Landed at 540am in Taipei this morning, and the airport was just absolutely still. No hustle and bustle that is usually characteristic of most airports, just silence. Can’t pinpoint the feeling, but if there was one that covered ‘ohmygodimactuallydoingthisalone,’ that would be it. Not a bad thing at all however.
Decided to step out of the airport as I had time to kill. Woo layovers! There were plenty of free shuttles and tours offered in the arrivals lobby, and go figure which one caught my eye. ‘Local bakery and culture center.’
SIDE NOTE – If you know me, you know about my ridiculous sweet tooth, and more specifically, my love for Asian desserts. 85c, Sheng Kee, SOGO, Tous le Jours, (still an Asian bakery, tricky tricky marketing.) You name it, and I can guarantee that I’ve ransacked their shelves at least once before. Red bean, mochi, salted egg yolk, green tea everything!!
So, I signed up, hopped on the shuttle, and headed over. Dessert for breakfast? Off to a good start. Not only did the bakery have its own factory and kitchen, but it also doubled as a culture center. Shou Sin Fang, originally a pastry factory, currently allows visitors to experience the production process, view artifact displays, and even take part in the process. Between the fresh mochi, assorted pastries, coffee, and my own personal-made red bean mung bean cake, I was a happy happy girl.
The bakery’s mascot.. Mochis!
We tried pounding mochi (glutinous rice flour mixture-WAY harder than it looks)
Red bean filled mung bean cake – being instructed
TA-DA! Was every bit delicious as it was pretty.
My favorite mochi that I tried. Brown sugar and peanut flour dust, perfectly complementary.
Warabi chocolate mochi – probably one of the more strange food textures I’ve experienced.. Kind of like an oobleck mixture (never thought I’d ever use that phrase in a sentence.) Fun though!
Next, we decided to visit a local tourist attraction, Zushi Temple. Known for its carved artwork and religious significance, the temple looks beautiful amidst the ongoing renovations.
Details details details.
At a closer glance, you can see just how intricate these carvings are. Each piece is supposedly carved from one slab of camphor wood.
There are several different altars within the temple, some of which are dedicated to education, health, and matrimony. This particular picture is that of the scholar deity. Religious followers can take a copy of their school applications or study matetials and place them in the box before the altar for good luck.
Before heading back to the airport, I took a slight detour to visit the ‘traditional market’ located nearby the temple. Uncovered some awesome finds! 1
Thousand year old eggs, stinky tofu, and durian! Shout out to Boban uncle; glad I managed to find all of your favorite foods in one place!
Sanxia lion’s gate outside Zushi Temple.
With that, I’m passing out for the night. Tomorrow – Tokyo, Japan!