Posts Tagged With: penghu

Penghu’s Night Market

Night markets are a big deal in Taiwan.  All the major cities have them every night and they are packed with people!  They’re filled with food and clothing, jewelry, electronics, pretty much anything you could want, you can get at a night market for pretty cheap.  If you ever go to Taiwan, night markets are a must do!

Penghu usually doesn’t have a night market, but for about one month each year, we get one!  It’s not huge like the ones in Taipei or Kaohsiung, but there is food and games, and it’s pretty fun.  We went on Saturday night and got some yummy food!  French Fries, curry wraps, and crickets!

Yep, you read that correctly, crickets.  There was one stand selling crickets and we decided that we had to try them!  They didn’t taste bad, but it was still kind of weird to be eating a bug (especially feeling their legs inside your mouth).  Anyways it was fun and a little crazy, just what you would expect from eating an exotic food, right?


Categories: Friendship, Fun Stuff, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

9.5 Flights in 14 Days

As our Chinese New Year break from teaching is winding to a close, I figure it’s a good time to recount some of our travels over our time off.  Last year we went to Japan.  It was cold and busy and a lot of fun, but this year, we decided that it might be nice to take a break from the winter cold (you would too after reading this), so we went to the Philippines!  And, as you can assume by the title of this post, many flights were involved (Don’t worry, Olivia will cover some of our adventures in the Philippines in a later post).  First up was our flight to Taipei.  Our home is on a small island of Taiwan, so any time we want to go anywhere, we have to fly (usually to Taipei) first.  This time, we had a dog in tow!

Usually, our friend Sharon takes care of Bai when we’re not around, but she was spending time in Taipei with her family for the New Year celebrations, so why not bring him to her!  We also wanted Bai to get some experience flying in an airplane, as he’ll be joining Olivia and I for the long haul back to America later this year.  Some of our American readers might think we’re crazy flying him to Taipei just for 12 days, but airlines are a little easier to work with here for this sort of thing.  So, a lot of wrestling (Bai hasn’t learned to like his crate yet) and $12 later, we were aboard and Taipei bound!  Thankfully we didn’t see a streak of white running around on the runway. 😉

The next leg of our journey left the international airport from Taipei after midnight, so we got a bite to eat, met some friends, and hung around till catching the last bus from the domestic airport to the international one.  Four hours later, we were enjoying the warm weather at the Manila airport (at 4AM- those people never sleep!  You would have thought it was the middle of the day)!  Now, for this trip of ours, we had no intentions staying in a big, crowded city (living in Penghu has made us small town folK).  So we slept for a few hours, ate a much needed Cinnabon, and then started our next flight (number 3) at about 7:30, a 50 minute flight to Legazpi. We were cruising nicely and had started our decent when the announcement was made: there was a problem with the plane and we couldn’t land there because the runway was too short (confused? Us too).  The plane returned to Manila, where we were finally able to land on a longer runway, and thus- the “.5” from the title, back-tracking nearly an hour to get another plane.

Three hours and a very grouchy Olivia later, it was time for try number two (flight 4.5).  We landed without any issues (yay!) and had some fun for the couple of days we were there.

The next leg of our journey came when we left Legazpi for Coron.  Being two small cities, no direct flights were available, so we had to fly back to Manila and then on to Coron in one afternoon (5.5 and 6.5).  After five or six days there, (more on that to come) we found ourselves Taipei-bound, again flying through Manila first and then on to Taipei ((7.5 and 8.5)!  And of course, Taipei wouldn’t be our last stop before reaching home in Penghu.  We spent a few days bumming around the city and having fun, even though most places were closed because of the Chinese New Year.  Finally, with the dog in tow, we made the last flight to Penghu and landed with a rainy, windy scooter ride to the house (ponchos were involved for everyone).

We made it back home safe and sound, had a wonderful trip, and made nine and a half flights in 14 days. Are you tired now?

