There’s a saying in Taiwan that people don’t greet you with “ni hao.”
They ask, “Have you eaten yet?”
That doesn’t surprise me considering how readily available food is in Taiwan — and how many people eat out rather than cook at home.
Taipei has become a mecca for foodies who love Asian-style street food. A survey done by Taiwan’s tourism bureau reported that more than half of the international tourists visiting Taiwan picked food as one of the major reasons for their trip to this island. That percentage was even higher from visitors from New Zealand and Japan.
And I bet if the bureau had surveyed folks from Hawaii, it would have been even higher.
Eating and trying Taiwan’s interesting dishes was high on my list of things to do while here. I had heard about items like stinky tofu and rice noodle soup and Taiwanese shave ice — and since I’m here, I may as well try them!
So on Thursday, we went on a whirlwind tour of the city, eating everything in sight. We skipped the touristy night markets and went straight for the back alleys where restaurants don’t have names and the food is everything you imagine it would be.
Here’s what we did — and ate:
Good morning, Taipei
Follow my adventures in Taipei on Twitter @thedailydish and on Instagram @catherinetoth. Special thanks to Hawaiian Airlines for allowing me to be part of this special inaugural flight. And special shout-out to Sara Lin, who took us around and showed us how Taiwanese REALLY eat.
I am so jealous! looks like so much fun and the food! You are making me miss Taiwan SO bad!!!! PS – Glad you two are safe!
We’re safe — and we’re well fed!
CAT: It dawned on me that with so many people in this world and many eating out, how much fuud can we produce? Hopefully, we don’t reach the Soylent Green stage.
This is true. Taiwanese eat out A LOT. Way more than Americans, I think.
Right on, Cat! I always loved the fact that back in the days Taiwanese people would greet each other with “have you eaten yet?” I was told the greeting “have you eaten yet?” came about because in the olden days when the people and country were poor, Taiwanese people would take care of one another by making sure every one had food to eat. So by asking if someone had eaten yet, people were essentially saying, “I care about you and do not want you to be hungry.” Sort of a round-about way of showing love, but thoughtful nevertheless. Taiwanese people show their love through food. I think that’s why food is a big part of what people remember the most about Taiwan.
Great reviews so far!
Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying! I swear I’m going to gain 100 pounds here! I don’t know how Taiwanese women can stay so slim! They must have high metabolism!
True about the greeting “have you ate yet?” in person and when answering the phone!!
Really enjoy following your Taipei travel so far. Be safe with the typhoon!
Answering the phone, too? Now THAT’s awesome!
All things considered, its usually better to experience a natural disaster while away than at home. As long as you will likely be physically safe, you don’t have to worry about your family & friends, pets, home, and workplace being affected. Plus if you are in a decent hotel, the staff makes it a priority to make sure of your wellbeing.
This is true. I feel pretty safe in a hotel. Usually hotels are built to withstand these kinds of natural disasters.
Everything looks soooooo GUUD!
I’m drooling and licking my monitor!
You gotta go Taiwan next!
Nǐ chīguòle ma? Bet the weather is sucking big time about now,.
It really wasn’t that bad. Just bad overnight, but I was sleeping!