Taiwan

/Taiwan

3 things you have to eat in Taiwan! 

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!

STINKY TOFU 


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 noodle 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!)

3 things you have to eat in Taiwan! 2018-06-21T22:05:48+00:00

Super Luxurious Taiwan Spas…What are they like?


I love spas, massages and taking it easy. So, I’m always checking out the local spa experience in my search for the best place to retire cheap. I’m in Taiwan today trying to see if this is the best country to live cheap. After a long flight, going through customs and navigating though 30 degree weather, is there anything better than grabbing a beer and finding a luxury spa?

What’s in a super luxury Taiwan spa? And how is it different from North America? The whole experience is a bit different  from anything I’ve tried out before. 

First you’ll take your shoes off and into the shoe locker they’ll go. (This isn’t your clothing locker). Then you grab a pair of flip flops, disrobe and drop your stuff into a separate locker.

That’s when you’ll enter the actual spa area. The mandatory showers are in the actual spa area. Walking in with my towel wrapped around my nether regions I discover it’s a towel free zone. All these Taiwanese guys are totally naked. That makes sense for the shower area, but I wasn’t expecting it in the actual jacuzzi! It’s a big pool of naked dudes. (You’ll have to be ok with this level of nudity, swim suits are not allowed.) 


I now know how the wonton in a big bowl of soup feels. Between the massive size of the jacuzzi tub and the jets, you can maintain enough personal space from your fellow wontons. After a while of being naked and gloriously relaxed in the hot tub I wonder why all hot tubs aren’t swim suit free? There’s also a  cold water tub for soaking when you get too hot in the Jacuzzi. It isn’t really that cold, but after soaking in the hot tub, it’s super refreshing.

Included in the spa was also a steam room, and hot sauna. Nice but not too different.What’s extra cool was that after using the facilities there’s a separate chill out area where you can unwind some more.

They provided a Yakuta robe because this is a clothed area. 

This is a no phone area, but they do have wifi, so bring your Kindle. There’s also a tv, drinking water and tea.

I felt so relaxed after the whole thing, goodbye travel stress. I spent an hour overall in the spa, but there was no time limit or sense of hurry.

I loved the spa experience in Taiwan and would definitely recommend to all of you BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com readers. I hope this article helped you with your personal quest of finding the best country to get great spa experiences and 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!) 

Super Luxurious Taiwan Spas…What are they like?2016-12-12T00:10:49+00:00

HAGGLE LIKE A PRO! Don’t pay tourist prices. PART 2


Alright BestCountriesToRetireCheap.com fans, I know you love haggling and cheap deals, so I’ve written another haggling tip guide for you. Who doesn’t want to retire cheap and score great deals?

I’m assuming you’ve read my Part 1 guide. (If not, go check it out.)

These following 4 tips are only to be used once you’ve mastered the haggling strategy I’ve already given shown you in part 1

LURK 

  • Eavesdropping on hawkers while they haggle with another customer gives you valuable information and intelligence. If you know what the final real price was it can definitely help you out. Don’t just offer what the last guy paid though, chances are he’s also a tourist and not a master haggler like you.

HAGGLE WITH 8’s AS YOUR LAST NUMBER

  • When you’ve come to the final number you think you can get. Throw the price in with a 8. Instead of $100, $98. Tell them it’s lucky. This really works if you or the seller are Chinese.

BUY 2

  • After all the prices are settled , but BEFORE paying ask “how much for 2?” 
  • This technique works great with “fixed price no haggling” signed vendors

    SMILE

    • When haggling, have fun and do it with a smile. You both you’re playing the game. No need to be thinking they’re trying to rip you off.
    • If you have haggled properly the hawker should have a rueful “I can’t believe I sold it that cheap face” not a gigantic “I can’t believe he bought it for that smile”

    I hope this article helped you with your quest 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!) 

    HAGGLE LIKE A PRO! Don’t pay tourist prices. PART 22016-12-12T00:11:00+00:00

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