Yingge – the Place for Pottery

Last week Luke and I took a trip out to Yingge, which is a famed pottery town about 45 minutes outside of Taipei City. We started our visit at the Ceramics Museum.

IMG_7830It’s a great museum with lots of history, information, and examples of the various pottery and ceramics Taiwan has produced over the years.

IMG_7833Apart from the standard pottery fare, the museum also had quite a few modern pieces such as this helmet,

IMG_7836and this iguana baby. IMG_7837

After the museum we made our way to Yingge Old Street. Before browsing the shops we had sausages and bubble tea.

IMG_7839The street is full of little shops each filled to the brim with various pottery pieces and ceramics. Most places only sell tea sets, all ranging in price and quality.

IMG_7841After we made our purchase (a new tea set) we grabbed an ice cream (inside a croissant cone) and made our way home.

IMG_7845Back home we tried out our new set.

IMG_4509Yingge is a great little day trip for those in need of a tea set. The museum alone is well worth a visit.

Life Recently

The cats have been spending a lot of time in their new Cat Crib.

I ordered the crib a while back and asked my parents send it over from the States. They sent it along with a boatload of other goodies to help me get through my pregnancy.

As much as I tell them not to send it, it’s always fun to receive American Halloweeen candy. We had a great time taste testing everything. The booger gummies were my favorite.

Just this week I met up for lunch with a woman from my book club and she introduced me to a new restaurant where I had an awesome curry.

Last weekend Jen and Rob were visiting my parents in Ohio. I video chatted with them a few times and things got pretty interesting…

I made a trip to Ikea on Wednesday and scoped out the baby gear. So cute.

Luke and I had date date night on Friday. We kicked it off with tea and scones at Smith & Hsu.

We ended up ordering a pot of Masala Chai (although I was tempted by the Kir Royale tea) to accompany our cheese and berry scones.

After tea we did some shopping and ended up at Toasteria for dinner.

Luke had a salami and gouda grilled cheese and I had a smoked salmon salad. It was divine.

And perhaps the most exciting thing in our lives is that as of today I am 17 weeks pregnant!

I am finally starting to show and others are noticing. Hopefully sometime this week or next I will feel him move for the first time. I can’t wait for that moment.

Jiufen – We’ll Be Back

We recently took a drive an hour north of Taipei to Jiufen. Jiufen is a quaint town on the coast known for its beautiful views, Japanese-style buildings, and a long-narrow street filled with little shops and food stalls that winds its way up a hill.

As soon as we arrived we took a little walk up to a look out to check out the awesome view of the Ocean and impressive hillsides filled with mausoleums.

After the hike we wandered up the famed street.

In search of a place to sit and drink tea.

We found just the place, Jiufen Teahouse. It’s a beautiful big old building filled with gorgeous antique decorations, plants and ponds filled with Koi.

We wasted away a good part of the afternoon here.

After we abandoned our table.

We headed outside to check out the view.

And then made our way back down the long, narrow street.

Stopping to sample a few treats on the way. Including these giant BBQ-ed mushrooms.

And sorbet wrapped in a thin crepe filled with crushed peanuts and coriander (a Taiwan specialty).

Unfortunately we didn’t stay for nightfall when all the lanterns lining the street turn on. It’s meant to be very magical but also very crowded. We’ll be back though.

More adventures with Cam and Gin

Ginny’s 30th Birthday may have been the highlight but we managed to do so other cool stuff around Taiwan while Cam and Gin were here.

We took a mini-road trip to Taroko Gorge.

And stayed a night in the glorious Silks Place.

Wine was consumed and cigars were smoked.

We ate a boatload of a food.

And we celebrated Gin’s birthday once more.

Back in Taipei we got on our bikes and hit up the Shida night market.

Luke was keen for our guests to sample Taiwan’s more unusual culinary delights.

On the tasting menu that particular night: Pig’s blood. Cam not keen.

One stunning afternoon we got back in the car and drove up to Maokong.

Tea was drunk and stories were told.

Ending the night at Bongos for a hit of western-style hamburgers.

We enjoyed a few morning walks through Daan Park (complete with a foot massage).

One sweltering day we took our bikes and sun-brellas out the CKS Memorial.

A tasty lunch of dumplings was eaten at the Golden Chicken Pot on the famous Yongkang St.

The last night Cam and Gin were here we went out to Ximending and then to a Japanese BBQ place for grilled meats and copious amounts of beer (which sadly I had to miss as I was sooo exhausted).


After the Typhoon

Typhoon Saola came and went. It left behind a lot of mess and a lot of these guys:

Everything shut down on Thursday as a result of the Typhoon so we had a day at home studying. Despite being inside things still got a bit destructive.

This wasn’t caused by the Typhoon but by my own stupidity.

Friday things were back to normal. We had classes in the morning then Korean for lunch.

And to kick off our Friday night we headed to Gongguan Night Market (公館夜市) located a short bike ride away from us to eat more good food.

We saw this stand with a super long line at this stall and were immediately intrigued.

Whenever you see a long line in Taiwan, you can bet your money whatever is at the other end of the line is worth the wait.

So Luke lined up and 15 minuted later he has this in his hands:

He was stoked with it. There was one big delicious mess of goodness inside there. If you ever come visit us in Taiwan you will have to try one of these!

The next long line we spotted was at this stall:

So we lined up again and again it was worth the wait. It was a delicious bready omlety thing. I could imagine having one for breakfast.

To polish our day of good food off we hit up our local shaved ice place for dessert.

We spent the rest of the night in a total food coma. Saturday night we took a drive to Maokong, a tea growing spot just outside of Taipei.

We went to YaoYue as we heard it was pretty tops.

It was very atmospheric set amongst the tea fields.

We sat outside and had tea.

And a few snacks to go with it.

It was a nice escape from the city and I foresee many many more trips to Maokong in our future.

We were lucky the Typhoon passed just in time for the weekend or else none of this would have been possible!