it here. I purchased the cancer council brand in Australia before starting my trip, something about being sports and sweat resistant. What this means is when I sweat, the top of my black t-shirt goes white from sunscreen, which is just fantastic.
So because of that, I just keep wearing the same clothes, day after day, soaked with sweat, sunscreen, and beef noodle soup. The door man at the hotel is looking increasingly concerned for me each time he holds the door open.

I took the subway to the point nearest the trail start. It is still a 45 minute walk from the subway unless you take a bus, there are numerous, but I like walking in the sun.
Nearly every station here has free activities to enjoy. I read some childrens books until the security came with a net.


The path to the path was mostly through parks with paths. First this park, on a red brick path, then another park with a gravel path around a duck lake.


This is a new style Taiwanese mega apartment building. They look very ominous compared to the typical all glass design in Australia. I am guessing that is due to earthquakes.


An old man and his parrots were enjoying a remote area in a park. I asked if I could take his photo with the parrots on his head. No. I could only photograph the parrots without him in the photo. So heres his parrots.


I fed the ducks for a while.


Then I stopped at the place where Monet famously did his painting.


NO MERMAIDS, there started to be a lot of signs, some seemed serious, but it got confusing, read on...


No worshipping, a sentiment I can get behind.


Beware of qigong, ok I stopped photographing now. Dont feed the trolls.


Just another Kaohsiung nice looking street.


The start of my path today is through this temple. Paths up mountains often are, but you would never find it if you didnt know that.


Soon after negotiating my way past incense burning grandmas, I was on the trail.


Except more grandmas were walking slowly with terrifying umbrellas to stop anyone getting past.


Thankfully, before too long, the grandmas had stopped and turned back. There were still lots of people, but it was possible to go at a good pace, and enjoy the evolving view.


A bit more view. I saw lots of different hiking clubs. Including people walking backwards as always, but a new one was about 10 guys chanting whilst running with no shoes on down the rocky trail.
The Taiwan barefoot hiking association.


Nearer the top it became cool and tropical. Boardwalks the rest of the way, very convenient. Apparently this place is filled with snakes! Scientists specifically go up here at night to study the snakes that mostly come out at night, mostly.


Eventually I was over the top of peak number one and could see down to the ocean where I was lost the day before yesterday. There is no way to walk down there.


There are lots of peaks and valleys and lookout spots. All had a little picnic spot like this, generally filled with people as you shall see.


There are also caves. These people are attaching ropes and harnesses before descending into a cave under this tree. I note they have a first aid guy on standby. I bet theres snakes in that cave.


Along the top was a truly excellent hike. It was mostly boardwalks but the scenery was superb.


Some more people resting at the top, blurry photo, but someone hauls up water, which is then boiled to make it fit for consumption. I didnt have any.


There were lots of monkeys. I came around a corner and a group of people were arguing with a monkey who was hissing at them. I passed quickly.


More view of ships, pollution had cleared a bit by now.


Lots of people enjoy this mountain.


I learnt that its made of coral. Really it is. Somehow this all used to be under the ocean.


A few hours later, after going all the way as far as you can along the boardwalks at the top, it was time to descend back to the city.


The start of each trail has some stalls selling hiking equipment, boots, gloves, poles, head torches, and of course, small transistor radios to listen to distorted Chinese opera.


On the way back I got off at the interchange station to take the photo everyone takes in Kaohsiung, and a photo I took last time I was here. So here is that photo.


Needed more time

As the uncreative title above suggests, I needed more time in Kaohsiung. I thought 4 nights would be plenty, but there is more to see and do than I can manage in 4 nights.
I wanted to travel far into the hills to the big suspension bridges over the rivers that fall down every time theres a minor earthquake.
I wanted to travel south of the city (a long way) to Kenting beach and eat a deep fried battered cuttlefish on a stick. Actually you can have that anywhere in Taiwan but its better with sand on it. Apparently Kenting is a white sand beach.
Tomorrow I am changing locations, moving just up the road to Tainan. A city with a sensibly spelt name! But its still confusing, since Nan is South and Kaohsiung is further south than the city of the south.
Tainan was the capital when Japan occupied Taiwan, its very popular with tourists, and quite a large city. I have never been there before.

For my last night in Kaohsiung I went to the new popular department store to the north of the city. It was very popular on a Sunday night, particularly the basement, which in addition to having a humungous food court, had both Tim Ho Wan and Din Tai Fung and Three word name. It was the most Japanese department store basement I have been into in Taiwan, and they are all quite Japanese.
The name of the store, for future reference when I return, is Hanshin. And upon googling I now see it is Japanese, the original store being in Umeda. This is the only branch in Taiwan.

Before boarding the subway I toured the local youth fashion market. But since it was not quite dark yet, there was not a lot going on. Which means it was still possible to select your direction of travel rather than move in a sea of people.


I walked a bit further to board the subway at central park. Which was still quite busy at dusk.


Another very impressive Kaohsiung subway station. The new tram line will be a full loop of about 50 stops, and will make transport very convenient, I rode the bit of it that is open, the rest will open soon. So next time I am here, full loop on the tram.


