Month: November 2015

Asian ‘Venice’ in Shanghai 朱家角

Went to this water town with my ex-boss and husband as my farewell 🙂 I am a lucky girl, my boss and colleagues were all sweethearts. This is only a 90min drive from downtown Shanghai. Great for a get away from the urban jungle. Note, this is not an escape from the crowds. This is still China with its 1.4 billion people.

Crow castle. Matsumoto, Japan

Stark with moat and a red bridge. This is the Matsumoto-jo, also known as the crow castle. Coincidently, tons of big (fat) crows can be spotted in the vicinity. The dark colour comes from a combination of wood and stone. Matsumoto castle is an original keep from 1500s! It is only damaged by earthquake and neglect (was tilting like Pisa), but it is all good now. It is listed as a national treasure of Japan. Madness to think that at some stage the Japanese considered demolition. There are only 12 original castles in Japan:

Din Tai Fung, the original – Taipei 鼎泰豐

Prepare to queue up at this legendary restaurant – Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 , Xinyi store. Warm Taiwanese hospitality and DELICIOUS xiaolongbao :9 No need to break the piggy bank for this place. They are tasty and super reasonable with their prices (NT$200 for 10 xiaolong bao!!!). There are multiple branches even in Taipei, make sure you’re going to the right one. It is Xinyi that you need to get to.

Hakodate’s morning market – Hokkaido, Japan 函館市、北海道

Hakodate’s morning market 函館朝市. On the breakfast menu: fresh hanasaki crab 花咲かに (summer only), hairy crab and long leg monster crab.   The guy who helped me opening the hanasaki crab has mad skills. He cut the spikey shell into easily edible bites within 2min. **Don’t try this at home without a heavy duty glove. Those spikes can really hurt.

Sapporo Brewery Museum – Hokkaido, Japan

Need I say more? Beer tasting, beer history, how to make beer. It is all here in one place. Bonus: free entry! Besides the well thought out exhibitions and cosy environment, it is worth mentioning that they have a lovely selection of exotic ice cream. Surprise find was their salt & black pepper flavour ice cream!! Must do for any self respecting foodie. Such an intriguing flavour.