Jul 25, 2013

[Our Value] Encountering the Locals in Taiwan

You must have heard of how people conclude their trip experience with such expression "the local people are the best tour guides". So, we would strongly encourage you to "make friends" and look for chances talking to the locals when you travel in Taiwan. We believe that the best attraction of a trip should be PEOPLE, not great views or beautiful scenery. 


Talk to local shop or stall owners. Some find it convincing that Taiwanese are friendly because they've experienced shop owners' genuity. When we're taking our guests to taste the local delicacies, we tend to introduce the owners to our guests so that they can talk a bit. Our guests might then feel more comfortable and feel like being well-hosted.

When the local food owners see that their guests are from abroad,
they're very much likely willing to chat with you. 

There would be no problem to take some people pictures with them.
Left: hand-made ramen master. Right: Tea egg lady (boiled egg with tea and soy sauce)

Talk to restaurant owners. It is said that many Taiwanese- lao ban 老闆 or Llao ban nian 老闆娘- the shop owners, are very much hospitable and willing to chat over if they are not busy serving customers. We're sure that some of them don't mind telling your how they run their business. They might offer you the recipes if you're lucky enough. (You might also get little discount or a free dish!)

A kiln-roasted chicken restaurant owner showing us how their dishes are prepared.       

Talk to local hostel owners. The owners of hostels should be the best information providers. And not just that, good hostel owners would love letting out their ideas about where to go and what's worth experiencing at specific travel destinations.  

Our beloved hostel owner in Jiufen -also a fantastic local guide! (Picture: 靈素 at Jiufen)

One of the best benefits getting to know the local hostel owners well is that - you'll get to know a place with some really nice tips, then feel like home when you stay at the hostel. (picture: 石上清泉 at Nantou)

The truly picky eater. The local knows where the best food can be found! Taiwan has a lot of tasty local food and you could look for the food almost every way. But the thing is, how to select the best local stall or restaurant? That's why you need the local to introduce the authentic food. Even us, while we travel or explore new place in Taiwan, beside doing some research, the most precise way to hunt local foods is: look every opportunity to make friends with local and ask them where can we taste good food!

Advantage to make friends with local shop owner- Generally, Taiwanese is very friendly!!! You even able to make friends with shop owner if you able spend some time to chat with them. They either will happily give you discount for goods or the most important, share with you some small little things in Taiwan for example, tips to visit the place, the brief history of the town and show you the way to visit hidden local place that only known by local!!!

Top right: we got to know a lot of tips to ride the bike to explore Sun Moon Lake. The owner love to talk to visitor and share whatever he knows.
Top left: The local people knows fun stuff!!! we got the chance to visit local traditional cotton production by following local's guideline.
Bottom right: The local blacksmith proud to share with us that how he runs the family business. The workshop that he currently run started since Qing Dynasty, meaning the family has runs the workshop for 5 generation!!! The owner show us the 'mini sword' that he made.
Bottom left: initially just would like to get some postcard end up we spend almost an hour to chat with the shop owner about the history and the legend of Sun Moon Lake.

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