magicaltaiwan

Exploring the Miracles of Neiwan

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Neiwan – video log

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Written by clarine chai

September 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Attractions, Hakka culture, Neiwan, People, Videos

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Hengshan Caifeng Guan (Hakka Museum)

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This museum is opened by the same boss of the cinema theatre and all the collections inside belongs to him. Amazing!! Why? Because the boss looks really young like in his late 30s. Well to be fair, the stuff inside are not as old as in the prehistoric times. It’s the stuff which you grandparents might still have. Still it is a great place to see what your grandparents used in the past especially for Singaporeans in our pigeon-hole high rise flats, our grandparents might have already dumped most of them in favour for modern goods. Take for example my professor in his 50s. He has an iphone which I don’t have!

 

Kettles, pots and pans which you can still find in traditional Chinese restaurants today.

 Matchboxes from the past. The shape is similar to the ones we have now just that he design on it is much more colourful and cartoon-like? think of bugs bunny cartoon. get the idea?

 Rattan baskets which people bring to the wet markets to keep groceries and bring practically everywhere else as handbags. I like them. I see a lot of them in the hong kong dramas I watch.

Cookies and biscuit tins from the past. I think biscuits brands such as Hup Seng with a longer history and which cater to the older population still use metal tins now. But its interesting to see many of the different tin packagings which have phased out by now.

Bedroom and clothes of Chinese from traditional families. Red is frequently used because it’s an auspicious colour for the Chinese. The flower print you see on the bed, I think it’s only unique to the hakka culture. I see similar flower prints on curtains, cushions and tote bags all over Neiwan

Pull carts and makeshift stalls from the past. I think I still see these in Singapore hawker centres which want to create a more traditional and oriental ambience for their customers. An example is the Food republic in Vivo City.  The picture on the left somehow makes me think of dim sum and har gaw ahah

Records from the past is huge and the picture on the right shows the layout of a typical shop in the old days. Look at the abacus and posters on the wall.

This museum also showcases the history of taiwan and the hakka community. it details the events which occurred during world war II and has real photograhs from the past as evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by clarine chai

June 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

Dinner at cinema theatre

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This cinema theatre was built by the Japanese during the colonial times as entertainment for the soldiers and much of it is unchanged since then, making this an attractive tourist destination.

Very classic ambience to it, antiques and paintings on the walls bring you back into the 60s. This cinema theatre serves traditional hakka food of good quality and you can watch old films from the past when you dine.

The cinema theatre makes some of their own unique souvenirs for sale. Here we have poker cards of Neiwan scenery and a famous artiste from the 60s.

I love this sign. looks pretty in the dark don’t it?

These are film equipment used in the past. The smaller one makes film of a lower resolution.

This is the record player from the past.

Ladies normally wear cheongsam in the past. Is that a cap on her head?

Comic books and magazines from the past

Japanese style dining rooms retained from the colonial periods

Straw raincoat which farmers wear in the past

Pork is made in different ways here.

I Love the pork with pickles which is known as “mui choi kou yok” Chinese in Cantonese & “Mei Cai Kou Rou” in and can be found in most spore food courts). Its tender and the fatty bits gives it an added moisture and kick.

This is the roasted and sliced version. Also equally good 😉

Pig oil (lard) mixed with rice – people in the past only have this and vegetables for their meals daily. They have meat dishes only on special occasions or festive periods. This is Mr Lan showing us how to eat it. Mix in the pork lard gravy into the rice and the rice will taste good on its own. don’t eat this all the time though. It’s really fattening. I tried a spoonful and it tastes funny. Think I prefer plain rice.

Traditional Chinese must drink soup every dinner. This is herbal ginger chicken soup with red dates and it’s really nutritional.

Simple stir fry vegetables. Healthy and it’s not as oily as the ones I’ve tried in China.

I saw this dish in a number of hakka restaurants. It looks really appetizing with the yellow egg yolk in the middle.

Love the tangerine sauce with goes with the chicken. Tangerine sauce is unique to hakka culture and the environment in Taiwan is well suited to grow good and sweet tangerines.

Written by clarine chai

June 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Where dreams come true – Jian Shi’s Lavender cottage

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We spotted a sign to lavender cottage on a lampost near our homestay but we were unsure of how to get there. It is a distance away from Neiwan and we couldn’t drive. My friend asked a taxi driver how much it would cost to go there and he quoted 300$NT- this is really expensive, so we dropped the idea of going there.

One day we were having lunch at the Milk dessert shop in Neiwan and the waitress recommended us to visit that place. The cottage provides a 2-way bus service for only 100$NT. Entrance ticket $200NT with $100NT voucher for any item you purchase inside.

