Overseas Dragon Restaurant in Hsin Tien

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Bitan
Bitan by Night

We have blogged before riding to Hsin Tien (see Cycle Trip to Bitan (Hsin Tien). It has now become a fairly regular route and since I don't ride to work anymore I try to substitute by taking ride to Bitan once a week at least. Its a good 24km return trip from our house in Taipei, long enough to get some excercise and short enough not to get too exhausted. In the evening (especially during the week) its always beautiful and there are hardly anybody on the river side park roads. Also, the weather right now is great and perfect for riding.

Dinner in Hsin Tien - To Bitan
On the way to Bitan

So anyway, I have started riding there on a fairly regular basis and started to eat at a restaurant called the "Overseas Dragon" pretty close to the Hsin Tien MRT stop. Its a standard Taiwanese fast food dumpling restaurant. There is always a line outside so it is fairly popular, its clean and the food tastes great.

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Overseas Dragon Menu
Overseas Dragon Menu

My standard dinner include beef dumplings, sweet and sour soup, cucumber and cold soy bean milk.

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Cucumber

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Dumplings
Beef Dumplings

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Sweet n Sour Soup
Sweet and Sour Soup

Of course they sell other things. They have adverts scattered all over the wall.

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Overseas Dragon Ad
Overseas Dragon Advert

Dinner in Hsin Tien - Overseas Dragon Ad
Overseas Dragon Advert

The best part was the meal was only NTD120. Not bad for dinner. It was a great dinner, a great ride and all and all a great time.


Five Flower Pics for Monday

Chienkuo Flower Market - 26 April, 2009
Love the color

After Sunday Morning Breakfast and visiting the J.C. Kuo Exhibit at Asia Art Center we headed off to the Flower Market on Chienkuo South Road. The weather wasn't nice yesterday but the flower market is always a great place to visit. Always lots of activity and, well, flowers are always great to look at. Here are some more of the flowers we saw:

Chienkuo Flower Market - 26 April, 2009

Chienkuo Flower Market - 26 April, 2009

Chienkuo Flower Market - 26 April, 2009

Chienkuo Flower Market - 26 April, 2009

We always enjoy visiting the market and always have fun when we do. If you are in Taipei or have nothing to do, its worth the trip.


Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday Morning Breakfast
English Breakfast

This morning we went to the Pot Pie Cafe for an English Breakfast. Not as big as the Carnegies version but still has all the good stuff and is enough to keep you full all day. Highly recommend their breakfast!

J.C. Kuo Exhibit at Asia Art Center

J.C. Kuo - Lady in the Water
Lady in the Water

Today was the last day of this exhibition

This morning on the way to the flower market on Chien Kuo South Road we passed the Asia Art Center and decided to go in. It was our first visit. The gallery itself was small (only the first floor and basement) and took about 10 minutes to walk through. It was worth the visit though (especially if you are in the area).

They were currently having a J.C. Kuo solo exhibition. The young assistant Vivian told me J.C Kuo is the first Taiwanese contemporary artist and is the first one to fuse traditional Chinese painting styles with modern Western art. I have no idea what that means. I liked the colors, the energy and the implications of the pictures (but mostly the colors).According to the profile on the Center's website:

J.C. Kuo was born in 1949 in Lugang, Taiwan. Since 1980s, J.C. Kuo uses his striking stroke to describe the disorder of Taiwan society and develop his own unique painting style. He uses characteristically heavy and bold black lines, juxtaposed shapes and images, and traditional ancient stories to produce a strikingly colorful style to describe Taiwan vividly. In his painting, he articulates the phenomenon of the turbulent overlapping of ancient and modern history and Chinese and Western culture through the method of temporal juxtaposition. His painting style which arose from his personal self-awareness and experimentation has a strong style of expressionism. He uses this way to discover the collective psychology of Taiwanese. For Kuo, his paintings are the media to express his observation, imagination and criticism for Taiwan.

Instead of being an ontlooker, Kuo tries to walk into society and do the research about Taiwan with his exquisite observation. He uses post-modern way to depict the diversity of Taiwanese culture. In recent years," balloon" is his new painting image to describe Taiwan. In his large painting "Totem and Taboo – Floaters(2007)", he depicts young men and women full of vitality. Brimming with physical energy, they exhibit a vibrant, attractive physical condition and form a ritualistic rhythm of group dance. In this painting, he uses the image of balloon to symbolically refer to the current state of Taiwanese society, which means the collective psychological state of anxiety that commonly exists in Taiwanese society. His latest master pieces will be displayed in Asia Art Center(Taipei) in his 2009 solo exhibition "Before & After 2008 – Floating." Kuo’s paintings will lead us to find a way to seek for the inner peace as well as identity of ourselves.

Once again, I must say I just liked the pictures. Some of the pictures are shown below. Personally, my brain is probably paper mache and probably looks like the brain below.

