Visiting Taiwan . 2 Oct 2012. Day 5. Part 3/3 Exploring FenQiHu (奋起湖)

I’m back to talk about my trip in Taiwan. Haha.. It seemed like it’s a never-ending journey and that’s, of course, what I hope every of my holiday would be.

I do dread writing about holidays, not because it’s not fun. The fact is my mundane writing often does not do the holidays I had justice when I pen them down! :/

Nonetheless, it’s still better to write and let whoever that’s keen know these interesting sights then never to and keep them all to myself. After all, good things should be shared! 🙂

So here goes the last bit of the day spent touring around the ChiaYi (嘉義) county and a short visit to FenQiHu (奋起湖).

After the trip to ALiShan (阿里山), Papa Liu drove us back to the minsu for a short break before we head off to our next destination. One interesting thing one could learn to make at the minsu is to learn how to make aiyu ( 愛玉). It’s a type of jelly like dessert which the locals indulge in and typically, one would have thought it’s the same as making jelly with jelly powder but it turned out different from what we thought. Mama Liu then brought out the necessary ingredients and got us started.

The Dried Aiyu Fruit ( 愛玉)

The demonstration begins. 

As you can see from the picture above, all one does in to fill a fruit sock or  果袜 (The orange thing in her hands is, yes, a stocking-like sock, very similar to the one we wear, except much thinner and more permeable) with the seeds that was scrapped off from the dried fruit as shown in the first picture. After which, in a pot of water, soaked the sock containing the seeds and rubbed it continuously and vigorously. Interestingly, as she rubbed the seeds repeatedly within the sock, the water in the pot thickened. We gave it a go as well but gave up too soon as it was pretty tiring and we weren’t really used to it. If you prefer a sweetened jelly, simply use honey water when preparing the aiyu. You may also use the sugar syrup in fruit cocktails.

After we were done with the making of aiyu jelly, Mama Liu brought us out to see the real fruit.

The round greenish lemon-looking thing is the aiyu fruit.

Papa Liu and Mama Liu actually had the aiyu tree planted just in front of their minsu so it was easy for them to harvest the fruit during the right season, dry them and keep them to show guests how the aiyu jelly is made. Cool. 🙂

Soon, it was almost dusk and we set off for FenQiHu (奋起湖) with the intentions to have our dinner there as well.

This is apparently the famous Ah Liang Railway Bento (阿良铁路便当) that many tourists sought when they visited FenQiHu so Papa Liu suggested we would have this for our dinner. Yay! Can’t wait to see what is it about this bento that got so many people raving about it.

We then made our way up a narrow alley to the main street of FenQiHu.

When we reached the main street, we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowd.

Comparing the number of people in this area to the number of tourists at ALiShan was like comparing a speck of sand to the sand on the beach. As much as we were pleased that there weren’t a lot of people, we wondered why there is a lack of people. According to the shopkeepers, we arrived there pretty late so many of the shops are closed or about to closed. *annoyed* Also, as it was a weekday, there weren’t many people visiting plus it is not an area which there are places for tourist buses to park thus the tour agencies will not arrange this place as one of the destinations for any travellers on group tour. As much as it was a pity that the shops could not earn commission from the crazy crowd that was visiting Taiwan then, it was good news to us as we know that the prices of the things sold at this place is not crazily raked up.

We started from one end of the street and strolled towards the other.

Wasabi plant 

Railway Pastry

A clogs’ shop

This shop marks the end of the street. 

Saw that old man with the white long beard? Apparently, when one of my colleague was scanning through the photos in my camera after I returned from my trip, she told me that there was really a guy in the store who looked like him! Haha! I didn’t catch a glimpse of that person though so be sure to do it if you visit!

It was gradually turning dark so we u-turned and grabbed some pastries for souvenir before heading for dinner.

Saw the photographs pasted on the illuminated board next to the man? They were all shots with famous celebrities or artistes!

There were simply too many delicious pastries to choose from this shop and we ended up with both hands full. Lol…

Time for dinner!

A bit of history  of how the bento started and the different merchandise it now has!

A simple rule to abide to when you have a bento: Do not waste food and finish your rice!

Very quickly, food was served!

There was slight variations in each of our bento so be clear of what you want! 🙂 It tasted normal to me, nothing fantastic. However, it is still rather pleasant to have warm food, that was freshly prepared as compared to cold packed food. Haha! We had wanted to visit the blue house that was used in the film Starry Starry Night (星空) but it was too late and the roads were not lit so we had to abandon that plan. :/

That’s all for this post! This yummy bento marked the end of our Day 5 in Taiwan and also our last day in the ChiaYi County. With that, I’ll pen off for now. Til the next post! 😀


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