Categories: Bucket List, Fun Stuff, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Survive Winter in Penghu

During winter, Penghu is one of the windiest places on the planet.  Move over Chicago, there’s a New Windy City in town (or the world in our case).  From around November to March, we are constantly bombarded with gale force winds.  (To be honest, idk what gale force winds actually are, but I have a feeling they’re really strong winds).  The windows rattle, scooters get blown over, trees grow sideways, and nobody wants to go outside.  In fact, in order to go outside for any length of time, one must bundle up like an Eskimo lest the winds blow right through your clothes and chill you to your core.  On top of the wind, there are no heaters built into the buildings, so even when you’re inside, your poor little nose, fingers and toes are constantly cold. ALWAYS.  So, without further ado- how to survive winter in Penghu.

  1. Wear thick socks.  Your tootsies will thank you for it.
  2. Get a dog.  One that likes to cuddle.  They’re always warm!
  3. Invest in a thick coat, and use it always, even inside if you must.
  4. Wear scarves, gloves, hats and face masks in order to expose as little skin as possible to the Wind.
  5. Make sure everything you need for the whole night is nearby so that you can avoid getting up and disturbing the warm nest of blankets you’ve made.
  6. Watch lots of movies.  I mean, LOTS!
  7. Get a space heater and put is as close as possible so as to stave off some of the cold.
  8. Send your husband to bed first so he can warm it up.  🙂
  9. Drink lots of hot tea, hot chocolate, and coffee. Not only does it warm the soul; it also warms up your poor little phalanges.
  10. Complain as often as possible.  It really does help (by circulating extra hot air around you). 😛
This is a great example of survival tip #2.

This is a great example of survival tip #2.

Categories: Fun Stuff, FYI, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

It means what?!

If you’ve ever learned a foreign language, you know that some words in other languages sound like inappropriate or funny things in your native language.  We giggle, we move on, or in the cases of us less mature people, we never move on.  It just sits there at the back of our minds waiting for the chance to make it’s reappearance when we’re bored and need a laugh (or, in some cases, at inappropriate times).

For my students, it’s always the inappropriate times.  In the middle of a lesson for example.  The giggling is always the tip-off, followed by whispers, then out-right laughter.  This is usually followed with me thinking, “I know I’m funny, but not THAT funny.”

The most recent occurrence of this inadvertent hilarity, was when I was reading a book to my class called “Squanto, the Pilgrims’ Friend.”  Since Thanksgiving is quickly approaching in the US, I decided to teach a little bit about the first Thanksgiving and the friendship between some Native Americans and the Pilgrims.  When I first read the title of the book, the tell-tale round of giggles, whispers, and laughter tipped me off to my faux pas.  After a few minutes of this laughter and my apparent confusion, my co-teacher came to my rescue and told me that Sqaunto sounds like the Chinese for “bald man.”  I thought it was pretty funny so I gave the students a couple minutes to get their giggles out, but to no avail.  The whole rest of the class, whenever I read Squanto, the whole class burst into laughter again.  It was funny, but not THAT funny!

Moral of the story: when kids think something’s funny, that’s all they’ll be thinking about for the next 40 minutes or so, so if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Categories: Education, Fun Stuff, Humor | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s the number for 911?

119 of course!  We are in Taiwan after all.

Wednesday was field trip day, and we went with the 2nd grade to visit the Fire Station!  I have to admit, I was really excited about this excursion, just imagine all the possibilities!  Climbing ladders, spraying the water hose, sitting in the fire engine, it all seems so much fun!  I was so excited I even contemplated putting black spots on Bai so I could pretend he was a fire house Dalmatian, but Nick wouldn’t let me. 😦 Oh well.


In the midst of our busy week, I had forgotten all about the field trip to the Fire Station, but I woke up Wednesday morning with lots of excitement!  It’s a good thing I’m not a dog, or I would’ve had an accident. 😛  The first activity of the day was riding the elevator up to the sixth floor to listen to a presentation from the Fire Fighters.  This was enough excitement for the kids, you’d think they’ve never ridden in an elevator before by all the oohs and ahhs.  After the presentation, the real fun began!  The kids rotated through some stations like riding the bucket, spraying the hose, getting in the ambulance, and sitting in the fire truck.  They were having so much fun!

Being foreigners kind of gives you instant celebrity here in Taiwan, and we got another taste of that at the Fire Station.  The fire fighters let us spray the hose all by ourselves, ride up high in the bucket, and try on the fire fighter uniform. They even made us honorary fire fighters by giving us each an official Magong Fire Brigade patch!!! 😀  It was so much fun!

