Monday, September 01, 2008

Tai-an Part 2

tai an 015Turned out the room was nice- 2 big beds with sheets (not something you always get in Taiwan), and it overlooked the river with a little waterfall.  It was all wood and always pretty humid inside, I guess because of all the steamy hot springs?  Also the general humidity.

I showered, had another pb&j and chocolate milk, and it stopped raining so we decided to go for a little hike.  We asked the lady at the front desk which one would be the least deadly after all the rain and she said the waterfall one (I was worried because my Lonely Planet said you had to lower yourself down by ropes to get to it) so we headed out.

 tai an 009 Here's a picture of Jasmine just outside the parking lot (yeah, I rode in her car, finally!)  You can see the cool mini-waterfall across the river.  It was a nice walk- Jasmine always says she is in the worse shape but I kept slowing us down.  No ropes on the way to the waterfall, just stairs and more stairs.

tai an 011 There were tons of little waterfalls everywhere, because of the rainy season I guess.  I think this was the one we were after though!

After that nice stroll, we drove in search of a longer trail to maybe do on Wed.  It was like a drive straight uphill and it got narrower and narrower.  Finally we found a guy and asked him- he said the road was all washed out with rockslides.  His hand was all wrapped up and Jasmine asked him what had happened.  He shook his head and said ruefully, "I drank too much.  I really shouldn't drink so much."  So funny.

Finally we headed out in search of some food.  They sold instant noodles at the hotel and Jasmine said she was fine with that but I wasn't!  We found a place that was in the Lonely planet.  It overlooked the river and was very pleasant.

Like most touristy places, you ordered dishes to share around the table (like family-style).  We ordered fried rice, vegetables, and fresh fish.  The fresh fish is usually the whole fish (head and bones and all).  There was a time when I couldn't even think of eating something with a head but now, as long as I don't eat the head, it's cool.

But when the fish came it looked like this:

tai an 018 Uh-oh!  Can you see?  Just little finger-sized fish, bones and all, deep-fried.  Jasmine was into it but not me.   I was starved so I ordered what Jasmine translated as "boiled chicken," and turned out to be poached chicken with an amazing citrusy glaze.  One of the best things I've eaten in Taiwan.  The owner was like, are you sure you can eat all that?  We said we'd take some home but we wound up polishing it off- I think he was surprised!

After that it was back to the hotel for the hot spring- we were the only people in the place.  (It was separated into male and female).  It was pretty- all stone, 2 hot pools and 1 cold, and overlooking the mountains a little (bamboo screen in between us and the outside).  No pictures of that, of course!  :)

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