太麻里 Taimali Down and Back

小吃木

There seems to be a tree in your restaurant

Another grey morning, another ride (still beats winter in New England). But of course we need to eat first. After a little exploring I found an area of Taitung that has a pretty busy breakfast scene. Well ok, one street really, Baosang Rd, and only a couple blocks of it.

We were drawn 柯家早點 (kē jiā zǎo diǎn) at 125 Baosang Rd (寶桑路125號) because of our love of radish cakes (蘿蔔糕 luó bo gāo) and the sign out front made it pretty clear that is what they specialized in.

Taitung Radish Cake

柯家蘿蔔糕

Taitung Radish cake, pigs blood soup

豬血湯

Large Radish Cake

That is one big radish cake!

So we split a large order of radish cakes and I also got their pig’s blood soup (豬血湯 zhū xiě tāng), breakfast of champions, that is! Their pig’s blood soup had a nice helping of small intestines and ample green onion, pickled veg, etc. I have to say it was better than the more well known place downtown I went to a few days prior.

Definitely will be going back there in the future.

Radish Cakes and Pig Blood soup

Pig’s blood soup and radish cakes.

After our morning victuals we headed south out of Taitung on Highway 11. There is little development along this highway and the scenery quickly turns over to rice fields. With intermittent settlements here and there. Our destination for the day was Taimali (太麻里 tài má lǐ) which more or less inhabited by Paiwan aboriginals.

Zhiben 7-11

Zhiben 7-11

In Taimali we met up with some old acquaintances and caught up with what was going on in the village. Which of course turned to the expensive hotel that went up and the Chinese tourists that fill it, and then complain that Taimali’s beaches are not as good as China’s beaches. I suppose to add insult to injury (or vice versa as it may be in this case) money from tourism doesn’t really disseminate throughout a community due to the way tourism is done in Taiwan. Where Tour buses pack tourists from one predestined and specifically developed location to another. On the bright side most people don’t have to directly deal with the tourists.

Taimali Ma

Taimali

After our little reunion we decided to ride around and just enjoy the beauty of the village. Which has examples of Paiwan carving interspersed throughout.

Ancestor's House

Ancestor Spirits House

On the south side of Taimali is the Paiwan village of Zhengxing (正興 zhèng xìng). Which has got to have more flowers than any place I’ve ever been. It really is a beautiful village. A bit on the sleepy side, but beautiful.

Unfortunately they lost one of their elders recently. Li Lin who was one of the few remaining Paiwan with traditional hand tattoos passed away, she was 102. Her house was hard to miss since it had a large stone sculpture out front depicting her tattooed hands. I remember in years past every time I rode by she would be out front of her house sitting under her tree working on this and that.

Zhengxing

Zhengxing

Paiwan Pots

Paiwan Pots

After riding around for a while decided to grab a bite to eat before heading back to Taitung. We rode down the main street of Taimali, which happens to be called Taimali St. (太麻里街), just sort of coasting past any place that served food until we found something we fancied.

At number 318, I don’t even know if it really had a name, we found a place that served goat (羊肉 yáng ròu).  Taitung has a great number of goat meat restaurants and I had been meaning to stop by one (since goat is my favorite meats this side of venison). This place seemed like a good place to get my fix.

I decided on the goat soup (羊肉湯 yáng ròu tāng) which had good amount thin sliced goat meat in a flavorful broth with a healthy heaping of shredded ginger. Excellent. We also got 控肉 (kòng ròu), braised pork belly on rice. Also really good.

羊肉湯

羊肉湯

控肉

控肉

After our lunch we decided to head back to Taitung.

I learned something interesting on my way back to Taitung. After stopping on top of the hill for a picture we headed for the bridge that goes to the bottom of the hill. There is a road that comes out on both ends of the bridge, I’ve never taken it because I was not sure of its terrain as it snakes through the valley next to the bridge, nor was I completely sure that it connected.

Well, having plenty of time and not the least bit tired from the leisurely pace of the day, I decided to turn onto that road at the top of the bridge. No sooner than I got on the road did I see a sign denoting it as a bike way. Thought maybe that information would be better served on the highway, maybe with an arrow. Oh well. And wouldn’t you know it, it was a rather easy and quiet side route that pops out at the base of the bridge.

I’ve been over that bridge I don’t know how many times. And only now I learn that I could have avoided the traffic, road debris, and dangerous bridge joints endured going over the bridge. Guess I won’t have to take it any more.

Hazy Winters Day

Hazy Winter’s Day

Back in Taitung we had dinner and headed out for dessert. There was a new place that we walked by a few times and it caught our attention. Seeing the owner of the shop interviewed on the local tv station sort of settled it. We must stop by and try the豆花 (dòu huā) at 桂花樹下 (guì huā shù xià) {it is on Fujian Rd just off of Tie Hua Rd (鐵花里福建路316之1號)}.

Honestly that is not that hard of a sell, we love dou hua and during the summer months while in Taiwan we seldom go a day without having it. Dou hua, for the uninitiated, is essentially a very soft set, fresh tofu that is served in a brown sugar syrup and comes with an addition of one or several sweet ingredients. Such as sweet red beans, tapioca pearls, grass jelly, and the list goes on and on.

Tiehua Douhua

桂花樹下

Being that it is winter we had it served warm (cool in summer) with a healthy dose of ginger syrup. I favored red beans (紅豆 hóngdòu), sweet potato balls (地瓜圓 dìguā yuán), and salted ume (李鹹 lǐ xián) as my additions.

Douhua

Douhua

The dou hua was very good and the owner was a real nice chap. I hope his place does well and lasts. It is one of the new things in town that I really didn’t mind.

Dragon Eyes

Sleep Tight

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About L P

cook, eat, ride, live
This entry was posted in Food, Taiwan, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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