082016Jul

Makishi Public Market

Similar to Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, heading to the Makishi Public Market means you’re looking for fresh local seafood. They do sell other things, but if it’s sashimi you want, good sashimi you’ll get. What you want to do here is to order food on the first floor and have the restaurants on the second floor prepare it. It does cost extra to have them prepare anything. Quite frankly if you’re only getting sashimi, you’re basically paying for a seat. For us, we wanted a few cooked dishes. The place we picked  charged us ¥500 and…

192015Jun

Twin Heart Stones and Sea Urchin

The southern most island in Penghu rests the Qimei township. A place where you can find the Twin Heart Stone Weir. We took a tour which included the boat and bus ride tour of the island, including some other points of interests around the area. Unless you have your own transportation this would be the only means of getting here. It’s not too bad though. I only saw about two other tour groups along our route. Nothing alarming even if you don’t like crowds. It made the almost deserted town feel a…

182015Jun

Squid Fishing

Out in Penghu, a small island chain west of Taiwan, there’s a local tourist activity of squid fishing. That’s right. Just when you thought shrimp fishing was challenging enough, here comes squid. I guess these things do get caught somehow. Now we, and a boat full of others, will find out how. I take that back, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t how it’s done. We signed up for the trip at our hotel and went down to the dock close to sunset. It was an easy scooter ride there. It’s a…

142015Jun

Fushimi Inari Shrine

We chose to visit Shinto Shrine, famous for its rows and rows of Japanese Gates, on a Sunday. Not the best idea for someone who don’t like crowds. And boy do I not like crowds. But the weather was nice and we had little time in Japan. So off we went to this busy tourist attraction. A place I’ve always wanted to see in person. Arriving there you get an idea of the crowds at the station stop. You’ll see people of all ages taking their Sunday to visit the shrine. At the…

132015Jun

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

After our boat ride we went up into the bamboo forrest. We passed by a few restaurants and ryokans overlooking the river and turned up the street. A few rickshaw drivers were running their patrons up the block. It was a little amusing given the short distance they covered. I figured they were raising money for their schools given how young and athletic they were. Great idea and so much better then a car wash. Once we got inside the grove the tall trees provided us with some shade form the sun….

132015Jun

Cruising Along Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was on the agenda today. But instead of going directly there we went two train stops further to Kameoka Station. That was where we started our Hozugawa River boat cruise back into Kyoto. Most of it was a gentle ride through the lush green mountains. There were some rapids they warned you about. None of them were life threatening. The only risk you have was getting a bit wet. There are covers along the side to shield you from the waters. Though I didn’t hear about them till after…

102015Apr

Late Night Prawns

Here’s something different to do, shrimp fishing. And I don’t mean off the coasts of Taiwan. This is done within the city, in buildings made for long hours of fishing fun. I just so happened to tag along with a company outing and I have to say, thank goodness I did. This pastime requires it’s own technique that I couldn’t grasp. I would have starved if it weren’t for the skills of others. Yeah, you pay to catch your meal here. During the day, this hobby is enjoyed by families and…

072015Apr

Siloam

Want to know what I thought was the best part of this trip? Believe it or not, it wasn’t food (though it ranks up there) or even the sites. It was discovering Korea’s 24-Hour Jjimjilbang, bath house or sauna. This wasn’t the hot spring bath houses I’m used to in Taiwan or Japan. In my opinion this place wasn’t just about bathing. This place was focused on rest, relaxation and recuperation. The one in particular we found was Siloam Sauna, an establishment out in Jungrim-dong. It was a little tricky to find late at night…

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