Taiwan travel


Culture, language, tangibles, intangibles from countries known for tea

Taiwan travel

Postby teaskeptic » Oct 15th, '13, 17:21

Gonna be in Taiwan in a week, for a few weeks. I'm looking for the inside scoop on tea suggestions. Where to get (good) tea in Taipei? what to avoid? Is Wisteria worth a visit? What about visiting tea plantations? Non-tea travel suggestions are equally welcome!
User avatar
teaskeptic
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Mar 6th, '0

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Oct 15th, '13, 18:12

Greetings!

I formerly lived in Taiwan and spend 4-6 weeks there after the Winter harvest each year. When are you going? Are you going to be in Taibei area primarily? Do you speak Mandarin?

My wife is Taiwanese and her family lives in the Taizhong area, which is where I attended college. I can definitely offer you some possibilities around Taizhong (night markets, etc.). What are your goals for the trip? I ask because heading out to Sun Moon Lake and the surrounding tea area is a nice trip...as well as to stop in at the major monasteries (Zhong Tai).

In Taizhong there is a very special teahouse where I study tea when there. My teacher is a very wonderful being and is the head tea teacher for Qiu Shan Tang and Chun Shui Tang. However, he doesn't speak English. Do you have a Mandarin speaker accompanying you? He is a reliable source for tea, teaching, and information. Also, he is well respected by some of the major tea artisans in Ying Ge and has close connections there to truly artisan teaware. In San Yi, outside of Taizhong there is a very famous and very unique tea artisan that I can refer you to, as well as to some good tea shops in Taizhong. One in particular specializes in unique and rare high quality aged wulong teas.

I can recommend a few tea spaces in Taibei but not so much as Taizhong. I can ask for you as well.

Also, SilentChaos is a great resource for Taiwan. If he doesn't respond to your thread I would pm him. If you haven't been to the Nantou area and Shan Lin Xi it is a beautiful tea region with many great teas. This is where Taiwan Tea Crafts is located and Phil Brook of TTC has invited us to visit him and their tea operation there. I'm sure if you contacted TTC and asked if you could stop in there would likely be an opening. He speaks fluent French and English and married into a third generation Taiwan tea family; this way you could perhaps see the whole operation and be received warmly.

For Taiwan, hotsprings are a must....there are so many amazing hotsprings in the mountain and I would attend at least one. The one's in Beitou near Taibei are not bad but some of the hotsprings in the deeper mountains near Guguan are really great.

There is too much to share, so let me know your emphasis and perhaps we could dialogue over the possibilities.

Blessings,

Scott
奇山
User avatar
茶藝-TeaArt08
 
Posts: 438
Joined: May 11th, '
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby Poohblah » Oct 15th, '13, 20:51

There are many threads about Taiwan trips on this forum. For instance:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17043

I'm sure there are others as well. Taiwan appears to be a wonderful place to go on vacation, whether or not it includes tea. Good luck and have fun :)
User avatar
Poohblah
 
Posts: 929
Joined: Mar 4th, '1
Location: somewhere over the rainbow

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby Chip » Oct 15th, '13, 20:53

I am moving this to the "cultural forum," leaving a shadow here under Miscellany for now.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22129
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby teaskeptic » Oct 16th, '13, 21:26

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:Greetings!

I formerly lived in Taiwan and spend 4-6 weeks there after the Winter harvest each year. When are you going? Are you going to be in Taibei area primarily? Do you speak Mandarin?

My wife is Taiwanese and her family lives in the Taizhong area, which is where I attended college. I can definitely offer you some possibilities around Taizhong (night markets, etc.). What are your goals for the trip? I ask because heading out to Sun Moon Lake and the surrounding tea area is a nice trip...as well as to stop in at the major monasteries (Zhong Tai).

In Taizhong there is a very special teahouse where I study tea when there. My teacher is a very wonderful being and is the head tea teacher for Qiu Shan Tang and Chun Shui Tang. However, he doesn't speak English. Do you have a Mandarin speaker accompanying you? He is a reliable source for tea, teaching, and information. Also, he is well respected by some of the major tea artisans in Ying Ge and has close connections there to truly artisan teaware. In San Yi, outside of Taizhong there is a very famous and very unique tea artisan that I can refer you to, as well as to some good tea shops in Taizhong. One in particular specializes in unique and rare high quality aged wulong teas.

I can recommend a few tea spaces in Taibei but not so much as Taizhong. I can ask for you as well.

Also, SilentChaos is a great resource for Taiwan. If he doesn't respond to your thread I would pm him. If you haven't been to the Nantou area and Shan Lin Xi it is a beautiful tea region with many great teas. This is where Taiwan Tea Crafts is located and Phil Brook of TTC has invited us to visit him and their tea operation there. I'm sure if you contacted TTC and asked if you could stop in there would likely be an opening. He speaks fluent French and English and married into a third generation Taiwan tea family; this way you could perhaps see the whole operation and be received warmly.