The exterior of the Hanshin department store, quite impressive.


I was starving. The line for Tim Ho Wan (michelin star yum cha) was not too bad, but yum cha is no fun on your own.


The line for Din Tai Fung however, was ridiculous. 50 minute wait. They would not admit a party of one anyway.


I cant eat there, but I can watch the xiao long bao scientists do their work.


Lots of small dessert selling shops like a Japanese department store, because it is.


For dinner I had Jinan-Bou. It is popular in all food courts right now. It may be beef tongue but I think its just beef. I cant be sure!
It has 2 selling points, they slow roast huge slabs of beef at 60 degrees before fine slicing it and grilling it to make it more flavoursome, possibly a true claim, and they pile it really high to make it look like a beef mountain.
My mountain had collapsed in on itself by the time I found somewhere to sit. It was basically a more flavoursome gyu-don.


A bit more view from Hanshin. They dont let you onto the roof, and they tint the windows to prevent photos of the view, so this is the best I could do.


And because I cant get onto the roof, you get a photo of the top floor ballroom / wedding hall, which must be the size of a football field.


I decided to go for a lengthy walk along a main road following the subway, passing lots of flash car dealerships, and this absolutely massive gym. That is all gym, and theres more either side. I could not fit it all in.


And finally, this is a maid cafe. Just like Japan. Tonights writing theme is just like Japan.
So if you want to pay $20 to have a 30 year old woman dressed like a 12 year old girl feed you a $2 piece of cheesecake, Kaohsiung has you covered.


There are currently 5 comments - click to add
David on 2017-03-20 said:
@MoShengRen - the quality is about the same, I have been in Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, probably some other places. However the variety is greater in Taiwan, much more extensive menu, they have special release seasonal Xiao Long Bao, and a lot of other side dish options

MoShengRen on 2017-03-20 said:
Does the quality of Din Tai Fung (DTF) vary from country to country? How does Australia compare in the DTF stakes?

jenny on 2017-03-19 said:
so we can go to Taiwan and pretend we are in Japan. Sounds like a win win situation to me.

David on 2017-03-19 said:
No more than 10km from start to finish of hiking trail, further if you walk to and from subway. Total hiking time on trail about 2 hours. But there are lots of different shorter ways to go also.

Adriana on 2017-03-19 said:
Nice hike. Need to know how many Ks in case I want to do it one day.


On page six I will be in Tainan, looking at the old Japanese capital of Taiwan.

Contents

Day 1 - Sunday, 5 March 2017
  Late night early morning flight
  Totally full and uncomfortable
  The boring photos continue
  The unprecendented 4th update
Day 2 - Monday, 6 March 2017
  Raining cats
  There are lots of Koreans in Japanese Taiwan
Day 3 - Tuesday, 7 March 2017
  One down
  Major rain no dampener
Day 4 - Wednesday, 8 March 2017
  Coat day
  Tomorrow is all new
Day 5 - Thursday, 9 March 2017
  Crap photos featuring trains
  Third world footpaths
Day 6 - Friday, 10 March 2017
  Engorged
  Surprise carnival
Day 7 - Saturday, 11 March 2017
  Cement factory rubbish dump beach
  Department store rain shelter
Day 8 - Sunday, 12 March 2017
  Cloudview
  Dry trip to station
Day 9 - Monday, 13 March 2017
  Far from station
  Footpath observance
Day 10 - Tuesday, 14 March 2017
  Rocky start
  Full of cake
Day 11 - Wednesday, 15 March 2017
  Museum run
  Lost in the swamp at night
Day 12 - Thursday, 16 March 2017
  Animal kingdom
  Bigger and brighter
Day 13 - Friday, 17 March 2017
  Razor wire defeat
  Accidental dream mall
Day 14 - Saturday, 18 March 2017
  So many gift shops
  Steak night
Day 15 - Sunday, 19 March 2017
  Sweating profusely
  Needed more time
Day 16 - Monday, 20 March 2017
  4 down 3 to go
  The old and the new
Day 17 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017
  Fort washing machine
  Chicken tower
Day 18 - Wednesday, 22 March 2017
  The museum cheap electric fans paid for
  Surprise parade
Day 19 - Thursday, 23 March 2017
  Next town over
  The modern north side
Day 20 - Friday, 24 March 2017
  Mountain village metropolis
  A quick run up a small mountain
Day 21 - Saturday, 25 March 2017
  Huge number of steps
  Ritual sacrafice
Day 22 - Sunday, 26 March 2017
  Lake saturation
  Global mormon offensive
Day 23 - Monday, 27 March 2017
  Final destination
  The best beef noodles in Taipei?
Day 24 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017
  Windy teapot
  Best ramen ever
Day 25 - Wednesday, 29 March 2017
  Three mountain rest day.
  The first repeat
Day 26 - Thursday, 30 March 2017
  Ropes and ladders
  Still time for more beef noodle
Day 27 - Friday, 31 March 2017
  Indeed more beef noodle