Us with our official Penghu County Fire Brigade patches and new fire fighter friend!

Us with our official Magong Fire Brigade patches and new fire fighter friend!

Afterwards, we all went to the park across the street where the students ate and ate and ate all their snacks from home.  Those little kids can really pack it away!

Categories: Education, Fun Stuff, Taiwan | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Breaking the Radio Silence

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m sorry, I know your lives all revolve around my blog posts. 😛  The writing bug hasn’t really hit me lately, but today, I’m breaking my radio silence! (Insert applause here).

I just want to start with how amazing Fall is!  Unfortunately, we can’t watch the leaves change color here in Penghu due to the fact that we only have plam trees and evergreens, but we can delight in the change in weather.  I love Fall!  The weather, the clothes, the upcoming holidays, the soups, the PUMPKIN, the opportunity to wear jeans to work and not sweat to death, everything!  I’m using a lot of exclamation points here, but Fall is totally worth it!

To kick off Fall, I made pumpkin pie!!! This was my first time making pumpkin pie, and I have to say it was a success!  Not like it’s that hard, but you’ve gotta enjoy the little things.  I made three, which I thought was a little excessive, but then everyone wanted to try some, so it went pretty fast saving Nick and I from pumpkin coma (it’s a real thing).  We followed up by making Flautas for a bunch of the foreigners in Penghu.  Everyone loved them!  That’s another great thing about Fall, we can cook and not sweat to death (as you can see, summers here are pretty brutal without air conditioning).

Fall has already brought about many adventures in cooking, and as you know, we LOVE adventures!  Another recent adventure of ours is dog sitting two dogs for a friend for a month.  We love having dogs! Nick was a little skeptical at first, but the dogs worked their magic and now he LOVES them!  They add so much fun and excitement to our lives!  The say people with animals are happier, and while I haven’t done any kind of studies, I agree with them.  It’s a constant source of entertainment!

dog on couch

Dogs are just so funny!

So there you have it, The recent happenings in our exciting life!  (Impressive, huh?)  As soon as I remember to bring the camera to school with me, I’ll write some more about our summer adventures, but if you know me, my memory isn’t my best asset, so it still might be awhile. *sigh*

Categories: Cooking, Fun Stuff, Nature | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

I think I’m Gonna Fall

One of the things I love about living in Penghu, Taiwan is the many opportunities Nick and I get to try things that we probably would never have tried before.  One of these experiences was windsurfing.  Another, scuba diving, and the most recent, stand up paddle board.

Being two of the twenty or so foreigners in Penghu means that we know all the other foreigners in Penghu, and lucky for us, some of the other foreigners do some cool things on the island.  One of the guys trains the best windsurfer in Taiwan (they’re currently training for the Olympics), and because of that, owns lots of water activity equipment.  On Sunday he let everyone try stand up paddle board at the beach.  It was a lot of fun even though I spent more time in the water than actually on the board (let’s blame my wonderful balancing skills).  The constant refrain in my head was, “I think I’m gonna fall. I think I’m gonna fall…” Just think little engine that could, but without as much confidence.  Nick, however, didn’t fall once!  We even brought Bai!  While he didn’t spend any time in the water (he doesn’t like it, the crazy dog!)  we had fun playing with him on the sand.  So without further rambling…PICTURES!!!

Categories: Humor, Taiwan, The Beach | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Year one in review: what we’ve learned

Wow! Can you believe we’ve already lived in Taiwan for a year? It’s been a great year full of fun, adventures, new friends, and discoveries. God has really blessed us with this opportunity and we wouldn’t trade this year for anything!

We started this adventure knowing absolutely nothing about Taiwan, but we trusted God that He had a plan for us and would provide for us. And guess what, he did! Here are a few things we learned this year.

1. Taiwanese schools are completely different than American schools. (Not just in the language area). Read about it here.
2. There are many languages that are spoken in Taiwan. The main language is Chinese, or more specifically, Mandarin, but other languages include Taiwanese, Hakka, and other various aboriginal languages.
3. Taiwanese people are very nice! We have made so many new friends this year, and everyone we meet is very helpful. They’re not just nice, they’re also very trust worthy. Theft is almost unheard of here, especially in Penghu.
4. 7-11s are everywhere!!!!!! Seriously, they’re more common than Starbucks in America.
5. Authentic Chinese food is nothing like the Chinese food served at “Chinese” restaurants in the USA. Additionally, forks are a rarity in Taiwan. We had to learn to use chopsticks very quickly; now we’re pros! Aren’t you jealous?
6. Scooters are the main form of transportation. And you better watch out, cuz they drive anywhere they want to. Nick has easily adjusted to the Taiwanese style of driving, so I’m a little nervous about his driving in the States.

2013-07-10 Taiwan Trip 937 --- 7. According to a little American boy I met who was visiting his grandparents in Penghu, “the toilets here are weird.” He’s right. I’ve proudly learned how to use a squatty potty. I’ve even made up a slogan- you haven’t pottied ’til you’ve squattied.
8. Taiwan is a cheap place to live. Eating out here is almost cheaper than cooking food at home. This is really nice because Nick and I haven’t exactly gotten the whole meal planning thing down. (We’re still young). Internet is also super cheap here! Idk what American companies are thinking, but it shouldn’t be so expensive to have Internet at your house.
9. Bakeries are everywhere, and they’re delicious! Nick and I will eat something from a bakery almost every morning for breakfast. It makes me happy.

2013-07-10 Taiwan Trip 1189 ---
10. Traditional markets sell fresh produce, fruits and meat as opposed to the grocery store.  This was really strange for us, but now we enjoy going to the traditional market on Saturday mornings.  Check out some of our market stories here, here, and here2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 411

Basically, so many things in Taiwan just make sense and we love it!

Stay tuned and in our next post, we’ll give a brief recap of some of our adventures from this year.

Categories: Education, Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Penghu Traditional Market: This Little Piggy Went to Market!

Hello there!  I am Nick’s sister – Emmelyn.  I’m visiting them in the HOT Taiwan, and decided to write a guest blog post for them :).  I had a little help to make sure my facts are correct!

On Saturday, Nick and Olivia took me to the traditional market in Magong.  There is a large building in the center of the market where the meat is sold (chicken, pork, beef).  Outside, vendors sell produce, fresh fish (some still flopping around), clothing, accessories, and more!

Some vendors are at tables, but others set up their goods on the ground for purchase.

2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 404

2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 406

Often, you will see vendors preparing their goods for sale.  It’s amazing how fast they can peel a pineapple!

2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 442

There are many familiar fruits and vegetables like apples, pineapple, bananas, nectarines, and more.

2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 411

Nick buying some delicious dragon fruit!

But there are also many things that are not as common in the states, like dragon fruit, lychee, etc.

2013-07-06 Taiwan Trip 412


All-in-all, a fun, but STRONG SMELLING experience!  I was glad Nick gave me some strong gum!

~Emmelyn from thisthatandcraft

Categories: Taiwan, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Quick History Lesson

This morning in church we learned how Christianity came to Penghu, Taiwan. We thought it was really interesting and reminded us of God’s amazing power and plan. We hope you enjoy the story as much as we did.

Back in the 1860s some missionaries were making their way to the main land of Taiwan. While on their journey, a storm came up and blew their small vessel off course. When they finally reached some land, the found that they had landed not on the main land of Taiwan, but on one of the small islands so Penghu. The missionaries did not let this stop them, and knew God had sent them there for a reason. The missionaries found a town and started doing what they could to share the gospel to the people coming and going from the local temple. Through their efforts, the first two families in Penghu came to believe in Christ Jesus.

If you don’t know, Penghu is an Archipelago, so while Christianity began to spread to some of the islands in the island group, it did not reach them all right away. In 1919 a temple performer from Chi Mei (the southern-most island in the Penghu Archipelago) had a vision telling him that he needed to serve someone named Immanuel. He went searching for more information about this Immanuel. He eventually ended up on the main land of Taiwan and found some Christians who told him about Immanuel. He immediately went back to his home on Chi Mei and began spreading the gospel there.

That’s the end of the history lesson, but not at all the end of the story.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

Categories: Faith, Taiwan | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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