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Trip Report – Taiwan 2014 Part 2

This is Part 2 of our Asia 2014 adventure. View Part 1 here. We had a great time at Sun Moon Lake at the luxurious Wen Wan hotel. It was hard to leave such a pretty place but we were moving on to our next destination in Guanshi.

Here’s me and Maddie in the lobby of the Wen Wan Resort in Sun Moon Lake

One last look at the amazing view before we had to leave

Back in the party bus we go! Our next stop was a fun little “theme park” resort area called the Leofoo Village. It is a theme park that seems to be designed with an Animal Kingdom theme. Their attached resort, the Leofoo Resort, has a distinct Animal Kingdom Lodge feel. It was quite exciting as I’ve never really been to a theme park outside of the US, only Tokyo Disneyland which I went to when I was much younger. On the way to Guanshi, we stopped by the location where they make the famous Shaoxing wine which is used in a lot of cooking. They had many different vendors here selling the wine and other specialty wines. They even had products made with the wine including ice cream bars, cookies and cake!

Ice pops made with Shaoxing wine

Interesting flavor but not bad…

The popsicle was an acquired taste, but it wasn’t as weird as I was expecting. We also stopped at a local restaurant that specializes in Hakka food.

Stopping for lunch

Delicious “pork knuckle” dish

I don’t know what were in these fried fritters but they were good!

A savory soup with a tofu-like custard and sliced crab meat

We also stopped in a very rural town (can’t remember the name but I will find out!) – where Steve’s mother’s relatives still reside. It was pretty cool seeing the house because it’s as if time stood still.

In front of Steve’s mom’s childhood house

Here’s Steve’s other neice with Auntie Ai Lan, who was the mastermind behind the entire family trip. She used to be a tour guide in Taiwan! It’s no wonder she plans the best vacations for us!

Growing vegetables in the garden

It is an old farming community. Everything is done the old fashioned way.

We did do several pit stops at rest stations to use the facilities and have a quick walk. The rest stops in Taiwan seem huge compared to the ones in the US. Lots and lots of shops, eateries, and the bathrooms have tons of stalls. Beware as some of the women’s stalls have the “squat-only” toilets.

At one of the rest stops with a “Sky of Happiness”

Fun at the Sky of Happiness, which really was an area you can walk through with fun backdrops for photo ops. Just look at those two: Happy in the Sky!

You can get fresh fruit popcicles or giant bear shaped fruit ice! Because everyone needs bear-shaped fruit ice on a road trip!

Taiwanese fast food snacks usually have a lot of fish cake, shrimp or squid that have been deep fried. It’s crunchy and tasty and fills you up! This is very common in Asia.

After our stops we continued on for what seemed like hours before we got to Guanshi and the Leofoo Resort. The weather was not cooperating and it turned cold and rainy, but we were greeted at the resort with some dancing!

Dancers at the entrance to the resort.

Checking in. That’s Steve’s dad next to the huge bear!

The resort is separated into different wings. We were all in Zebra wing.

Our room was huge. It was a duplex and had 3 beds! A bunch of people could stay here as it’s great for groups and families, but it was only Steve and I for the night!

This was our room. It easily fit a family of 6 or more. There was a double bed on the lower floor and 2 double beds on the top floor! This was all for just Steve and I.

It was dark out so we couldn’t see outside the huge windows but it faced the courtyard where all the animals walk around.

There were murals hand-painted on the walls by and artist in all the suite guestrooms

We had meals in the Cape of Good Hope Deli which is their casual food restaurant there, however I must say that the dinner there was forgettable. It wasn’t very good and it was kind of like the Taiwanese version of American food with African touches. We all agreed that it wasn’t up to par especially with the amazing food we had had so far on the vacation. However, the breakfast was decent there, and it was included in our package. It’s not buffet, but you order either Chinese style or Western-style. Chinese style was fried mi fen (rice vermicelli noodles) with a fried egg, juice and coffee/tea, congee (rice porridge), and pork buns. Western style seemed to be a club-style sandwich with ham and egg on white bread.

Chinese-style breakfast. Eating noodles for breakfast is very common in Asia. I used to eat stuff like this every day in Singapore when I was young and I miss it!

Yes, you can eat pork belly buns for breakfast too. Not pictured is the bowl of congee.

After breakfast we walked around the outside paths on the resort so we could see the animals! Coming up…our shots of animals around the resort and walking in the Leofoo Theme Park Village.

Read more about our 2014 Asia Trip! My posts on Taiwan here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. My posts on Singapore here: Singapore – Part 1.

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