About a week ago marked my one year of living in Taiwan. As such, I decided to pick the top things I've done this past year (in Taiwan and the countries I've visited.) They aren't ranked because they are just all so amazing.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone - Korea)
It was a very interesting experience to go to in Korea, both to see the current atmosphere on the border, and to ponder the history of political tensions and tourism. Here we are on the border of these two countries and there's an amusement park, a pop-eyes chicken, and a ton of buses ready to take you to everything from observation decks to tunnels dug by N. Korea. Strange? Here's my entry about this trip.
Everything from night markets to fancy restaurants. I have experienced some amazing food this year. Taiwan has its dumplings, beef noodles, stinky tofu. Japan its gyoza, ramen, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki. The food of Malaysia and Singapore is of similar varieties, here's my entry about Malaysia food last year. Singapore being a business center also has a good variety of Western food, so my cravings for deli meats, Quizno's, pizza, Spanish tapas, Mexican food, and much more were quenched in a giant eating binge.
Longhouse, Hiking, & Cooking (Borneo, Malaysia)
Something I didn't cover in past entries, my longhouse experience in Malaysia. We started the day shopping for groceries in the market. There we go chicken, lemongrass, shallots, tapioca leaves and a bamboo shoot (a dried hollowed out one.) Then we took our guides jeep and made our way through unpaved sometimes muddy mountain roads, speeding up and down the bumpy road. After about 30 minutes of this, we arrived at a longhouse. These are traditional housing for tribes in Borneo, in older days an entire community would stay in one, each family would have its own room. Now, most families have their own houses around the longhouse. We walked around there for a while enjoying the buildings before going to the next stop. We hiked up a mountain for a bit, then back down into a valley. There was a 2 tiered waterfall, and in the middle of a rock, we made our lunch. Manok Pansoh is the name of what we cooked. To make this dish chicken, ginger, salt or oyster sauce, lemongrass, and tapioca leaves, and shallots are all placed in a bamboo log. The top is then sealed with more tapioca leaves to hold in the steam. The log is then placed vertically on top of a fire. The result is a flavorful soup.
It's been a great year so far, and I can't wait to write about more adventures!