For Taiwan, hotsprings are a must....there are so many amazing hotsprings in the mountain and I would attend at least one. The one's in Beitou near Taibei are not bad but some of the hotsprings in the deeper mountains near Guguan are really great.

There is too much to share, so let me know your emphasis and perhaps we could dialogue over the possibilities.

Blessings,

Scott
奇山


Hi Scott,

thanks for the detailed response! To answer some of your questions: we'll be in Taiwan from mid October to early November (approx. 3 weeks). We'll spend at least six days in Taipei, and maybe more if we feel like it. We don't speak any Mandarin.

Our basic plan was to see Taipei, Sun Moon Lake, Ali shan, Taichung (Taizhong?), Tainan, Kenting, and Hualien/Taroko. This may be a bit too much to squeeze in, so we might have to miss out on some of these options. Any ideas on what to skip?

Taichung was actually one of the places we were considering skipping, but now you have definitely re-piqued my interest. Any suggestions on the area would be great! Feel free to PM me.

I have contacted SilentChaos, but he seems to be pre-occupied with the new harvest right now, so we'll see...

We will definitely visit some hot springs, but we have no idea which ones yet. Our emphasis is on seeing nature, food, tea, history, and relaxing. We don't want to be zipping around so quickly that we constantly are in a rush... We have booked our hotel in Taipei, but the rest is open ended. We'd love to find some tea farmer homestays, but I don't know how easy/worthwhile that would be.

Thanks for your help!
User avatar
teaskeptic
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Mar 6th, '0

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby wyardley » Oct 17th, '13, 08:03

teaskeptic wrote:We will definitely visit some hot springs, but we have no idea which ones yet. Our emphasis is on seeing nature, food, tea, history, and relaxing.

The hot springs in Beitou / Xin Beitou are great, but it's not setup in a nature-y way from what I saw, just FYI. We stayed at Sweetme (Shuimei) http://www.sweetme.com.tw for a night while in Taipei... you can also just visit the public baths there and / or rent private rooms with baths by the hour. It's on the expensive side, maybe $200/night to stay at the hotel if memory serves, though we ended up getting upgraded to a super nice room there.
User avatar
wyardley
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Jan 11th, '
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby JBaymore » Oct 17th, '13, 10:31

Looks like you'll maybe just miss the invitational Taiwan Chawan Expo 2013 in which I and a number of international ceramists have work. Exhibition ends October 20th.

https://www.facebook.com/events/523420451081913/

https://scontent-a-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/1238836_474257489339261_2076058435_n.jpg

best,

.......................john
User avatar
JBaymore
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sep 15th, '
Location: Wilton, New Hampshire USA

Re: Taiwan travel

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Oct 17th, '13, 18:35

Teaskeptic,

You could skip Taizhong. I believe it's the third largest city in Taiwan. It's not as fluidly laid out as Taibei. However there are two good museums there as well as a really wonderful gongfu teahouse (秋山堂/qiu1shan1tang2). From Taizhong it's relatively easy to hop into the mountains and the hotsprings around Guguan or to head to Zhong Tai Monastery and Sun Moon Lake. Miaoli is a bastion for amazing Hakka food and for good Lei Cha (Hakkanese tea) as well as great area for strawberries.

If you head down the East coast (the trains are easy, cheap, and on time), it's nice to stop in Jiaoxi and attend one of the nicer hotspring hotels there and walk the mid town hotspring river and soak your feet while listening to music and eating street food. There's a nice waterfall hike right above the town of Jiaoxi worth doing...quiet, natural, clean. Yilan has some good tea and Jhentea in Yilan speak English and grow their own tea.

If you make it to Taroko Gorge, which I recommend, we like to stay at Buluowan Village. It's literally like staying at the village in The Last Samurai. It's not cheap but it's quiet and beautiful and hosted by the indigenous people of Taroko. Plus, it's inside the park area and rests on two amazing plateaus within the canyon. From Taroko, if the Cross Island Hwy. is open, you can cut up into the tea country around Lishan. For quiet spendor Taidong is a great place to visit.

If you don't make it to Taizhong, I'm sure Taibei will have plenty to occupy you. You could head from Taibei to the Pinglin area where so many good baozhong and other teas are grown. It's not far...especially with the Winter harvest on its way.

I will pm you some more info and consider it some more. If you are going to be there during Winter harvest I don't know why you wouldn't head up into the tea regions to witness the harvest. Like I said, TTCs may welcome you if you contacted them. Any time we've showed up to a tea farm we've been greeted warmly and given copious cups of fresh tea.

The Nantou area is beautiful and the forest park there is a really rich place for some hikes and to see the old growth trees there or to meander through the bamboo groves. Plus, there too you could pick up some good tea.

I'll get back to you.

Blessings!

Scott
User avatar
茶藝-TeaArt08
 
Posts: 438
Joined: May 11th, '
Location: Sacramento, California


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation