Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Visiting the Fisherman's Wharf in Chenggong Township

     "All the fishing boats have returned to the harbor and well prepared for embracing the strike of the typhoon and now the wave is getting bigger...," said news corespondent. This kind of news was very common when a typhoon appeared to hit Taiwan. It was also time for me to learn about harbors' locations in cities or counties from typhoon news. Chenggong Harbor was one of the harbors that I had learned from the news.  
     This was the first time that my husband and I stopped in the fishing town of Chenggon on the East Coast taking a leisure travel day. When we arrived in the town, lunch time had past.We drove a few blocks and found the seafood restaurant which was indicated or recommended in our GPS system. When talking about eating in Taiwan, some western travelers, perhaps I should say my husband, can't understand Taiwanese eating philosophy, such as waiting in a long line just for gourmet food etc. 
     Almost each city or town has its special or famous food in Taiwan. The food became popular because the town or city is located in an agricultural center or a seafood market and the main sources of the food are directly from this area. Sellers emphasize the freshness and good quality of the food and special ingredients and taste of the food which attracts visitors to visit their stores.  
When we arrived at this restaurant, there were no 
costumers. We wondered if the store was still open 
after lunch time during weekdays. We walked in 
and saw the writings and photos on this wall which 
meant it was a popular and famous restaurant. It has
 hosted celebrities and other important people. They 
signed their name on the wall as witnesses to proof 
that food was good. 
We were lucky that the restaurant still open. We didn't have to suffer
from staving and have the chance to taste good quality food.  
After we settled down at the table, I had to order our food in front
of the restaurant. The restaurant displayed seafood items inside 

this transparent door of the refrigerator. Customers ordered their 
items and then a waitress or the store owner would ask the customers 
how they like their food to be cooked and would give them some 
suggestions. So the customers would have some ideas about their dishes.
Fresh fish were from the local fisherman's wharf. 
The shrimp were very fresh and delicious. 
We only had two people and these were our lunch dishes, fried rice,
sweet and sour fish eggs, stewed fried cabbage, shrimp, and a small
bowel of deep sea fish soup with ginger and onion which was usually
for 3-4 people. (
I think most Americans or westerners consider this type
of the 
soup as a broth.My husband could not take this soup. So, I had to
finish the soup by myself. My tummy was full with soup and I couldn't
eat anymore. There was a lot of left over food. We asked for a dogie bag
 for feeding stray dogs or cats on the way back to our hotel. During our
lunch, there were 2 couples and one baby who walked in and asked about
the food. My sense told me that they came from Singapore. After we had
had a short conversation, I proved  my sense was right. Well, it was not
that important. Can you take a guess how much for our lunch?     
After lunch we drove to the seaport just to walk around. Some
vendors tried to sell us fish. Unfortunately, we didn't plan to
go back home in Taichung right away. So we couldn't buy
and take any seafood with us.   
This was the first time that I saw a spiral shell with the meat. I was
I don't think I will eat puffer fish in my entire life, even just to try a 
small piece to taste it.
We asked people and knew the fish market auction would start at 
1:30pm. A few boats were back in the harbor. I was excited to wait 
for seeing the auction start because this would be the first time I 
witness this activity. It would be another experience in my life. 
Walking around the market, some fishermen
had already displayed their catch on the ground
and were awaiting the auction to start. People were
walked around to look at the catch selection.  
I asked people all kinds of questions
but I had never remembered the names of

the fish that they told me. I remembered the tag 
with each group which listed the  fisherman's name,
 how many fish and how many kilograms.  
I had no idea about these fish. I only knew
they were from the Pacific Ocean near Taiwan. 
If this fish was over 7 kg about 15lb, it would be exported to Hawaii
for restaurant fish fillets. These three were under weight for 

exportation, so they remained in Taiwan for domestic consumers.  
This fishing boat just returned back to the harbor.  
People were curios about what kinds of fish
and how many it brought back, so the pier was
filled with many curios people like me.   
Many fishermen from Southeast Asia
were hired to do this job.  
The fish were covered with ice was for the sashimi market, so it 
required a colder environment to keep more fresh. 
The knife was an interesting subject to me.
It probably served for moving baskets and
other function.  
Buyers gathered together and got ready to bid on their targets.
We drove along the pier and there was no sign to indicate that
if cars could enter or not or where the road would lead to. So we
drove with some doubt to explore this area. We drove up to the hill
and passed some governmental buildings to this location to overlook
the entire harbor. It was one of the fun things to explore with
unknown destination. Sometimes, we were very surprised and
impressed with what we found.
We met an American pastor who used to be
stationed at CCK Air Force Base in Taichung.
  He and his family lived near by the coast. My 

husband lost his contact information. So, we
looked for him by asking locals and came to
this police department. 

Unfortunately, we didn't find him and his 
family; however, we found some beautiful 
views and knew some good people during 
our trip. 
This was another view of the entire harbor from the Chenggong Police
There were many churches on the east coast
near Taitung which was out of my imagination.

The density of the churches in the population 
of 15,000 people in Chenggong was higher than 
other places in Taiwan. Most aborigines are 
Christian or Catholic because of the contributions
 of the western pastors and priests in the remote 
and poor areas.   
There were many well paved bicycles trails
along the east coast. We were on one of these
bicycle trails to enjoy our afternoon watching

 fishing boats in the rough ocean.
On the way back to our hotel we did another
exploring in a small town which was not popular
at all. We drove onto a small road through
some housing area and arrived on this beach.
This woman rode her motor scooter on the firm sandy beach
which was surprising to us. OH! how my husdand wanted his 

motorcycle here now to enjoy this sand beach.
The rice paddy was right next to the beach which I didn't see quite 
often on the west coast. 
I was falling in love with this scenery which made me think 
about moving here. 
Enjoy my life with the peace and the sunset
sensation on the beach.  
      Below photos were near the restaurant that we ate at. The cost of the meal we had was around NT$1,000 (less than US$40.)  

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