Asia Trip – stinky tofu, squid ink ramen, oh my!

The last couple of weeks I was in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan for business. I didn’t spend any time sightseeing, after all, this was a work trip!

When I was in Shenzhen, China, my hotel room was on the 60th floor, overlooking Shenzhen Bay. It was pretty insane looking down and the 30-something floor buildings looked tiny.

View from my 60th floor hotel room

The coolest thing was going to the gym on the 62nd floor and looking at the view while running on the treadmill. It was not something you would experience every day.

I ended up spending 4 days in 4 different hotels. I would not recommend doing this since it meant unpacking and repacking every single day. This also meant ironing a dress shirt every single day. I was always on the run with my backpack and my carry-on suitcase. It was a good thing that I packed light.

View from one of the Hong Kong hotels.

Needless to say, it was really nice to finally arrive in Taipei, because I was able to stay at the same location for multiple days. That also meant I was able to unpack a bit instead of living off my suitcase.

My hotel room in Taipei. Fancy! The king size bed was so wide I could lay across without touching the ends.

It was quite nice to be back in Taiwan and hearing people speaking Taiwanese and Mandarin with Taiwanese accent.

Due to a typhoon nearby, the weather was super rainy and super windy while I was in Taipei. When I walked around, my rental umbrella was constantly getting flipped inside out.

I didn’t end up doing any sightseeing. Instead, I was focusing on trying different types of Taiwanese food that I used to eat as a kid.

Lunch… I didn’t finish all that food.


Typical Taiwanese breakfast


Tofu dessert


Stinky tofu!

Outside of Japan, Taiwan is one of the best places to get sushi and sashimi. Since Taiwan is a major producer of wasabi roots, you can find real wasabi in many Japanese restaurants in Taiwan. What’s “real” wasabi? It doesn’t come out from a tube and the wasabi is more grainy. It also dissolves in soy sauce very easily.


One of my Taiwanese co-workers took me to one of the Nagi ramen shops in Taiwan. On the menu was squid ink ramen. I have tried squid ink pasta before but never had squid ink ramen before. After looking at it for a while I decided that I had to give it a try.

Tonkotsu based ramen but you wouldn’t know it.

To get some excitement, we also went to a location near the airport where we stood a few metres below landing airplanes. Boy it was loud!

I really enjoyed staying in Taiwan for a few days and trying different types of food. Best of all, cost of living was quite cheap in Taiwan so things were relatively cheap. For example, that big lunch picture I posted cos less than $7 CAD/$5.50 USD.

Mrs. T and I have been talking about living in Taiwan for a few years in the future. Considering the Taiwan’s cost of living is much cheaper than Vancouver, this is definitely a possibility for both pre and post FI.

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  • Reply
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance
    October 30, 2017 at 10:37 am

    I’m glad you had a great trip in Taiwan. All the food looks absolutely delicious. I was in China in 2013 for my wedding (my husband is Chinese, and I’m Vietnamese). One thing I miss the most about the trip is the food! ^.^

    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Asian food is pretty amazing. We are fortunate that we are able to get authentic in Vancouver… it just costs way more compared to China/HK/Taiwan.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Picky Pincher
    October 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Oh wow! Your travels look mighty fine; and that food looks divine! 4 hotels in 4 days makes me feel exhausted just reading about it.

    • Reply
      October 30, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I was really happy to be able to stay in a hotel for an extended period of time. 4 hotels in 4 nights was way too much to handle.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Great, you had a good time!! The food in Taiwan is really good and cost of living so much less than here in Canada.
    That Ramen looks delicious.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Cost of living is indeed a lot less in Taiwan than Canada, but from what I understand people also earn a bit less.

  • Reply
    October 30, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Thats awesome great view from that 60th floor. That would probably bug me (i hate heights) awesome with the wasabi we go for sushi all the time would be nice having the good stuff.

    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      It was REALLY high. It was crazy to be running on the treadmill and looking down from the 62nd floor.

  • Reply
    Mr. Tako
    October 30, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Great shots from your hotel rooms Tawcan! That food looks mighty delicious!

    We just got back from traveling in Japan for an entire month — I think we must have gotten hit by the same Typhoon! There was tons of rain in Japan and some pretty strong winds.

    It’s pretty interesting how similar the food is in Taiwan, but also slightly different. I think I might need to put Taiwan on our “yummy” travel list!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      If I was not mistaken I believe the typhoon went up north. It’s too bad you guys had bad weather in Japan so couldn’t fully enjoy the outdoor. But that probably meant you were able to spend a lot of time in the onsen. Taiwan has a lot of great food. Slightly different than Japanese food but yet at the same time very similar.

  • Reply
    October 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I’m in HK soon for a holiday so am looking forward to some great food – I just go for anything which I don’t tend to eat in the UK, which means lots of seafood and noodles!

    • Reply
      October 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm

      Do you get authentic dim sum in UK? I love dim sum in HK, so many more choices. HK style lunches are also really good.

      • Reply
        November 2, 2017 at 4:33 pm

        Yes, the restaurants in Chinatown in Manchester do authentic dim sum but I tend to just get my ‘fix’ when I go to HK!

        • Reply
          November 3, 2017 at 2:35 pm

          That makes sense, exactly why I ate so many different Taiwanese dishes while in Taiwan even though we could get the same stuff here in Vancouver.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    I hope you had a great time there! Keep up with the journey!! You should came where I live (Canary Island – Spain) is the best place in the world!! :p

    • Reply
      November 3, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Would love to visit Canary Island one of these days, have heard lots good stuff about it.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Wow that’s a great view! Shenzhen looks like it has really boomed. The food pics look fantastic, I didn’t know that the best Japanese food outside of Japan was in Taiwan, I always thought it was Vancouver 😉

    • Reply
      November 5, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      I think 90% of the Shenzhen population aren’t originally from the city, so yes it has really boomed the last number of years.

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