Month: December 2016

Taiwanese Highlights

As promised, I’m back and ready to talk about the best part of the trip: the food and culture. Taiwan only has 23 million people (that’s 1 million less than Shanghai’s official population), but what it lacks in people, it makes up for in flavor and culture. It preserves much of pre communist China and many of the relics that were once in the Forbidden City are actually in Taipei. Since we were biking in the (more beautiful) countryside, we did not get to do some of the more touristy activities such as museums and night markets, but that didn’t matter.

Food

Taiwan is pretty much synonymous with good food, and the organizers weren’t going to let us starve. We were in the countryside so everything was extremely fresh and pretty cheap 🙂 My favorite dish had to be the salt baked carp

It’s a speciality of the Bu Nong tribe and it was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The carp is a special type of carp only found in Taiwan; so fresh!!!!!. It’s baked at a high temperature to render the fat; the salt locks in moisture and gives the meat flavor.

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There was also plenty of delicious salt water chicken. Salt water chicken is ubiquitous around Taiwan and Canton, but the ones we had were particularly good. A couple of the restaurants were actually raising the chickens in their backyard.

The most interesting thing I had was the milk hot pot. It’s literally hotpot except the soup is replaced with milk

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The milk was less than a day old so it was on a completely different playing field than the bottled milk in the cities

Hands down the best meal of the trip was at this place called CASA

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CASA is run by a charity group called 啄木鸟 (Woodpecker). It helps adolescents from disadvantaged, minority families develop skills so they stay on the right road. Our entire meal was prepared by four youths, all under 25. The owners of the restaurant had always wanted one; after many hardships, including having to use their own child’s college fund, their dream became a reality. Touching story aside, the food was AMAZING!!!!

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This place actually had the best salt baked carp of all the restaurants we went to. After the meal, one of the dads offered to help expand this restaurant and charity into Shanghai. We are all looking forward to that moment and will all be involved. I might even get to be a chef!!!!

Snacks

The organizers decided that three, huge, delicious meals a day weren’t enough, so they further tempted us with Taiwanese snacks.

Home made peanut candy

img_0074 Ice cream burrito with peanut shavings

Taiwanese mochi

img_0073grilled sausages

So that’s it for this amazing and delicious trip. I’ll definitely be going back to Taiwan and I encourage all of you to go too. Happy Holidays!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

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Cycling in Taiwan

Hello! I’m back from Taiwan. It was AMAZING!!!! My family, and 12 others, biked over 270km over the course of 5 days and passed some epic views. This post, I’ll give a brief overview of what we did, but I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

20161227_114903_resized (our route)

We started in Yilan county, rode a train down to Taitung, then rode our way back up along the coast.

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The biking wasn’t hard for the kids, but there were two very long uphills (4km and 5km) that everyone climbed as families. Many of us teenagers balked at the idea at first; however, in the end, we all rode alongside our parents- encouraging them and making sure they didn’t quit. All the families made it. Not only that, the coaches said our group was the fastest in the program’s history

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It all went downhill after that. Everyone was relieved.

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It was the rainy season so I was worried about the weather, but……

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(that was actually the last day. It was hot. The other days when we were cycling were cool and cloudy)

We ended the cycling at the start of the SuHua highway. Group Pic!!!!!!
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That’s it for this post! Happy Holidays and see you tomorrow!

Update

Hi!!! Long time no post!!! It’s been a pretty hectic three weeks. On the 3rd- 4th was my first MUN Chairing experience, the following week I had 3 finals; that weekend, I took the ACT and finished finals on Wednesday. I’m happy to say I’m done!!!!!114a1ced8e2fffdd218ee9c37b3da7e6

Grades came out yesterday and I’m equally happy to say I snagged a 100 in English, 99 in science, 96 in Spanish and AP World. The only disappointment was math (85), but I still have an A so:

55655919 (That cat looks just like mine)

Anyways, next week, I’m headed to Taiwan so expect some epic food porn when I get back. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!