Monday, October 17, 2011

tourist traps in yilan...

After the National Center for Traditional Arts, we went to the Luodong Forestry Culture Garden. A couple minutes after we arrived it started raining. We still proceeded to walk around and I'm not sure what we were suppose to be looking at there was a lot of greenery. Luodong was known for its logging back in the day. Apparently they cut the logs high up in the mountains and would use the Lanyang river to transport the logs down into the log pond at Yuanshan in Yilan.

storage facility for the logs
Of course the river can't do all the work.

old train
The site of this park is where the logging railway met the Yilan train back in the days and they have some of the old trains here. A lot of people were using the train as shelter from the rain. Basically the one hour we had here was spent hiding from the rain. I just read my kindle the whole time. Later on a little museum opened up and there was a lot of models of the logging industry back in the day.

Later we went to the Mary Leu Fine Art Carving Gallery which really felt like a tourist trap location. There was a video in the beginning which was all in Chinese and I just put on my "oh of course I understand Chinese face" and did a lot of nodding. The gallery was pretty amazing and no pictures were allowed but I'm a rule breaker so no one could stop me especially since there wasn't any security peoples just some cameras.

jacket made of wood
This was my favorite piece at the gallery. If you take a closer look at the piece you can see all the detail that went into this. It actually looks like the fabric of a jacket! Included in the price of a ticket was a free beverage. I choose the lotus tea which is suppose to make a person beautiful. Right if this tea made people beautiful you think you would see it being sold at all the makeup counters or whatever. Anyways I thought that since lotus was a flower it would taste something similar to rose tea. Boy was I wrong. The tea was bitter and I couldn't even finish all of it.

lotus tea next to a fish bowl
I sat at a table that actually had a fish bowl set into the table. The fish bowl only had one little fish in it and it would surface to the water at any area you blew on. The lid of my teapot actually converted into a teacup which was pretty cute. The area where we drank our tea was basically a shop that sold amber, sculptures and tea. Totally reminded of all those stores I was forced to stop at when on a tour of China. The next stop was another tourist trap. It was just a place that had lots of plants for people to buy. A lot of tour buses were here also and I'm sure this place striked a deal with those tour bus peoples to get them there. I really enjoyed the section with all the orchids. Very pretty!

purple and white orchids
Working those special effects on my camera. Haha. Instead of going to all these random places I would rather spend more time at the National Center for Traditional Arts. I hate how the rain keeps starting and stopping here and ruined my weekend.

Now on to dinner:
platter of meat including abalone
Abalone is very expensive and considered to be very healthy. I had one but i didn't find it yummy at all. These meat platters are very similar to the ones I've seen in restaurants during wedding receptions.

yellow chicken and squid with veggies
All the dishes were served on even bigger dishes with elaborate decorations. One of my co-workers even took the big shell home with her! I'm not a big fan of yellow chicken but I was seriously considering eating it because I didn't think there would be any meat at this dinner. Totally ate all the mushrooms in the other dish.

some kind of sweet bbq sauced ribs, shrimp, and potato cubes
Not sure if those cubes were fully potatoes but even tho they look crispy and solid, on the inside it was gooey and didn't exactly taste like potato.

ribs and water spinach
So the veggies are called water spinach and have hollow tubes instead of stems, was super delicious. Not really a big fan of the ribs. I wish they had some spare ribs!

coconut tapioca dessert with a side of guava
I loved this dessert! I had so many bowls of it. This dish had white tapioca balls or sago balls in it. The juice was very sweet and was coconut flavored. Guava was delicious was usual. In Taiwan, soup is served at the end of the meals with the dessert instead of at the beginning like in Cantonese restaurants.

I've been on the hunt for some almond jello since I had some at the Taiwan Costco. People here don't even know what jello is! I guess that makes sense since Jello is actually a brand of gelatin but they call jello here pudding... Almond isn't popular here at all and besides Costco I haven't been able to find it. In Yilan we walked to the night market near our hotel and randomly stopped by a stall that sold almond jello! It had started raining and so we didn't continue on to the market and just headed back after buying the jello.

almond jello
The almond jello I make is more delicious but this wasn't bad. Glad to know I can buy almond jello here. This made me happy :D


  1. They call it jelly in Aus. And I told them that jelly meant jam, but they said jam was jam. And then I told them about peanut butter & jelly!! They don't do that there!! Isn't that crazy?!?

  2. the watercress is kind of like a water spinach. or a least that's what we call it in vietnamese so of course it tastes like spinach. the chicken and the desert look amazing too. damn, it's not a good idea reading your blog while i'm hungry...