I’m back from my trip to Taiwan! Actually, I got back a few days ago but jet lag and catching up at work and home took center stage. We went all over, met some great farmers, drank fantastic tea (and some that wasn’t so fantastic–there’s bad tea even in countries of origin, unfortunately) and learned a lot! I’ll be writing bits here and on the Tea Geek Wiki for many weeks to come. Quickly though, here’s a run-down of the places we visited (some aren’t tea-related, I know, but I figure I’ll give a brief overview here and later posts can be more tea-specific).
30 October: Taipei (National Palace Museum, Taipei City Hall, Taipei 101)
31 Oct: Jiufen (shopping, eating, and a really great teahouse, the Jiufen Chafang, and the Shilin Night Market–one of my favorite days)
1 Nov: Yingge (Yingge Ceramics Museum, teaware shopping, and Free Ceramics with your purchase of Beef Noodles!) and Sanxia (Zushi Temple–another favorite–and the town’s Old Street)
2 Nov: Taipei (Camera Street, The American Club, and failing to get up to see the Grand Hotel because it was heavily guarded for the visiting dignitary from the mainland)
3 Nov: Taipei (Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, rain, Chinese Handicraft Promotion Center, more rain, Longshan Temple, Snake Alley <shudder>, and Ximending Night Market)
4 Nov: Taipei (National Museum of History), Huayuan Xincheng (tea oil noodles for lunch), Wulai (brief drive-through tour), and Maokong (teapot museum, dinner, and a temple complex overlooking Taipei)
5 Nov: Tainan via high speed rail (walking tour of temples and other historical sites)
6 Nov: Tainan (more temples, including Koxinga and Lady Linshui) then to Jiayi (the temple of the City God, and the city’s famous turkey rice for dinner)
7 Nov: Alishan (picking, watching the processing, comparing different days’ products from the same farmer–LOTS of learning experiences and another favorite of the trip)
8 Nov: Alishan (hiking the mountain trails, then back down through the tea fields, returning to Taipei via Jiayi)
9 Nov: Taipei (engagement banquet where we were drafted to represent family members of the groom-to-be who were unable to get to Taiwan) and Bitan (teahouse with yummy snacks and a great view, and dessert at Chocoholic)
10 Nov: Lugang (visiting a tea club, two temples, and more food), and visiting a friend’s family’s ancestral home nearby.
11 Nov: Taizhong, Nantou (studying plant varietals and more at Dong Ding, visiting an ancestral home, visiting a 200-year-old tea plant–shown above–and eating dinner on the edge of a bamboo forest near the base of the mountain)
12 Nov: Pinglin (Pinglin Baozhong Tea Competition entries, tasting tea with another farmer, and the Tea Leaf Museum only because the weather was too bad to pick and see the process in real life)
13 Nov: Northern Taiwan (Yangming Shan, Jin Shan’s Old Street, one of the more famous beaches, Danshui, Ba-Li, and more)
14 Nov: Nangang (Tea Processing Demonstration Facility), Taipei (re-visit of Longshan Temple, and dinner at a friend’s home), and then the airplane home.