Kaohsiung update

I rarely sit and do nothing on my vacation but that’s what I did for a few days at Kenting.  My brother text me while I was half napping poolside after breakfast.  He had just come home after a very long day at work (this was around 11Pm).  I told him he interrupted my morning nap.  Brotherly love was quickly unraveled.  

We went to Kaohsiung afterwards for a few days.  The heat and the humidity slowed me down a bit.  I’m always nervous about street food but have been eating them in Taiwan for a couple of years.

Pepper pork bun fresh from the oven.  It took awhile for this to cool down.  I figured anything fresh from an oven (looks a bit like a Tandoori oven) can’t have any germs or bacteria.

 Fish ball soup:

Seafood congee 

Steamed crab meat

Abalone – it was quite tender.

The guy who cooked the abalone.

Dumplings with ginger in chili oil and a cold beer.

A view of the tables beside our table.  It’s not exactly 5 star place but my tummy was fine.

We also went to the Fo Guang Shan temple just outside of Kaohsiung.  There’s a bus from the Zuoying High Speed Rail station that will take you there but keep an eye for the last bus (18:23).  I’m not Buddhist but I feel a sense of tranquility when I’m here.  

While in Kaohsiung we also revisited the Lotus Pond.  We saw some of it last year at dusk but got drenched when the skies opened up.  This year we found an easier way to get there.  We took a local train from Kaohsiung Main Station to Zuoying (one stop) and it was about a 10 minute walk.

The Dragon and Tiger Pagoda with depictions of heaven and hell inside.  You enter through the Dragon’s mouth and exit from the Toger’s mouth on the right.

This was a temple across the street. I believe this is called Cihji or Ciji Temple and is part of the pagodas.  

The Chi Ming Tang temple, it was stunning inside.  I didn’t take pictures because I wasn’t sure if it was allowed.

I also saw this interesting shaped tree while walking around Lotus Pond.  Maybe it was trained to grow this way when it was still a sapling.

Turtles!  I saw lots of them by the Guan Yin statue. 

That’s it for now.  I go back to Taipei, then to Thailand for 3 days before returning to Taipei for more relaxing.  


Taiwan update

I made it to Taiwan safe and sound.  We’re here for the third consecutive year.  We flew on EVA again on their Elite (premium economy) class.  Check in was a breeze as they have separate line.  The flight looked full (our section was filled up).  We tried to upgrade to business class using our points but the agent at Star Alliance said our ticket class or fare class doesn’t allow for an upgrade.  Oh well.

The EVA Airways staff were polite and efficient. There were 3 young kids (2 were twins) and the flight attendants paid special attention to them.  Our plane seemed a bit worn down (Boeing 777) but it got us there safely.  The food was ok.  The baked fish in a cream sauce was dry.  The congee I had for breakfast was better.

1.  The wake up mood lighting for breakfast.

2.  Congee with preserved egg and lean pork, side dishes of pumpkin and snap peas, carrot with dried shredded bean curd, 3 pieces of fruit and a croissant.

 We spent the first day in Taipei.  The heat and humidity made walking around more strenuous.  My polo shirt was soaked in sweat.  But snacks like this chilled tofu pudding helped me through the day.

3. Chilled tofu pudding, one has peanuts and the other one has red bean.  

We spent the first day in Taipei.  It’s a wonderful city with many small streets and lanes.
4.  Small restaurant off a side street.

5.  These guys were putting together box lunches of braised pork hock, bamboo shoots, some veggies and rice.   There was a steady line up of customers.

Then it was off to Kenting in the southern part of Taiwan.  I took some pics from the bus.  

6.  Fishing boats (I think)

7.  Fish pond

8. Kenting Night Market 

Top:  sticky rice and sausage

Middle: grilled chicken roll

Bottom: shrimp cake deep fried between 2 sheets of rice paper

That’s it for now.  I’m vegging out since I’ve been here.  I just wished there was a decent bookstore nearby but other than that, life is good.

I hope everyone is doing well.  

Packing Heavy

The moments before I leave on any trip is always a bit stressful for me.  I don’t know how to pack light.  When I traveled on business, I always made sure I had an extra shirt, socks, tie, tshirt and underwear just in case.  Maybe the years of working in IT always made me plan for the worse.  I even carried a small clothes steamer to get the wrinkles out of my suit(s).

For this upcoming trip, I’ve got some warm clothes even though I’m going to Asia because the AC in the hotel rooms can be pretty cold.  It’ll also be cold when I return.  I packed enough for about 5 to 6 days without doing laundry.  I’ll see if I can slim this down a bit more.  I don’t remember how I managed to fit everything into a backpack before.  As long as I have the mandatory things like my meds, eye glass, money, phone, passport, tickets, basic toiletries – I should be fine.  I can always buy clothes if I forget something.

I guess I don’t need to pack my rice cooker.


p.s. I have never tried updating using the WordPress app on my phone.  I’m going to try doing it when I travel.

Keeping Up

I have a cable technician coming in tomorrow to do some work on my unit.  I have to move my desk, boxes, filing cabinets etc… so the tech has access to the cable and phone plugs.  I took advantage of this to do some cleaning and (sigh) decluttering.  I still have a ton of stuff to get rid of.  My unit has hardwood floors and I have this plastic sheet underneath my desk and chair to protect the floor.

When I removed it this morning, there was a lot of sticky residue that took hours of hard scrubbing with a several hot and damp microfiber rags to wipe off.  Sadly there was also damage to the floor.  The finish flaked off when I pulled the plastic sheet off the floor.  There’s also a lot of grooves where my chair was.  While this isn’t the end of the world, it’s just frustrating.   To top it off, while I was venting to J about this, I was puzzled why my phone’s battery was so low.  I seem to be always recharging it lately and I’m not exactly a heavy duty user.  I’m worried that I may have to replace the battery and I better do this before I travel.

Yep, I’m off to Asia instead of looking for a job.  It’s hard not to feel guilty but now that I have some time, J (and others) convinced me this will be good.  Even my job counselor agreed said this was great.  But there’s just so much to do before I go.  I just hope I don’t snore on the plane.  I’ve never blogged from my phone but maybe I’ll give it a try when I’m traveling.