WEIRD AND WONDERFUL TAIWAN: PART 2

As we found out in Part 1, Taiwan is not just about the world class cycling, stunning scenery and incredible food… There’s definitely some slightly more “out there” things to be discovered – as Pedal Taiwan’s Chris continues to find out.

In Part 1 we started with eating dinner out of miniature toilets and ended with peculiar health and safety rules on the bullet train, but where will we go to next? And will Taiwan’s peculiarities compete with ours in the UK?

 

A pungent local delicacy

Surely “stinky tofu” ranks (no pun intended…) way up there in the league table of smelly food. Fermented in a brothy brine for several months, the smell is pretty unique and not in a pleasant way – think rotting meat and you’ve got the idea. Apparently (not that we’ve yet braved a bite) it actually doesn’t taste too bad.

 

Musical rubbish trucks

 

Yes, you read this correctly! Back at home we’re used to the sounds of ice cream trucks in summer, but in Taiwan hearing notes of classical music wafting through the streets means it is bin time. This ingenious solution to the country’s waste problem has increased recycling rates to 55% and made Taiwanese cities some of the cleanest in the world – so it’s by no means a gimmick. The trucks can even be tracked via an app so if its raining you don’t need to head out until the last minute. Genius!

 

A museum dedicated to fish balls…

Sadly this isn’t quite as odd as it sounds, but we like the idea that there is a Taiwanese museum dedicated to fish balls… These steamed or deep fried snacks are very popular and if you want to know more, then the Tengfeng Fish Ball Museum is the place to go.

 

Karaoke is big time

A Saturday night out in Taiwan wouldn’t be complete without a blast on the karaoke machine. In fact, it is so popular that chains of karaoke bars have spread across the country and for many it is way better than a night out clubbing. Expect to hear a lot of Chinese classics, but if you’re up for it, ending the night with a rendition of Robbie Williams’ classic “Angels” will no doubt go down a treat…

 

Another culinary surprise

Have you ever eaten a jet-black egg? Well Taiwan is famous for the so-called “Century Egg”, which are confusingly black and dark green on the inside. Fresh duck eggs are preserved in clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls to create this delicacy, which tastes half decent in a musky kind of way. But they are certainly weird to look at, like eating an blue orange or a red cucumber.

And we’re not quite finished yet – keep an eye out for more in Part 3!

 

For more information on Taiwan, and how you can explore this magical country by bike, drop us a line at info@pedaltaiwan.com or check out our tour dates here

 

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