Last Days in Taiwan – Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

May 13th, 2012

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

Tsong yo bing (green onion pancakes) at “The Old Place” restaurant with Teresa’s cousin, Tina. It’s things like this that I miss most about Taiwan.

On one of our last days in Taipei, we met up with Tina to hang out and see some of her neighborhood outside Taipei city. We decided to go and look at a tea field that her boss runs. I’ve always wanted to visit a tea farm… I don’t know why, but it seems so peaceful and relaxing. And, besides that, I just really love tea.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

Taiwan is famous for many fine teas that are produced in the country. I don’t know exactly which type this crop will end up being, but I did learn that all tea comes from one plant. Despite the hundreds of varieties of packaged tea, there is actually only one tea plant. It all starts here.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

Tina explained this, the the good part that will be harvested later–is a “tip” with small leaves and fresh sprout.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

I guess kicking around the tea farm and talking with Tina about tea, life, and whatever else got Teresa in the mood for some bubble tea, so we decided to hit up a “50 Lan” (wu su lan… probably the best bubble tea chain in Taiwan) and get some of the good stuff to be had there.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

So sad… one of the last times we would be able to have bubble tea on this trip!

Then, dinner at “The Old Place” – one of Tina’s regular family dinner spots.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

So good and comfortable… just great home-style food at a local spot. Would we have found “The Old Place” as a couple of tourists looking through the internet? No way. We’re happy that we were given this chance to experience a bit of this out-of-the-way local stuff. It was delicious, as if that needs to be said. We about ordered the whole menu, it felt like, and ended up bringing her family quite a few leftovers.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

The green onion pancakes alone were practically enough to constitute a meal. And we had about 6 other things on top of that… all fantastic. The pot you see in the middle there is something called mei cai kou rou. Steamed pork belly with mustard greens. Just f____’in heaven.

Finally, we went with Tina for a night-time walk along the top of the reservoir, where I was able to capture some dramatic long-exposure views.

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk

Last Days in Taiwan   Tea Fields, Great Food and a Walk
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“Man, being reasonable, must get drunk; the best of life is but intoxication.”
~ Lord Byron