A few sights, many delicious meals and a little recovery and it was time to hit the road again, this time to Jiaosi. Jaiosi is a small city just over an hour south of Taipei. The plan was to rent scooters to cruise all day and soak in their hot springs all night.
We took a bus that was carrying us and only two others so it felt like we were living in luxury with our own private bus.(Just being in Taiwan was luxury) We got to Jiaosi and the whole city was hopping, people filling the streets, fire crackers blasting off from the side walk right in front of our feet. It was great.
Because the New Year we had a bit of trouble finding a place to stay. But just when it seemed that every place was booked we found a great little home stay. We rented our scooters, 24 hours for less than our lunch at Burger King had cost, and went on our way.
The first day we arrived late in the afternoon so we dropped off our stuff at our accommodations and hit the town. We found a great chicken restaurant that cooked whole chickens in small domed huts on the ground. The taste was unreal! The most flavourful chicken I have tasted in the past year by far. We also got a bunch of vegetable side dishes, fantastic meal.
With our stomachs satisfied it was off to relax in the hot springs. At Jaiosi hot springs (and possibly many other places) you rent a private room for a certain amount of time that has a couple of tubs in it. It was great, we set one to hot and the other to hotter then sat back to soak it in.
When our time was up it was off to get our feet massaged/pedicured by fish. It was the first time I had done something like it and it was great. The place we went had a bunch of pools so we could sit around them and chat while suppressing the urge to squeal and squirm. The fish were plentiful and hungry meaning that I usually had over ten fish on each foot.
We wandered the town to see what else it had to offer but it seemed that it was getting ready to sleep so we too retired to our abode.
The next day we were up at the first crack of dawn, well it was raining but we tried our best. Breakfast finished at 9:00 and we wanted a piece of it. If you remember from my other Chinese breakfast experience in Wulai, there wasn't a lot that I was willing to eat, granted I was sick but still. The breakfast in Jiaosi was even more Chinese which meant super salty black tofu, rice porige, meat powder, an interesting vegetable dish and other things that I tried to forget. It was something else.
But something that was really good was the coffee. Our host was a roaster who ordered and roasted his own beans from all over the world for himself and others. He made us a number of different samples and while I am not at all knowledgable when it comes to coffee, I do know when something tastes good to me and his coffee tasted good to me.
Following breakfast we headed out on the bikes. We had only rented 3 scooters and so we were doubling which was great as half the time we could look around and enjoy the scenery. The other half of the time was spent trying to keep raindrops from clouding our vision while we blasted down the highway at a speed that a 50cc engine can only deliver at full throttle. It actually rained most of our time in Jiaosi which led to a lack of pictures and a better cough.
We NOS'ed it up to the coast and were greeted to a beautiful beach with very surf-able rolling waves. We parked the bikes for a short walk on the beach before continuing our blast. The scenery was pretty nice in that it was similar to Geoje, the road winding it's way along the coast, an untied shoelace between the mountains and the ocean. We travelled up until we felt our time was up and then turned around and enjoyed it again.
We stopped for lunch at a popular seafood restaurant right across from Turtle Island(check it out, it seems like a great place) and were greeted to many curious faces. It was either our skin colour or our get up as we were covered with colourful rain gear and dripping wet. Had the most delicious meal of the day(I want to say week but we ate so much good food I can't) fish and scallops and prawns and soup and vegetables and and and...
We made our way back to the city, bought a few treats, and fireworks, went back to the house to pick up our stuff and made our way back to Taipei, with just a quick stop in a field to raise some ruckus with a little smoke and noise. We actually stopped twice, once for the fireworks and once because one of the scooters wrecked in to a ditch due to a kickstand malfunction. Thankfully the Lord protected and the damage was limited to a few rips and scrapes.
Back in Taipei we watched a little NFL and then it was off to bed as I had to leave early the next morning. Woke up, had breakfast, caught a couple of buses, a plane, another couple of buses and was back in my apartment in time for dinner.
That was Taiwan. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.