Tag Archives: Hugo Assam Tea Farm
At the Hugo Assam Tea Farm, in Nantou County, a fun weekend activity for kids is to take a DIY class where they get to participate in making their own black tea. This means taking some freshly picked green tea leaves from the racks in the room, and then rubbing on the leaves in circles, over and over until they’ve dried up and are dark in color. This takes about two hours! After which, the tea goes into an elaborate machine for fermentation.
Assam black tea was first brought to Taiwan from India by the Japanese during their occupation, and is now one of most popular teas in Taiwan.
The mountainous Nantou County is Taiwan’s second largest county, located in the center of the island and making it the only landlocked area on the island.
Two months ago, in August, I went to Taiwan on a week-long press trip – a Foodie Tour, at the invitation of the Taiwan Tourism Board. An opportunity to eat my way around the island, with visits to cultural, spiritual and historical places – all while indulging in authentic Taiwanese cuisine, 10-course meals, night markets, tea houses and even beer breweries. You name it, it was on the itinerary – the first of its kind planned by the Taiwan Tourism Board, on occasion of the country’s centennial anniversary.
When MatadorU first posted the opportunity for its graduates, I jumped on it. A couple of weeks later, I was selected by the Taiwan Tourism Board, along with eight other travel writers and bloggers from around the US.
It would be my first time in Asia, and lucky me – that first time would be on an island (we all know my penchant for such places).
Shortly after that selection, I was offered a spot as Matador’s second Road Warrior in Belize.
Belize and Taiwan, all in one summer?! It was a whole lot of excitement for one girl. But I knew I could handle it.
The trip to Taiwan was the longest I’ve ever endured, because I had to make my way from Belize all the way to Washington DC, then LA and finally Taiwan.
LAX-Taipei alone is a 15-hour flight.
Phew. If it wasn’t for that comfortable, direct EVA Air flight with the extra leg room and the snazzy movie-on-demand feature, I wouldn’t have made it.
But the flight woes and back pains were all a distant memory the moment I arrived in Taipei and we pulled away from the airport and into the city.
Aah Taiwan! I experienced so many moments of intrigue at every hour of the day, let alone in a week. My senses were on overload, as was my camera – the farther we ventured the island, the more I felt connected to the culture and the more I wanted to look deeper.
Yes, Taiwan proved to be more than just an island off the eastern coast of China.
The country is a reflection of its complex history – because wow, Taiwan’s been through it! Portuguese settlers, followed by >>