Tag Archives: airport

Travels: Taiwan 2017 Day 7: Departure And Arrival

Day 1 & 2 *

Well, finally it was the day to depart. I really love Taiwan – all the sights, sounds, smells… But I definitely was really missing my wife and kids. That was the hardest part of the trip. Being a stay at home dad is so rewarding – not seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces was really killing me.I packed everything up and met Kyle to go out for some dim sum.

Okay, I gotta say  this place was awesome. I also have to say that I really need to find a decent dim sum place near me in the states because this just blows everything at home away. The best was the duck – I loved the duck I’ve has in Asia, but Taiwan’s offerings blew away what I’ve tried in Thailand and Malaysia. This was just – there’s no way to describe.

Kyle had to go and deal with business again so I ended up kicking it in the hotel lobby for a couple of hours. Had a chance to catch up with my friend Matt on the phone. I also attempted a walk to the nearest convenience store but my eyes were being a pain. I did see this interesting little sign – no clue what it was trying to tell me, but shortly after I passed it, I walked back to the hotel to enjoy a couple bottles of orange juice.

We then visited this interesting little place – The Miniatures Museum of Taiwan. Tiny little detailed buildings and room and o ther things. It was kind of creepy to be honest. Kind of blew me away that we only spent an hour or so here but some of these things took years to be created.

Time for my last meal in Taipei. We went out to this place – Karen Teppanyaki. So teppan is the name for the surface used to cook and yaki just means fried – as in yakisoba just means fried soba noodles. The food was extremely good – I could have eaten it all day. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time.

Kyle hailed me a cab and we said our goodbyes. Was such a good  trip – didn’t have the chance to meet Kyle’s family last time so it was really nice to have the chance this time. To be honest, I was a little worried about the trip back, mainly navigating the airport. I’d done it a year before, but my sister had accompanied me – this time it was legally blind guy in the foreign airport. But it was easy and I was able to get through security and everything easily. There was time to kill and so I was able to hit the Hello Kitty shop and grab my wife something nice. The flight was great – had an aisle seat with a space between me and the guy sitting next to the window so room to stretch out a little bit. I listened to some music, took a few catnaps. Walked around a bit. I did get stuck in the bathroom blowing my nose and then we had the turbulence over southern Japan – that was interesting! Wasn’t too bad. Turned out the guy next to me was coming to the United States from the Philippines. His mother had petitioned for him to become a citizen 15 years ago and finally he was able to move. That’s a long time! Speaking of time, so my flight took off on the 21st at 11:30pm from Taiwan – and arrived on the 21st at around 7pm in the United States. Definitely messed with my head a little – bring on the jet lag!

Well, now it was the moment of truth. I got stopped coming back from Malaysia by the USDA to look through my stuff in 2014 and they took out a bunch of noodles. That sucked. This time, no problem. They’d been asking everyone in front of me ‘did you bring any food items with you?’ but they just asked me ‘where’d you go?’ ‘was it a good trip?’ I think I looked beat and they just sent me onward. ‘Welcome to the United Sates.’ Was good to be home! I did the above video a couple days after I got back. I want to say thank you to the Taiwan International Food Expo for inviting me and Howsler Foods for sponsoring my trip – it was an amazing experience and I can’t stress enough how much fun it is to visit a foreign country. Definitely put it on your bucket list!

The Ramen Rater’s Trip To Malaysia: Day 4 – The Isle Of Langkawi

Day 1 * Day 2Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

Another day of adventure! Today, we flew to Langkawi and tried some of the local foods and had a great time – check it out! I should also mention – pictures in these posts are by myself, my wife Kit and our friend Thomas Tang of Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd.

woke up today feeling really good – feels like I’m finally shaking off the time variance and acclimating to the climate. We went down to the buffet at the Eastin Penang and had some breakfast.

Some nice little noshes. I met a fellow named Eric who has been the Food & Beverage Manager at the Eastin Penang. He said he’d read about me in the newspaper! We chatted for a few about the food in Penang and he recommended places to go. As I said before, everyone here is very passionate about the local food – really cool.

We returned to our room to freshen up a bit before our big day.

I thought I’d take a picture of the carpet. I’m kind of weird like that.

When we first got into the room, I was curious: was there one of those hotel Bibles in the drawers? I figured probably not. I found this little sign and found it confusing; maybe pointing to the fire extinguisher? I decided it needed a little more investigation. I looked up the word kiblat on my phone and it translated to ‘direction.’ Then it hit me – instead of those Bibles they have in the drawer in the United States, here they have a sign showing the direction for prayer. While the Malaysian constitution ensures freedom of religion, Islam is considered the state religion.