J.C. Kuo - Brain News
Brain News

This conference one was also pretty cool. I liked the talking heads transoposed on the flags. I am sure there is meaning there but I just liked the colours and contrasts.

J.C. Kuo - Conference

Once again, had no idea about the symbolism but the flowing colors made it interesting.

J.C. Kuo - Fluid Motion

This one gave me a sense of power and weakness and the struggle to keep the earth moving forward. Thought it was fairly dramatic.

J.C. Kuo - Atlas Heaves
Atlas Heaves - 1

J.C. Kuo - Atlas Heaves 2
Atlas Heaves - 2

This one was still kind of interesting but I felt a little boring. I liked the flowing hair but didn't figure out any symbolism. There probably was some but anyway, I would not buy this one for my house.

J.C. Kuo - Lady

If you look closely at the bottom. These guys are squatting on the flags of the world. Thats about right!

J.C. Kuo - Guys Squatting
Squatting on Flags

I liked this one with the man striking the woman down. Its almost magic.

J.C. Kuo - Strike

This ones cool. Look closely and you will see newspapers in there mouth so they are either swallowing everything the read or they are spewing it out. One or the other. I liked it!

J.C. Kuo - Propoganda

This one was really cool and had a lot of dramatic elements inside it. The pic below is a section of a much larger picture.

J.C. Kuo - Life

First, from the above you probably figured out I (Paul) know nothing about art but, both Queenie and I enjoyed the exhibit. Actually I just looked at the brochure and today was the last day, so we got lucky! However, Vivian the assistant told me they will have more edgy, modern pieces in the gallery in the future and that the next exhibit will be one with sculptures. The gallery is worth a visit if you are in the area (but I wouldn't make a special trip UNLESS you are an Art Addict) the gallery is really too small.

Address: 177 Chienkuo South Rd. Sec. 2 (close to Hoping E./Chienkuo S. intersection)
Tel: 2574-1366


Queenie's Flower

Queenie's Flower
Queenie's Flower

Queenie bought this flower as a bud in the market. A few days later it had bloomed into this beautiful flower.

Dinner in Keelung

The Dinner Group

Last night I went up to Keelung to have dinner with some colleagues from my old company, IEI. Queenie decided not to join. I was actually quite surprised how easy it was to get to Keelung from the office. Got on the MRT, went to Chunghsiao-Fuhsing Stop. Get out of the MRT at Exit 2 and turn left on Chungshiao. You cannot miss the bus. The bus trip itself in rush hour traffic took no longer than 50 minutes so I was pleasantly surprised. My colleagues all drove there from Shi Zhi, and one of my colleagues also drove me home. Getting home was less than 30-minutes. Not too bad at all! Pretty simple really. The bus drops you off outside the Keelung station and you can also catch the bus from there back to Taipei too. The last bus leaves at around 10:50pm I believe (although I didn't need to catch it).

Outside Keelung Station

My colleagues (actually they were my old lunch time English students) decided to take me to the highest restaurant in Keelung that overlooks the bay. The restaurant was pretty nice but too bad about the dark windows. We couldn't really see the view outside the Window and that would have been awesome. Maybe in the daytime it would be better. The restaurant was on the 13F (not many very high buildings in Keelung) and had parking in the basement so all very convenient.

The restaurantwas a traditional Taiwanese seafood restaurant with round tables and crackly speakers for when a Chinese version of "Happy Birthday" needed to be played. There were a few groups around having fun and some old guys were celebrating a birthday and got pleasantly noisy later in the evening. Of course, seafood was on the menu and we had a ton of it. Shrimps, crabs, prawns etc. And it all tasted great! Of course the question is "What else do you eat in Keelung?"





No Idea!

It was fun catching up with the group and hearing there plans for the future. Celia is planning to go to the Czech Republic next week and Stacey is planning to go to Tokyo at the end of May so a lot of them are planning there travels. It was also sad to hear some of the old group have been let go but at least they have found new jobs. So all in all it was a great evening enjoyed by all.

Eric and Stacey

Sammi and Vivian

Celia and Stacey

All of Us

Thanks guys! I had fun and it was great seeing you all.

More pictures @ Dinner in Keelung


Seven Years Ago Today...

Us...Just Us

13 April 2002, seven years ago, we got married. We took our wedding pictures on the beaches on the North East Coast of Taiwan. It was a cold and windy day. Our friend Vivian took these pictures of us as she tagged along. Since then we have had an amazing time. Its had its ups, its downs, but we have mostly had a blast and loved it..

On our knees


The Flamenco

Run baby Run

On the beach...

Wild Coast

What were we doing?

Love is...

Hush little baby, don't say a word...

Here we come..

CEO Pose...


Out of Africa

Happy anniversary Queenie, I love you.


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