The Spirit of Taiwan: Mangoes and Noodle Soup

February 2, 2017


Jia-Jia-at West Market hotel is situated in a location that is very special. Within walking distance you can travel and explore some of the best of Tainan. My favorite  way to start your day is without a doubt the freshest mango smoothie you can imagine. Something unique about this shop was that there were no prices to be found. I was curious seeing as many other smoothie shops have them clearly labeled for the world to see. The reason was actually quite simple. If the price of fruit fluctuates, then so does the price of a fruit smoothie. Today my mango smoothie cost me a steep 150 dollars. Was is worth it? More than you can imagine. The owner of Jia JIa, Kino Tsai, took me to this shop, where she has known the owner for many years. He went downstairs to get the freshest mangoes, smaller but more sweet, just for her. You could tell that he has been running the shop for a long time, as everything was similar to a greased machine running like clockwork. Within a couple minutes my fresh beautiful and oh so special mango smoothie was ready for me. Upon the first sip I could tell that this was a drink worth paying a premium for.



After a memorable smoothie experience, a quick walk through west market will let you discover shops that have been open for over 50 years. Here you will find the best noodle soup in Taiwan. Every shop is overflowing with customers, and you won’t find any english translation to help you out. So what are your options? Have someone there who speaks Mandarin (I was alone at the time), use google translate to help you out (the words on the signs were so old that even google couldn’t help me), or the last option: order something at random and hope for the best. So I put the fate of my stomach into the owner’s hands, and they always know the best dish to cook: still noodle soup.


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