Thursday, November 3, 2011

food near lotus lake and the old city of fengshan

As you walk away from the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas toward the main street you will see this outdoor stall.

A local who spoke English and was with a foreigner told us that this place was very famous for its cream puffs. We asked how the Portuguese egg tarts were at this stall. They said it was better than the ones sold at KFC. Evo and Brandon got chocolate cream puffs while I got a vanilla flavored one.

vanilla cream puff
When I split mine open to take a picture I noticed my cream was more purple colored than white. It also didn't taste like vanilla so I'm thinking it might have been taro flavored? The cream puffs didn't taste good at all. It was all cold and the creme was ughhh. Beard Papas makes them better, especially the ones in Hong Kong. We were joking that this stall must only be famous on this street and how all these shops and stalls are all supposedly famous for something but probably only in a small area. Haha. Next came the egg tarts...

portuguese egg tart or pastel de nata
These egg tarts were freaking nasty. I'm not sure if its because I'm not use to these egg tarts or because I just don't like the fact that Portuguese egg tarts have a more creme brulee consistency than the egg tarts I'm use to. It was just a weird flavor in my mouth and after a bite or two I threw it away. This famous stall was a serious disappointment.

If you continue walking pass this stall you will see a Donutes shop in the distance. If you head over there you will see North Gate of Old Fongshan City. The Old City of Fengshan was built during the Qing Dynasty and was one of the first cities in Taiwan to be fortified by a defensive wall. There were four gates to enter the city, North, South, East and West gates. The North Gate is the easiest to walk to from Lotus Lake and is the only one we saw on our visit.

north gate or gongchen gate
As you can see above there are two statue plaques on the gate. The statues are of ménshén or door gods, Shentu and Yueli, which are suppose to protect the city from evil spirits. On this blog, it is stated that the door gods are only found on the North Gate because the Chinese believed that evil spirits would only enter the city from the north. I tried telling my sister and Brandon this interesting fact but they could care less. They were zoning out! No appreciation for history or culture. So sad :(
the old wall of fenghan
Parts of the old wall of fengshan still exists. I didn't think the wall would actually be this wide since I was thinking it would just be a regular wall. Of course I didn't consider that it probably had to be wide enough to hold guards. The grass area is where the old city of Fengshan use to be. You can see the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in the distance.

north gate next to a donutes shop
It's really shameful how close the Donutes shop is next to an historical monument. They actually spell it Donutes and I'm not sure that's on purpose or not... The only good thing is that you can see the Donutes shop from a distance so can use it as a landmark to find the North Gate. There weren't tourists here at all so I'm not sure if people even know this exists. I didn't see any signs pointing this way, not in English anyways.

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