Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stinky Tofu

     Most western travelers who have done their homework before they come to Taiwan know about the famous traditional food stinky tofu. It smells really stinking before it is deep fried. People can smell the bad odor in the air from a few meters away. The smell and its name have scared a lot of western travelers away from this food. Even though it tastes good after it is deep fried, it is still not easy to convince foreigners to try it.   
This is uncooked stinky tofu. The tofu is marinated in a 
brine solution for several days. It is then removed 
and placed in clean water and washed which removes 
the stinking smell before it is placed in the store.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Beautiful Bay Is No Longer Beautiful!

     Sometimes, translating a place or a word is not easy to explain its real meaning or one' s thoughts. How to choose a word becomes a critical issue in the translation process. Beautiful Bay sounded like it would be a really beautiful place for me to visit when I first heard Beautiful Bay. But after I searched for information and detail about it , I found out it was not a beautiful place but ugly to me. In fact, Beautiful Bay is a hotel name which was built illegally at Sanyuan Bay on the east coast north of Taitung city. 
Driving on the east coast highway 11 near Dulan village,
Beautiful Bay hotel was very obvious sitting next to the
highway. I was very curious about the beach where the 

hotel was located. I tried to find a road to reach the beach 
since the hotel blocked the access. A local resident pointed 
his finger to the north to show me that there was a road; 
however it didn't do any good because I found it was a small 
and narrow road. I asked my husband to park our car 
and waited for me on the road side.   

Monday, April 09, 2012

One Day on the Tea Farm

     I don't know how to start this article. I am very familiar and use to this kind of lifestyle. My parents were farmers and I grew up in the tea farm village. Picking tea was my job when I was a elementary and junior high student where as Americans kids delivered news papers to make their allowances.  
     Tea business supported many families including my family and improved their lifestyles. As time went by, Taiwan became more westernized. There are more young people now drinking coffee rather than traditional tea. Also international competition has suppressed the Taiwan tea market because low cost  Vietnamese tea and Chinese tea are imported to the marketplace. 
Spring tea and winter are the best tasting tea. This is spring tea.
The standard picking technique is to pick no more than 4 leaves 
per stem because the new leaves makes better quality tasting tea.      

Friday, April 06, 2012

A Secret Pathway in Dulan

     We didn't have specific plans for this trip. We just played it by ear on the east coast in Taitung county. I decided to visit this small aboriginal town of Dulan because of its well-known and humorous name to common people in Taiwan. Dulan which is Atolan in the Amis tribe language means walls built by stones. But it is not the reason that made it so well-known in Taiwan. 
     The pronunciation of Dulan has made it famous. Du is a verb which means poke. Lan refers to male sex organ in Taiwanese language. Dulan means poke male's sex organ which infers to being unhappy, dislike, and other meanings, like againest someone's opinion etc. It is folks' way to express their feelings toward somethings or someones whom they dislike. 
     If you come to visit this place, you might be surprised why there are so many vendors selling school bags. To my understanding, it is because of the printed characters of Dulan on the bag.  

The view was taking from the entrance at the  Dulan Mountain trail.
We drove 4.3KM from the main highway arriving at the entrance.