You’re packing your luggage for a jolly good time in Taiwan, then you blink your eyes and you realise you’re back home. Bummer. Time is never on our side, especially when we’re having fun. We share your pain. Skip the night markets, hipster cafes and Taipei 101, those are for travellers who have too much time on their watch. Get dirty with your hands and sip tea like a true Taiwanese because this is how you pass time Taiwan — by living like a a local.(Picture:Kabacchi)
1. You Knead Your Hands For This
If you love cafe-hopping yet hate the idea of having to queue and pay for overpriced food which looks extremely adorable but in actuality tastes meh, then you’ll definitely enjoy what we have in mind for you.
Ongoing baking lesson
Make your own sweet treats as Maokong, a cafe located in Taipei, guides you on how to knead your way to cakes, cookies and sweets. They’ll share with you every of their secret techniques, from getting the right amount of ingredients to pounding the dough. If you ask, the staff of Maokong will even reveal the best places to chill and learn the Taiwanese culture.
If you’re lazy — like us — and don’t mind paying,you can get comfy and enjoy a cup of tea with the cafe’s specialty dessert, Tieguanyin Strawberry Honey Toast, while you watch your friends do the hard work.
2. People Watching
Taiwan is almost synonymous to Shifen and Jiufen. “Light the lanterns and make a wish at Shifen, don’t forget to bargain at Jiufen!” You’ll never go wrong heeding their advice because there is just so much to do at Shifen and Jiufen.
Apart from the typical tourist activities like shopping and eating, why not take the time out to people watch? It’s not a waste your time — you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s city life and give yourself a break from all the walking and bargaining. Manoeuvre your way around the alleys of Shifen and Jiufen on a day tour to find some quaint tea houses perfect for resting. Take a sip of tea as you calm your nerves and enjoy the buzz-free moments.
3. Childhood Memories
Ask any Taiwanese what’s something they do most when they were a kid but has diminished over the years, and they’ll tell you, “I miss roasting sweet potato by the bricks.” BBQs were a common occurrence throughout our childhood too, whether it was done at a chalet or East Coast Park. But here’s the catch: rumour has it that Taiwan’ssweet potatoes are sweeter than ours..
Roasting sweet potatos
Roasting sweet potato isn’t only about eating, it’s also the process of getting dirty and building a ‘brick fortress’, harnessing the power of fire as you fan and heat up the charcoal. Finally, you place your precious sweet potato into the ‘fortress’! Have a taste of how people in the olden times survive during war with sweet potato as their only staple — cherish what you have now and don’t ever take it for granted again.
4. Get Dirty
Everyone wants to bring home a piece of something from their vacation as gifts for family and friends. Keychains are the most fuss-free souvenir, but not exactly what the receiver is hoping for… Our suggestion?
Give pottery a shot over at The Shu’s Pottery. If you’re not embarrassed by the end-product, you can bring it home and show off the new skill you’ve acquired! You can also get to see perfectly preserved pottery and familiarise yourself on the history of pottery in Taiwan at the same time. When you’re done crafting your very first pottery, grab a bite at their cafe just next door.