Danshui River Walk

Taipei City is a huge metropolitan of more than 2.6 million people. There always seems to be hustle and bustle. And heat. On the weekends, many city dwellers like to go a little outside of town to get away from it all, cool off  from the ocean breeze, eat some snacks, and play a few games. Recently I had a chance to visit Danshui, where the Tamsui River meets the Pacific Ocean. It was a perfect respite from constantly being in the city center. travel in Taiwan

Taiwan Danshui mountains

The mountains were beautiful!

Snacks in Danshui Taiwan

Yum?

Yum?

Danshui Taiwan

Is this not the tallest ice cream you’ve ever seen?!

Taiwan Beach

Playing games

Playing games

Temple in Taipei Taiwan

There were even a few temples there

 

Danshui Danshui Taiwan

Man's Silhouette in Taiwan

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Modern Toilet Restaurant- Taipei, Taiwan

I ate out of a toilet today. So, there’s that.

The Modern Toilet Restaurant is just one of many themed restaurants in Taiwan. There are others, such as hospital or airplane-themed, but the toilet-themed must be the strangest and most unique of them all.

                           toilet restaurant Taiwan                   toilet restaurant Taiwan

 

They serve drinks out of urinals and food out of toilets, both the Asian-style “squatty potty” and Western-style toilets. The most popular are chocolate ice cream and also curry, and you can see why. You sit on toilets instead of seats, there are showers are on the wall, and you can buy poo themed souvenirs.

 

toilet restaurant Taiwan

 

curry in Taiwan

toilet restaurant Taiwan

 

toilet restaurant Taiwan

toilet restaurant Taiwan

If you’re ever in Taipei, visit this restaurant. The food is actually quite good, you’ll get some great pictures, and have a few laughs!

 

 

Go Exploring!

I love exploring. I love exploring other countries, but I can have just as much fun exploring a city that’s just a few hours away. I got to go visit my dear Taiwanese friend in Columbus, Ohio, which is just a few short hours away, this past weekend. Sometimes we see cities we’ve been to before as boring and mundane, but they can also be bursting with inviting places to visit and exotic food to eat. For example, while in Columbus, I ate authentic Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese food. We went to a few cultural events, did some shopping, and just wandered around. I had a great time, and it quenched my thirst for adventure. For now. :]

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Chowing Down in Japan

Eating has been an interesting experience for me  in Japan.

First, let’s talk about seafood. Sadly, I don’t like seafood. And too bad for me, since Japan is an island everyone is always eating seafood! They absolutely can’t believe it when I say I don’t like seafood. In fact, they always ask why not. How do you even answer that? I have seen a lot of seafood dishes that look pretty tempting, but alas, I only like fish. I have had some good salmon here, but I’ll pass on the shrimp, eel, octopus, and crab.

Salmon

Convenience store eating is such a phenomenon here! There are popular convenience stores such as Lawson, Family Mart, and 7-Eleven. (I think 7-Eleven is more popular in Asia than in America!) People will go in here to grab a quick meal, and surprisingly, it’s actually pretty good food! They even advertise the food on tv.  You can get sushi, sandwiches, cold noodles, salads, and so much more! I’ve had a couple convenience store meals so far when I was in a hurry, and it was decent.

The food here is way more expensive than I imagined! For example, tonight I bought a simple bowl of noodles, and it was 9 bucks! I guess I am just used to China, where a bowl of noodles costs less than 2 bucks! The food prices are killing me!

Japanese Food

Ramen, and that junk was SPICY!

And I haven’t eaten many vegetables since being here. The only vegetable I’ve really had is raw cabbage. It’s served with almost every set meal. I’ve had  a lot of meat. Especially deep fried meat. And of course rice.

Miso Soup

Pork cutlet, rice, miso soup, and some pickled vegetables

There have only been a few times when I had to eat by myself, but a lot of the menus either have a little English or have menus. The craziest thing is the plastic food. Outside each restaurant, they have fake food so that you can see what they have. It’s definitely helpful to me!

This food is all fake!

And of course, when in Japan, you’ve got to have sushi! Although I’m not a big raw fish fan, I tried some. I do love vegetable sushi though. (And yes, it’s still sushi, haters!) I loved going to the sushi conveyor belt restaurant where you just grab what you want as it goes by. At the end they add up your bill based on the color and amount of the plates you have in front of you.

kaiten-zushi

Kaiten-zushi (sushi conveyor belt)

Japanese food

Cucumber sushi

Sushi

Shashimi

And Asian desserts are always, um, interesting…Red beans are used in many of the desserts in Japan, much like in China. I can’t stop thinking that beans are for dinner, not for a sweet snack. There are some other strange flavors, like a lot of green tea flavored things, such as a green tea (ma cha) frappuccinos at Starbucks. I tried one, and although I do like green tea a lot, I didn’t like it. What about green tea ice cream? Tofu ice cream? Sesame flavor? I tried a sesame cone, and I actually liked it. However, it just seemed wrong eating black ice cream.

Green tea ice cream

Overall, I enjoyed Japanese food. I tired some new things, and became a big fan of miso soup. I hope if you get a chance to go to Japan, that you now know a little more of what to expect! Well, I’m going to go eat some red bean cake now!