Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Yanshui with FTV

Last weekend I was out and about with FTV again in Nantou, Miaoli, and Yanshui in Tainan. Pictured above is the Bridge to Nowhere in Nantou, a suspension bridge across a gorge. You walk across and walk back, and pay for the privilege. There is another one near Jhushan, and they both rake in the cash. Total tourist trap, avoid at all costs.

However, I made my first real trip to Yanshui in Tainan with FTV. I've passed through before, but I never realized what a great little town it is. There are hordes of old buildings lying around, a port, an Old Street, and a beautiful wooden structure from the 19th century, a rarity in Taiwan. Yanshui was a key port in the 19th century, but has long since declined. Well worth a day trip, it is small enough to walk around and offers plenty of camera-friendly moments. I've ignored the famous temple there where everyone goes to be pummeled with fireworks. Our local guide told us that the fireworks activity, while popular with both locals and foreigners, is wrong and disrespectful to the god. Onward to the really interesting stuff below the READ MORE fold!

Yanshui is famous for yi mian, noodles made with duck eggs.

Our cameraman Samsung captures the making of Yanshui's signature dish, yi mian.

Another local food I enjoyed are the large fried wontons: yan jiao. Stuffed with pork and served in broth, they were wonderful.

Yan jiao in broth.

We also stopped by the market to film some traditional breakfast dishes.

Breakfast pork. Yummmmmy.

Local breakfast dishes. I think I had three breakfasts that day.

I'd eat ground glass, if it came wrapped in fatty pork.

Walking around on Yanshui old street. This is not a kitschy copy of all other old streets in Taiwan, but rather preserves many of the old buildings in their original form and foregoes the insane array of fake souvenirs and factory food crap so common on "old" streets in Taiwan.

The traditional blacksmith. He's extremely friendly.

His shop.

Yanshui old street.

Entering Yanshui old street

Yanshui's main street is lined with buildings with facades from the 20s and 30s.

There is also a restored theatre from the post-1945 period.

Inside the theatre there's a display of old projection equipment

And some old movie posters.

Michella, the FTV host, is always recognized down south, and is always friendly. Here she and some local fans check out pics they took with her.

One of the things we shot was a shop making traditional winter melon candy.

Making winter melon candy.

Plenty of buildings everywhere with older floors, old wooden windows, and suchlike.

Enjoying a vendor's offerings.

This octagonal Qing Dynasty building was one of the most interesting structures I've seen in Taiwan

The facade.

The woodwork is quite interesting.

The alleys and streets offer plenty of interesting Japanese-era structures, like this one.

In the alleys are lots of older san he yuan style buildings.

Putting in faux paving tiles in an alleyway filled with older buildings.

Michella, FTV's energetic host, does the introduction.

She stopped and talked to me for five minutes in Taiwanese. No idea what she said, but she was really cute.

Near the octagonal building there's a small office for the historical society. Very friendly people.

There's the usual quota of old temples tucked into corners.

More 1930s facades.

We also stopped by a local elementary school where the kids were learning to make yi mian.

Really looking forward to my next trip to Yanshui. Another great time with Michella and the FTV team! Thanks, guys!
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Steven Crook said...

Lovely pictures!
BTW, Yanshui Old Street is also widely known by its official name, Qiaonan Street (橋南街), "south of the bridge," the bridge shown in one of your pix.

1stCMalaysia said...

You mean it right? That Hokka cultural house is bad. I thought it is popular with the Taiwanese tourists; as I had seen a number of people post on facebook their visits to this place.

Michael Turton said...

Yes, I mean it, but I've just learned that there are TWO such houses in the area. The other one apparently is really great.


Anonymous said...

Onward to the really interesting stuff below the ''READ MORE'' fold!

but below the fold is an old pre-internet term for print newspapers and since webpages cannot be folded this term is not used anymore for websites. google it. webbies now call it "below the break" or "after the break" meaning the break in lines, so you should write next time ''Onward to the really interesting stuff below the ''READ MORE'' break!