Friday, May 06, 2011

Tea in Asia: Day 2 - Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Here's the second installment of my trip to Asia

After a hectic first day, two Kaohsiung Hospitality College* (KHC) students greeted us with a smile and a welcoming breakfast.
*As mentioned in the previous post, the KHC has since been awarded the university title. It is currently called the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism.

I didn’t have an appetite that morning, but I needed fuel for the day. Plus, I'm sure the KHC students worked hard to put all of this together. And just look how good the tray of breakfast looked!

There were bacon-wrapped asparagus spears, “breakfast sausages” which were essentially hot dogs, baby corn, and mushrooms. I liked the slices of toast, too! They tasted homemade. Or maybe that’s just what Taiwanese bread tastes like – either way, it was sweet and fluffy.

I got the delicious mango jello. The jello was so delicate and almost pudding-like. I loved this!

Breakfast was quickly ended with a cup or two of coffee.

We met up with the group in the lobby and then headed to the Dream Mall. It was another hot and humid day. As soon as we got outside of the air-conditioned building, I felt like someone sprayed us with water. Gross!

Lead by our guides, Coco, Denise and their friend Murphy, our group took the super-clean and efficient Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT). We were all amazed at how nice the KMRT was. You aren’t allowed to eat, drink, or even chew gum within the KMRT, so that's probably why it wasn't dirty.


We took a group picture inside the Dream Mall lobby, rode the Ferris wheel, walked around the mall. We got hungry. We got lost looking for the food court. We rode up and down the escalators looking for the main food court, got lost some more, and then finally found our way there.

By the time we decided what we wanted to eat, we only had half an hour before we had to leave the mall. There was a large variety of different things to eat. Everything was cheap, too. 

AB ordered the wonton soup with a side of more wontons. Hahaa!

CPR (hehee.. those are great initials) had the breaded chicken with a honey mustard dipping sauce. Her meal included rice and a little plum, a shredded salad with another plum, a small cup of strawberry jello, a bowl of light broth, and a cup of tea.

I got a noodle dish. (Any surprise there?) It included a seaweed soup, pickled cabbage (almost like a kimchi), and a fountain drink. Oh, I forgot to mention that AB and I also got a milk tea with pearls. My noodle dish was a bit of a let down cause I thought I ordered a bowl of noodle soup. Ah well. The milk tea was good though!

We left the Dream Mall and headed toward the Cijin District. We met up with another guide, rented some bicycles outside one of the KMRT stations (I think it was the Sizihwan Station) and rode onto the motorcycle-packed Cijin-Gushan ferry. Once we arrived on the peninsula, we rode along the MiaoQian Road where we briefly visited one of the temples. We continued up the road and turned onto the QiJin 3rd Road, passing many food hawkers along the way. We rode along the QiJin Coast Park and then turned back around. I wished we had more time to get off and have a picnic in the park.

Anyway, we biked to the base of the Cihou lighthouse and fort. I was too tired to make the hike up, so I stayed behind with a few other people. I do regret not going up.

Once the main group came back down, we hopped onto our bikes and went to the former British Consulate at Takao. Oh man, the stairs to get up was quite the work out. I could’ve sworn I heard the Rocky theme song as I began climbing the stairs. My quads were burning after the first flight of stairs. Hahaa, so weak!

The sun had set when we began having dinner at the café. I didn’t have an appetite. I was just too exhausted to eat anything, so I just rehydrated with some juice and shared a slice of cake with NG. There was also a couple behind our table that were making out all night. Get a room!

Anyway, I did take a quick shot of someone else’s dinner though. I don’t remember who’s it was, but SS, AO, and JV all ordered this. It looks like a chicken stir-fry with rice and veggies, a pumpkin soup, and a slice of cake.

After dinner, we headed back down the stairs and biked into the night. We returned the rented bicycles and then went back to the KHC for a much needed shower and a good night’s sleep.

This was one of my favouite parts of the whole trip. Sharing the roads with the locals made me feel like I wasn’t such a foreigner. I felt almost at home as we biked around the Cijin District. The only things I was missing was a giant tinted Asian visor, a basket on my bike, and a facemask.

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