A look out our window. Today we’re flying to Langkawi! Off to the airport!

The western companies that find their to such exotic places just astounds me. This is in the airport in Penang.

Here are Kit and Thomas while we wait to board out flight.

Our plane.

I was kind of confused here; there’s an image of a woman on both of these. I found out that there are prayer rooms at the airport. After thinking about it, It kind of surprises me that they didn’t have these in the Seattle airport.

Waiting to board the plane. This was the first time I’d ever walked up a flight of stairs to a plane – I thought only the President got to do that!

About to take off!

Here’s a little of the message from the pilot before takeoff.

The in-flight food looks pretty good! Gonna be a really quick flight though.

Here’s us landing in Langkawi. Talk about a quick flight – got up to around 8000 feet then started our descent – I think the flight took around 40 minutes.

Heading to retrieve out luggage.

We pulled over to figure out the directions and I snapped this shot out the window. I think this qualifies as a tropical paradise!

We stayed at the Resorts World Langkawi.

Here’s the lobby area.

Durian is a fruit that stinks – and I mean STINKS. At least that’s what I’m told. People really like it a lot, but that’s once you get past the smell.

We had a seat on the boardwalk by the water for a few minutes.

Lots of small boats. You can even take a little cuise.

Neat architecture here.

This place is really nice!

We went and had a bit to relax in our room and then headed back down to go and find some Thai food!

The elevator was full of mirrors – I thought that was a lot of fun.

A chandelier that reminded me of Edward Gorey pen and ink drawings.

We were truly fascinated by this weird chair.

For as square and boxy it was, it was actually kind of comfortable.

Thomas wanted to take us to a different place, but it was closed so we went to Thai House.

In Malaysia, they don’t have diet Coke – it’s Coca Cola Light.

I thought this was fascinating; the little breakfast places around Washington have all sorts of cooking tools on the walls – looks like they do that here, too!

Let’s get down to lunch. Here’s some delightful pineapple fried rice.

Some serious Tom Yum soup.

The broth was extremely strong!

Tasty lemon chicken.

Beef green curry – wonderful!

This is sambal. Sambal is made from chillies (usually chilli paddi) and other fresh ingredients and it great with pretty much everything. If you’re a sriracha fan, this is like a chunky version and beats the sriracha with the chicken on the bottle hands down.

This fish was really good – very moist and crunchy at the same time.

Thai fried rice – this one was spicy.

Yet another table laid to waste in our wake!

Thomas settling the bill at the counter. What’s interesting about this photo are the pictures on the wall. I noticed these in the hotel too. These are members of the government and I believe the royal family. Malaysia is a Constitutional Monarchy.

Next we headed to a store in a mall that’s in the same building as that PappaRich. Langkawi is a tax-free place. I had mentioned before that I had never heard of Carlsberg beer – lots of signs everywhere mentioning it in front of restaurants and hawker stalls all over Malaysia. Well, we went in to a shop and got some gifts and snacks and Thomas found me a can of Carlsberg to try. At the checkout he hands it to me and says – here you go – give it a try! I kind of laughed and said yeah right – he looked confused. Then I asked – you mean right here? To the joyous reply yeah – why not? Yep – you can have an open container anywhere you want in Malaysia. Just buy a beer and walk around with it. So I pounded a Carlsberg at the checkout and it was pretty nasty stuff, but a great experience.

A flower next to the resort. Kit saw a monkey sitting on a sign on the way back there too!

One neat thing was that they give you bread at the reosrt to feed the fish.

A little later we had some appetizers. This is satay.

Onions rings and breaded bell pepper.

A little dessert for Kit.

Thomas and I had a ton of beers – we challenged each other to dry up the bar! I think he drank all their Corona! I had quite a few glasses of Tiger beer – that stuff is really good. Was a great night talking about the differences between the US and Malaysia, noodles, TF and everything else. One crazy thing that happened was I went to use the restroom at one point and came back maybe one minute later – and it had started raining – and by raining I mean raining. Hard. Did I mention this place is tropical?

When we arrived at the resort, Kit noticed a neat little lizard on the wall in the hallway! On the way back to our rooms, me and Thomas tried catching it – waaaaay too fast for us after so many beers. Was a really great time! Really was bummed at this point; our trip was already getting close to done; tomorrow being our last full day.