蚂蚁上树 -- Mǎ Yǐ Shàng Shù
Glass noodles in a delicious sauce with ground pork.
While Hong Kong is generally raved about, it’s not typically a backpacker stop, mainly because it’s too damn expensive. I’ve seen a lot of lists putting it in the top five most expensive places to live in the world. Even worse, it’s the 2nd most expensive place to drink beer in the world.
Oh my god! Why would anyone even want to go to such a hellish place?
Busan’s Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장), the largest fish market in South Korea, has taken up two very different places in my memory. The first one is a very positive place, where the memories of incredible lunches, lively atmospheres, excitement and intrigue all sit. The second place is dark. It’s usually avoided at all costs. This memory is based on the 8 or so rats that we saw scrounging through a pile of garbage (watch the video til the end).
I hate rats. When we go to a country for the first time, we always keep a rat count. Vietnam took the title during our first trip to Southeast Asia with 5 rats in 22 days (a rat every 4.4 days). But, in the matter of 10 seconds, South Korea managed to make Vietnam look like the outskirts of Alberta with a total of 9 rats in 12 days -- a rat every 1.33 days.
That being said, this article is about fish, not rats, so I’m going to focus on the positive memories of Jagalchi Market. But know, as I write this with my feet off the floor, that those rats are haunting my memories.
I’ll admit, I’m a little confused about Korea’s market scene. Gwangjang Market (광장시장) is located in what I believe is the oldest market building in Korea. It opened in 1905, when it was called Dongdaemun Market, which was the name of an older market that was destroyed in the Korean War and rebuilt in 1959. Meanwhile, Namdaemun Market was around since like 1414, but the Japanese took control of it and it was eventually burnt to the ground… a few times. Gwangjang actually was created because of the Japanese take-over of Namdaemun Market. Several Korean investors and business men didn’t like the fact that their largest market was controlled by the Japanese, so they spent a whopping 100,000 Won (like $88) and bought some land to build what is now the 10 acre Gwangjang Market.
The largest major Chinese city to Tibet is Chengdu. Its population consists of about 60,000 Tibetans, many of them living in an area just south of Wuhou Temple. This is the Tibetan quarters; sometimes referred to as Little Lhasa. The area is vibrant with Tibetan culture including shops, food, and a whole lot of that beautiful bright orange.
Everyone knows about the Vietnamese beef noodle soup phở. Vietnamese restaurants around the world have it on their menu. Pho is good. Sometimes it’s great. But there are plenty of other delicious bowls of broth in Vietnam. A lot of them won’t show up on a Vietnamese menu overseas. I suspect some may not even be considered edible to someone that hasn’t grown up with the particular flavors, and isn’t open-minded enough to really give it a chance, but I insist you try these if you get the opportunity. You might find a new favorite Vietnamese soup. I know I have.
After booking a flight for a week-long trip to Taiwan, we started researching things to do. Our list ended up looking like a restaurant menu. For us, food is almost always the highlight of a good trip, but in Taiwan the possibilities overwhelmed us. I was more excited about a Taipei night market, than I was Ankor Wat or Machu Picchu. We decided to stay in Taipei for the whole week, and basically live like a local -- a local that’s on the highway to obesity.
Taipei has many faces. It’s green and lush, but turn a corner and it looks a bit grungy. Most of the buildings you’ll see are worn down and roughed up, but then you get a peak at an amazing piece of architecture like the Taipei 101 building. The majority of your “Kodak moments” involve people — and there are a lot of them (people, not “Kodak moments”) in Taipei. At night, you’ll get a variety of lights and colors. During the day, the sun can be a bit shy. It tends to hide behind a cloud of pollution, but it lays out a nice even light.
This is a gallery of the food we ate in Myanmar. Some of it isn’t typical Burmese food, but I’ve decided to include it to give you guys an idea of what you can eat while traveling in Myanmar. Food in Myanmar is varied. You’ll see some Chinese dishes, some Indian dishes, and or course traditional Burmese food. I’ve also included drinks of Myanmar – mainly tea – Burma’s favorite drink. I’ve tried to provide information on where we had the food, and how much it cost.
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Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. DO IT. DO IT.