Time for Taiwan 2015-2016, Episode 31: Cycling in Chiayi
Today we’re in Chiayi. The oysters here are really good!
Chiayi is in southern Taiwan, right at the Tropic of Cancer. We’re starting our day here, Zhe Cheng Cultural Park, an old sugar factory.
Let’s rent a bike, this is how we're going to get around today.
Most, if not all of the sugar factories in Taiwan were built during the Japanese occupation, between 1895 and 1945. This is no exception, so many of the buildings you see are very Japanese, including these houses, which are workers’ dormitories.
Chiayi County is a great place to travel. Some of the highest mountain peaks in Taiwan are in Chiayi, and at the same time it also borders the sea. Next we’re going to Dongshi Fisherman’s Wharf.
Those things sticking out of the water are oyster racks. Oyster farming is an important part of the economy here. Guess how they’re grown.
This is the shell of an oyster we had last night. A worker will drill a hole into this piece, and workers will put several of these on a line, then tie the line to a rack sitting in brackish water, or water that is a mix of fresh and sea water. Baby oysters will attach themselves to these and grow in clusters. Six months to a year later, they’re ready to eat. Let’s go get some oysters!
這是我們昨天吃剩牡蠣殻。 這一塊之後會被磨成雞或鴨飼料的一部份，補充牠們的鈣質(英文沒有這句話歐!!，是英文沒寫，還是中文多寫了)。 蚵農會在殻上鑽一個洞，一個一個綁在一條線上面，然後把線綁在蚵棚上，蚵棚則架在鹹水和淡水混合的水域中。之後蚵寶寶就會把自己附著在這些殻上面，一群群的成長。六個月到一年後，就可以採收了。走，我們去吃牡蠣！
We’re having oysters six ways today. This is oyster pancake. This is a famous Taiwanese dish, you’ll find it everywhere in Taiwan.
These were stir fried in sesame oil. Delicious.
These were simply grilled. Simply tasty.
This is fried with meat and vegetables. Very filling.
I haven’t tasted oysters this good in a long, long time. They are just so fresh. They’re a little small compared to the ones you might find in other parts of the world, but this is the off season and who cares, they’re so good. The next time I come, I want to have the big ones, the ones as big as my hands. There will be a next time! And I’m really looking forward to it! You should come!
Michella's notes 米雪拉的筆記：
The oysters here are small, but quite good because they’re so fresh. People still warn against eating them raw because the water might not be super clean. I had a couple and am still OK, but try at your own risk. Some of the restaurants aren’t open on Mondays, just be aware.
As for sugar farm, take time to walk around. You can spend a couple of hours there, taking a ride on the sugar cane train, walking around the neighborhood, checking out the old workers’ dormitories, which are Japanese style and built about a century ago. Cycling around there is nice too, especially going across the bridge that takes you out of the farm and towards the fisherman’s wharf. But it’s a long, long ride and might take a couple of hours each way. Bring snacks on the ride!
We stayed at Renyi Lake Hotel, and it’s new and clean. Would stay there again! Just be aware there’s a shooting range nearby, so it can get a little noisy during the day sometimes. We didn’t get a chance to, but taking a walk around the lake must be very nice.
Taiwan Cycling Festival 台灣騎跡 http://taiwanbike.tw/default.aspx?lang=2
Zhe Cheng Cultural Park 蒜頭蔗埕糖廠 http://www.taisugar.com.tw/chinese/CP.aspx?s=358&n=10466
Dongshi Fisherman’s Wharf 東石漁人碼頭 http://swcoast-nsa.travel/Process/Detail?id=473&lang=66&type=scenery
Renyi Lake Hotel 仁義湖岸大飯店 http://www.renyilakehotel.com.tw/en/