Lavender cottage is set up by 2 girls who are deeply in love with coffee and purple lavenders. There are other branches throughout Taiwan such as in Miaoli and Hsinchu. This charming cottage ignites the child-like fantasy of cute teddy bears and colourful doll houses we dream of as little girls. It is a great to relax and have tea with friends and family, take photos and explore your artistic side by handmaking simple handicraft.

Besides lavenders, this cottage has cute potted flowers of various kinds such as daisies, lilies & orchids

I was so delighted that I managed to snap a photo of a yellow butterfly fluttering its wing on this pink flower. This is cinderella’s dreamland!!

DIY workshop for you to make little handicrafts of miniature gardens and cottages or photo frames to give loved ones and friends as birthday gifts.

Wishing tree – strings and leaf-shaped paper for you to write your wishes on provided. I was instantly mesmerized by this beautiful sight. If you like, you can have a self portrait drawn by an artist here.

Hilltop café with awesome view of the entire cottage. Service staff is friendly and attentive. They gave us mint flavored water and recommended items in the menu without having to ask. They even provided plastic gloves for dishes like grilled chicken leg which may require the use of our hands

I love their purple outfit. Most of everything has a touch of purple. Oh there is also a condiments table where you can help yourself with sauces to go with your dishes such as tomato, vinegar, mint leaves, and other herb and spices.

Really good Sesame and butter bread to go with your soup. I wished it was served warm though.
Most pumpkin soups I have tried are much creamier and have seafood such as prawn and lobsters in them. This is plain pumpkin soup but surprisingly quite good. Simple and healthy.

We ordered the grilled chicken leg. this is only a cut-up portion of the actual dish. Simple good western food with lots of herbs and spices flavoring it. Meat is tender and moist.

Take out counter for those who prefer to eat on the go. Treat yourself to lavender ice cream at the palour to cool yourself down on a sunny day!

Little trails in the hills of trees of different shapes and sizes

DIY stamping hut- creative little hut with at least 10 different stamps for you to choose from to create cute designs on little cards

Written by clarine chai

June 7, 2011 at 5:06 am

Candy (snack) stall of the old times

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Candy stall just in front of the cinema, brings you back to the past in your school days when you head down to the candy stall after school to buy gummies and small treats to snack on the way home. Here the rustic feel of the olden times really brings back fond memories. Look at the rows of candy jars filled with candies of all shapes and sizes. It evoked in me that familiar feeling of curiosity as a kid.

Written by clarine chai

June 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Posted in Attractions, Neiwan

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Panong suspension bridge café – Jing Long Café

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A great place to dine at and just chill and relax. It is just next to the Panong suspension bridge which lights up at night, so come by for dinner to get a picturesque view of the bridge from the café. There is a mini-bar in the café and you can try the owner’s special cocktail concoctions.  The owner is so nice. He lent us his personal laptop to access the internet. The café is currently installing wi-fi facilities for its customers.

This is a picture of the owner & his wife

Interior of café

Cool bar area where they make their drinks. the owner will sometimes flash neon spotlights on the ceiling which form interesting patterns, giving a very disco-like feel to the café.

This is a beautiful artwork by famous cartoonist __ who used to live in  Neiwan. this area is for customers to rest and relax and maybe surf the net. they are considering of changing it to a 6 –seater dining table for customers who prefer to sit crossed-leg Japanese style while they dine.

this café homemake their own ice cream with their own ice-cream making machine. There are many flavours from chocolate, strawberry to yam and sesame.  I suggest you take the fruity or sour ones such as passionfruit and sour plum because this kind of ice cream is made with a higher content of water rather than milke so flavours such as chocolate and sesame wouldn’t taste that good. A unique flavour which can only be found in Penghu & Neiwan is the cactus flavoured ice cream. I can’t really describe how it tastes like, the closest I can think of  is aloe vera. It doesn’t have a very strong flavorful taste but nonetheless do give it a try.

exterior of café

You can choose to sit outside where you can get a scenic view of the panong suspension bridge and its surronding hills and rivers. Look at these pictures! Isn’t it a lovely place to spend an afternoon having tea?

Artistic interior design with flowers and folded paper cranes hanging from the ceiling, making this place really homely.

View of the sunset from the café

Written by clarine chai

June 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Panong suspension bridge

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Narrower than Neiwan’s bridge. You almost feel like you are walking on a tightrope. All I could think of was. I’m tarzan of the jungle!! Haha. Anyway this is a magnificent bridge for taking far-range pictures. I love the sound of the gushing stream below me. This bridge leads to a flight of stairs and a hiking trail up into the mountains.

There are several suspension bridges in Taiwan. I have been to the one in Shifen, but I like this better because it’s narrower and a little less sturdy, you could really feel that you are hanging up in mid-air.

Written by clarine chai

June 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm