2016-02-23

Restaurant Review: Marukame Udon, Waikiki

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Sluuurp!
The Waikiki area of Honolulu is notoriously expensive. If you're staying or spending the day in Waikiki, you'll be hard-pressed to find delicious, affordable food. As Waikiki was home-base during my trip to Hawaii, I did research on good eats in the area with a reasonable price tag. Based on the rave online reviews and my experiences, I believe Marukame Udon is the undisputed winner in that category!

For almost five years, Marukame Udon has been serving up the best bowl of thick, chewy Japanese-style wheat noodles or udon(うどん)in Waikiki. The noodles are made fresh to order; in fact, thanks to the restaurant's open kitchen, you can watch the chefs make them as you wait in line!

2016-02-08

I am now 26!

Birthday breakfast!
If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I've had some pretty special birthdays in the past. For my 25th birthday last year, I felt blessed to have the means to treat myself to a life-changing trip to Tokyo

This year is a complete change of pace! I didn't travel or eat out. Aside from speaking to close friends who called with warm well-wishes, and family, I took this year to reflect and pamper myself. Along with my birthday comes a new year after all; like it often does, my birthday falls at the peak of the Lunar New Year. Therefore, this year I decided to actually reflect and enjoy my own company, especially because I'm not sure when I will have the time to do this in the future.

I took a relaxing morning walk in the cold, cooked myself wonderful meals with many of my favorite dishes, had a long, warm bath, and watched some interesting documentaries. And I did a great deal of thinking. 

2016-02-02

Lots of Temples, Lots of People: Visiting Kaohsiung's Lotus Pond

The famous Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (longhuta; 龍虎塔).
Me taking several pictures as usual!
Many of the sites I visited in Kaohsiung were gorgeous and interesting; Lotus Pond was no different! Like the day we went to Cijin Island, my dad and I were blessed with beautiful weather when we visited the pond. You can tell by the bright blue sky in the pictures, right? I still find it hard to believe it was in the middle of winter! Southern Taiwan is definitely a great place to be in the during wintertime if you love warmer weather. 

Lotus Pond has quite an interesting history. The "pond" is actually a large manmade lake which was opened to the public in 1951. While the lake is a contemporary fixture, many of the sites around it have roots in antiquity. There are several temples, halls, pavilions, and palaces around the lake from centuries past. The area certainly has a nice ethereal feeling to it. 

I think it would take the better part of an afternoon to see all the sites at Lotus Pond, but you'd certainly be tired from all the walking afterward! Luckily, there is a long pedestrian road with several food venders right next to the lake so you can walk around a refuel simultaneously! 
A map of Lotus Pond, click to enlarge.
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Nonetheless, my dad wasn't up to the task of walking around the whole lake, so we only saw the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas(longhuta; 龍虎塔), Confucian Temple(kongmiao, 孔廟), Spring and Autumn Pavilions(chunqiuge; 春秋閣), and the Pei Chi Pavilion(beijiting; 北極亭). As we had to shuffle through crowds, it certainly felt like enough!

美麗的寺廟和很多人:參觀蓮池潭

龍虎塔
我拍了很多很多照片!
如果你搬去住在台灣,你會注意新的飯館開門的時候,會有很長的線在外邊。跟寺廟很像;有寺廟會有很多人。逛街的人,聊天,享受好的天氣,去老街買小吃。我很喜歡那個熱情的“寺廟的文化”。

因為在蓮池潭的寺廟很多,所以我覺得我說的“寺廟的文化”很重。要是你去高雄,你必須參觀蓮池潭 。不管天氣好不好,蓮池潭的寺廟也會把你迷住了,我覺得。給我在世界跟天堂的中間的感覺。
蓮池潭地圖。點擊看大圖。
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在一個下午,很容易看到蓮池潭的名勝古跡。地方很大,可是賣小吃的人很多。你可以一邊吃飯,一邊走路,不會胖哈哈!

我跟爸爸一起參觀蓮池潭。他不習慣每天多走路,所以我們只看龍虎塔孔廟春秋閣北極亭。我們還逛老街買東西吃。一般的說,是個放鬆的天。