I wouldn’t consider Taiwan a great place to retire cheap, but its definitely worth of being a visa run country. Taiwan is a heavily Japanese and Chinese influenced country. The history of Taiwan has led to a blended people and culinary experience. Here’s a list of 3 things you need to eat!
XIAO LONG BAU (SOUP DUMPLINGS)
Each one of these tasty dumplings contains a morsel of stuffing and a savoury soup. Depending on the restaurant the stuffing can be anything from pork (the standard), to seafood or beef. The broth will always be custom per restaurant. Like a croissant the wrapper of these dumplings require a lot of folding. The dumplings I ate in Taiwan had 18 folds each. I love xiao long bau! Accompanied by red vinegar, you’ll dip your little dumpling into the vinegar and very carefully bite into them. I say very carefully because each of these dumplings come out piping hot, and the soup inside is mouth scorching if you aren’t careful. A good xiao long bau isn’t overstuffed. The proportions of soup, and stuffing should be equally measured. The wrapper should be thinner than a wonton. Like a good spaghetti there will be regional differences, try them all!
This is a fermented tofu that smells like a cross between stinky feet and sewage. If you’re brave try it. And if you’re not brave, take the punge it’s worth it. The smell, while repugnant enhances the taste of this dish. Stinky tofu can be served cooked in a soup, or deep fried. It’s consistency reminds me of a firm cottage cheese. Stinky tofu is actually not that strong tasting, and if you have a chance to try it, get the original flavour with no spices. Hot spice actually detracts from its repugnant original flavour. Most places that serve this dish are little mobile carts. Just follow your nose to find a cart!
BEEF BROTH NOODLES
You’ll see these noddle places everywhere and there’s a good reason why. The hand made noodles soak up the meaty flavour of the beef broth, and each bite is savoury combination of beef and noodle flavour. You can get this dish as just beef broth or with beef. I’d recommend only getting the beef broth because they use the beef that has been boiling in the soup all day. This perpetual boiling of the beef makes a delicious beef broth, but makes the beef into dried unappealing nuggets. Beef broth noodles in Taiwan are some of the best noodles in the world.
Taiwan is full of delicious food, go there and eat it all. I hope this foodie article helped you with your goal of finding the best country to retire cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more tips and articles on finding the cheapest places to retire. And if you liked the article, please share on social media (I’d love it if you did!)