magicaltaiwan

Exploring the Miracles of Neiwan

Posts Tagged ‘homestay

Hilltop café – Xin guang liu yi (shooting stars)

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“Xin guang liu yi” which means “shooting stars” in English is a hilltop café opened by town chief whom the locals call “li shi zhang”. It is named shooting stars because you can see beautiful stars twinkling in the sky on a clear night from here. Another reason is because just behind this café is a hiking trail where thousands of fireflies in the bushes appear like blankets of shimmering stars at your feet.

This is the garden just outside the café and its designed and managed by “li shi zhang” himself.  He really has green fingers.  Look at the overhanging orchids and flowers from the wooden plant rack above. The trees and potted plants are also very well trimmed.

This is the beautiful scenery from the garden. You can see a traditional Taiwanese temple and a tunnel through which a train chuckles through every hour. I like to sit in the garden and have coffee because the air is really cooling and fresh out here.

This is interior of the café. It has a very homely ambience and there is a corner filled with magazines and comic books for you to browse while you enjoy your meal. This is also the place where regular community meetings are held. I love to snuggle up in a comfy chair with a magazine to read while I’m there.

Li shi zhang has also built his own homestay (min shu) for visitors. The rooms are simple and spacious and with two, three and four-room types available. You can consider staying here over the weekend while you explore Neiwan and its wonders.

Written by clarine chai

June 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Posted in Neiwan

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How to tell whether it’s Good lu rou fan (braised pork rice)

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Lu rou fan. The homestay couple told us that good lu rou fan has to be cooked in a huge pot over and over again. Really good and famous old stalls do not wash their pots for as long as 10 years to retain the roasted taste. Shock! Shock! The first thought that flashed across my mind was – is it hygienic?? But I think he has read my mind before I could ask him. He explained that it’s safe because what is left on the bottom of the pot is burnt oil and re-cooking the oil at high temperatures each time will sterilize and kill whatever germs there is in the pot while adding on to the burnt and rusty flavor of good old lu rou fan! ;P alright I’m convinced!! No wonder lu rou fan from older stalls by the road taste so much better.

 

Written by clarine chai

June 1, 2011 at 10:30 am

Caring Homestay mother in Neiwan

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This is where I stayed. It’s a homestay (Minsu in Chinese) something like a hostel but you stay with a family.  . It’s great because you get to see how a Taiwanese family lives and learn about the food they eat and their habits.

The woman in purple is our landlord. We She is so nice and motherly. She is really concerned for our safety and waits for us to return home before she sleeps every night. We only realized that when once we went to Taipei and came back really late at night. (Taipei is 2hrs away from Neiwan – so that is 4hrs to and fro. We made a mistake of setting off too late).

Another instance you can see how caring she is was when we told her that we wanted to see the fireflies in Neiwan. We knew the way but she was afraid for our safety and decided to go together with us. She even made dinner for us. It was plain and healthy like my mum’s cooking. I especially love the egg steamed with Chinese wine. I told her I love taiwan’s braised pork rice and she said she would cook braised pork with bamboo shoots for us next time. There is no market in Neiwan. The nearest one is in Zhudong and she offered to bring us there next time. Wonder if it’s like the wet market in Malaysia?

 Food she cooked for us- YUMMY!!

 

from left- Yu deng, me, Mr Zhang, Mr Lan, Our landlord 😉

Written by clarine chai

June 1, 2011 at 7:28 am

Posted in Neiwan, People

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